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View Full Version : OW Diver "grey area": Safe vs. Unsafe



BobbyWombat
10-15-2007, 13:33
So another post in the "accidents" forum got me thinking: there is a "grey area" for OW certified divers when it comes to safe vs. unsafe vs. "trust me" dives.

It's been a while since my OW cert, so please correct or comment on the following, as I may not have all of this right.

As OW divers, we are told:

1. "Don't go in caves, don't go in an overhead environment". -- OK, got it. Seems clear enough, right??

2. "Caverns are OK, as long as you can see the light and there is open water overhead". -- OK, I think I got that. But a cavern can slant sideways, so you really can't swim UP to get out, more like over and up. But, OK.

3. "There are wreck swim throughs (like a pilot house) that are OK, since you can see out easily, and it's overhead for a short distance". -- Getting more grey here. Artificial reefs that have been cleared of entanglements are one thing.....an OW diver coming upon an unknown wreck and swimming into the pilot house is an entirely different matter.

4. "This is a penetration wreck dive, but there are bail-out holes, so you can get out anytime." -- Hmmm.....I'm really uncomfortable with this one. This is "trust me" territory.

5. "There are some cenotes that OW divers can go in because there is an air bubble so it's not really an overhead environment. You don't need doubles since the DM is carrying them". -- Grey, grey, murky grey.

6. "There are some MINES that you can dive w/ OW only" -- Really? maybe this is just bad info I got, but I wouldn't touch that with only an OW cert and recreational rig.


Does this resonate with anyone else? Thoughts / corrections / comments?

subsur
10-15-2007, 13:42
sounds good to me. it's kida a common sense reasoning.

tbuckalew
10-15-2007, 15:31
Have to pretty much agree with your thinking on all counts. Basic OW really lets you go only where you have easy access to the surface directly above you. A cenote with an air bubble would still be more like a charcoal gray to me.

CompuDude
10-15-2007, 16:01
Have to pretty much agree with your thinking on all counts. Basic OW really lets you go only where you have easy access to the surface directly above you. A cenote with an air bubble would still be more like a charcoal gray to me.

I agree.

With regard to wrecks (of any sort) and caverns, even if "safe" and "prepared for divers", the possibility of a silt out exists. Just because you can see daylight doesn't mean you can't get yourself into big trouble in the event of a siltout. That cavern area may extend into a true cave, or that carefully cleared wreck room may have an opening that a diver could grope their way into that actually leads to getting lost in the interior of the wreck. I recently read a report about a diver who almost died in a siltout that really chilled me to the core.

I'm not saying you CAN'T do it (there is no scuba police, after all)... but should you choose to, PLEASE try to keep that in mind and use common sense + an added dose of conservatism if you choose to go ahead with it.

No Misses
10-15-2007, 16:23
It's only gray if you use your peripheral vision. Just concentrate on that bright light at the end of the tunnel. Are those harps that I hear in the distance?:angel2:

Please keep in mind that training isn't everything. There is no replacement for diving experience. Dive. Dive. Dive, and dive some more. Training is a way to get more experience. Once you have that experience, keep going. Stay current. A Master Diver who has not been in the water for 20 years may be more dangerous that an OW student. At least the student will question his abilities.

As an AOW diver, I have done most of the things that are considered gray. Did I do them blindly? No.

When I entered that wreck what were the hazards?
1) Overhead environment: I asked myself "what are the ways out of here?". What distance will I need to cover before starting to the surface? What is the possibility of silt out? Later I invested in an AL19 pony. This lowered, but did not eliminate, the overall risk. IMHO
2) Silt out: I controlled my buoyancy, and finned very softly. Again I had to think about exits to use if silt out occured.
3) Entanglement: I carry 2 knives. One on my left belt and one on my calf. If I dove wrecks on a regular basis, I would bring along wire cutters and shears.
4) Sharp edges: All wrecks have sharp edges. it is something that you have to be aware of.
5) Decay: All Wrecks even the diver-proofed artificial reef projects are subject to decay. That bulkhead will eventually collapse. When in doubt, swim out.
6) Lighting: I carried 2 light sources.

When I entered that cavern (Cavern - not cave), what were the dangers?
1) Silt out: Not an issue due to high volume flow.
2) Not being able to locate the exit. It was a large exit. The outflow was consistent and strong. There were no side tunnels.
3) Lighting: even if my primary light failed, there was plenty of light from the exit.

