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jamie b1111
07-23-2008, 02:04
I think I am going to stir out some controversy with this but I occasionally take my non certified friends out on a shallow mini pony bottle dive to show them the fun of scuba diving. It is mostly a snorkeling adventure without the choking on water experience. I am not a dive instructor but I have been diving for about 17 years and I feel I am taking my friends into a better situation than almost every dive "instruction" I have seen. I take some friends into 4-5 feet of water and I have been criticized that people can embolize in 4 feet of water. I do tell my friends about the dangers and joys of scuba and tell them not to hold their breaths and not to inhale deeply.... too keep them safe in the shallows. I will now only take people into only 3.5 feet so I don't put them in danger but I wonder about all the "resort" dives I have seen where the dive master has little control over the "divers" in the group and I wonder why I haven't heard about people over inflating their lungs in shallow water. I have seen plenty of divers holding their breaths unintentionally in the top 5 feet of an ascent so I am wondering what it takes to hurt yourself in shallow water. I am new to this forum and I would like to hear if any of you have advice or experiences that can help. I am ready to hear the criticism as well so please tell me what you think.

oddbod
07-23-2008, 03:20
I've taken my kids out, and with a bit of basic instruction (probably more than some resort courses I've seen ) can see no real harm in a short and shallow swim. A friend, non diver and chronic asthmatic, has one of those surface supplied things in a float which supplies 2 divers to 5 m ( I think) he uses it and lets anyone else around have a go at it too, so what difference would using a tank instead be?

CompuDude
07-23-2008, 04:13
The shallower the water, the bigger the pressure swing. Obviously it's a worst case scenario, but especially in the shallows, it only takes a few feet to damage your lungs from over-expansion.

Are you likely to have a problem? Probably not. But there's no guarantee.

Lots of places will do discover scuba classes for free, to whip up interest among people taking the full class. Why not take your friends snorkeling, and then to the free discover scuba, which is run by the pros (with insurance) rather than risking it? If they're not actually going down I'm just not seeing that much advantage over snorkeling, which has no real liability to worry about.

crgjpg
07-23-2008, 04:14
When I was about 10, my uncle took me out. He is not a dive is not an instructor. It was probably in about 3 feet of water. He did not give me any instruction on not holding my breath.

Puffer Fish
07-23-2008, 05:07
It's not that one cannot do this safely.. but taking someone out has both moral and legal responsibilities. Your lifesaving card up to date? First aid? CPR? In that one in 10,000 chance that something did happen, are you prepared to take responsiblity?

It is easy to see a discover scuba class and think, I could do that just as safe, and you are most likely correct. But you are putting yourself in a potentially bad situation, if something does happen.

I also think discover scuba classes are a terrible idea.

snagel
07-23-2008, 06:15
It's a good thing you didn't ask this question on the other forum (SB). You would have been beheaded and drawn and quartered by now.

Honestly, I think everybody has done this, but few will fess up to it.

Snagel

RMur
07-23-2008, 07:25
I too am not an instructor. I recently took my daughter to an instructor for a try-SCUBA session. I felt that I could have done it - but staying in the background I realized that the instructor probably gave her some tips that I would likely have overlooked.

I don't think a few feet of water are a big deal - but I'm glad I had an instructor do my daughters.

One qualification - The instructor I used was/is an excellent instructor from whom I had already taken a couple of classes. I would have done it myself if all I had available were yahoos like some I have seen.

Vercingetorix
07-23-2008, 07:45
I also think discover scuba classes are a terrible idea.

OK...that comment just begs the question: Why?

From your profile, I see you've got the experience and Instructor certs to back up your reasons. That's why I'm interested in the answer. Thanks in advance.

Rileybri
07-23-2008, 09:12
Wow Jamie jumping right into the deep end (with out waiting an hour after lunch) with this one aren't ya!! Well good on ya brother.

For those who donít know I do the majority of my diving with Jamie and have actually been the recipient of one or two of "Jamieís scuba school" dives before I got my c-card. I can honestly say Jamie is as through if not more so than your average discover scuba class. Not to mention he is doing a one on one dive so you have the added safety net of not having a mess of 10 thrashing guppies to deal with. I donít know about his current certís but I know that I would trust my life in his hands in a heart beat. He is an accomplished paddler, rock climber, diver and foose ball player. In addition the location is within sight of the USCG station Burlington so there is an added safety net. Jamie has the skills and is never reckless with this type of endeavor.

I agree that more people do this than are willing to admit!!!

When are we diving Jamie?????

BTD

h2odragon1
07-23-2008, 09:48
The civil and criminal liability is all yours. :smiley21::smiley11::smiley21::smiley11:

ScubaToys Larry
07-23-2008, 10:08
The civil and criminal liability is all yours. :smiley21::smiley11::smiley21::smiley11:

I would say odds of criminal liability are about zero. My brother is a DA, and we've talked about this very topic - and unless the guy took someone underwater, turned off their air - and drowned them... you probably would never be prosecuted in the event of an accident.

