View Full Version : should i have said something?

07-28-2007, 01:52
while on vacation a few weeks ago i got AOW certified during the first few days there.
Later another teenager came and got OW followed by AOW certified. On one of my last dives of the vacation i was buddied up with him, i believe it was the day after he finished his course or it might have been the second dive, i dont recall exactly. well his instructor was leading the dive, but I was his buddy.

i explained my gear to him on the boat as it is a different setup from what the shop was renting(5 foot hose, octo-z and a dive alert, also the location of my sausage and regular whistle, and the weight rip cord on the zeagle ranger.)

first thing i noticed was he wasnt comfortable in the water. he was busy trying to float instead of paying attention to directions from the instructor while we were floating. then he was having trouble getting down and was a horrible finner, kept switching sides around me and was either way behind or way ahead of me, which i delt with and understood that he was a new diver and still easily distracted by things. so i did my best to stick near him.

now im not saying im a perfect diver myself, im guilty of having a polaris incident from 15 feet during my nav dive, because i didnt bother doing a weight check and started with 8 kilos, by the end of the week i was diving 4. i take full responsibility for not fixing the issue from the begginning instead of listening to the shops advice.

during the dive, he ran low on air.
which again is almost expected of any new diver who hasent figured out how to stay horizontal and relax (which im not perfect at myself either, i need to work on my trim a bit.)
what he did was he told the instructor he was low on air. i understand he would be doing the right thing during a course, but he was MY buddy and if i wasnt paying attentinon i wouldnt have known at all.
so after i noticed he had under 200 psi i stuck next to him like white on rice, and periodically swan underhim to check his pressure myself.

well we got to the boat and did a normal ascent while the others and the leader swam around for a few mor minutes under us.
after we were all on board and has switched over out tanks
(it was a rib, not much time for talk between passing tanks and trying the keep the 3 nearest you from falling over)
i was thinking about bringing it up with him about how he should have told me

i didnt, mostly because the instructor was a nice guy, but could get peeved easily and turn a little jerky(if thats a word) and being only 16, i didnt feel i would get any respect form either and that my advice would not be headed.

now i feel bad for not standing up for myself and telling him to inform his buddy first, so that then him and his buddy could swim to the leader TOGETHER and inform them.

as a 16 yearold
should i be pointing things out if nobody else does?
or is it not my place because, although i have a lot of the knowledge, i dont have the experience to go aloing with it

ScubaToys Larry
07-28-2007, 02:51
I've got to say, for a 16 year old, you articulate you point very well, and seem to be very mature. The points you bring up are all valid - and I would say that, sure, I would have tried to say something, while remaining tactful.

Perhaps just a "Hey, if you are ever getting low like that - make sure you let everyone you're diving with - especially your buddy know about it. It was good you let the instructor know - but if he got occupied with some other emergency leading the dive - you'd be turning to someone else for air - so it's a good idea to let anyone around you know so they are not surprised, or simply think you're doing a drill if you flash an out of air sign."

Of course, I'm saying this from the perspective of someone 3 times your age, and probably 300 times the dives.

I commend you for being so observant of your buddies techniques, air, etc throughout the dive - and the only thing I might add, is if you knew he was down to just 200, I probably would have gotten him to head up right then, and now try to make it to the boat. Who knows how accurate his gauge is, or how well his reg works with low pressure, and at any minute, he might panic, bolt, or go for your air.

But overall, nice job of keeping an eye on your buddy, and the fact you can share this story, and ask for opinions speaks volumes for your maturity and diving common sense. :smiley20:

07-28-2007, 06:41
You could have said something, but being a teen yourself, you probably had a good idea how your buddy would have reacted, so you did what you thought was best and looked at the positives of his actions rather than the mistake he made. I wouldn't fault you for not saying anything to him directly. The fact is that he was an insta-buddy. It doesn't sound like you dove with him again after that, so where's your incentive to open yourself up to a negative reaction.

One tip I could suggest for future insta-buddy adventures though is share your air pressure with your buddy often. Start on deck and tell him there. Underwater, every 500psi or so, turn to him, point at your gauge and give him the number. Usually, he'll respond with his.

