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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Gavin Yates @ June 17 2003,08:21)]"We train our divers to get orientation in local conditions."
Nice get out of jail free card there, Gavin

I wonder how they 'get orientation'. I would say that they need to be SHOWN how to read tide tables, gear up on boats etc.

I have seen St Abbs, but never dived there. What local info is posted re tides? Or does everyone have to do a web search to get info? I know there is some good stuff online, but a new diver still needs to know what he/she should be looking for.

Preaching to the converted here methinks.

[edit]
Gavin started this thread by reporting some comments made by the RNLI in St Abbs, and a response from PADI. It seems to me that Gavin responded to our replies as if we were shooting the messenger. On 21 June I noticed that Gavin had deleted his initial posting and the subsequent posts within the thread. This should explain why this thread appears to read strangely.
[end edit]

Adrian
 

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IMO this is just more of the same sort of issue that's facing diving at the moment. Too many agencies pushing get qualified quick courses and a bunch of students who for the most part are just doing it to dive on holiday or with no real thought for what is involved.

Should divers be trained how to use tide tables before going in the sea? Damm right they should. But that should just be part of a whole set of dive planning issues that simply don't get discussed at the beginning levels of training. How about a bit of decent gas planning as well while we're at it.

IMO entry level diving qualifications are being dumbed down, year on year in the drive to sell more kit and the relentless desire of people for instant gratification. No one seems to grasp the fact that learning how to dive properly needs a bit of effort on the part of the student, which is often sadly lacking.

Anyway rant over


Rob.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Gavin Yates @ June 17 2003,09:16)]I'm not preaching to anyone - just wondered what people think.
Sorry Gav, I meant me.
 

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<font color='#000080'>This is a really tricky one Gav,

Unfortunatley it is not possible to police who can throw a cylinder on their back and leap in the sea...  Even proof of any scuba training is not enforcable.

Also playing devils advocate here..  Many divers will qualify in quarries just because the coast is blown out and they want to qualify quickly for holidays etc...  Not to mention the divers who only dive abroad for years and then want to try UK diving.

I do not agree that a PADI Sea Speciality would serve any purpose.  Maybe I am cynical (and I'm PADI trained !!) but what would it entail.  Probably the basics about tide and current,  possibly some more indepth info on boat diving and heaven forbid maybe some DSMB deployment and probably 2 dives,  all based on sea diving off Florida or somewhere.  All for £90 - give us your money, ta very much.

The responsibility should come down to the clubs to ensure people are adaquately trained and this is one of many areas that SSAC and BSAC should excel...  As for the other agency divers who are not affiliated with a club then places like YD are ideal for them to hook up with more experienced people who are willing to coach and assist.  

Daz
 

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<font color='#000080'>I agree that it is wrong to have a DM/DL with little or no sea experience as is the fact that people will dive to their cert' limits without build up sea dives.

The only problem IMO is that legislation could open a can of worms as in "do warm water dives count the same as cold water dives" etc.

I can only speak for my BSAC club in that anyone trained in fresh water would have to do their 1st sea dives with a NQI
and a person going for dive leader must have done at least 50 uk sea dives, also all our students are taught how to work out air requirements from their 2nd o/w dive and dsmb deployment from the 4th dive.

With regard to St Abbs I have done 20+ dives there and have always my done homework re:tides etc before setting off also a quick check with the h/master is always a good thing as one time he said to make the dive no longer than 30mins as it was going to get lumpy, he was right and no agency can teach that.

Safe diving,
Steve.
 

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<font color='#000080'>Nice idea Gav,

But why not take this one stage further.  If we are talking publicity here, let this work in YD's favour.

Maybe we could keep a separate tally for experiences and assistance provided.  

For example :-

Over the last 12 months YD members have :-

Introduced 32 divers to UK sea diving.
Held 48 diving trips, attended by 342 members.
Assisted 26 Divers with drysuit orientation dives.

etc...  

and maybe some positive publicity could work in our favour.  YD - Run by divers, for divers.