It's a very interesting topic - coming from an instructor trainer / course director standpoint. I've seen instructors that have barely 100 dives and been diving for 1 year - but have a card in their pocket that says they can take 4 people to 30+ feet on a resort course. Is that safer than someone who has 17 years experience taking one person into a pool and not letting them get past 3 feet??

The big thing the instructors have on their side is the liability policy that will send in the team of lawyers to fight the battle if there is a problem. And that would probably be an expensive fight - that might just settle out of court for some amount of cash - depending on what happened.

A wise man once told me "if you don't want to be sued... don't do anything. If you want to do something and not get sued.. make sure no one gets hurt. If you want to do something and hurt someone... have a lot of insurance."

I know there are SASSY units that let people "snorkel" at the surface on compressed air - but they are stuffed with Styrofoam so they can't descend - and I've seen places having 5 year old kids floating in a pool breathing on a reg...

So I'm sure attorneys will tell you there is a risk - and instructors will question the practice - and I have talked many people out of doing similar - but far more dangerous things...

I once had a guy that wanted to know how he could hook up 6 long hoses to a tank, because he was having a pool party, and thought it would be fun for the kids to go to the bottom of his 10 foot pool and try breathing on a regulator... I suggested letting the kids play with loaded fire arms instead, as it would probably be safer....

But each individual has to make the judgment call on their risk / rewards in life - based on what they know, their experience and judgment.

I'd say with the experience the OP has, and the rave reviews of his teaching from Rileybri, I think the scuba industry is missing out if Jamie doesn't become a full fledged instructor - so you can do the teaching fully and with the safety net of instructor training and of liability insurance.

wgt
07-23-2008, 10:11
I am not a dive instructor but I have been diving for about 17 years and I feel I am taking my friends into a better situation than almost every dive "instruction" I have seen. I take some friends into 4-5 feet of water and I have been criticized that people can embolize in 4 feet of water. I do tell my friends about the dangers and joys of scuba and tell them not to hold their breaths and not to inhale deeply.... too keep them safe in the shallows. I will now only take people into only 3.5 feet so I don't put them in danger but I wonder about all the "resort" dives I have seen where the dive master has little control over the "divers" in the group and I wonder why I haven't heard about people over inflating their lungs in shallow water. I have seen plenty of divers holding their breaths unintentionally in the top 5 feet of an ascent so I am wondering what it takes to hurt yourself in shallow water. I am new to this forum and I would like to hear if any of you have advice or experiences that can help. I am ready to hear the criticism as well so please tell me what you think.

A little bit of my post may sound harsh. It is not meant to sound so, and I therefore apologize in advance if it sounds like I am jumping down your throat. I only want you and your friends to enjoy the water safely. You are welcome to disagree with my contentions, but I hope that you will at least think about what I have to say.

Your post is complicated by many issues, but a few rise to the surface (hopefully without holding their breath). You feel that you are equipped to supervise your friends' introductory scuba adventures, as "I am taking my friends into a better situation than almost every dive instruction I have seen." Yet, you also asked "what it takes to hurt yourself in shallow water." These statements are glaringly contradictory, in my view.

I am glad that your friend enjoyed his experience and chose to get certified. Yet, I would like to see a copy of the waiver form that he signed and a copy of the health declaration that he completed before you exposed him to compressed gas.

If you are really interested in what causes injuries in divers holding their breath in either shallow or deep water, I direct you to a previous discussion: http://forum.scubatoys.com/comments-questions-dont-fit-above/9642-age-arterial-gas-embolism-4.html. Although the discussion is a bit complicated, it will reveal that pulmonary barotrauma often reflects an interaction of the pressure at which inhalation occurs and the level of fullness of the lungs (e.g., holding the breath from 5 feet of water to the surface is only dangerous if the lungs are filled to at least 96% of maximal capacity [I may have to check my math on this one] -- if the lungs are half full, breath-holding during an ascent of 5 ft would be harmless, in principle). Please also view the following demo of a simulated pulmary barotraumatic injury during a breath-hold ascent of about 4 feet (http://forum.scubatoys.com/scuba-diving-tube-videos/10132-scuba-diving-injury-pulmonary-barotrauma-gas-embolism.html). Note that, with the lungs full, the rupture occurs with a decompression of only about 4 feet, irrespective of how shallow or deep the water is when the breath of compressed gas is taken.

Please feel free to ask if you would like additional clarification. We are all here to help.

In the interim, since you like to introduce others to the water, you may seriously wish to pursue training as a future instructor. I am sure that you would be excellent in that role (edit -- I see that Larry beat me to this last point by a few moments).