You definately did the right thing in keeping an eye on his gauge when he was LOA. I agree with Larry though, with 200 psi left, the dive is definately over and it's time to tell him that you guys are going up NOW.

07-28-2007, 07:45
Being young, you would probably be brushed off... thats just the way things are.
it was good of you to take notice of everything that was going on.
you could have probably gone to the instructor, but you might also have gotten some grief for telling him something about his student.

07-28-2007, 08:36
I agree with everyone above :)

Being a mature younger person myself, I understand being 16 and thinking no one will listen to you when you have a good point to make. Been there, done that, lots.

Being a diver myself, I agree, you should always discuss gas management with your buddy. Tell him that about every 500 psi you will do an air pressure check, you'll tell him your pressure and you expect to see him give his pressure. Have him show you at the surface too so you can see how he tends to give it.

I also agree that when a guage reads 200 psig,it doesn't mean that. :) Guages are only so accurate, and only in the middle. Their accuracy can decline towards the "edges" of their reading. If someone is at 500, or even near it, that's when you need to be getting on the boat :) Decide on a turn time, say, 1300 psi. At 1300, you go back to the boat, no matter what! At 200, I'd be handing the guy my octo (or if diving a semi long hose like you are and I hope to be soon, my primary while I go to my octo)!

And, once you are certified, unless your instructor is your buddy, Idon't see why he needs to know your pressure. You and your buddy are a team. You and your buddy need to know each other's air pressure. The instructor or DM or president Bush needs to worry about their buddy's air pressure. If they discuss a protocol for letting them know your pressure thorugh the dive,follow it, but if they don't ask, I don't see why they ned to know, as it is your dive.

07-28-2007, 12:02
I agree with jahjahwarrior, the instructor didn't need to know your pressures. He wasn't instructing then so it's between you and your buddy. I myself would have probably got the instructors attention to signal we were going up so that he wouldn't worry about having lost us, and then gone up. At 200 psi whether I did that would depend on how close he was and the depth we're at. That's way too low to spend time chasing down somebody. I would have probably donated at that point and if possible got his attention and gone up. It all depends on how far away he was. In my case I'll shine my HID and move it back and forth to get his attention so that I wouldn't need to swim up to him, they'll see frantic light movement and check to see what is going on, see me signal low air and up and away I'll go and letting them know all is OK. Yes, I would have done what Larry suggested when it came to my buddy, he needs to know he should have gone over it with me. His next breath could have been nothing, 200 psi is within the error limits of a gage. He might have had 0 psi and with a source of air at his side he did the wrong thing.

The lesson is plan a dive based on the amount of air needed to do it, if you don't know how much air you need then figure it out on your next dive. Stay at a level for a set time, couple minutes is good to start with and noticed how much air you use. Write down that number and time. Use it for dive planning.

07-28-2007, 12:12
I would like to add that I do agree with Cumming66's point about letting the instructor know that you are leaving. It's a bit different on tech dives, where they let you go wherever you want without supervision, but if you were on a guided dive, you should definitely let the person in charge under the water know you were going up.

07-28-2007, 13:18
I would add this tip, that sometimes it's better to take the responsibility when thumbing or calling a dive. Some divers can let their pride and ego get in the way, endangering not only themselves but you. So if you think the dive should be called, just act like you've got the problem and need to surface.

07-28-2007, 13:33
you catch grief for just being young most times... so i think you should have said it, for the safety of the diver, and took the bad attitude...

07-28-2007, 13:49
Assuming it would have happened. I know when it comes to diving I do not look at anybody young or old any different than myself. I consider until proven otherwise that we're equal. "I am never better than my buddy" is what I believe until proven otherwise.

07-28-2007, 14:12
that is true, but everyone looks at it like this
youth = stupid

i like to dive with friendly people... that know what they are doing... so i dont care for the age too much... just as long as they know what to do when it needs to be done.

07-28-2007, 22:04
This much I will admit to. Age does equal wisdom in many cases, lifes hard lessons take time to learn. Hopefully with wisdom comes the knowledge that those younger do have a valuable contribution to make to the collective body and I for one will listen and see what I can learn.