Throughout 2018, we’d like to share tips from PADI staff in the field on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. This month we heard from PADI Territory Director, Rich Somerset:
“We are blessed with a career that puts us in contact with the ocean – and the ocean demands our respect. Treat her with respect and she will give you a lifetime of adventures, but underestimate her at your peril. Remember: be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.”
The ocean is a truly awe-inspiring environment, and as divers we experience its benefits every time we enter the water. But as Rich says – the ocean also demands our respect.
All dive professionals should know their limits and will endeavour to stay well within them. This means having an even-handed grasp on the abilities of your students too. Use your judgement when assessing factors such as water conditions, ability of participants, your and your assistant’s personal limitations, and ratios etc.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- “Am I familiar with this dive site?”
- “Can I expect bad visibility or perhaps strong currents?”
- “Can I provide adequate assistance to all divers in the group?”
With all things considered, you as the dive professional have the ultimate responsibility for making the final decision as to whether to dive. If something goes wrong, the question likely to be asked is– “Should the divers have been in the water at that time, in that environment, in those conditions, with their experience?” In these instances, you, as the professional, may well be asked to defend your decision to dive.
Rich couldn’t be more right when he says “be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.”