In my opinion, I measured the risks and did what I felt was necissary to mitigate the dangers.

You have to look at diving kind of like the terrorist thread level.
Green: You don't have a care in the world. Nothing could go wrong. Many people stumble through life oblivious of any dangers (Mr. Magoo). Good for them, I'm not that guy.
Yellow: On a low level of alert. What are the possible threats. What are my avenues of escape. What should I avoid. What would I do if X happened. You run the different scenarios through your head. These are good mental exercises.
Red: This is reserved for those times that you are in a true life threatening situation. It calls for hyper-vigilance. If you were in the yellow prior to escalating to red, you already know what you must do. Now is the time to do it.

Note: The rambling style of this post is the result of trying to work and screw-off at the same time :smiley36:

BobbyWombat
10-15-2007, 16:54
I'm not saying you CAN'T do it (there is no scuba police, after all)... but should you choose to, PLEASE try to keep that in mind and use common sense + an added dose of conservatism if you choose to go ahead with it.

Agree totally. I think none of us want a Scuba Police, or ill-informed legislation, etc...

but, do you think the training agencies are doing a disservice to OW divers by not explicitly addressing these grey areas? I would have at least appreciated a discussion from my instructor that talked about swim-throughs and things like that.

Something akin to "there is a grey area, stay away from it, period." OR "there is a grey area, here are things to look for, things to think about (silt out being a big one), to determine if it is safe for your level of training."

Yes, the decision would ultimately be mine to go through that swim through or not, but I think an educated diver makes a better diver. Hence (hopfully) a little voice that says "hey...my instructor talked about this kind of thing.....I see tons of silt in there.....better pass on this one".

Better that then a newbie diver doing a "trust me" dive or following the herd and getting him or herself in trouble.

CompuDude
10-15-2007, 17:16
Increased levels of scuba education are something that the industry really needs to address, but I really don't see it happening outside of a small pool of dedicated individuals at the recreational level, and nothing formally organized except perhaps GUE and NAUI Tech, which aren't really recreational level.

I agree it would be good to have an instructor bring up all of these issues, but they have a timetable to stick to, after all, and liability to be concerned about when going outside of standards.

The biggest issue with an OW diver making decisions in grey areas is they frequently don't have the baseline knowledge required to make an informed decision. Those who are dedicated enough to hang out on scuba chat boards and ask these sorts of questions are few and far between compared to the numbers of divers out there who assume they know enough and don't dive enough to really want (or feel the need) to have to learn a bunch more things. After all, diving is perfectly safe, right? PADI's posters say so...

fire diver
10-15-2007, 17:58
So another post in the "accidents" forum got me thinking: there is a "grey area" for OW certified divers when it comes to safe vs. unsafe vs. "trust me" dives.

It's been a while since my OW cert, so please correct or comment on the following, as I may not have all of this right.

As OW divers, we are told:

1. don't go in an overhead environment - OK, got it. Seems clear enough, right??

2. "Caverns are OK".

3. "There are wreck swim throughs (like a pilot house) that are OK

4. "This is a penetration wreck dive, but there are bail-out holes, so you can get out anytime."

5. "There are some cenotes that OW divers can go in ".

6. "There are some MINES that you can dive w/ OW only"

Does this resonate with anyone else? Thoughts / corrections / comments?

1 - yes, absolutely
2- No. Stay out without training.
3- No. Stay out without training.
4- No. Stay out without training.
5- No. Stay out without training.
6- Can you make a direct ascent to the surface? If so, OK so long as you don't cross into overhead (up and down only) otherwise stay out.

I will be the first to admit that the cenote dive I did recently was dumb. I shouldn't have done it. I don't have cavern training. Just becuase I or others did it and lived doesn't mean it's safe.

But, you are free to dive WHATEVER profile you chose. You have to accept your own level of risk in this hobby.

clayton
10-15-2007, 20:30
the old addage LOOK before You Leap comes to mind in all of these situations.
Always try to dive with an experienced diver who knows the dive area

Kokomo
10-15-2007, 20:42
They do open water training and check out dives in springs and cavern like places. I wonder about that, too.

tbuckalew
10-16-2007, 11:58
I tend to agree with the training issues. When I was helping as a TA the OW courses were 12 2-hour sessions with 12 2-hour pool sessions plus the OW dives. They were thourough and covered these things.

However, with weekend certs and the increase in resort certs - there simply isn't time to cover all those "details" and we now have an ever-increasing pool of barely knowledgeable divings - most of whom don't want to learn anymore.

