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mentalmarine
03-31-2008, 09:12
With the current law suit of the one diver against the dive boat that left him in the water, it brings up a question of diver id systems. There was some interesting discussion about getting accountability of divers on dive boats on other forums, and I wanted to get your opinions on this. What systems have you used in the past that worked, or didn’t work and any recommendations for improvements? I found this on DAN's website and it seems to me to be a really good idea. I imagine that something similar to this has already been in use.

DAN Divers Alert Network : No Fear: DAN Addresses Diver Strandings and Offers Help (http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/news/article.asp?newsid=444)

http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/image_library/DIDSBoard.jpg

MSilvia
03-31-2008, 09:25
What systems have you used in the past that worked, or didnít work and any recommendations for improvements?
One system that's proved very effective for me in the past is chartering my own trips and avoiding dive boats with more than 6 passengers whenever possible.

On larger boats, I've seen two systems, one which worked.
The system that worked was having a crew member sign each diver out as they left the boat, and back in when they returned.

The systems that I've seen break down on several occasions are asking if everyone's back, and doing head counts.

fireflock
03-31-2008, 09:36
Boats around here keep a clipboard and write down the time you enter as you get in. As soon as you are back on the swim platform, they ask your name and write down your time out. One boat even went as far as to use a white board that everyone can see instead of a clipboard.

Before the boat leaves the site, the mate again call everyone _by_first_and_last_name_ and asks that you only answer for yourself, not for your friend or buddy. The mate makes the effort to see everyone who answers, regardless of if they are in the cabin, on the sun deck, or kneeling with their head buried in a gear bag.

Other boats assign you a number, and that system makes me nervous. I have a hard time remembering my number (because I don't make an effort) and I've seen more than one diver answer to whatever their number was the previous day.

Using first and last names, with crew who make the effort to verify each person who responds, with 2 checks (when you exit the water, and before the boat leaves the site) seems to work well.

Of course, the crew is always looking for empty gear spots, etc....which might clue you in to something wrong, but it should never get that far.

The DAN tags are more trouble, IMO. Divers stick them in a pocket and loose them, people forget to return them and take them home, etc.... It's a decent idea in theory, but in practice it can be a pain.

The safest thing is to be on a boat with few enough people that you would be missed.

RoyN
03-31-2008, 10:04
You got three groups: The careful charter, the not so careful ones, and the ones that don't care. As far as I've been diving around in Monterey/Carmel, the only charter boat I know that wasn't too careful is the Cypress Sea where two times I've seen them not looking into the diver's background. One resulted in a sad and funny incident and the other resulted in me showing my very ugly side when I told the captain about it and he got very serious about it. It wasn't his fault as he is only driving the boat, the crew wasn't at fault either as they were glad I reported to them, the ones to blame is the shop keeper who didn't interview the diver the level of experiences. Other then that, I'm pretty much just an independent diver with my own gear configuration, my camera, and my own self to take care of.

doczerothree
03-31-2008, 10:09
Anything is better than leaving someone behind. counts, roll calls whatever... just don't move the boat until everyone is accounted for.

mike_s
03-31-2008, 10:14
With the current law suit of the one diver against the dive boat that left him in the water, it brings up a question of diver id systems. There was some interesting discussion about getting accountability of divers on dive boats on other forums, and I wanted to get your opinions on this. What systems have you used in the past that worked, or didnít work and any recommendations for improvements? I found this on DAN's website and it seems to me to be a really good idea. I imagine that something similar to this has already been in use.

DAN Divers Alert Network : No Fear: DAN Addresses Diver Strandings and Offers Help (http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/news/article.asp?newsid=444)

http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/image_library/DIDSBoard.jpg



You would figure that boats would have a better system, or use something like you posted above.


However, I've only been on ONE boat that has a DAN system like you've posted above. I'm sure there are more out there, but it doesn't seem like many...

fireflock
03-31-2008, 10:17
Anything is better than leaving someone behind. counts, roll calls whatever... just don't move the boat until everyone is accounted for.

What typically happens is that the crew thinks everyone is accounted for, but there was a problem in their accounting system somewhere.

For example, someone answers twice to a roll call because they think the other person is on board but can't hear. Or, someone gets counted twice because they were moving around during a head count. Or, someone answers to the wrong number. .....and so on....

I think almost all boats these days have some kind of system in place. It's just that some systems are more foolproof than others.

CompuDude
03-31-2008, 12:04
On larger boats, I've seen two systems, one which worked.
The system that worked was having a crew member sign each diver out as they left the boat, and back in when they returned.

Yup, that's the system used by all of the local boats that I frequent. Additionally, they do a final roll call before moving the boat, where everyone has to be personally seen and verified by the DM doing the roll call... no answering for your buddy allowed.

