YD Scuba Diving Forums banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just come back from my first Red Sea trip, and was amazed at a couple of things I saw.
Whilst out on the I saw a instructor ask 2 certified divers if they wanted to take the nitrox course, as this is safer when doing multiple dives (all good so far)
He sat down gave a 5 minute brief overview as to what nitrox is, and the different blends available. Showed them how to analyse the gas and took them diving on nitrox32 for that dive.
The next day a quick briefing was given on the possible hazards of nitrox.
(Both briefings lated no more than 5-10 mins
They were taken diving on 32% on Jackson Reef and taken down to 32m.
I know this as I was in the same group, neither of the 2 had computers or depth gauges (all their kit was hired)
One of these guys was not great on air either so I got him to at least go shallower to avoid more complications
After this dive they were told to pop into the school tomorrow and he will sign off their course, if they wanted the manual tables etc. this would be an extra €60 on top of the €140 so far
I asked why the rental regs had no depth gauges the answer was "they cost money"

My concerns are:
1. How on earth was that a nitrox course with 2 ten min briefings and no manual DVD etc and no tables given?
2. Why (if no depth gauges are on the rental equipment) are computers not a compulsory rental item?
3. Why after telling the divers that at certain depths nitrox can cause convulsions etc were they taken down to 32m?
4. Should I have raised my concerns with the school/instructor/divers? (I know the answer to this question really, and regret not saying anything)
5. Is this sort of thing commonplace in the Red Sea?
I have not named the centre (so far) on purpose
Any thoughts??
 

·
Bashing head against brick wall
Joined
·
2,105 Posts
Not sure it is commonplace but I have seen Emperor divers sell Nitrox courses and then everything has been done quite literally by the book. The students have been sent off to do the knowledge reviews overnight before being allowed to dive on Nitrox the following day.

I can't say I like the idea of no depth gauges or computers but 32m on a Nitrox 32 is inherently safe anyway as you're nowhere near the max pp of 1.4.

I would point out that the maximum depth allowed for dives from Sharm is a mandatory 30m anyway, so what the guide was doing at 32m I have no idea. Our guide went balistic when I dropped to 30.5m!

I do believe that you should name the dive centre responsible as this will allow others to make their minds up whether thay'd like to dive with them in the future, or recommend others to do so.
 

·
Dive tart, just can't say no :-)
Joined
·
9,453 Posts
Time to name and shame I think. A few years ago I did my AOW in the red sea, when it came to the exam the instructor refused to mark my answers and gave me the book and insisted that my answers should be copied out word for word what was in the book! I have my doubts over the maintenance of standards and I'd be interested to know what level of monitring/inspection PADI operates.

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
Nitrox

On the other side of the coin ...I was told by the dive guide at Marsa Alam (Whom had never dived outside the Red Sea )before diving Elphinstone that I couldn't have Nitrox as It was deemed too Dangerous at Elphinstone ...It took all my self discipline to hold my tongue ...They hadn't even took the time to look at my qualifications

Trouble with the Red Sea is every diver is treated like a newly qualifed OW diver...Til it comes to making a fast buck !!!!!

A
 

·
Rapidly expanding member
Joined
·
285 Posts
I agree about naming the dive centre. PADI have the QA system but I am not sure whether non PADI professionals can put in anything -I suspect not. If you are an instructor/ dm and see standards violations going on you can report that instructor. The other thing that PADI do is to send out questionnaires to a cross section of students asking them whether they met the standards. It is like a check list for them to tick that they did do. However they don't send it out to everyone so those particular students could be missed.

Unfortunately courses really are only as good as the instructors who teach them and I witnessed similar dreadful teaching of an AOW course in the Galapagos last year - no manuals, no briefings, no knowledge reviews and one of the students running out of air TWICE on a dive whilst the instructor never noticed why he was breathing off my octopus!!!
 

·
Member
Joined
·
434 Posts
By the sound of it, these divers got very little instruction for their money. As long as they paid very little money for it, fine. If they paid the standard whack for a nitrox course, they were robbed.

32m on 32% is not really a problem, and has a reasonable margin of error. I have seen instruction in the past where the instructor is effectively the depth gauge. As long as he wasn't distracted by other divers, no problem. The divers themselves bear some responsiblity for any cock-ups by diving without computers.

Complaining to the dive centre would most likely have been a complete waste of time. If they're crap, and it seems they were, name them so others can avoid them.
 

