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snagel
12-13-2007, 18:46
Here is the true test of this forum....This question has been posted on the "other board" numerous times and "back street lawyers" went crazy. I'm told those on this forum are so much more "professional".

Have you ever taken an uncertified person for a dive? Basically, as a discover scuba dive. You are not an instructor. You are a basic fairly good Open Water Recreational Diver; maybe, have the AOW certification. I'm not talking about going to a swimming pool, but to a lake, quarry, or ocean. Nothing too deep, just something about 20 feet (maybe 30) so that the person get's an idea of what it is all about.

If you have, were you concerned? If you haven't, why not?

S. Nagel

RoadRacer1978
12-13-2007, 18:50
I haven't. Don't think I ever will under the circumstances you outlined. To me it is just too much of a risk to do so. As you know Scuba diving can be risky and if something happens and you friend forgot to breathe as they popped to the surface like a cork you'd feel terrible if they got hurt. That is my main reason for not taking an uncertified diver on an open water dive. I wouldn't want to be responsible for causing an injury to someone because they lacked the knowledge to safely make the dive. Just too big of a risk for me.

Zenagirl
12-13-2007, 18:57
Nope, I can't see myself EVER doing this. I'm not arrogant enough to think I'm qualified to safely take someone else's life in my hands in that way.

medic001918
12-13-2007, 18:58
I haven't and I don't think I would. There is too much of a liability involved in it. I would encourage them to take a dive course or an intro to scuba class to see if they would like to pursue it further.

Shane

CompuDude
12-13-2007, 19:01
Nope. Haven't and won't. I'm a DM, and could see stretching things to take my wife (or a close friend/relative) into a swimming pool so she could try it, but I would never let her go into open water without getting certified first.

snagel
12-13-2007, 19:16
Interesting...thanks. Keep the thoughts coming on the original post. Let me throw this in also, because this did happen to me and I'm not really sure how I feel about it.

I had a guy from work contact me saying he was a certified open water diver, but has not dove in the last 5 years. He said he was certified through PADI, but has lost his card. He is working on getting a replacement card through PADI. In the discussion he said he dove for about 2 years while he was in the service, but only had about 20 dives under his belt. He wants to get back into diving and wanted to know if I'd take him out sometime. Obviously, I pushed him to get his c-card and then we would talk.

In the meantime, I stopped by the LDS and spoke to the instructor at the shop. I asked him if they offered refresher courses and price. Of course, they do, but he did say, "You can take him out for a refresher". He then proceeded to give me instructions on what to do.

To say the least, I was a little shocked. First, a LDS passing up the opportunity to make a few bucks and also getting another diver to frequent the shop (build a repore with). Second, that the instructor would give me the advice to perform the refresher course with a person who hasn't dove in 5 years and then with only a hand full of dives under their belt.

What's your thoughts?

I'm leaning toward, going back to the instructor and setting up a refresher dive with the instructor present for my buddy and I would go along simply as moral support for him.

S. Nagel

RoadRacer1978
12-13-2007, 19:26
I think the refresher course is a better idea than trying to do it yourself. I was in a similar circunstance myslef. Got certified and after the cert dives I didn't go diving for 13 years. I wouldn't have dreamed of going diving with anyone until I had some type of a refresher and went diving with someone trained to observe and teach me. I talked to my LDS about the refresher course and AOW. They told me that if I planned on taking additional classes and continuing my education the AOW might be the way to go instead of spending money on just a refresher course. The LDS let me borrow the PADI OW dvd to watch and that was kind of a refresher before I started my AOW class. This might not be the best option for every diver that has been out of the water for a long time, but it worked great for me. So AOW was my refresher course and since I have been diving as much as I can. I personally was much more comfortable diving with some instructors that first time back in the water and they showed me some great stuff to get my buoyancy spot on really quickly. I don;t think a just diving with a buddy as a refresher would have been much benefit. I probably wouldn't have learned as much and improved my skills as quickly. So after a really long winded reply my vote is go for the refresher course. I think your buddy will be better off for it.

adv_diver1
12-13-2007, 19:45
Nope... too much liability. I don't want to lose my house if they screw up and do something stupid... or panic or something like that.

Out of the question for me.

scubaculture
12-13-2007, 20:02
In the meantime, I stopped by the LDS and spoke to the instructor at the shop. I asked him if they offered refresher courses and price. Of course, they do, but he did say, "You can take him out for a refresher". He then proceeded to give me instructions on what to do.

Thats quite suprising to say the least.

As to the original question, no I wouldn't take an uncertified diver out, be it pool or open water, liability for one (less of an issue outside sue happy US) but I have just seen one to many incidents even with experienced divers.

captain
12-13-2007, 20:31
Over the years I have taken several un certified friends and relatives on shallow open water dives after giving instruction on things like mask clearing, equipment operation and to never hold their breath. Most all of them were very comfortable in the water before hand. Some went on to be certified and some did not.
My view point is probably in the minority but comes from the fact that I taught myself to dive at age 13 with no adult help only a book.

Capt Hook
12-13-2007, 21:03
Never have, doubt if I ever will. Too much liability!

Goober
12-13-2007, 22:01
Nada:smiley21:

kancho
12-13-2007, 22:28
I would tell them to try Discover Scuba which is free in most dive shops.. And then if he likes it. Refresher course is pretty cheap. I am a DMC and I don't want any liability not now anyway.. if I was an instructor then I will see.

BuzzGA
12-13-2007, 22:40
I was in a similar situation...but it was me looking to get back into diving. A couple of buddies of mine who are scientists and spend a couple days a week diving when they are in the field researching took me on a very shallow dive as a refresher/check out. Before the dive I pulled out all my old books and did a review and made sure I could still crunch the numbers on a table and that type of thing. Since they were both diving as part of their profession and probably hit 100 dives a year for many years I was confident that they would give me a good refresher. I was upfront with them about the situation and if either had said go to the LDS for a refresher, I would have headed there right away.

texdiveguy
12-14-2007, 00:24
Never have and never would!

fisheater
12-14-2007, 01:25
Nope.

I'm a lawyer and my kind sues people like that.

Besides, at least PADI divers all sign a statement saying that "I will . . . deny use of my equipment to uncertified divers."

