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RiverOtter
07-23-2008, 10:46
I carry a slung 30cf on all of my training dives. A fellow PADI instructor posed this question last week and it got me thinking...

If there is an out of air situation with a student that is not certified to dive EANx, can I legally (PADI guidelines) share that air with the student? My initial thought is YES, because if I were diving EANx on my primary tank and my student had an out of air emergency, my only option would be to share the EANx - of course I'm not going to swim away...

Clearly, if I'm diving below the appropriate pp02 depth there WOULD be some major liability issues, but does anyone know what PADI says on this one? If my students aren't on EANx, do I have to be on air as well? Thanks for your thoughts.

CompuDude
07-23-2008, 15:01
As long as you are at a depth where the MOD of the gas mix is not an issue, and the plan is a direct ascent, I see no reason why available (and appropriate) gas should not be donated to an OOA diver, regardless of their training. It's not like there's any actual difference between doing an ascent on air and one on Nitrox... it can only help, again, as long as there are no MOD issues. I would be sure to keep physical contact with the OOA diver, however, in that situation (you probably would anyway, but still), to make sure they can't break away and descend to a depth where MOD becomes an issue. (Pretty unlikely, but crazy things happen in this world.)

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
07-23-2008, 15:10
Don't know about PADI but, in court, I'd think your liability would be much worse if you refused to share your nitrox, regardless of MOD. Breathing 2.0 PPO2 is much safer than breathing 2.0 H2O.

MSilvia
07-23-2008, 15:12
Yeah... I think "let 'em drown" is a more serious violation of standards than "rescue them with a gas they aren't trained to breathe".


I'd think your liability would be much worse if you refused to share your nitrox, regardless of MOD. Breathing 2.0 PPO2 is much safer than breathing 2.0 H2O.
Not sure I agree there... deliberately giving someone a breathing gas you were trained is toxic would, I think, expose you to more liability than failure to save someone. Of course, as an instructor, you have a duty of care, so you may have to share a different gas. :)

RoyN
07-23-2008, 15:18
Yes I would, and I did one time when one of the person in the dive group had an out of air situation and I was the only person to donate it. That was also where I learn the hard way that the air source inflator doesn't work with the wing and thats where I went to using the long hose configuration.

CompuDude
07-23-2008, 15:22
Yeah... I think "let 'em drown" is a more serious violation of standards than "rescue them with a gas they aren't trained to breathe".


I'd think your liability would be much worse if you refused to share your nitrox, regardless of MOD. Breathing 2.0 PPO2 is much safer than breathing 2.0 H2O.
Not sure I agree there... deliberately giving someone a breathing gas you were trained is toxic would, I think, expose you to more liability than failure to save someone. Of course, as an instructor, you have a duty of care, so you may have to share a different gas. :)

The complication is only because we're talking a pony, which could really have any mix in it up to 100%. As long as we're talking about recreational mixes and recreational depths, I can't see much issue with donating the gas in to to an OOA diver, as I said above. Better, however, would probably be to simply donate the air you're breathing, which I would have to assume is a safe mix for the depth in question. (else what on earth are you doing there?!?)

MSilvia
07-23-2008, 15:26
(else what on earth are you doing there?!?)
Exactly... a rec dive with an inappropriate mix should be a moot point.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
07-23-2008, 15:43
Yeah... I think "let 'em drown" is a more serious violation of standards than "rescue them with a gas they aren't trained to breathe".


I'd think your liability would be much worse if you refused to share your nitrox, regardless of MOD. Breathing 2.0 PPO2 is much safer than breathing 2.0 H2O.
Not sure I agree there... deliberately giving someone a breathing gas you were trained is toxic would, I think, expose you to more liability than failure to save someone. Of course, as an instructor, you have a duty of care, so you may have to share a different gas. :)

The complication is only because we're talking a pony, which could really have any mix in it up to 100%. As long as we're talking about recreational mixes and recreational depths, I can't see much issue with donating the gas in to to an OOA diver, as I said above. Better, however, would probably be to simply donate the air you're breathing, which I would have to assume is a safe mix for the depth in question. (else what on earth are you doing there?!?)


Didn't realize we were talking ponies here.

Anyway, carrying a 100% O2 pony bottle when teaching students who are not EAN certified would open up its own can of worms. I wouldn't want to try to defend you in court whether the student drowned or toxed. They pony should have air in it under these circumstances.

CompuDude
07-23-2008, 15:55
Didn't realize we were talking ponies here.

Anyway, carrying a 100% O2 pony bottle when teaching students who are not EAN certified would open up its own can of worms. I wouldn't want to try to defend you in court whether the student drowned or toxed. They pony should have air in it under these circumstances.

The OP stated he was carrying EANx in a 30cf pony, in his initial post. It's pretty unlikely anyone, particularly the OP, would carry 100%, but even 50% could be a problem... or even 40% on the deep dive for AOW (which is technically still a recreational mix).

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
07-23-2008, 17:28
Even at 130 feet I'd rather have 40% than water...

RiverOtter
07-23-2008, 17:29
As a point of reference, I'm talking about 32%. I just want to be sure I'm not opening myself up for potential liabilities beyond those inherent to the job description. Thanks for your thoughts and good points.

georoc01
07-23-2008, 19:03
And then the question would be, if it was an issue, couldn't you share your primary and dive the pony yourself if you were worried about it?

violakat03
07-23-2008, 19:15
And then the question would be, if it was an issue, couldn't you share your primary and dive the pony yourself if you were worried about it?