·
Ginger, Irish, sometimes stroppy
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
If you have concerns report it to PADI. You may have missed points that would have explained it, but if you ask PADI they should get in touch with the students and check what actually happened etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am nitrox certified and should have explained what I meant about the 32m part
After telling the students about the convlusions at depth, is it wise to take them that deep, without them having much of an idea how deep they are. Surely all this does is add to their stress loading.
The dive school was Only-Six dive centre based in the Ritz Carlton
 

·
'we are here for a good time, not a long time'
Joined
·
781 Posts
I'm with most others and think they should be named, so they can be avoided.

I'm not sure i would hire kit without a depth gauge or computer (i take my full kit with me anyway)
As much as the guide is there for your safety, you have to be responsible for your own safety also.

Most of the time you get what you pay for tho'
 

·
Nigel Hewitt
Joined
·
7,142 Posts
OK let's put the otherside...
My concerns are:
1. How on earth was that a nitrox course with 2 ten min briefings and no manual DVD etc and no tables given?
But nitrox really is that simple.
If you have the MOD chalked on the tank and you dive a site where the seabed is no deeper it's safer than air.
If you aren't using it to extend your bottom times it's lots safer than air.
2. Why (if no depth gauges are on the rental equipment) are computers not a compulsory rental item?
If you want them you pay for them.
I bet the guide is kicking himself that he missed a sale there.
I admit that I wouldn't enter the water without something to say how deep I am but these people had already agreed to it.
Nitrox doesn't make it more stupid.
3. Why after telling the divers that at certain depths nitrox can cause convulsions etc were they taken down to 32m?
42m I can see a problem with but 32m is a safe depth. 1.34bar ppO2 isn't much.
4. Should I have raised my concerns with the school/instructor/divers? (I know the answer to this question really, and regret not saying anything)
And look a fool?
5. Is this sort of thing commonplace in the Red Sea?
I hope so. Nitrox needs demystifying and using not treating like the black art from hell.

HTH
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lee B

·
Dive without politics
Joined
·
2,106 Posts
I am nitrox certified and should have explained what I meant about the 32m part
After telling the students about the convlusions at depth, is it wise to take them that deep, without them having much of an idea how deep they are. Surely all this does is add to their stress loading.
The dive school was Only-Six dive centre based in the Ritz Carlton
Only Six S-7964
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Om el Seed, PO Box 72
Sharm El Sheikh, S. Sinai
EGYPT
Phone: (20) 693 620533
Fax: (20) 693 663688
Email Us
Other specialty courses offered by this facility
Instructor programs offered

It seems the club you were with is a PADI Gold Palm IDC, see link for a brief description of what that means.

PADI Gold Palm Instructor Development Centers
 

·
Dive without politics
Joined
·
2,106 Posts
OK let's put the otherside...
But nitrox really is that simple.
If you have the MOD chalked on the tank and you dive a site where the seabed is no deeper it's safer than air.
If you aren't using it to extend your bottom times it's lots safer than air.If you want them you pay for them.
I bet the guide is kicking himself that he missed a sale there.
I admit that I wouldn't enter the water without something to say how deep I am but these people had already agreed to it.
Nitrox doesn't make it more stupid.42m I can see a problem with but 32m is a safe depth. 1.34bar ppO2 isn't much.And look a fool?I hope so. Nitrox needs demystifying and using not treating like the black art from hell.

HTH

I agree with you about your last point, but i feel that your post does very little to help with that, as you seem to saying that the behaviour of this centre is sort of OK.

What you seem to be missing is that these divers, who were customers of this school, had by the sounds of it a very crap introduction to the black art of EANx. They also seem to have paid a lot, and not received, on the face of it, a course that would prepair them properly to use EANX.

Not being given depth gauges or computers is criminal as far as i am concerned, you wouldnt dive without a way of measuring and recording depth, i dont, and wouldnt. Why is OK for students under instruction to do so, i think you would find that PADI would have a very very dim veiw of this little episode.

As a working instructor i get total pissed of with this standard of instruction being delevered to student who know no better. It is time for it to end.

My final point, the cut price, bargin basement aproach to the SCUBA industry does not help this, How many instructors do you know who have been doing it for over ten years, that are over fourty, not too many i guess, most of the divers i train to be Instructors only plan to do it for a few years, no money is the reason.
 

·
A Moderate from 04/01/07-24/12/12
Joined
·
11,804 Posts
The title of you post gives the wrong impression. The Red Sea has a fairly good safety record IMO.....so I don't think the issue is with safety standards but more about training standards.

Whether the instructor you saw was operating in accordance with his agency's training standards is another thing and if you are in a position to report the breach then you should in my view.