Just my opinion...I always felt that knowledge helped prevent useless accidents.

BobbyWombat
10-16-2007, 12:26
Another grey area that is discussed frequently is the depth you are certified to.

OW divers are not supposed to go down further than 60 ft. But this is not really a 'rule' so much as a guideline. The way it was presented to me is that you can go down deeper once you get some experience and feel comfortable with it.

For those in my class that went to Cayman for thier checkout dives (not me, alas), one of the dives after the checkout portion was to 110 ft. Wow. That really sent me mixed signals.

I just wish there were a way to get this stuff more widely addressed so that people come out more informed from thier OW class. It at least would make a great magazine article.

jimmysdevoted
10-16-2007, 22:22
i see alot of mixed signals in what divers say and what instructors and books concur.
The divers iften take risks, when tehirinstructors and their formal training gave them specifics.
I think alot of the variables come from how daring teh diver is, how pigheaded the diver tends to be and their own comfort factor.

chace_nicole
10-18-2007, 18:50
I agree...stay out until you have more training. Many things look so tempting yet OW divers, such as myself, don't really know just how "wrong" things can go. They have the rules/guidelines for a reason is how I look at it.

danielh03
10-19-2007, 02:34
Well, why not continue your training though. If its a grey area, do research, and ask around, then take a class or two. Common sense should prevail in matters you are unsure about.

terrillja
10-19-2007, 03:16
There might not be any scuba police, but if you take unnecessary risks, then you are potentially exposing a rescuer to risk, if a rescue has to go in and try to rescue you. So think about everyone else as well- I saw a story about a diver that penetrated a wreck, silted out, and another diver went in alone to find them, with no cave reel, got lost, and died.

fire diver
10-19-2007, 08:46
Well, why not continue your training though. If its a grey area, do research, and ask around, then take a class or two. Common sense should prevail in matters you are unsure about.

Which I thnk is the common thread here. There is a LOT of grat diving to be had in caves, caverns and wrecks. But take the time to get the proper training so that your family doesn't loose you, and other divers have to risk thier lives to recover your body.

FD

BobbyWombat
10-19-2007, 22:20
There might not be any scuba police, but if you take unnecessary risks, then you are potentially exposing a rescuer to risk, if a rescue has to go in and try to rescue you. So think about everyone else as well- I saw a story about a diver that penetrated a wreck, silted out, and another diver went in alone to find them, with no cave reel, got lost, and died.



Well, why not continue your training though. If its a grey area, do research, and ask around, then take a class or two. Common sense should prevail in matters you are unsure about.

Which I thnk is the common thread here. There is a LOT of grat diving to be had in caves, caverns and wrecks. But take the time to get the proper training so that your family doesn't loose you, and other divers have to risk thier lives to recover your body.

FD

Not disagreeing with you guys in regards to these specific situations, but they are pretty cut a dry. Penetrating a wreck, going in a cave....both really dangerous, and you must have proper training. No argument.

There is a huge difference in penetrating deep into a silt laden wreck, and doing the pilot house swim through on the Oriskany. One very dangerous, the other an elevated risk that can be managed by a competent diver. I am tempted to say that a competent OW diver could manage this cleared swim through.....and this does indeed happen every day. Are these people acting well above their training OR is this a calculated risk that a reasonably experienced OW diver is capable of making for his or herself?

I would argue the latter. Based on that position, I'd like to see these types of discussion brought into standard training (wishful thinking) AND commonly discussed informally among the diving community to reinforce divers making well informed decisions about such things.

plot
10-21-2007, 09:03
6. "There are some MINES that you can dive w/ OW only" -- Really? maybe this is just bad info I got, but I wouldn't touch that with only an OW cert and recreational rig.


You can dive the bon terre mines with OW only I believe (It's on the eastern side of Missouri, one of coustou's favorite dive destinations supposedly?). It's a bit pricey for the dives but a DM is always with you and the place is artificially lighted so they don't even allow you to bring along flashlights. (I suppose so you don't go off course on your own).


As for everything else, it's all a judgment call on how comfortable you feel when you're down there at the actual wreck or going into the actual cenote. You can always hang outside or just look... chances are you'll be able to see the other end of the swim through and can crawl through the thing if you have too... if your buoyancy is out of whack that dive and you just aren't feeling it, don't go.