Silly me. I take that kind of stuff seriously.

danielh03
12-14-2007, 01:59
Nope.

I'm a lawyer and my kind sues people like that.

Besides, at least PADI divers all sign a statement saying that "I will . . . deny use of my equipment to uncertified divers."

Silly me. I take that kind of stuff seriously.


HMMM... so many lawyer jokes come to mind.... ok any how. I would never take someone into open water that was not trained and carded up! I think morals play a big part in diving, and that to me is moraly wrong. Just my thoughts on the matter though.

navyhmc
12-14-2007, 04:06
I have taken a few into pools. The only time I took a land lubber in a lake was a guy who told me he was certified and had been for a while but didn't have a card with him as he had recently moved (he had just moved into the area). Well, he had a good basic mask/snorkel/fin set and was very knowledgable so I took him. Later found out he was telling other folks a work that he'd just done his first dive and was going to go get his certification now.

When I confronted him on it, he said he told folks that he did his first dive in a while and since his certification. Needless to say, he didn't get put on my buddy list.

dallasdivergirl
12-14-2007, 06:53
I have enough to worry about watching out for myself while diving!

I have had the luxury of hanging out at a resort dive shop & I have seen the people who "haven't dove in years" in action.... I would want to at the very least be a DM before I took on a task like that.

Ber Rabbit
12-14-2007, 10:55
An uncertified diver? No I never did before I became an instructor. Going through my DM and Instructor training I learned how much I really didn't know about the process of scuba instruction and I had been informally helping with classes (call me the class gopher--gopher this, gopher that) for 9 years.

I had my new "ink still wet on it" DM cert the first time I took a certified diver out for a refresher. He hadn't been diving in 4 or 5 years but he had about 30 more dives than I did (I had him show me his logbook and his card to give me an idea of his experience level) so I figured it couldn't be that hard...wrong! He seriously freaked out at first, actually it took me 2 hours to get him to calm down enough to get to 6 feet because as soon as his head went under he stood back up in the shallows. He actually had to get out and smoke a cigarette to calm down. He eventually calmed down and we had a nice dive with him doing the navigating, I think our max depth was about 20 feet. It was obvious he was a diver and the freaking out didn't make much sense until he admitted the last time he went diving someone on the boat he was on died in a diving accident.
Ber

Z-naught
12-14-2007, 11:51
An uncertified diver is not necessarily a non-diver or an inexperienced one. This is maybe just a semantic issue, but I thought that it needed to be pointed out. I would not have any problem diving with someone who has never been certified but has sufficient diving experience and demonstrates safe diving skills. Obviously, that sort of person is probably a rarity, but there are probably a few out there. An example of this sort would be Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Maybe some of you have heard of him? ;) Perhaps JYC acquired some sort of diving related certification later in his remarkable career, I don't know, but I've read that his son, Jean-Michel is considered to have been the world's first "certified" diver.

Here's a question for everybody. Which would you prefer, diving with a recently open water certified PADI diver or diving with a non-certified diver with 20+ years of diving experience?

CompuDude
12-14-2007, 12:02
An uncertified diver is not necessarily a non-diver or an inexperienced one. This is maybe just a semantic issue, but I thought that it needed to be pointed out. I would not have any problem diving with someone who has never been certified but has sufficient diving experience and demonstrates safe diving skills. Obviously, that sort of person is probably a rarity, but there are probably a few out there. An example of this sort would be Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Maybe some of you have heard of him? ;) Perhaps JYC acquired some sort of diving related certification later in his remarkable career, I don't know, but I've read that his son, Jean-Michel is considered to have been the world's first "certified" diver.

Here's a question for everybody. Which would you prefer, diving with a recently open water certified PADI diver or diving with a non-certified diver with 20+ years of diving experience?

Prefer from a diving standpoint or a liability standpoint?

Z-naught
12-14-2007, 12:19
Prefer from a diving standpoint or a liability standpoint?

Both. I think divers should take both into consideration when planning a dive.

captain
12-14-2007, 12:22
Frankly I don't see all this "liability" issue if someone is not falsely representing hinself as an instructor and is not receiving money to take the other person on the dive.
More than likely the person would be a good friend or relative not a total stranger off the street.
If you really don't know or trust your friends or relatives not to sue you than perhaps you need other friends or relatives.
Would I take a total stranger I bumped into at a dive site, no.
A simple shallow dive is not rocket science.

SkuaSeptember
12-14-2007, 16:06
Nope, but I wanted to so I became an instructor.

As for being liable or not if someone gets hurt- it's irrelevant until after you've already incurred the expences of being sued!

For the experienced but uncertified diver PADI has a short program of review,exam and checkout dives.

For the certified but very rusty diver- A scuba review with some pool time or confined open water time is money well spent.

snagel
12-14-2007, 16:59
Interesting twist - "seasoned" non certified diver or "newby" certified diver???

Newby Certified - Sometimes I kinda enjoy working with very new divers. I get a chance to help them and give them pointers that I figured out or that somebody gave me (we were all there at one time). Other times, a newby seems to really slow down the dive and I don't get to enjoy what I want to do. So, as long as there is an understanding as to what kind of dive it is (one where I'm okay with working with a new diver or one where I would prefer not to have the dive limited) I'm okay. If I'm paying for a dive - I don't want to have to babysit new divers. Not trying to say I'm an instructor, but I think we have all been there with a new diver and we can't resist helping them.

Seasoned Uncertified Diver - I don't check the c-cards of everybody I dive with. Obviously, I know usually who is certified. But, I don't check cards of those who I just meet maybe at a dive site. If somebody showed up with gear and wanted to dive with me - I would dive with them. If somebody asked me to get a tank filled for them or rent some equipment for them because they don't have a c-card...I probably would not do that regardless of their "expertise". I guess this gets back to the liability issue. If they are a seasoned diver and I know they are not certified I would not call the dive just because they don't have a card. I would not agree to be a leader, instructor, or in any other way try and control the dive, but I would dive with them.

S. Nagel

awap
12-14-2007, 18:06
I've had quite a few folks in my pool on scuba but none in OW yet. My first dives were uncertified. I don't think I would have any problem taking an uncertified friend for an easy dive if they were comfortable.

