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All,

Firstly hello from me.  

In at the deep end with my first post.

Although I have been lurking around in the background for a while I have not made any posts untill now.   My reason for my first post is that of the events of the past weekend where I witnessed the rescue of a fellow diver  which did not result in a happy ending.  That said the rescue both by the Stoney Cove rescue team and that of Digger was "text Book".  As we all know this does not guarantee a happy outcome.
I have stood back from the numerious posts about the weekend and that of the pony argument and have thought that we all need to STOP! THINK and ACT.
I feel that I can write comfortably about saftey and rescues having taken part in a previous rescue at Stoney Cove.
As a frequent user of the Cove I have watched many times as the boat head out into the cove to recover a diver.
For me the events of Satuday brought back many memories.
Uncomfortable memories. Despite trying my utmost in the rescue that I took part in the diver that we attempted to rescue passed away.  
I did not know him as he was not part of our diving party but non the less he remains in my thoughts.
As a result of this rescue. I have attempted to pass on my experiance as both a diver and instructor to divers that I meet.  As I have grown up I have listened to many of my elders and have taken the benefit of their experiance.
Not everything I have heard is relevant or of use. In my own opinion going to allow me to develope in life but there have been some reall snippets that have been of real benefit.
As a result of this rescue and my own healing process I set up www.divefun.co.uk  
The reason for this was that post rescue it was discovered that both the divers were OW level and that they buddy was not in a position to help his fellow diver.   To this end as part of Divefun we started running small groups where divers with more experiance take new / ish divers under their wing.
During these dives we help them to gain further experiance in areas such as SMB deployment, General Diving Skills.
We carry our own O2 kit and First aid and all sea trips that we run have O2 and First Aid.  http://www.divefun.co.uk/reports/why_stoney.asp
My point is this.

The majority of active UK divers irrespective of agency have a vast level of knowledge.   Hints and tips that they can share.  Situations that they have found themselves in and been able to recover from.
Why not use this forum to share what you all know.
The message to new divers that read this forum is that diving is FUN and can be safe as crossing the road if you dive within your limits.
You get good and bad divers in all certifying agancies Yes PADI, BSAC etc.  You will only ever be as good as your instructor and your willing to learn from both your own and the experiance of others.
I love diving and it has provided me with some great highes and lows.  
Just my thoughts for what it is worth.
So I will start.
Just started to dive in a dry suit.  Discovered that in the suit that I was wearing which was a shoulder dump that air vented better when I move the dump further round from my shoulder.  This combined with adjusting the level of air in my suit before I reached the 12-14m depth range on my accent from a dive.
What tips do you have?
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>welcome to yd,might be an idea to post in introductions and say hello there also.
read your post with interest but have to say i was a little confused untill i checked out your site.
looks like a good service to offer divers and i  hope things go well for you.
"You will only ever be as good as your instructor and your willing to learn from both your own and the experiance of others."
mmmmmm will only ever be as good!!!
could not pass it,sorry
cheers
barrie
 

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<font color='#000080'>Sonunds like a good idea, and a good way of bridging skills gaps. So often I get people in our club asking why my tanks are side-slung, and I try my best to explain why I do it the way I do, and try and explain merits and downfalls of the system. This has just got far more likely with my inverted tanks, and a system for those who don't see others diving in different ways can be invaluable.

All too often we see people who dive a rig they've not thought about because it's the way the other people in their club showed them, and they've not had other opinions offered. Personally my rig has come about largely from others I've dived with in the past, reading equipment sites like Dom's and others, and generally thinking my way into things like a sidemount rig I'd not considered, but could see no downside to. I've now fonud a cuople of downsides and decided inverts are the answer for me.  Others milage will vary, but it's healthy to have other ideas coming in.

This should also go as far as rescue training and practice. Withuot the practice I do in the pool teaching, I don't believe I would have been nearly as capable as I was on saturday. I'd also probably be doubting myself a lot more than I have, which has been minimal. I'm going to a site on Friday with a mate who wants to practice CBLs after Saturday. All the better for him. Only through practice can we be the best we can be.
 

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iGeek therefore iTrek
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Is that you Scott?

If so hello from Dawn and Me. If not Hello anyway.