Daz
 

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Good idea Daz.  Keep a running tally, showing how active and proactive YD is.  

As for Gav's comment, how good is "good enough"?  What would you include in a course to change a quarry diver to a sea diver?

You have already listed tide tables - this is borderline for me , if you are paying for a skipper to take you out then you are relying on his knowledge on the sea conditions etc anyway...this only applies for those who never shore dive or lead a club outing)
Boat etiquette - there are an awful lot of experienced divers who could do with a duffer's guide to boat manners.  It should obviously include which side to throw up from!
dSMB use - sensible
Drift diving - can already get a PADI cert in that!

What else....???
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]There are no tide tables shown at Abbs - I would expect divers to do their homework before they arrive on site.
Couldn't agree more - only a brain required for that IMO. Surely it is that obvious even without any training.


[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I agree that PADIs attitude stinks but it's BSAC divers that I've seen that appear to have the most difficulties.*

*This is an unrepresentative sample based upon only what I have observed.
Why does PADI's attitude stink? I did PADI OW and AOW on hols in Gozo MANY years ago. Everything needed to get you started as a diver (apart from experience) is taught and is in the course manuals. I never imagined once I had completed the courses that it meant I had learned everything there was else to know or learn about diving. Also, it seemed SO obvious that when I started diving in the UK that conditions would be totally different (i.e. harder) than in the Med etc. Perhaps the fact that BSAC divers are amongst those that have problems proves the point it is down to the lack of common sense of some divers rather than their training agency.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]The question still remains - should people be compelled to do sea dives as part of their training and should that training include reading tide tables etc?
I think that would help if they were diving in the sea here or somewhere similar BUT not of as much value if overseas in clear water etc.

{EDIT} Tide table knowledge is useful BUT even better is ringing up a local dive centre/club and asking abt times in and out of the water for the slack period + any other tips.

One last point is that people learn by their mistakes (I certainly have - one or two dumb enough to make me wonder if I had a brain left) - I am sure that none (well most) of the people who have done something wrong will not want that to happen again and will take the relevant steps.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi Gav

I will be up at St Abbs next Tuesday, we are diving with Peter Gibson from Wed - Friday.  I'll keep a look out for all those people bimbling about and try to stay out of their way.  I had better find the tide tables now for said area although I was like Lou said going to rely on Peter Gibson,  afterall he is the man with all the knowledge and there is nothing better than local knowledge.

If anyone is around to say hello to, we are staying at Springbank cottage in the harbour.  Anyone around for a lemonade after dinner will be welcome.


Fiona
 

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You know a PADI Sea-diving specialty would be a good idea and in fact would be one of the usefull ones.

What would it include?

Well, use of extra equipment (DSMB etc), boat stuff, working out tide tables, depths etc from Admiralty charts, more on water movements, nav and pilotage, proper dive planning (esp air planning) and then actually diving in the sea min 5(?) dives.

It would actually be a sizeable course tailored to suit local conditions, of course with the PADI over-rider that states that you are only certified to dive in similar conditions.

Of course BSAC (and I guess ScotSAC) do all this but if they are also having probs (given Gavs observations) then we are back to the issue of training standards.
 

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<font color='#000080'>OK question for the mods.

Is it possible to have a section on the site where we can pool this information into useful FAQ's for the benefit of all.  The possibilities are endless.

Consideration for new kit purchases.
Benefits of different agencies (I'm sure we are all mature enough to not have too much controvosy on this  
)
Benefits of further training.
Additional skills and experience for UK diving conditions.

etc.

Once people get a view on what maybe required it will prompt discussion/questions and hopefully offers of assistance.

Daz
 

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Sorry Gav, I was trying to open up the discussion, not shoot the messenger!