I've also flown a helicopter a bit without being a trained pilot. You guys really make this stuff sound too difficult.

captain
12-14-2007, 18:23
My daughter was snorking at 5 years old, on scuba in a pool at 8 and doing shallow open water dives with me at 12, got certified at 15.

cummings66
12-14-2007, 22:46
An interesting thread. I fall on the side of not doing it and I'll tell you why. It's not that I don't think I could tell them what to do and what not to do. I won't do it because if they do panic which has happened to experienced divers in pools where they embolized and died, their surviving family member will sue and probably win.

What argument could I give? The fact is I took an uncertified diver with no training into a situation where I knew they could easily die. I had no training and no insurance to cover that so I lose. You've got to realize people have died in swimming pools on scuba gear, it can be dangerous under the right conditions and I have no right to risk your life.

You know I do think diving is easy and not hard at all, I think anybody should be capable to do it. But, there are people who just plain out are not suitable for diving. I don't want to cause somebody who I think should be able to do it, to die because I was wrong and missed the signs that said stop. I think people who have problems removing their masks in the water have problems, I don't understand the problem. I think people who have trouble putting their heads under water and breathing from a regulator have problems that should not exist. Diving is easy, it's simple. There is absolutely no reason why anybody can't do it, except for one thing. People are human and they're not me.

When I take my daughter swimming she does fine for a 4 year old. There is no way I could ever take her under water with me, she means more to me than my life does and I will not risk hers.

Mtrewyn
12-14-2007, 23:50
You know I do think diving is easy and not hard at all, I think anybody should be capable to do it. But, there are people who just plain out are not suitable for diving. I don't want to cause somebody who I think should be able to do it, to die because I was wrong and missed the signs that said stop. I think people who have problems removing their masks in the water have problems, I don't understand the problem. I think people who have trouble putting their heads under water and breathing from a regulator have problems that should not exist. Diving is easy, it's simple. There is absolutely no reason why anybody can't do it, except for one thing. People are human and they're not me.

When I take my daughter swimming she does fine for a 4 year old. There is no way I could ever take her under water with me, she means more to me than my life does and I will not risk hers.

These are very good points, I agree, mostly, I have sat in the shallow end of a pool clearing my mask, and my wife sat down next to me took the alt air and started to use it just to see what it was like, and I think that was pretty harmless.

snagel
12-15-2007, 07:03
About 3 years ago my wife, son, and I took our first discover scuba class at Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas. We first sat down and watched the video and then the instructor worked with us in shallow water (not a pool) on the basics (mask clearing, breathing, etc). My son who was 10 at the time actually did better than both his parents (who were a little nervous for him). Once we passed all the preliminary stuff, it was time to make our descent (Remember this was a Discover Scuba Class in a very controlled environment with a very good instructor). The instructions were that my wife would be to the left of the instructor, my son directly on his right and me to the right of my son. As we descended everything was going as planned. It was was the birth of a life change for me and the feelings I was having experiencing this with my son was overwelming on one side, but made me a nervous wreck on the other (for him). (I must confess a little here - this really wasn't my first ever dive. I had maybe 3 dives with friends who took a chance and let me dive with them previously - nothing too deep I think a maximum of 10 feet along the shore of the lake in previous years - so I had some experience although way not enough to even consider it any experience). Anyway, as we descended my senses were with my son (and so was the instructors). As we got to about 10 feet I looked over and my wife was gone. I must have flipped every way you can and noticed my wife was above us. The instructor by this time also seen what was going on and we started our ascent. When we got to the surface (where my wife was) she was in pretty bad shape. No, she didn't suffer a serious injury, but she said her head was about to explode. (We think she experience a reverse sinus block). Anyway she was done diving and headed back to the boat (she has never dove again). The three of us (Instructor, son, and me) went back a descended again. Everything was going good until we hit the 10 foot mark again. At that time, my son started signaling that he was having problems clearing his ears (this was interesting because the instructor didn't cover this (signal) and I didn't even pick this up in the video, but he did). Anyway, we went up and worked with him and tried to go back down. Eventually, he had to scrap the dive also. The dive ended with the instructor and I having about a 45 minute dive to a depth of about 25 feet - I was definately hooked. I was the only one of us three that has continued with the certification. (This is a bummer, but for a different thread).

Over the last couple years, my son has shown some interest (my wife none), but I haven't pushed him. I have told him if he ever wants to try it again that I would even to through the open water class with him. On dive trips sometimes he goes with me, but doesn't dive. Sometimes at the end of a dive, he will breathe through my octo and we will "snorkel" around the shallow water together killing a tank.

What's my point - both my wife and son had problems diving their first dive. Could this have been handled if the instructor wasn't there - probably. But, it does point out that things can go wrong. My son still has problems clearing his ears (even plane rides are a challenge for him). I think he wants to someday dive, but is still a little frightened about his ears. We talked to an ear specialist and he told me that as he gets older the estacian tube will shift and the ear problem should go away. But, the decision is his if he ever wants to persue diving. It's tough for me sometimes because I want to work with him from time to time, but also don't want anything to happen that I can't control. I don't see anything wrong with letting him breathe from my octo at the surface while snorkeling. My LDS has offered to let us tag along at a pool session and work with him in a pool if he ever wants too.

S. Nagel

Splitlip
12-15-2007, 08:24
I have recently with a life guard friend who has some experience he gained working for Club Med. Have taken my daughter as well. Easy stuff in the Keys. But that is it. TODAY!

Back in the day, it was quite common for people to get their initiation into scuba without formalized training.

The following is an occurance which could have ended badly. From another thread:

I have related bits and pieces of this story on this forum as well as a couple others. People have asked me about it so I will tell the entire story. I will change some names.

A number of years ago, my dive buddy Mike had his brother Larry visiting from a land locked place up north. I offered to take Larry and Mike for a boat ride to see the Town of Palm Beach from off shore. We set out in the early afternoon.

Larry, I learned was taking an open water class back home and was not certified. He saw that I had 2 sets of gear on the boat Both my brother and my father were certified so we often left the gear on board. Mike asked me if I would let his brother and him use the gear so Larry could get a taste of ocean diving. Against my better judgement, I agreed providing I was the one diving with Larry.