Frankly, I though all SoCal boats did this... I was fairly surprised to read of the one that (apparently) doesn't. (The one involved in that lawsuit)

yankeefan21
03-31-2008, 12:34
The tag in/tag out system has been used by fire departments for YEARS with great success. It really isn't that big a deal and I don't think I would ever operate a dive boat without one. That said - I have never been on a boat that used anything like that so I agree with MSilvia in trying to get on smaller boats and - if not - at least chatting up a DM or the boat Capitan so they remember your face!

Clanggedin
03-31-2008, 12:42
They should clip an RFID tag to your bcd/harness with a number assigned to it, then they scan you out and then back in when you return from the dive. It would eliminate verbal roll call errors.

They can fall back to verbal roll call if not all of the tags are back, just in case someone loses theirs. They could be charged for the loss of the tag. too.

yankeefan21
03-31-2008, 12:51
The only problem with RFID or any other "technical" solution is that it's just another thing that can break. Why not keep it simple and use cattle tags? If you are assigned tag #1 and tag #1 is written next to your name and they don't see tag #1 back on the boat, it's easy enough to look at the sheet and ask if "Joe Blow" is on the boat.

scubasamurai
03-31-2008, 13:17
They should clip an RFID tag to your bcd/harness with a number assigned to it, then they scan you out and then back in when you return from the dive. It would eliminate verbal roll call errors.

They can fall back to verbal roll call if not all of the tags are back, just in case someone loses theirs. They could be charged for the loss of the tag. too.

that actually sounds like a good idea to me , cuts down on the error rate, in fact have a reader on both sides of the ladder to automaticly read the tag.''

they already have them for runners at races

fireflock
03-31-2008, 13:21
Part of the reason for 2 checks, around here anyway, is that divers who are done with their dives are free to get back in and snorkel / swim / whatever when conditions are nice.

I've never seen the crew keep formal track of these people like they do when divers are in the water.

What happens to the guy who gets back in to swim, has a heart attack, and never makes it back to the boat? You would have his gear, but no person. That could be hard to explain when you get back to the dock.

Athena2c
03-31-2008, 13:27
I've always seen the personal check in with the crew used with no problem. Of course, making friends on the dive boat so people notice if you aren't there is a good idea too :smiley2:

terrillja
03-31-2008, 13:40
I like the DAN system, it reminds me of the system miners use. I've never seen it used before, but I certainly wouldn't be opposed to attaching a tag to my bc while diving with the boat.

mike_s
03-31-2008, 14:11
The only problem with RFID or any other "technical" solution is that it's just another thing that can break. Why not keep it simple and use cattle tags? If you are assigned tag #1 and tag #1 is written next to your name and they don't see tag #1 back on the boat, it's easy enough to look at the sheet and ask if "Joe Blow" is on the boat.


The RFID solution would make it easier to find your body also when the dive boat leaves you for dead.

:smilie40:

While I agree that it would work, I can't see it being implemented for Scuba because of the cost and managing a RFID database scanning them in/out. I doubt boats would want them also as their lawyers would advise them against it as it would be "evidence" in a lawsuit.





The best headcount operation I've ever seen was done with a combination of these steps:
1.) DAN tag shown above. Put tag back on board after every dive. All DAN tags accounted for visually/counted.
2.) Head count. Done twice by 2 seperate people. (4 counts total).
3.) Roll call. You could only answer for yourself.
The combination of these 3 things together was a "triple check" headcount system. The only boat I've seen do this way was Down Under Dive Shop in Gulf Shores. (Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Diving, Oriskany Dive - Down Under Dive Shop (http://www.downunderdiveshop.com))

In this case, the DAN tag board was on a table towards the rear center of the boat. The captain (on flybridge) could look over the rear rail and at any time visually tell how many tags were 'checked out' from the DAN tag board.

BuzzGA
03-31-2008, 17:09
I've only seen roll call or a head count, granted that makes me nervous...too easy to miss someone so I would like to see the DAN board or something like that in industry wide use

wookie
03-31-2008, 17:33
Any system that relies on the diver to move a tag is doomed to failure. Ever jumped in with your air off? How will you remember a tag? The only way is to have a crewmember (that is, the one who's butt is on the line) check divers off and back on the boat. Additionally, we utilize a "welfare check", where the captain asks every diver after every dive "Are you OK?" Typically, husbands tell me that their wife is OK, or I hear "I didn't dive" Neither answer is acceptable, only "yes, I am OK" is an acceptable answer. This accomplishes 3 things. It makes the captain learn the divers faces and names by sight, it makes the captain look at every diver every 3-4 hours (maybe they have a non-diving related issue), and it gives the diver an opening to explain how their shoulder hurts or their hands are asleep. The DAN tag system is better than nothing, but only just.

Frank

Clanggedin
03-31-2008, 20:11
They could use a bio-metric scanner. To check divers in and out. The only way that could be flawed is if you lost the digit that you used to check in/out while you are diving. Registration could be done when you first get on the live aboard or the boat for the day. Then your info is kept in their database. It could be shared with other dive companies too through a satellite net connection. You could also check people in and out with a retinal scan.