The problem with alot of the items mentioned is that they vary from boat to boat, or from team to team.  You could never teach anyone *the* way to do it.  Shot line protocol, ingress and egress etc are all variable - as should be witnessed by the number of us on the Swanage trip who got our wrists slapped for holding onto the side of the boat on egress!

Certainly there are skills that are more pertinient, or only applicable, to sea diving and people need to build up to dives, not expect to be able to dive anywhere, but that applies no matter what training you have had,

picking up on the skipper thing, personally I think that someone who advertises their services as a "dive skipper" is more than a taxi driver.  I expect, or would like to be able to expect, more than just being dropped off and picked up.  If I don't get more than that then I won't use them again.

The English Nature site had a discussion about divers on it and there it was mentioned that HSE standards advise a skipper plus one deckhand for every 4 divers.  I don't know if this is true but ideally there should be at least one deckhand on board besides the skipper in my opinion.  So conversely to the local skippers, perhaps we could say that there are alot of skippers who are not skilled or equipped to take divers, and perhaps that adds to the problems?

(And i still haven't had a reply from a certai dive centre to whom I wrote a letter of complaint about their boat and skipper so that's why i may sound a little peeved on this matter!!

)
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Gavin Yates @ June 17 2003,12:54)]Fiona  - Enjoy your diving with Peter. I'll say again - so people can maybe understand.

I'M ONLY PASSING ON WHAT THE RLNI HAVE SAID AND PEOPLE LIKE PETER - THE LOCAL SKIPPERS!!!
Sorry Gav didn't mean to be flippent, your right why should my preparaption for St Abbs be any different to last weekend in Trearddur Bay just because we had the rib with us, where I looked up the tide tables, new where to dive and when to get there,  on time and wait for slack.  

There are some skippers we trust and some we don't, we tend to really on local knowledge however some people don't, they end up hurling themselves off the harbour wall and don't think how to get back.

  Fiona

Actually Gav do you have access to tide tables for next Wed - Friday ?  I have found a website but they only do about 4 days ahead and I am not in the office from Friday.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Yes I have seen it, in fact I think that's how I found YD's in the first place I seached for St Abbs and found you guys.  We have been before with Peter so we booked with him, then I found the other boat and accommodation and air station - is their air station in the harbour open yet? is their air double filtered ?  they were not yet open when I emailed them.

Our dates are Wed 25 to Friday 27 he was booked up for the weekend.

Thanks for your help.

Fiona
 

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That's a great idea Daz.  My day job is actually publicity so I might be able to help with getting the results to the right place...?
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Finless - What I dislike about PADI was their response to this  - I included this in my first post - which boils down to well we tell 'em to get local orientation and if they don't well that's their look out.
What is wrong with that - PADI are a training ageny, not a club environment and don't pretend to be anything else. People take the course, get the basic knowledge and basic training and it is up to them to employ it properly, including the building up of experience.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Also, I think that tidal knowledge and experience of diving in severe drifts/surge can assist your diving wherever you are in the world.
Couldn't agree more. My point, for example, is tidal surge (of any note) doesn't happen in the Med so it has to be explained in theory etc.

I don't know St Abbs - if the problem is that bad why don't the council put up signs warning divers abt rip tides, times of slack water or whatever is causing the problem.

How are newbies going to get any experience if they don't give it a go. I don't believe there is a diver on this forum who hasn't done something dumb it their diving past - just probably not in view of everyone else.

The ultimate idiots will probably end up a subject of the Darwin Awards whilst the rest will learn and mature or give up. Why don't the RNLI, for example, mention that at least newbies are trying out their skills at St Abbs where there are recue facilities "ready to hand" instead of finding some remote shore away from prying eyes to dive from.

By the nature of shore diving the weather has to be reasonable to nice so I imagine the RNLI guys look forward to having a blast about on the rib - I know I would.