HTH
Mal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK let's put the otherside...
1. But nitrox really is that simple.
2. If you have the MOD chalked on the tank and you dive a site where the seabed is no deeper it's safer than air.
3.If you aren't using it to extend your bottom times it's lots safer than air.
4. If you want them you pay for them.
5. I bet the guide is kicking himself that he missed a sale there.
I admit that I wouldn't enter the water without something to say how deep I am but these people had already agreed to it.
6. Nitrox doesn't make it more stupid.42m I can see a problem with but 32m is a safe depth. 1.34bar ppO2 isn't much.And look a fool?I hope so. Nitrox needs demystifying and using not treating like the black art from hell.

HTH
1. Ok simple but 15-20 mins on a rolling boat is the perfect place to teach it?
2. We were on Jackson reef which has rather steep drop offs
3. Agreed
4. would you attend any type of course/lecture and expect to pay for the course content notes after forking out for the course already?
5. Agreed they should have been more alert to fact they had no gauges but if a school wants to hire kit out they should have depth gauges. Would you hire a car with no speedo?
6. Agreed I should have put more emphasis on the stress loading part of this.
7. it does need demystifying, so surely if you are explaning the priciples
of this, the a liitle more attention should be shown, as to whether this is sinking in to the students

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The title of you post gives the wrong impression. The Red Sea has a fairly good safety record IMO.....so I don't think the issue is with safety standards but more about training standards.

Whether the instructor you saw was operating in accordance with his agency's training standards is another thing and if you are in a position to report the breach then you should in my view.

HTH
Mal
Point taken Mal
The wrong wording on the title
I did not intend to mislead

John
 

·
Member
Joined
·
434 Posts
But nitrox really is that simple.
If you have the MOD chalked on the tank and you dive a site where the seabed is no deeper it's safer than air.
Agreed. The tuition is minimal. But making it a 'speciality' affords the training agencies an opportunity to extract more cash from divers. And, from memory, there is the opportunity to go much deeper than 32m on Jackson Reef. Did their 'tuition' cover enough to give them an appreciation of what they were doing and why it could be dangerous?

Not being given SPGs or computers is criminal as far as i am concerned, you wouldnt dive without a way of measuring and recording depth, i dont, and wouldnt. Why is OK for students under instruction to do so, i think you would find that PADI would have a very very dim veiw of this little episode.
Definetly not saying it's right, but if it's agreed in advance above water, then the instructor is effectively the depth gauge.

The title of you post gives the wrong impression. The Red Sea has a fairly good safety record IMO.....so I don't think the issue is with safety standards but more about training standards.
From what I read, I wouldn't agree with this. The Red Sea seems to have some very iffy operators. As an example, four divers lost last year on Elphinstone in an episode that really was criminal; open water divers in strong currents with little or no surface support. Lots of poorly trained divers, quite a few Russians it has to be said, diving deep sites seem to be falling off the perch over there. The more expensive operators seem to be more conscious of safety. The cheaper ones seem to cut a lot of corners.
 

·
Ginger, Irish, sometimes stroppy
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
From a well known training comapnies website....."The course consists of 1/2 day academics and optional two training dives which can even be conducted as part of any ongoing PADI course"

The course could be completed in a few hours...its not rocket science....I'm guessing it should have had a couple of knowledge reviews ......they may done these while you guys were filling in log books etc. So its possible the course was run within guidelines, unless you can say for certain that nothing happened when you were around etc.

The dives are optional now I believe (?) so they didn't have to include dives as part of the course. That said it sounds as if there were a couple of dives included which means that the price you mention (if inclusive of dives) was fair.

Not inclduing the books is a well known way of keeping the price down, most holiday divers won't read the books again, so why should they be forced to buy them?

The instructor should keep signed copies of knowledge reviews etc, so if you have concerns the only way of finding out for sure is through PADI who can demand to see the review and suspend the instructor etc.

I'm not saying you are wrong but things aren't always what they seem. If you want to be sure I'm willing to go and dive with them to establish the truth f you guys will fund the expenses ;)
 

·
ego postulo urino
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
The title of you post gives the wrong impression. The Red Sea has a fairly good safety record IMO.....so I don't think the issue is with safety standards but more about training standards.

Whether the instructor you saw was operating in accordance with his agency's training standards is another thing and if you are in a position to report the breach then you should in my view.

HTH
Mal
I fully agree with your comments... In fact this COULD occur anywhere. The more important issue is that if an operator / instructor is not following his agency guideline and moreover dangerous, should someone inform the agency...

For me, where those that are likely to be uninformed, inexperienced or non divers, the wider diving comunity should shout. For the more experienced I think it's up to them to complain themselves....
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top