BobbyWombat
10-21-2007, 13:48
6. "There are some MINES that you can dive w/ OW only" -- Really? maybe this is just bad info I got, but I wouldn't touch that with only an OW cert and recreational rig.


You can dive the bon terre mines with OW only I believe (It's on the eastern side of Missouri, one of coustou's favorite dive destinations supposedly?). It's a bit pricey for the dives but a DM is always with you and the place is artificially lighted so they don't even allow you to bring along flashlights. (I suppose so you don't go off course on your own).


As for everything else, it's all a judgment call on how comfortable you feel when you're down there at the actual wreck or going into the actual cenote. You can always hang outside or just look... chances are you'll be able to see the other end of the swim through and can crawl through the thing if you have too... if your buoyancy is out of whack that dive and you just aren't feeling it, don't go.

Thanks for the info on the mine, Plot. I had heard this was the case, but didn't want to present it as fact, since I wasn't really sure.

This seems like a very wierd thing to me. I'm sure they try to make the dive as safe as possible, but they also know that they have to make it available to OW divers, since this is the biggest potential customer base.

I might *might* consider doing a dive like this if a DM or instructor that I felt good about was my buddy. Zero chance that I would do it with an insta-buddy.

plot
10-21-2007, 14:32
Thanks for the info on the mine, Plot. I had heard this was the case, but didn't want to present it as fact, since I wasn't really sure.

This seems like a very wierd thing to me. I'm sure they try to make the dive as safe as possible, but they also know that they have to make it available to OW divers, since this is the biggest potential customer base.

I might *might* consider doing a dive like this if a DM or instructor that I felt good about was my buddy. Zero chance that I would do it with an insta-buddy.

You can take boat tours of the place too and they have like 24 different "trails" you have to take in sequential order if you want to do them. So the first few, I'm sure are in fairly shallow well lit water with air pockets above them all.

I'm not advocating the place, just don't think it would be any more dangerous than an OW dive in the ocean under certain conditions.

When the situation presents itself, you'll know if you're comfortable enough to go somewhere or not go.

BobbyWombat
10-21-2007, 17:51
Thanks for the info on the mine, Plot. I had heard this was the case, but didn't want to present it as fact, since I wasn't really sure.

This seems like a very wierd thing to me. I'm sure they try to make the dive as safe as possible, but they also know that they have to make it available to OW divers, since this is the biggest potential customer base.

I might *might* consider doing a dive like this if a DM or instructor that I felt good about was my buddy. Zero chance that I would do it with an insta-buddy.

You can take boat tours of the place too and they have like 24 different "trails" you have to take in sequential order if you want to do them. So the first few, I'm sure are in fairly shallow well lit water with air pockets above them all.

I'm not advocating the place, just don't think it would be any more dangerous than an OW dive in the ocean under certain conditions.

When the situation presents itself, you'll know if you're comfortable enough to go somewhere or not go.

A boat tour conjures up a different image than what I had in my mind. If you can run a boat through there, then it really isn't an overhead environment....and I'd be fine with that. "Air Pocket" to me sounds like there are spots here and there with a small pocket of air that you could just get your head into.

divedeeper
12-18-2007, 23:18
We just got our OW cert, literally, my log of 4 dives were my checkout dives and we are invited to go dive (on not in) a wreck that is 45' at the top and 93' in the sand at the bottom. There is a DM going with us (he is a friend who happens to also be a DM, he's not the "trip leader" from the boat or anything) who said if I was comfortable only at 60', he would stay with me at that depth and encourage me to go no further than I feel comfortable, but that if I wanted to go down and touch the sand and felt comfortable with it that he would keep an eye on me also. Our instructor told us not to go past 60' until we get AOW, but even on our checkout dive, we went to like 74' (not intentionally... I followed a fish to the sand and then checked my depth gauge and was quite surprised! (I'm sure you seasoned divers are laughing with identification!) I immediately made eye contact with my buddy and our instructor and our instructor didn't flip out he just let us enjoy and then encouraged us to come up a little back to our "guideline". If I feel OK (OK being mostly safe and brave) with a deeper dive and my buddy is a trusted friend and DM for 20 years, should I still maintain the guidline as a hardline or what? This is a gray area...What do y'all think?