Precisely my thought. Eliminates potential liability completely. And if you're diving 32% EANx anyway, then it doesn't really matter which one you donate. I think where they would be able to get you, in court at least, would be if you had the option to share air, and shared EANx instead. If there was no option to which of the two you shared with the OOA person, then there's really no 'wrong' way, because it's either EANx or water.

in_cavediver
07-23-2008, 21:07
I see no liability here. If you are sharing air, you are headed to the surface. Its not planned. As a side note, this would be also true if you didn't have the pony and just had backgas which was 32%.

The only caveat I'd add was to make sure the pony mix was good for the dive. I'd personally keep air in it as its simple, cheap and good for everything you'd use a pony for.

ianr33
07-23-2008, 21:24
Whats the point of having 32% in a pony? Seems like a lot of complications for no benefit on an NDL dive.

RiverOtter
07-24-2008, 16:38
Thanks for all of your great thoughts. I actually got in touch with PADI Training on this one yesterday and here's what they said:

"Thank you for your email. I appreciate you taking the time to contact
PADI directly with your queries. The answer is yes to your question providing you ensure that you are not diving below your MOD for the mix you are carrying as you state. There are no concerns from a PADI Standards point of view with you providing enriched air to a non-enriched air certified diver in a low or out of air situation. This is not the same situation as that diver planning for and then using enriched air during that dive which would call for them to be appropriately trained in its safe use."

As a point of reference, I carry EANx32 because it's an O2 clean bottle that I use for deco dives - I'm double-dipping it as a stage bottle and a redundancy setup.

chinacat46
07-24-2008, 17:02
Yeah but you could just as easily carry air in O2 clean bottle if the air is also clean. (e.g. from a membrane system 21% EAN)

CompuDude
07-24-2008, 18:29
Yeah but you could just as easily carry air in O2 clean bottle if the air is also clean. (e.g. from a membrane system 21% EAN)

Around here, that would pretty much be the same price, so may as well go for the richer mix. As long as you're above MOD, it can't hurt, and could help.

chinacat46
07-24-2008, 19:13
Well how about some place that does partial blending there air is clean and it wouldn't cost extra. I'm just saying that because the bottle is O2 clean doesn't mean you have to use a richer mixture.

mitsuguy
07-25-2008, 08:17
I keep my pony filled with 32% as that is what I typically dive with, and if a situation were to occur that I needed to use it, (or if I'm just playing around breathing off of it / want to extend a dive a little), I want to know for sure that I'm not hurting my deco limits as defined by my computer... I know the MOD obviously, and within the limits I typically dive, it's perfect... That way my no-deco time as reported by my computer is still accurate... And, if I am diving air, I can still use it, (again, above MOD, which I really can't break around here anyways), and only be more conservative than the computer that thought I was just breathing air...

but, everyones situation is different...

Flfiremedic
07-25-2008, 10:41
What else are you going to do, let them die?

CompuDude
07-25-2008, 18:48
I keep my pony filled with 32% as that is what I typically dive with, and if a situation were to occur that I needed to use it, (or if I'm just playing around breathing off of it / want to extend a dive a little), I want to know for sure that I'm not hurting my deco limits as defined by my computer... I know the MOD obviously, and within the limits I typically dive, it's perfect... That way my no-deco time as reported by my computer is still accurate... And, if I am diving air, I can still use it, (again, above MOD, which I really can't break around here anyways), and only be more conservative than the computer that thought I was just breathing air...

but, everyones situation is different...

The few minutes it takes to do an ascent, breathing air instead of Nitrox from your pony, would not significantly affect your off gassing status as far as your computer is concerned.

Just saying. I don't have any issue with keeping 32% in a pony, for dives that are planned to be above the MOD.

Heavy D
08-30-2008, 13:59
There shouldn't be any issues with it at all. First of all, any air mix is better than none. Second, 32% is a recognized and approved mix for recreational diving. Third, 32% is safer in respect to off gassing than air, especially when all you are doing is a straight ascent to the surface. Last, if you are an instructor, why couldn't you share nitrox? You can teach people and certify them to use it. How is that any different than taking an OW diver to a site with a nitrox tank and having them use it during a nitrox course? IMO it's not.

ianr33
08-30-2008, 18:31
There shouldn't be any issues with it at all. First of all, any air mix is better than none. Second, 32% is a recognized and approved mix for recreational diving. Third, 32% is safer in respect to off gassing than air, especially when all you are doing is a straight ascent to the surface. Last, if you are an instructor, why couldn't you share nitrox? You can teach people and certify them to use it. How is that any different than taking an OW diver to a site with a nitrox tank and having them use it during a nitrox course? IMO it's not.

Are you seriously suggesting that divers should be allowed to breathe nitrox without first doing the requisite amount of essential classroom study?
Where would it all end? Before you know it you will have OW divers going to 65 feet,divers teaching themselves to dive solo,diving dry without a drysuit card and so on.

If that happened thousands of instructors would be thrown out of work as Joe Diver realizes that diving is not Rocket Science.

Flatliner
08-30-2008, 19:13
Are you seriously suggesting that divers should be allowed to breathe nitrox without first doing the requisite amount of essential classroom study?
Where would it all end? Before you know it you will have OW divers going to 65 feet,divers teaching themselves to dive solo,diving dry without a drysuit card and so on.

If that happened thousands of instructors would be thrown out of work as Joe Diver realizes that diving is not Rocket Science.

While I appreciate the spirit of your comment, I don't think that a nitrox class is a waste of time. I do think that common sense should prevail in the original situation. Regardless of what PADI might have said anyone who would refuse, in real life situation, to share EANx with a diver at a safe mod during an OOA event deserves everything the courts throw at them for their lack of judgement.