Noel
 

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Welcome to YD DFS, or Scott if that happens to be your name (we tend to go for a tad less anonymity round here), but I think you're preaching to the converted:
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Why not use this forum to share what you all know
erm... this is precisely what we've been doing for a couple of years now. Have to say your site looks to me like a commercial version of YD but please correct me if I've misunderstood what DF is about.
Chee-az
Steve
 

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Good to see that there has been a number of replies.  Thanks to Digger and observations that has allowed him to descide in his "set up."

Keep this thread going. Let us all have the experience from more of you.

Scott
 

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hi scott , i can offer one piece of advice ,always be honest about your abilities to your buddy,eg, if you get narked easily or one that i use regularly is ( i don't like to rush please keep it at a nice and relaxed pace)
cheers paul
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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Hi Scott

Welcome, i like the idea of what you are doing.

I have to go along with Digger totally on this, and quite a few of our other members have mentioned doing the course but being rusty on their drills.

I have done a few for real lifts and found that the scenario was different in each case but the same basic drills get the casualty to the surface where you can start to do something about the problem.

Dive Safe and Practice, Practice, Practice.

Paul
 

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Oooo, where to start...

If you woudn't be happy going for a swim in a piece of water then you shoudn't dive it either. (diving is just swimming in deep water with lots of heavy stuff tied to you.)

Never get in unless you're sure you can get yourself out.

That big blue wobbly thing moves of it's own accord - find out where, when and how much before you jump in. (sustained speed of  fit, kitted diver approx half a knot. For about a couple of hours. Sustained speed of sea between 0 and 15 knots. For ever and ever.)

Don't jump in unless you're sure you can float.

Take a bright, shiny or noisy device of some sort. Whistles and smbs are good.

Look after your mask.

Might sound a bit simple but these all spring to mind when I look at beginner divers.
 

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To dive or not to dive - that's not even an option
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Hi Folks

Guess whos babie's keeping his dad up tonight?

Aim for self reliance (no, I don't mean solo diving.), You need to be able to look after yourself before you can look after others, but how many divers want someone to "take them diving"? Be honest.

James  
 

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I think narkedat50 is absolutely right( soory the little one's keeping you up)....we do need to be self relient but we also need to practise regularly....the problem is many of us get complacent and it takes an incident to give us a jolt
 

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iGeek therefore iTrek
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Hi all,

In the 4 years that I have been using Stoney I too have witnessed one or two incidents. I have never had to get involved in a real incident, and I hope I never do, but I do keep practicing skills and drills should the need arise. I also carry a redundant air source (pony) that can run bouyancy if my main cylinder fails for any reason.

Does this alone make me a safe diver?

A safe diver is one who can see the situation and can act accordingly. When diving with Dawn I would trust her with my life and she does likewise. However we are both experienced divers.
All too often it has been a novice diver that has unfortunately passed away for one reason or another - but what is the cut off point? Do you start telling divers that they cannot dive unsupervised before they have logged 20 dives? Should Stoney turn them away? I for one think not.

The best way to get experience and become a self sufficient and safer diver is to dive and if that is as a buddy pair with a chap or chapess you have met during your OW course then fine. It may be the instructors job to pass on his / her experience and recommendations but it is equally the divers job to stay within their limits and experience. Operations like Scott's (we do know each other BTW - thouroughly nice bloke) Divefun, John Bakers Diversescuba and this one are an excellent way of divers getting to know other divers and sometimes we can got our feet wet so to speak but as a dive guide in Malta once told me:

"The best way for them to learn is from their mistakes."

Unfortunately these mistakes can sometime be fatal
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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In spite of not being a BSAC member or BSAC trained in any way I find as time passes that the concept of gradual development through mentor diving is more and more appealing. It could be that I have rose tinted views, as I here so much about Paul Oliver and the excellent work done at Canterbury BSAC but that’s been my conclusion.

Equally I believe that every diver should take full responsibility for all aspects of every dive in terms of planning and execution. Mental visualisation of key aspects of the dive is a skill I don’t here much about and one that I personally feel helps in coping with problems during the dive. I consider all dives solo dives but most of the time I have a buddy with me who is a bonus but not essential to the plan. Every dive should include a pre planned practice drill of some type even if it’s as simple as unclipping and re clipping a reel. Weakness should be met head on and practiced out of existence. New rigs and equipment should be trained in so if for example you get a pony you should practice ending the dive and ascending on it.  

So in summery its:

Training, Planning, independence and Practice Practice Practice.

ATB

Mark Chase
 
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