A bio-metric scanner in not too expensive, but the retinal scanner may still be too cost prohibitive.

cgvmer
03-31-2008, 20:53
A simple fix to the diver that forgets is for the diver leaving the boat hand the tag to the staff member at the ladder before they jump in....NO TAG NO DIVE.

I have spent years at Scut camps where buddy boards at the waterfront is required and a mismatch causes all hell to break loose. (I have done at least 3 loss diver drills which are not fun).

So if we can get 11-17 year olds to follow this we should be able to get adults to remember.

jtkkym
03-31-2008, 21:01
When I was Roatan, they used the DAN ID system. I thought it worked pretty well.

EuphoriaII
04-01-2008, 09:47
All the boats I've been on with 8 or fewer (usually 6) have never done a formal roll call but these were always small enough boats that you would notice.

The couple I've been on that had more than 8 have always had a clipboard with names checking off getting into and out of the water

NucMed Man
04-01-2008, 11:09
The system used on my favorite dive boat has built in safe guard. They have each station numbered ( with your name next to that station), as you exit you give that number to the gate guard who calls it out to the boat dive master. When you return you again give the number to the gate guard who again notifies the dive master. Then, as you are heading to your station or after removing your gear, you must check with the dive master for a "tank fill" tag in order to get a refill or to notify them that you are done diving.

georoc01
04-01-2008, 11:35
When we were on a liveaboard in Australia, it was the law that everyone had to sign in upon returning to the boat before it could be moved. This was everyone on the boat, the cook, and even passengers who took dives off still had to sign in. And they were strict in enforcing it.

If you forgot and they had to track you down to have you sign, there was an expectation that you next meal included vegamite..

mike_s
04-01-2008, 14:54
Any system that relies on the diver to move a tag is doomed to failure. Ever jumped in with your air off? How will you remember a tag? The only way is to have a crewmember (that is, the one who's butt is on the line) check divers off and back on the boat. Additionally, we utilize a "welfare check", where the captain asks every diver after every dive "Are you OK?" Typically, husbands tell me that their wife is OK, or I hear "I didn't dive" Neither answer is acceptable, only "yes, I am OK" is an acceptable answer. This accomplishes 3 things. It makes the captain learn the divers faces and names by sight, it makes the captain look at every diver every 3-4 hours (maybe they have a non-diving related issue), and it gives the diver an opening to explain how their shoulder hurts or their hands are asleep. The DAN tag system is better than nothing, but only just.

Frank


that works good if they are ok... but what if they aren't ok? :smilie39:


seriously, While I think the crew member at the ladder with a checklist is a good idea, I don't think the DAN tag would be a bad "second check" system to put into place. It is possible for anyone (crewmember) to make a mistake when doing the check in/out.




They could use a bio-metric scanner. To check divers in and out. The only way that could be flawed is if you lost the digit that you used to check in/out while you are diving. .


This diver might have a problem with that system.

Eel Bites Off Divers Thumb*Video (http://www.break.com/index/eel_bites_off_divers_thumb.html)

Zyxistal
04-01-2008, 15:51
They could use a bio-metric scanner. To check divers in and out. The only way that could be flawed is if you lost the digit that you used to check in/out while you are diving.


This diver might have a problem with that system.

Eel Bites Off Divers Thumb*Video (http://www.break.com/index/eel_bites_off_divers_thumb.html)


I can see that conversation.... "Are you OK?" "WHAT DO YOU THINK? DOES THIS LOOK OK TO YOU?"

wookie
04-01-2008, 15:51
that works good if they are ok... but what if they aren't ok? :smilie39:
Well, we used to bring them back to shore, but I have found that the Coast Guard requires more paperwork for an injured diver than for a dead one...

A missing one, however, takes the cake, and a charter captain will NEVER finish that paperwork.

Frank

mike_s
04-01-2008, 16:24
that works good if they are ok... but what if they aren't ok? :smilie39:
Well, we used to bring them back to shore, but I have found that the Coast Guard requires more paperwork for an injured diver than for a dead one...

A missing one, however, takes the cake, and a charter captain will NEVER finish that paperwork.

Frank


Take them back to shore? what? with diesel fuel being $4/gallon, throw them back in and declare them missing!

scubasavvy
04-08-2008, 15:21
Personally,

I think if you're going to be someone's "dive buddy," you should make sure that they get on the boat as well. To me, if you leave your buddy behind for some reason, you're not doing your job. It'd be a lot cheaper for the dive boat if people could focus on someone else besides themselves for a little bit. Just my 2 cents, though.

mentalmarine
04-08-2008, 16:14
Ya the buddy system is important, but what if something happens to both of you.

scubasavvy
04-08-2008, 17:17
Ya the buddy system is important, but what if something happens to both of you.

If you're missing 2 divers from your operation and you can't figure that out without having a bar code scanner,a receipt clipped to them and a fog horn that blows every time they get back on the boat, then you shouldn't be operating anyway. Again, this is just my opinion.