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Jonah
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I've been thinking about what training I probably need over the next couple of years to dive in the UK. I'm currently AOW.

The kind of diving I am aiming to do for the forseeable future is relatively standard recreational stuff, judging by what I see in people's trip reports. Technical diving, or deep / long deco stuff is not currently on the agenda. I want to be able to dive safely and comfortably to depths in the region of 30m, with reasonable bottom times.

So, what I see myself as needing are:

1) rescue skills. Number 1 priority.
2) awareness of decompression procedures and ability to handle a little deco if necessary
3) nitrox, for safety and extended bottom times.
4) a club environment for access to training pool, buddies, etc

So, two questions really:

a) is there anything missing from my list in terms of the training I need?
b) what's the most "efficient" (cheapest and fastest, though I'm aware those may be mutually exclusive...) route to acquiring these skills?

I've done all my training through PADI so far. I'm about to join a PADI club / training organisation, been diving with them already, and I'm probably about to sign up to do the Rescue Diver course with them. There are also BSAC and SAA clubs in my area.

Any advice people have on the best way to proceed would be welcome. I don't want to start any kind of agency-bashing thing here - I don't care what the letters on the certification card say, and I'm happy to go for training from multiple organisations (e.g. PADI for Rescue then TDI for nitrox, or something).

So, what should I do?


Tom
 

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Hey Tom,

No doubt others will have their own input (this is YD after all), but it appears to me to be a well thought out and comprehensive list of aims/goals - with the possible caveat (if you have put them in any preference of achievement) that you don't need your Rescue Diver to do your Nitrox ticket. I'd get that out of the way soonest mate.

And yes, I'd do the TDI combined Basic and Advance Nitrox course - £135. Like you, I came up the PADI route and binned it at Dive Master. Their Rescue Diver course (assuming you get a good instructor!) is the best awareness course they do IMHO. It's rigourous and makes you think about what to do to prevent accidents becoming incidents BEFORE you get in the water, and then how to deploy if/should you need to on an event, both for yourself and other any divers diving with you.

Like your approach.

Good luck with it all mate.
 

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Just second Bren's comments really.

The PADI Rescue course is excellent with the right instructor.  

As for Nitrox then the TDI basic/advanced is more comprehensive than the PADI EANx speciality.

Have a think about redundancy with regard to 30m dives, I would think a pony would suffice for the type of diving you are looking at (oh no here goes another twins vs pony ruck).  (That is assuming you are not already into that way of thinking! )

Daz
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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Tom

On the Pony issue, your air consumption rate at the moment would possibly be stretching a Pony from 30-35m with a controlled assent and some safety stops.

However with a bit more experience of our conditions i would expect that rate to come down quickly and the time you would get out of that Pony would improve rapidly.

Then again diving with me, and the exitment of meeting Howards suit probably pushed your breathing rate up anyway


As with Bren i like your thought process on this issue.

Dive Safe, Dive Nitrox

Paul
 

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Tom,

Like everybody else what you have put seems a well thought out and logical progression, I have add I think a pony is an essential piece of kit.

Perhaps (as long as you don't smoke) the DIR-F course would be a good one to think about as it promotes a good diving position and helps a lot with kit configeration. But beware, the might indoctrinate you, they are after all the sub-aqua branch of the moonies (kidding, honest I am .................I think)

Andrew
 

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Something you may find worth a look is being organised on UKRS at the moment:
http://calumscott.port5.com/ukrs/rescue_diver_2003
It's basically a few instructors running a bunch of PADI courses plus extras to give your standard AOW-type diver the skills he needs for UK diving - it includes Rescue stuff, dSMB use, buddying rebreather divers...
 

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I too like your thinking Tom. Again, no agency bashing here but experience is key to diving in UK waters. A club is a great way of going diving with like minded people who you can meet and dive with on a regular basis. If you want to you can train with them too as well as use their equipment and expertise at a reasonable cost. As has been said above, instruction depends on the quality of your instructor, PADI courses are fine in this respect but they are focused on ramping up the next course as they are a professional organisatio set up to provide precisely that service. There are PADI clubs, but I have little personal experience of them. SAA and BSAC branches are mellowing now and tend to accept members of whatever code of learning and many are quite prepared to let you stick with the code you set off with rather than insist on a crossover. Diving abroad is OK (just returned from a week in the Red Sea, complete with an enforced 2 day delay thrown in - nice) but it really is easy peasy holiday diving. UK diving, in my opinion is amongst the best in the world and you are right to press ahead and sample it's delights. Enjoy, and dive safe.

Regards

Geoff Oldfield
 

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It keeps doing that - I think it's a server problem.

Keep trying, it'll come back in a while.

It's being run at Horsea, by the way, so it's more useful for the shandy-drinking contingent
I'm taking part as one of the victims people will have to rescue...
 

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It'a back up.
To forestall any further problems, here's an extract:
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Option 1: Everything!