No Misses
12-19-2007, 11:03
We just got our OW cert, literally, my log of 4 dives were my checkout dives and we are invited to go dive (on not in) a wreck that is 45' at the top and 93' in the sand at the bottom. There is a DM going with us (he is a friend who happens to also be a DM, he's not the "trip leader" from the boat or anything) who said if I was comfortable only at 60', he would stay with me at that depth and encourage me to go no further than I feel comfortable, but that if I wanted to go down and touch the sand and felt comfortable with it that he would keep an eye on me also. Our instructor told us not to go past 60' until we get AOW, but even on our checkout dive, we went to like 74' (not intentionally... I followed a fish to the sand and then checked my depth gauge and was quite surprised! (I'm sure you seasoned divers are laughing with identification!) I immediately made eye contact with my buddy and our instructor and our instructor didn't flip out he just let us enjoy and then encouraged us to come up a little back to our "guideline". If I feel OK (OK being mostly safe and brave) with a deeper dive and my buddy is a trusted friend and DM for 20 years, should I still maintain the guidline as a hardline or what? This is a gray area...What do y'all think?

So, you want to know why it is recommended that OW divers stay above 60 fsw. For the purpose of this list I have made the assumption that your average OW diver has limited experience.
1. Just about any relatively competent diver can do a CESA (Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent) from 60' and live to tell the tale. This is not necessarily the case at deeper depths.
2. Nitrogen Narcosis can be a factor at deeper depths. This affects your problem solving skills. If you intend to do deep dives you should practice your emergency drills until they are second-nature.
3. Gas management and Nitrogen loading become more critical the deeper you go. The more experience that you have with these skills, the safer you will be.

The moral of the story is…you need to evaluate your own skills and abilities, to decide what your personal “MOD” (Maximum Operating Depth) is. In my opinion, some people should not go below 30’ (or be diving at all). The 60’ rule is intended to keep less experienced divers safe. There are many divers who have the experience but have chosen not to get the piece of paper that says that they are an “advanced OW diver”. A card in your wallet does not make you a better diver. Cultivating the necessary skills is all that matters. Some people prefer to advance through regimented training, while others prefer to develop these skills at their own pace over time. The end result is that experience/knowledge is gained.

Please somebody stop me. I can’t stop rambling!

Happy diving, I hope to see you on/in the water soon J

ReefHound
12-19-2007, 11:54
We just got our OW cert, literally, my log of 4 dives were my checkout dives and we are invited to go dive (on not in) a wreck that is 45' at the top and 93' in the sand at the bottom. There is a DM going with us (he is a friend who happens to also be a DM, he's not the "trip leader" from the boat or anything) who said if I was comfortable only at 60', he would stay with me at that depth and encourage me to go no further than I feel comfortable, but that if I wanted to go down and touch the sand and felt comfortable with it that he would keep an eye on me also. Our instructor told us not to go past 60' until we get AOW, but even on our checkout dive, we went to like 74' (not intentionally... I followed a fish to the sand and then checked my depth gauge and was quite surprised! (I'm sure you seasoned divers are laughing with identification!) I immediately made eye contact with my buddy and our instructor and our instructor didn't flip out he just let us enjoy and then encouraged us to come up a little back to our "guideline". If I feel OK (OK being mostly safe and brave) with a deeper dive and my buddy is a trusted friend and DM for 20 years, should I still maintain the guidline as a hardline or what? This is a gray area...What do y'all think?

Way too soon to be doing a dive like that.

The fact that you got distracted and inadvertently went to 74' on your checkout is a red flag. That was a diving mistake that you got away with that time. Gain experience at shallower levels to where you aren't making those kinds of mistakes.

Many people make the mistake of saying "well I did <whatever> once and everything was fine" then concluding that they are qualified and safe to do <whatever>. All dives are easy... when things go right. It's when things go wrong that you find out (too late) that you are in over your head. Most people get away with most mistakes... until they don't. Think of it this way - every night tens of thousands of drunk drivers make it home just fine.

Don't depend on a DM or other guide to make you safe. It's one thing to have them there for added peace of mind but if you don't feel competent to make the dive without them you shouldn't be making the dive. Besides, there are lots of people with a DM card. It proves little about their skills other than at one time they slogged through the course. I've seen DMs with the skills of an instructor and I've seen DMs that looked like an Open Water student.

ReefHound
12-19-2007, 12:00
Let me back track a bit. When I say too soon for a dive like that, I meant the full extent of the wreck, i.e. 93 feet. You might be able to do the upper portions of this wreck IF you have the awareness to watch your depth and the discipline to dive the plan. There are many factors beyond depth that haven't been discussed though which determines the degree of difficulty of the dive. What is the entry method? What is the water visibility, currents, temperature? What are surface conditions?