I had a flag for the boat but no float so I figured we would try a spot near the Breakers Hotel called the Cable Crossing in about 25 ft of water and anchor dive as the current would not be bad. The plan was simple. We would anchor over the cable which runs east and west to the Bahamas. We would drop in, swim south up current until I decided to turn the dive than we would drift/swim north to the cable, locate the boat than accend the anchor line. Mike would remain on board.

Well we were not down very long when Larry decides to shoot to the surface. I followed him and he tells me he is worried about losing the boat. I assured him that I can find the boat. We head to the bottom again. A few minutes later, Larry is shooting to the surface once again. This time though I could hear the high pitched whine of an outboard. I could not tell what direction it was, but I knew it was close.

I kicked hard after Larry and grabbed him. (I was aiming for his harness, but really don't know what I got, because here things started moving fast.) I pulled down hard on him. When I did, I popped up and was now face to face with him. I knew the boat was upon us so I threw up my right hand which broke the surface.

At that point things started moving really fast. I wrapped my left arm around Larry's neck and tried to get really "small". I kind of layed back pulling him to me. I became aware of a couple things just then. The pitch of the engined changed and then there was white all around us, foam and the boat hull.

Now it gets really blurry but was able to kind of put this together with the five witnesses to the incident. The operator had apparently seen my hand and chopped the throtle. When he did the boat came off plane and the keel came down hard on Larry's cylinder just below the valve. I don't know how far below the surface I got us before the collision, but after we were hit, the prop, still spinning passed by us less than arms length.

Larry lost his mask and reg after the collision but I continued to pull us down. To Larry's credit, with my help he recovered his regulator and when we reached the bottom, I was able to recover his mask which he replaced and cleared.

We stayed a very long time before we surfaced. I could not find my boat's anchor line, but when we got to the surface we swam to what I thought was my boat. It was the boat that had hit us instead. The operator pulled us on board. His wife/girlfriend? had fainted.

Edit: Before you guys flame me for not learning my lesson, we were kids when the boat incident occured. I admit it was bad judgement on my part as I did not know the diver I took down.
With my life guard/EMT friend, whom I have known for years, I made what I believe to be a reasonsible decision based on his abilities and my skill level. Same with my daughter.
My daughter is now certified. I was with her for most of her training. There is nothing she learned from her instructors that I could not offer or teach as well or better.

ScubaJenn81
12-15-2007, 11:09
To be honest, I have thought about it, but would never go through with it. I would feel TERRIBLE if something were to ever go wrong.

Matt P
12-15-2007, 11:14
No, never have & never will

Splitlip
12-15-2007, 16:19
An uncertified diver is not necessarily a non-diver or an inexperienced one. This is maybe just a semantic issue, but I thought that it needed to be pointed out. I would not have any problem diving with someone who has never been certified but has sufficient diving experience and demonstrates safe diving skills. Obviously, that sort of person is probably a rarity, but there are probably a few out there. An example of this sort would be Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Maybe some of you have heard of him? ;) Perhaps JYC acquired some sort of diving related certification later in his remarkable career, I don't know, but I've read that his son, Jean-Michel is considered to have been the world's first "certified" diver.

Here's a question for everybody. Which would you prefer, diving with a recently open water certified PADI diver or diving with a non-certified diver with 20+ years of diving experience?

Prefer from a diving standpoint or a liability standpoint?

Ah..Good point.
It is the fear of litigation which is the deciding factor for many, not whom they would rather have their backs when the balloon goes up.

I may need to go back and read the OP, but I dive with several divers who were never certified. Their boats, their gear. I would (and do) trust them with my life.
I would not think I should be liable, but I suppose it might depend on who has the bigger guns.
"Your Honor, these indivduals had no buisiness in the water with the dear departed splitip. My God, sir, they are not even certified divers! They should be held responsible for putting him at risk and his untimely demise"
Or.."Your Honor. Splitlip is a CERTIFIED scubadiver. He sir, should have known better than to allow the poor dear departed to put themselves at risk without the necessary training. Therefore splitlip, and splitlip alone is responsible for their untimely demise"

I have never given it a thought. I do think about if I am taking somebody out if it is my gear, my boat or I am otherwise the host.

cummings66
12-15-2007, 20:28
You know when somebody can jump a fence and trespass, fall into a pool and break their neck and sue afterwards, and win, it shows us anybody can sue and win.

captain
12-16-2007, 10:09
You know when somebody can jump a fence and trespass, fall into a pool and break their neck and sue afterwards, and win, it shows us anybody can sue and win.


But do we let the possibility rule our lives in everything we do.

scubajane
12-17-2007, 18:00
set all the lawyers out of the equation. I am not confident enough in my skills to take on the unknown behavior of a non diver. I can take care of myself and safety is a significant issue.
Hubby and I have been white-water rafting for 30+ years. every summer we take teenagers rafting. we always have a guide with us. over the years we have been very pleased with our guides and how they anticipate the behavior of skittish teens. we know the kids and they know the river. we know rafting and we are competent in the river but... the river can kill you and We need the guides in case of emergency.
same goes for diving. if everything is OK no problem. BUT if any problem arises it is much better to have more hands and more training to deal with the problems
so my answer is NO I would not take an uncertified diver to the open water or to the pool. by the way. I have seen some 'certified' divers I would not trust. to much hot air and posturing and NO skill..a dangerous combination

lmorin
12-17-2007, 19:20
I taught both my daughters to ski when they were 3. I have not hesitated to teach friends how to rock climb. I taught both daughters the most dangerous skills of all--how to drive a car and walk across a New York street. I don't pretend for a second to be an expert diver, but I would not hesitate to introduce someone I know reasonably well to the sport via a pool or shallow lake/ocean dive. The sport is basically extremely safe, as long as a few fairly simple rules are followed. Sure, things can go wrong. That's life. It's a little bit spicier with a bit of risk in one's daily activity.

ianr33
12-17-2007, 21:59
I did once a few years ago with a good friend. Went fine but I doubt I would do it again.

Kingpatzer
12-18-2007, 08:31
Frankly I don't see all this "liability" issue if someone is not falsely representing hinself as an instructor and is not receiving money to take the other person on the dive.
More than likely the person would be a good friend or relative not a total stranger off the street.
If you really don't know or trust your friends or relatives not to sue you than perhaps you need other friends or relatives.
Would I take a total stranger I bumped into at a dive site, no.
A simple shallow dive is not rocket science.