Gav - If this seems like a go at you it is not inteneded as such, I understand you are only reporting on a subject. {EDIT} - apart from (probably) the bit about PADI. I don't see problem people have with the PADI training regime - you get what you pay for. If people want different, go somewhere else. If ANYONE is stupid enought to believe that having just done a basic course that they can ......
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hmmmmm...  
 
Shame on you Gavster, first you renege on a cracking dive at Abbs, then instigate a BSAC v PADI ruck ? tut tut tut...

You up for Abbs this weekend? I've got my buddy Steve Millerband arriving from 'Darn Sarf' and looking to dive

Personally, I feel that any delineation between which agencies divers are experiencing the most difficulties is likely to start the typical us v them ruck; consequently, the actual issue of safety is going to get lost amongst political bickering.
Plus I don't see how how can you ID someone's agency from watching them have "difficulties".

Lets face it, AFAICS diving's biggest bugbear is agency politics, am I right or am I right ?
 

As a BSAC-wallah who has dived Abbs umpteen times with newbies in tow, the only divers in difficulties I have seen are those flaunting the code of Safe Diving Practice:
 Safe Diving Practices breaches such as no surface cover, no O2 available, diving from the harbour wall when the sea is whipping up etc etc.
Any trainees who come my way will automatically get a copy of the SDP and are expected to familiarise themselves with its contents. Also the clubs I've instructed with only let CDs/ODs dive with DL or above. I have seen at least one club not adhering to all aspects of the SDP, but it's not my job to tell other adult qualified divers from other clubs how to stay alive (hey! it's not called Natural Selection for nothing you know  
) Also I know at least a handful of experienced divers from that club and my old club who have done 60 metres on air (DAISNDAID divers )

I would also point out that some of the dives I've done with YD-ers  haven't been 100% in strict accordance with these SDP guidelines.

I've often thought that, even though YD isn't a formal club, and there's no DO or mandate for anyone to say "Hey we should be doing it this way", that as "we" as a group are becoming a little more "known" that it perhaps wouldn't be a bad idea if we had some kind of voluntary agreement that we will endorse some form of SDP of the type linked above.
OK I know this could be contentious but think how we mould feel if the stuff hits the fan in a terminal way for one of our crew? There's be a lot of "if only..." type sentiments , don't you think?

Anyhoo, who were those three divers last year who got bollocked by the Harbour Master for  diving in the Fairway at Abbs, eh ?
 

A little anecdote from this Saturday, a very vocal family group of divers (a real PITA, TBH) were parked next to me in the main car-park, Liz reckoned they sounded like they were from Hull, but definately not YD-ers. They were talking about diving the next day and one asked what time they should plan to dive, the most vocal one said of course they would be diving at the same time as high and low tides are the same every day and only change between the seasons .... FFS!  

BTW, there is a 37 minute video, "Dive Safely", available free from the HSE and intended as "a reminder for experienced divers and as an educational aid for novice divers" which describes what to do in the event of a diving incident, first aid, handing over the casualty to the emergency services etc.
Contact:
HSE
Offshore division
Lord Cullen House
Fraser Place
Aberdeen
AB25 3UB


Chee-az
Steve
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Gavin Yates @ June 17 2003,15:26)]Stevie - I wasn't starting a bleeding PADIvBSAC debate.

All I bloody did was post a quote from PADI and the RNLI.

I ID'ed the agency of the ones I observed having difficulties by talking to them - it's an old Indian trick I picked up.

I give up ...
Gav,

Your reply was so heartfelt and boy did it made me laugh - unfortunately, out loud! I am at work and that was a bit embarrassing. Some swift keyboard work was required to get back to my spreadsheet.

Don't give up - things have been a bit boring recently. I think we are all grateful to you for the info and a chance to vent a bit of spleen. Maybe it is the sticky weather OR maybe lots of divers love any excuse to have a BSAC/PADI barny.

Moral of the story is - don't be the messenger unless you are called "A Nonny-Mouse"
 
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