H2OGuy75
07-23-2008, 13:55
wouldn't it be easier just to get them <a href="http://www.atlanticedge.com/training_learn_to_dive.shtml">scuba certified</a>?

i myself am an instructor. it saddens me to see the low value placed on scuba instruction. but just because you've seen bad instruction that doesn't invalidate the need for it.

i am not calling you out, just a thought

Rileybri
07-23-2008, 14:07
wouldn't it be easier just to get them <a href="http://www.atlanticedge.com/training_learn_to_dive.shtml">scuba certified</a>?

i myself am an instructor. it saddens me to see the low value placed on scuba instruction. but just because you've seen bad instruction that doesn't invalidate the need for it.

i am not calling you out, just a thought


I don't think the OP is taking away from further instruction at all, as a matter of fact he promoting it to a degree. In our area "discover diving" is some what limited and often quite crowded and crazy. I'm working on my AOW now thanks to Jamie and having access to someone willing to spark my interest.

Like I said in my first post, I think this is a far more common practice than most are willing to admit to.

cheers,

BTD

SlvrDragon50
07-23-2008, 14:16
Id have to sat that's safe... I did two dives in GBR and I was taugt nothing except how to clear a mask. Imadetwo dives at least 20' deep.

The only time I would object is if you go past 50-60'.

violakat03
07-23-2008, 19:22
I'd never heard of Discover Scuba or anything similar until after I was certified. I haven't seen a single class offered in my area since I first heard about them. Just some food for thought.

Splitlip
07-23-2008, 22:20
The shallower the water, the bigger the pressure swing. Obviously it's a worst case scenario, but especially in the shallows, it only takes a few feet to damage your lungs from over-expansion.


A couple of my Key West friends have been diving hooka rigs for years. One of them recently got certified and learned about Boyle's Law. He had an Oh-**** moment.

Unfortunately, people instintively hold their breaths under water unless they have been trained or have some understanding.

To this day, when I freedive I am in the habit of exhaling when I surface.

As to the OP, I have had my daughter and a couple of close friends out on shallow stress free dives. 15 to 25 ft. One on one.

Empacher
07-23-2008, 22:28
Anything would be better than the resort "course" my wife and i took on our honeymoon...She will not even consider diving now because of it..I wish someone we knew took us for our first dive!!

jamie b1111
07-24-2008, 08:22
Thanks to all of you for your responses and advice. I am only going to be taking my friends into water shallower than 3.5 feet because I certainly don't want to anyone to get hurt. We are lucky to have great dive instruction up here and I hope I am just giving them a taste of how much fun it is to breath without taking in a lungful of water. Thanks again for sharing your experiences both good and bad. Jamie

monant
08-15-2008, 13:36
Many years ago before I was certified, a friend let me use his SCUBA equipment while he waited on the beach. I was not aware of the dangers associated with diving, AGE, or barotraumas in general. The only thing he showed me was how to use the power inflator, how to dump air, and how to equalize my ears. I descended to approximately 30 feet and surfaced when I sensed a current. I not only survived, I found a new love and wanted to become certified. After completing my first class, I realized how totally irresponsible my friend was. With that said, to me, a non-instructor telling his friend not to hold his breath should carry the same weight as an instructor telling the same person. Regardless of the criminal aspect, anyone can sue anyone for almost anything. You may win but you will still be out the money for hiring an attorney.

MSilvia
08-15-2008, 14:02
Taking a non certifided diver out
:Thud: :anim_pistol:

Oh... you meant "taking a non certified diver DIVING." My bad.

plot
08-17-2008, 21:24
Outside of the liability falling onto you, I see no serious harm in it. Kind of like taking a 13 year old out driving in the pasture... sure, something could go horribly wrong, he could accidentally floor it and run into a cow killing him and the cow while totalling the truck...

but realistically, if we spent our lives trying to avoid freak lightening strikes, where are we gonna end up? Sometimes the risk is well worth the enjoyment/teaching derived from it.

georoc01
08-19-2008, 16:56
My LDS periodically gives out free coupons for discover classes. I generally push my friends that way.

While I think I could handle the basics of taking someone out, but the main problem is the gear, or lack of on my part. I just don't have extra tanks, bcs, regs, etc, that would allow me to take a friend diving.

thagar
08-22-2008, 14:08
I took a 10 min "discover diving" deal when I was on Spring Break in my high school's pool. I don't remember much about it since it was like 12 years ago, but I do remember that I didn't want it to end and just this year got OW certified due to money and time restraints.

Vegas
08-22-2008, 14:21
Taking a non certifided diver out
:Thud: :anim_pistol:

Oh... you meant "taking a non certified diver DIVING." My bad.


OMG!! :smilie39:

(now how the heck am I going to clean this coffee out of my keyboard?!??)

cogrwy
09-29-2008, 02:05
First of all, I'm not saying you're not competent and careful. However, diving is never 100% safe and accidents do happen. Being non-instructor certified and taking non-certified divers in the water, should an accident occur, you make yourself vulnerable to enormous consequences, at least civil and possibly criminal. That's why instructors carry liability insurance and get signed liability waivers.