If you friend dies from an embolism, are you so certain that your friend's family would be so charitable?

And, frankly, my wife's family has torn itself apart over a small estate worth only a few tens of thousand dollars.

Money and grief are a lethal mix.

As to the question -- nope, never have, never will. Liability is real and trusting in people's good will is not the key to success. Not doing something you've been specifically instructed will open you up to liability is the key to not getting sued.

Apart from liability issues. If I'm not trained as an instructor, I have no business putting my friends or relatives lives in my un-trained hands. I'm not so arrogant as to believe I can make the right decision in all situations without the training to do so.

CaptainRon
12-18-2007, 15:56
I taught both my daughters to ski when they were 3. I have not hesitated to teach friends how to rock climb. I taught both daughters the most dangerous skills of all--how to drive a car and walk across a New York street. I don't pretend for a second to be an expert diver, but I would not hesitate to introduce someone I know reasonably well to the sport via a pool or shallow lake/ocean dive. The sport is basically extremely safe, as long as a few fairly simple rules are followed. Sure, things can go wrong. That's life. It's a little bit spicier with a bit of risk in one's daily activity.

Teaching my son to drive sure seemed a lot more dangerous than diving. Before they were certified, I allowed both my kids to try diving with my gear in about 6 feet of water while I snorkeled above them. Of course, this was after making sure they knew how to do all they basic skills I learned when I got certified. If there was any problem, I could just reach down and pick them up.

MSilvia
12-18-2007, 16:04
If there was any problem, I could just reach down and pick them up.
Were you not concerned that by "just reaching down and picking them up" you might cause them a pulmonary injury?

WaScubaDude
12-18-2007, 16:12
Frankly I don't see all this "liability" issue if someone is not falsely representing hinself as an instructor and is not receiving money to take the other person on the dive.
More than likely the person would be a good friend or relative not a total stranger off the street.
If you really don't know or trust your friends or relatives not to sue you than perhaps you need other friends or relatives.
Would I take a total stranger I bumped into at a dive site, no.
A simple shallow dive is not rocket science.

If you friend dies from an embolism, are you so certain that your friend's family would be so charitable?

And, frankly, my wife's family has torn itself apart over a small estate worth only a few tens of thousand dollars.

Money and grief are a lethal mix.

As to the question -- nope, never have, never will. Liability is real and trusting in people's good will is not the key to success. Not doing something you've been specifically instructed will open you up to liability is the key to not getting sued.

Apart from liability issues. If I'm not trained as an instructor, I have no business putting my friends or relatives lives in my un-trained hands. I'm not so arrogant as to believe I can make the right decision in all situations without the training to do so.

Unfortunatly "law suit" is the world we live in today.
25 years ago I took my buddy (not certified) for a night dive to collect golf balls in a local lake. We had a great time playing cammando and still laugh about it. Wouldn't do it again. Well...I took my 5 year old daughter diving in our hot tub. lol
Nothing but fun!

DiveKwaj
12-22-2007, 14:15
Your second scanario is quite different from the first, and is quite a bit more gray-area.

The closest I have come to your original scenario is shortly after my Rescue diver training I was sitting in about 2-3 feet of water when my 10 year old son met me as I was removing my fins. I allowed him to breath from my octo for about a minute while he floated on the surface, right there in shallow water.

I am an instructor now, and I wouldn't even do what you say unless I were current AND insured...seen too many people do weird stuff.

I find your second scenario interesting because it is not much different than how many of us find weekend dive buddies.."Yeah, I'm a diver...lets dive" Under this scenario I've never asked to see someone's c-card. We have hundreds of divers here, and finding a buddy on the same schedule can be tough. You can dive? Let's go.

Of course, it's while your sitting there watching them put on their gear that you find out how much work its going to be baby sitting. But that also holds true for certified and "current" divers too.

You can always ask a DM or Instructor to verify his cert. while he's waiting for his card. For some, 5 years away from the sport is nothing...for others 5 weeks is like starting over again. I wouldn't take the risk, and it may not be that much fun.

CaptainRon
12-22-2007, 22:46
If there was any problem, I could just reach down and pick them up.
Were you not concerned that by "just reaching down and picking them up" you might cause them a pulmonary injury?

Not really. We really discussed the importance of continually breathing while underwater prior to this and I was confident in their understanding of why it was important. We even did a demonstration by filling a plastic bag with air at depth and sealing it prior to bringing it to the surface. Was a great visual display of what could happen if they did not breath out while surfacing. And of course, I would not lift them up till they were blowing bubbles. I think they had a much better concept of the dangers than most of the discover scuba students I have seen.

snagel
12-23-2007, 07:10
Thanks to everybody who have posted with their thoughts. I still jump back and forth on this subject all the time. On one hand I know many people who have got bitten by the dive bug from a friend who let them use some gear and did an uncertified shallow dive and then went on to get their certification. I would guess that many on this forum (including myself) started this way. On the other hand, I see the liability issues involved. As a Safety Director for a Manufacturing Company, I deal with attorneys on a daily basis. It is amazing what happens to people when they (rightfully or wrongfully) beleive that they can get money out of something. Not to badmouth attorney's because there are some good ethical minded attorneys, but many push people into litigation (hey this is their job and how they make a living) and many people believe that if they are hurt and somebody else is remotely responsible that they can get something. What ever happened to personal responsibility? Where did all this ideaism come that others should be responsible for me? Before you say it, yes, if we take an uncertified diver out, we know the risks and maybe they do not. But, yet even if you tell them, show them, train them, they will still shuck thier individual responsibility (even to say, no, I don't want to do this because it is too risky).

We don't ever want to see somebody get hurt while diving; especially, somebody who is new to the sport and maybe not certified. There is no intention to hurt anybody, we just want to share something that we love. But, as many have pointed out, we don't know what people will do and/or how people will react. Even if you are a trained instructor you may not be able to control the situation.

I hear it all the time, diving is a dangerous sport. I like to think that it is one of the most safest sports because so much emphasize is placed on safety. If all my employees had the safety mindset that a diver has I would not have any injuries and have one the safest manufacturing plants in the world. But, even with this, if somebody did get hurt seriously, the legal system, attorneys, and those wanting to cash in in this world of "entitlement" would be overwhelming.