Puffer Fish
12-19-2007, 13:19
Let me back track a bit. When I say too soon for a dive like that, I meant the full extent of the wreck, i.e. 93 feet. You might be able to do the upper portions of this wreck IF you have the awareness to watch your depth and the discipline to dive the plan. There are many factors beyond depth that haven't been discussed though which determines the degree of difficulty of the dive. What is the entry method? What is the water visibility, currents, temperature? What are surface conditions?
Reef, I am with you on this in general... it should not be if you are comfortable... it should be when you are competent to take care of yourself and your buddy.

Comfortable only lasts as long as there are no "issues".

ReefHound
12-19-2007, 13:31
Comfortable only lasts as long as there are no "issues".

Plus it seems like everybody and their brother claims to be "comfortable in the water".

divedeeper
12-19-2007, 14:20
That's great advice. Thanks for clearing that up! I now have a better understanding of my mistakes and I will look forward to building better experience at 60' to be able to be "solid" at deeper depths instead of "comfortably trusting". I'll let you know how it goes!

Dive Deeper

BoomerNJ
03-09-2008, 01:38
One thing my instructor told me at the end of my OW course was that the OW card is like a learners permit. Yes, you can dive without an instructor now, but you should be concentrating on practicing your skills on every dive. Easy to do while on your safety stop. With just my OW card, I am not considering any overhead environments. Did I do a swim through of a Sikorsky helicopter at Dutch Springs? Yes, I did. I also swam through the school bus too. All while diving with an instructor present (the weekend after I completed my OW cert). Have I been to Dutch since, yes. Did I do any swim throughs? No. I don't feel comfortable doing that type of stuff without more experience.

I have 10 dives in my log book (I finished my OW cert in Oct. last year or I'd very likely have more). I need to learn to be a scuba diver first. I did take a drysuit course in Nov. last year, more diving experience with an instructor. Plus diving off NJ, I'm going to need a drysuit. I am planning on taking the AOW course this spring / summer & hopefully the rescue course by the end of the season. I am also in the process of joining a rescue diving team, which will lead to tons of training (it may be a year or more before I will be considered an active member). After all that, I'll likely be looking to do some wreck diving, though I will not likely be doing any wreck penetration. I have a claustrophobia thing that will definitely keep me from cave diving, or any real penetration wreck diving.

I hope this post does not sound argumentative or too gruff. I was merely stating my position at 2 am on a midnight shift at work, so I have too much time on my hands... :smiley20:

reactive
03-31-2008, 14:27
I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with Vortex Spring in Florida (about an hour north of Destin), but that is where I did my open water check out dives due to turbidity in the Gulf. There is a cavern in the spring and right outside the entrance to the cave is the deepest part of the spring at 48ft when I buried my computer in the rocks on the bottom. To get to the cave entrance, you had to swim down a "chimney" type structure. We were absolutely forbidden to go inside of the cave. In face there is a wonderful sign depicting the grim reaper explaining the relevant dangers of venturing inside.

http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f81/reactive1979/spring.jpg

scubasamurai
03-31-2008, 15:23
yep seen that sign as well and didn't go in . the grey area is that little piece of your brains saying " do you think it is really worth it"

cgvmer
03-31-2008, 16:24
The reality is that as long as the OP is actively thinking and making informed decisions based on his/her training and skill level. One OW diver with dives of varying environment and skill level maybe be better equipped than a "trained" diver that only learned the book. It is the responsibility of each of train ourselves and to learn about issues of the environments we dive in. This can be done with a local expert giving pre-dive briefing, or spend some time researching the location.

EuphoriaII
04-03-2008, 17:12
As I've become more experienced/comfortable diving, I continue too look at each activity with caution. I ask myself things like 'whats that worst that can happen here and am I and my buddy prepared for that'. I've swam through the pilot house of the Black Bart and one of the Twin Tugs (Panama City) weighing the probablility of having problems and the ease if exit (both have large openings and can swim from side to side in 10 seconds). Can others see me here and know that I am here in addition to my buddy?

On one of my early dives in Cozumel, the guide was leading us through some coral swimthroughs that looked a little restricting for me and I didn't know just how long the swimthrough was. My buddy and I swam over. At that time, I didn't like the risk of being silted in the middle with obstructing divers in front of and behind me.
weigh each situations as you reach it.