Includes:-

PADI Emergency First Response, course materials and PIC

PADI Rescue Diver, course materials and PIC

DAN Oxygen Administration, course materials and certification

UK Skills training (which I understand will be under the guise of a PADI Discover Local Diving course)

Entry to Horsea Island



Cost: £235





Option 2: EFR Not required

Includes:-

PADI Rescue Diver, course materials and PIC

DAN Oxygen Administration, course materials and certification

UK Skills training (which I understand will be under the guise of a PADI Discover Local Diving course)

Entry to Horsea Island



Cost: £190



Neither option includes accommodation, food or beer.  Should you need accommodation let me know and I'll figure something out.





UK Skills:  The UK Skills course is quite flexible, details of what we are going to get will be posted here once we decide what they will be.  If there is anything you would like to see in the course let me know.



- SMB and DSMB use.

- Buddying a Rebreather Diver

- Rebreather rescue





Prerequisites:



- PADI Advanced Open Water Certification



A drysuit is _not_ a prerequisite for the course but I can guarantee that if you attempt to dive Horsea Island in January in a wetsuit or semidry you will give up diving on the spot (or just go and buy a drysuit).  Frank and Jan have offered, for anyone who doesn't have drysuit training or experience, to do the speciality for £99 and if you do this with them they will do a free drysuit rental for the Rescue Diver course.





Extras:  Frank and Jan can also offer the following extras:-



PADI Distinctive Certification Oxygen Administration -  £15.

PADI Emergency First Response Video - £15.

PADI Deluxe Emergency First Response Binder - £TBC
It's 9-11 Jan 2004, at Horsea dive center.
 

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For that kind of money your better off joining Scotsac if you can or BSAC if you've no other option and getting the cross over to sport diver.  Check out a branch thoroughly and
use the rating guide carefully.
How many active instructors.  10 or more ***
Weekly diving programme all the year round. ***
Has compressor and gives free fills to members  ***
Has boat in a marina ***
Has all diving equipment including drysuits to loan free to members ***
Pool entry inclusive in branch fees. ***
Branch fee under £50 per annum***  
At least one scubababe who just can't wait to initiate you in the 30' club. ***********************************
 

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And if you ever succeed in finding club that has 100% of that list, let me know about it..
 

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Ok

Maybe not all, but close.

Dive Safe

Paul
 

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<font color='#810541'>Have had bad experience with PADI instructors before. Not knowing what to expect form the course you wont be able to tell if they are skipping anything out to cut time. Being a PADI instructor myself, I would advise that you to try and take a look at the Instructor manual and see the course layout and requirements for the Rescue. Then you'll know that you covered everything properly (or not) when the course is done

If done properly the PADI Rescue course is excellent.

Lisa
 

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if you go BSAC pick your club very carefully, I'm currently getting very frustrated and considering going outside the club and paying to get my qualifications sorted out.

I first got in the water 2 1/2 years ago, got club diver within a couple of months, did old sport diver theory and dive leader theory (and passed both with flying colours even DL) within a couple months of that and am still struggling to get my sport diver OW dives done 1 1/2 years later. OK don't live near the sea so don't get huge numbers of dives in but done about 60+ in 2 1/2 years only 4 in the blue so you can see why I'm getting fed up.

 

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Mary

Sorry to hear about your problems with the qual dives, it is very poor. I got 8 divers through the majority of the old SD at the start of this season. All had done 1 or 2 lessons prior to that and i finnished them off.

The practicals can be done in a couple of days, or even a day if things go well. I used to do the 3 theory lessons in one go. I will not do all of the practicals in lakes, i insist on at least one dive in the sea at OD and SD, and a suitable number at DL. After all that is our local conditions.

However 1 of them just needs to do the deco dive, and that is all she has needed all season, but she has not come out on a channel dive despite having all the kit, and showing herself to be a very compitent diver for her experience level.

If you want i would be prepared to get you through your lessons, let me know what is outstanding so i can do a time estimate.

Dive Safe

Paul
 

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I am sorry Mary your having such a difficult time I read of so many cases like yourself I can only conclude that lowering the standard of the basic BSAC cerificate has resulted in more people divng with a lower standard of training.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Paul Oliver @ Sep. 27 2003,20:42)]but she has not come out on a channel dive despite having all the kit, and showing herself to be a very compitent diver for her experience level.
<font color='#000F22'>Never dived the channel either, the stories of hanging on to shot lines like flags is a little offputting, been to west scotland (oban and islay), pembrokshire, farnes and st abbs so not just a quarry lass.

just been flicking through my log and qual books, have the 2 rescue dives and AAS dives to do, did my deco dive during my club diver assessment (working out my instructors deco), but not much since then.

My club sometimes mistifies me, on one hand i have the DO saying I really should be DL by now and would I consider doing an IFC and on the other I'm struggling to get my SD finished off.
 
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