I think the debate will always continue. I hate the idea of bowing down to something because I'm afraid of being sued. But, this is what society has evolved too.

Again, thanks so kindly for your thoughts.

S. Nagel

scubajane
12-23-2007, 14:34
there is a big difference between teaching your kid how to drive and taking an unknown diver on a 'fun' dive. I would not teach an unknown person to drive, or to start and IV or to do CPR or Administer medications. I am competent in all these areas. I am more than happy to have detailed conversations and even some hands on education but I would not take them underwater and I would not let them start an IV on a person. I know my limitations and I don't know their abilities. I will point them to the proper place to be trained. I'm a big fan of education.

Mtrewyn
12-26-2007, 10:30
there is a big difference between teaching your kid how to drive and taking an unknown diver on a 'fun' dive. I would not teach an unknown person to drive, or to start and IV or to do CPR or Administer medications. I am competent in all these areas. I am more than happy to have detailed conversations and even some hands on education but I would not take them underwater and I would not let them start an IV on a person. I know my limitations and I don't know their abilities. I will point them to the proper place to be trained. I'm a big fan of education.

Good point, Teaching is totally different than going on a "Fun"dive that is 10-12 feet, I'm no expert but at that depth there is not much that can go wrong, as long as you keep breathing you'll be OK Right?

Kingpatzer
12-26-2007, 10:47
Good point, Teaching is totally different than going on a "Fun"dive that is 10-12 feet, I'm no expert but at that depth there is not much that can go wrong, as long as you keep breathing you'll be OK Right?

"As long as you keep breathing" correctly being key. Fatal embolisms require only about 3' of water.

Mtrewyn
12-27-2007, 10:39
3' of water, Really? That would make me think that there were some other factors involved there, less than one atm is not that much different.

Kingpatzer
12-27-2007, 11:29
3' of water, Really? That would make me think that there were some other factors involved there, less than one atm is not that much different.

That comment shows why proper instruction training is so vital.

The first few feet of water are the most dangerous because they present the greatest increase/decrease of gas volume relative to the surface pressure, non-dive state. It is the relative volume change that matters, not the absolute pressure change.

Every year there are a couple of people world wide who die in a pool with a certified instructor in only a few feet of water due to not breathing properly while changing depth in shallow water.

sparky428
12-27-2007, 12:22
I think that the LDS should think what they are telling you how to do.As you will not have the training or the resources if things go wrong and, as someone has said i wouldn't want to tell the loved ones of the death of a friend.

Mtrewyn
12-28-2007, 00:33
3' of water, Really? That would make me think that there were some other factors involved there, less than one atm is not that much different.

That comment shows why proper instruction training is so vital.

The first few feet of water are the most dangerous because they present the greatest increase/decrease of gas volume relative to the surface pressure, non-dive state. It is the relative volume change that matters, not the absolute pressure change.

Every year there are a couple of people world wide who die in a pool with a certified instructor in only a few feet of water due to not breathing properly while changing depth in shallow water.

I know the most pressure change is in the first 33', but I think I would have to read the medical examiner report, it feels like the old saying that you can drown in a teaspoon of water, sure you could block off your trachea, and not be able to breath, but a true drowning? Granted you are just as dead and I am not a Dr. for the very reason that I don't have to deliver bad news.

I think the embolism in question, must have already been there, and was amplified by the pressure change. 3' is just not all that much, 15-20 that is a different story, 10 feet maybe, but not 3, that is less than 1/10 of an atm and you would have to take a BIG breath almost to the point of causing pain and forcibly hold it, than rocket up and than even I'm not sure that your lung tissue would rupture, 10% expansion is just not all that much, and lung tissue does have some give in it as most tissues do in the body, but I'm no expert, and I may be way off base but it is just MHO

OTGav
12-29-2007, 23:23
It's Sunday, and I had nothing better to do so I went hunting for some reports on pool / shallow water scuba deaths & injuries. DAN is bloody amazing btw.

Happy to be told I missed something.

Ok so ignoring the shallow water blackout breath holders this is the only shallow water injury, not preceded by a dive, or involving getting stuck in a pipe/cave that I could find the DAN reports since 2005.

A 15-year-old novice diver on medication for attention deficit disorder entered shallow
water off the beach, had a flooded mask at 8 fsw (2 msw), panicked, and drowned.

I've been told by instructors that there is a slight risk of expansion injury even in a shallow pool - looks as though people are being smart and doing what they are told or that the possability of injury is very low.

jimmysdevoted
12-29-2007, 23:36
My husband is a great diver and is on the way to becoming instructor. So its normal for epople to ask him. BUt he flat out refuses.
Instead we call our instructor and ask when teh hext pool work is or when she is working at the pool and then bring him/her along for a " test of teh waters".
If they like it then hubby gets to work with them as assistant. But it the dive instructors that ultimately take them up to the quarry.
I think so many feel that" whats an instructor, they are just a glorified diver" is a wrong common thought.

I also think that more emphasis should be placed on some medical aspects of what may go wrong with you or with someone else who si diving.
I foone was accepted to the DMT program, but I am strating out with the local DAN courses first and work with my instructor. Though I am not a diver, I live with two divers. I free and snorkel. and both are used in rescue to an extent.....

MConnelly2
12-30-2007, 22:22
3' of water, Really? That would make me think that there were some other factors involved there, less than one atm is not that much different.

That comment shows why proper instruction training is so vital.

The first few feet of water are the most dangerous because they present the greatest increase/decrease of gas volume relative to the surface pressure, non-dive state. It is the relative volume change that matters, not the absolute pressure change.

Every year there are a couple of people world wide who die in a pool with a certified instructor in only a few feet of water due to not breathing properly while changing depth in shallow water.

I know the most pressure change is in the first 33', but I think I would have to read the medical examiner report, it feels like the old saying that you can drown in a teaspoon of water, sure you could block off your trachea, and not be able to breath, but a true drowning? Granted you are just as dead and I am not a Dr. for the very reason that I don't have to deliver bad news.

I think the embolism in question, must have already been there, and was amplified by the pressure change. 3' is just not all that much, 15-20 that is a different story, 10 feet maybe, but not 3, that is less than 1/10 of an atm and you would have to take a BIG breath almost to the point of causing pain and forcibly hold it, than rocket up and than even I'm not sure that your lung tissue would rupture, 10% expansion is just not all that much, and lung tissue does have some give in it as most tissues do in the body, but I'm no expert, and I may be way off base but it is just MHO


'True drowning', or 'wet' drowning, is very rare as a causative factor - wet drownings are usually secondary to LOC's (Loss of consciousness) in the water for other reasons, seizures, AMI's from exertion, et cetera. Most drownings are little more than asphyxiation from laryngospasm - the human body is very good at defending itself, especially against water. Once water gets past the epiglottis, the larynx clinches up tighter than my wifes fist around a designer clothing store gift card. Even deaths due to hypothermia accelerated by immersion, although cardiac arrest is ultimately the coup de grace, patients are seldom found flooded.

It's that whole oxygen addiction thing. Turns out sudden withdrawal can kill you. Every EMT-B, First Responder, First Aid, and BLS/CPR course I've taught can really be summed up as "Air goes in, air goes out, blood goes round and round. Maintain this, and all is well."

fisheater
12-30-2007, 23:04
For anyone who thinks that nothing bad can from from allowing someone to "play around" with scuba gear in shallow water should read the following article from Dive Training Magazine.

Understanding Ascents and Descents, Part II (http://www.dtmag.com/Stories/Dive%20Skills/03-05-1feature.htm)

A breathhold ascent from 4 feet can be fatal.

Grin
12-31-2007, 07:08
As harmless as it may seem, everyone seems to have some different tidbit they struggle with. A neighbor of mine think scuba is crazy and so dangerous due to his idiot experience. His buddies strapped a BC on him and took him diving in 30 ft of water. My neighbor had no training or any clue whatsoever. His issue was he did not have the sence to simply breath a little air into his mask through his nose as he decended. So the entire dive his mask was sucking his eyeballs out of his head. We all laughed at him as he had bug eyes for a day afterwards. But it just points out that what one person does automatically, another has no idea if it's normal or what. A panic race to the surface in 25 ft of water could kill a person if they did not exhale as they raced up. There are so many things that you mgiht do automatically, but all it takes is for one little thing to screw you up. That's why certification is so important. It seems so easy, but really I know I learned alot. And I'm still learning , and relearning. I often wonder how I survived that first year, and I don't even want to think about if I did it without that basic certification training. I'm not a big promoter of training, but I definatly cannot deny that the basic certification training is definatly the only way to go.
Snorkling without training, Sure!
Scuba, No way am I going to be a part of it!

whse56
12-31-2007, 09:31
I'm pretty new to the hobby of diving but I love it. There is nothing like the feeling of flying through the water. If I were to take a non-cert friend on a dive and there was a problem that turned into a tragedy the guilt I would feel would eat me alive and never allow me to enjoy this great adventure again. There must be nothing worse than watching a friend who trusted you to keep him safe die and not being able to do anything about it.

Kingpatzer
12-31-2007, 09:55
3' of water, Really? That would make me think that there were some other factors involved there, less than one atm is not that much different.

That comment shows why proper instruction training is so vital.

. . . you would have to take a BIG breath almost to the point of causing pain and forcibly hold it, than rocket up and than even I'm not sure that your lung tissue would rupture, 10% expansion is just not all that much, and lung tissue does have some give in it as most tissues do in the body, but I'm no expert, and I may be way off base but it is just MHO

Read up on the physiology of alveoli. Basically, very small pressure change are all that's required to damage alveoli. You're lungs aren't balloon, they're very delicate sponges. From 3' deep, holding one's breath and surfacing can have a fatal embolism on a normal, full breath for some people.

snagel
12-31-2007, 10:26
Okay, let me play devils advocate here. From a physiological point of view, I think we agree that this could happen from a very shallow depth. I believe a few posts back there was research indicating that there has not been any traumatic injury or fatality recorded.

So, If the medical research shows that this could happen, why doesn't it? I guess the proof is in the pudding. If holding your breath in shallow water and ascending could cause major damage, why have we not seen this? Maybe, I've missed something here. It's hard for me to believe that people are doing the right thing and we are not recording any major traumas due to people doing the right thing. Does anybody have any good statistics that show that people are getting hurt from holding their breath and ascending from shallow depths?

Not trying to pick a fight, just trying to induce good information.

S. Nagel

Mtrewyn
12-31-2007, 10:56
Okay, let me play devils advocate here. From a physiological point of view, I think we agree that this could happen from a very shallow depth. I believe a few posts back there was research indicating that there has not been any traumatic injury or fatality recorded.

So, If the medical research shows that this could happen, why doesn't it? I guess the proof is in the pudding. If holding your breath in shallow water and ascending could cause major damage, why have we not seen this? Maybe, I've missed something here. It's hard for me to believe that people are doing the right thing and we are not recording any major traumas due to people doing the right thing. Does anybody have any good statistics that show that people are getting hurt from holding their breath and ascending from shallow depths?

Not trying to pick a fight, just trying to induce good information.

S. Nagel

This is more what I am trying to indicate than anything, you can here all the statics, hear all the rumors and all the stories, but I have yet to see a "Reputable" source for this, I would never try and say that diving is not dangerous, but given the numbers of dives that take place on any given day, compared to the number of injuries/deaths that occur, I think looking at the odds it is pretty safe. All the info that I have read says "Can occur in as little as" this does not mean "Does"

I don't know the numbers but I would be willing to bet that more people get struck by lighting, than get major diving injuries I know the philology, and the physics, I would NEVER think to know it all, but just being alive has some real risk involved, I've seen perfectly healthy people drop dead from strokes, hart attacks, blood clots, and that does not tell me that I should live in a glass box and have people watching over me all the time.

In Dan's Report they say there have been like 53 thousand and some change dives (just with there study group) and 30 decompression injuries.

This tells me that diving has some risk, but not a lot more that driving to work, and back, and I take my 4yo with me every day to day-care. You can say it is dangerous all you want but if you follow the established guidelines and THINK before you act it might be safer than breathing in southern California. :smilie40:

I'm not trying to pick a fight but we all need to keep the REAL numbers in mind, NOT rumors

snagel
12-31-2007, 11:09
Mtrywen, I think you and I are kinda saying the same thing, but with a little twist. Forgive me if I'm not paraphrasing your thoughts incorrectly.

You are saying that yes diving is dangerous, but so is living every day life. Given the shear number of divers no days, the percentage of injury/illness is low compared to the number of divers and dives. Additionally, at least some of the recorded dive injuries/illness although they occurred while diving maybe were not resulted from the dive - example, somebody having a heart attack. Diving might not have been the primary cause of the heart attack, but yet they were diving so it is counted as a dive related event.

I agree with you, if this is what you are saying. Additionally, my point is that we hear all the time such as drowning in a foot of water or ascending from 3 feet can kill you. I guess yes this can. But, can anybody point me in a direction of some concrete examples of this happening?

S. Nagel

Mtrewyn
12-31-2007, 11:42
YES! :smiley20:

Some times I think people don't really think about what they read, or maybe I'm not all that clear.

I would not want to tell a loved one that their son died 'cuz of my stupidity, but that could happen playing in the yard! Or driving to the Movie. or just walking around.

I think the whole "one guy died cuz of this 20 years ago" fear thing really needs to be examined and thought about before you base your everyday life on something like that. I like to see Facts before I make a choice that affects my life, or someone's life that I'm with, not word of mouth, and as you said this post was full of "Can happen" and "Could" and so I started looking for some kind of fact. Besides I like to stir things up and get people worked up about things:smiley2: and watch the fire works. It also forces people to think about what they are saying.

Kingpatzer
12-31-2007, 11:52
It should be noted that many, perhaps even most, diving accidents have historically been reported as "drownings," or other spurious classifications with little or no investigation beyond a cursory check for obvious foul play.

Even today, if a medical examiner is not well-versed in DCS signs, a death in the pool will go in the books as a dry drowning rather than as a DCS event.

CompuDude
12-31-2007, 20:15
Just because we can't readily lay our hands on publicly-available internet records that list deaths caused by someone ascending 3' in a pool breathing compressed gas and suffering an expansion injury doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Every piece of medical literature on the subject I have ever seen has the 3' blurb. In addition, medical tests are done all the time on cadaver flesh and via methods other than collecting hospital reports of kids that died in the pool while playing with daddy's scuba gear.

So answer this: Are you seriously challenging that because a group of divers on the internet can't point you to to a scanned article on the web?

Question things. But try to be reasonable as well.

captain
01-01-2008, 15:10
Just because we can't readily lay our hands on publicly-available internet records that list deaths caused by someone ascending 3' in a pool breathing compressed gas and suffering an expansion injury doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Every piece of medical literature on the subject I have ever seen has the 3' blurb. In addition, medical tests are done all the time on cadaver flesh and via methods other than collecting hospital reports of kids that died in the pool while playing with daddy's scuba gear.

So answer this: Are you seriously challenging that because a group of divers on the internet can't point you to to a scanned article on the web?

Question things. But try to be reasonable as well.

I think being reasonable is just what he is doing.
Yes it is possible to bust a lung in three feet if the conditions are optimal for doing so. Will it happen if you made a complete exhalation before coming up? What about with a normal normal breath or would it take a maximum full lung inhalation then coming up. We know it possible but we don't know how likely it is to happen in the real world.

CaptainRon
01-01-2008, 17:34
Yes it is possible to bust a lung in three feet if the conditions are optimal for doing so. Will it happen if you made a complete exhalation before coming up? What about with a normal normal breath or would it take a maximum full lung inhalation then coming up. We know it possible but we don't know how likely it is to happen in the real world.

Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No. It is very difficult to inhale deeply enough to completely inflate the lungs to maximum capacity so that an ascent from 3 or 4 feet would cause a rupture of the aveoli. Theoretically it can be done but it would be difficult and highly unlikely as this is an unnatural reaction for most people and would take a conscious effort.

Kingpatzer
01-01-2008, 17:39
Here's the thing . . . the question is about taking uncertified divers diving without having proper instructor training.

If someone just drops down and suddenly panics and simply stands up . . that can be enough.

Alveoli will burst wtih a mere change of less than 70 mmHG, it is very conceivable that a non-certified diver, diving with an untrained instructor stupid enough to take a non-certified diver under might stand up from the bottom in a 4 or 5' pool or pond.

It is a recipe for disaster and to dismiss it as not important due to a lack of an easily available on-line source to point to is foolish.

I can point to the kid in Alabama last year who experienced a fatal embolism and died while in a pool with an instructor as an example to show that people do die in shallow water with ideal conditions, however. People die receiving scuba instruction all the time, usually in fairly shallow water with good visibility.

scubajane
01-02-2008, 23:19
panic is capable of many bad things. being under water is cool and freaky for the newbies. I am more concerned for the non certified diver who has NO fear than the non certified diver that is coaxed into a 'fun' dive. I still would NOT take them.

Grin
01-03-2008, 10:27
You guys better read up!
There are two types of DCI (Decompression Illness).
1. AGE. Accending too fast without exhaling ruptures lung tissue. This releases bubbles into the bloodstream. These bubbles are not good. An emergency accent could cause many bubbles and no chnace for you.
2. DCS, loading/bends etc...

AEG has killed many. This year.

Why your discussing this 3 ft thing is a mystery to me. The situation is, if you take someone scuba diving they will probably be in water alot deeper than 3 ft. It's probably safe to say they will easily be deeper than 20 ft.

I was at a dive seminar last summer and part of the schedule was for the guy who investigates for DAN research etc.... He is on the road all year long, in morgues, inspecting dead divers. He put many pictures and examples of dead scalped open brains with AGE on the projector. It was not pretty. I kind of wished I skipped that part of the seminar while I was sitting there, but I'm also glad I sat through it now that it's over. It can happen to you. And it does happen, many times, each year, to people.

scubaboy2003ca
01-03-2008, 10:35
Hello. I am new to this board and thought this was a great place to "test the waters" so to speak. The club I am with do many discover scuba to different groups. We always follow guidlines and always use one at least divemaster per person and that is after the lectures by the instructor. We only use a pool and only in the shallow end. Many times unqualified people took someone to try scuba diving without problems, but there have been some that ended in very tragic circumstances. In my humble opinion, its not worth the risks.