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Author Topic: Let's all contribute and do something to improve safety standards  (Read 5642 times)

BareBear

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Dear friends,
There is a very simple way that we can easily contribute to diver safety in our region.

If you know of any DCs that are openly flouting safety rules (through your friends, relatives, your own experience), please do the community a favour and shoot an email to the dive agency's quality control department to conduct an investigation.

If we do nothing, nothing is going to change.
So if we want change, we need to do something.

Here is PADI's quality control email:
QA@padi.com

To read more about PADI's quality management program:
http://www.padi.com/scuba/about-padi/quality-management/default.aspx

Need other members' help to insert other agencies feedback unit's email.
Perhaps the mods can make this a sticky.

Please help to contribute to this thread. Thank you!

BareBear

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Perhaps the pros (DMs, instructors) can list down the common safety rules that are frequently flouted, and what to look out for. Things like mandatory safety equipment (O2, etc.), number of pool sessions, number and duration/depth of dives, maximum instructor to student ratio, things like that.

lybc

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Sometimes it is becos of individuals, not the DC. Especially when there are freelancers moving from DC to DC. Best if you can get the individual's certification number.

DIN

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This thread definitely warrants a sticky!
Mola-Mola is a Myth

dp4610yz

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Taken from the PADI Instructor Manual for PADI Course which can be found online...

Standard Diver Equipment
Make sure divers have, at a minimum:
1.   Fins, mask and snorkel
2.   Compressed gas cylinder and valve*
3.   Buoyancy control device (BCD) with tank mount or 
separate backpack, and low pressure inflator*
4.   Primary regulator and alternate air source* 
* Exception: Using a registered closed circuit rebreather (CCR) is acceptable if course performance requirements can be met. Do not use CCRs during PADI Discover Scuba Diving programs, PADI Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver or Instructor Development Courses.
5.   Breathing gas monitoring device (e.g. submersible pressure gauge)
6.   Depth monitoring device
7.   Quick release weight system and weights (if necessary for neutral buoyancy, or if required for skills practice)
8.   Adequate exposure protection appropriate for local dive conditions. 
Note: The dry suit orientation requirement in this guide.
9. At least one audible emergency surface signaling device (whistle, air horn, etc.).
10. Dive computer or RDP (eRDPML or Table) Familiarize divers with the equipment they use in the course.
Standard Instructor and Certified Assistant Equipment
Have all standard diver equipment plus:
9.   Time monitoring device
10.   Compass
11.   Knife/diver’s tool 
Exception: Where prohibited locally.
12.   Two surface signaling devices – one audible (whistle, air horn, etc.) and one visible (inflatable surface tube, flare, signal mirror, etc.).
13.   Dive flag – where required locally
14.   Instructions for use for dive computer or RDP/eRDPML
PADI - OW
SSI - AA aka AOW
PADI - Rescue
PADI - DMT

dp4610yz

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Summary of PADI Courses and Programs



Note: Ratios apply to favorable conditions only. Rough, turbid, very cold water or other circumstances may warrant reduced ratios for student safety. (See Ratios - Student Diver-to-Instructor in this guide.) • 12 students to 1 instructor and 1 mannequin † For any open water or confined open water dive that includes 10-11 year olds, the maximum ratio is 4:1, no more than 2 of the 4 may be age 10 or 11.



Open Water Course Ratio

Confined Water
10:1 May add four student divers per certified assistant.
Open Water
8:1 May add two student divers per certified assistant to a maximum of 12.


Advanced Open Water Course Ratio
General — 8:1 May add four student divers per certified assistant
On deep dives, do not increase this ratio with the use of certified assistants.
« Last Edit: 22 Apr 14, 17:35 by dp4610yz »
PADI - OW
SSI - AA aka AOW
PADI - Rescue
PADI - DMT

BareBear

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This thread definitely warrants a sticky!

Many thanks DIN!

BareBear

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Dear friends,
I feel that PADI's stated instructor ratio of 8:1 for the first deep dive is unsafe.

I do not think that it is humanly possible for one instructor to keep track of 8 students. 1:3 or at most 1:4 seems like a more reasonable number.

I have personally bumped into a lost diver taking his AOW in Tioman, and his face was all pale with fear. He asked if he could follow us and of course we said ok (on hindsight the protocol was for him to surface and look for his team).

The troubling thing was, when we accidentally bumped into his group later after swimming around, no one in the group even noticed he was missing.

Also, I think there needs to be a requirement of minimum visibility, maximum current flow and also a minimum number of dives to proceed with the deep dive.

Minimum visibility - perhaps 10m might be the minimum requirement
Maximum current flow - how many knots is considered challenging?
Minimum number of dives - perhaps 25

I plan to collect your input, and after perhaps come up with a draft letter which we can all email to PADI's QM department (and other agencies too).

Thanks for your participation.
"Divers looking out for divers."

runez

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Minimum number of dives - perhaps 25

I had a discussion about using number of dives as a prerequisite to more advanced courses before. I believe the intention is to ensure that divers have a some competency before proceeding forward (e.g. OW to AOW).

Problem is, knowing the number of dives alone excludes the following info: were all the dives in calm conditions, does the diver have experience in challenging conditions (high current, low vis, cold, etc.), did the diver take a conscious effort to improve his skills on dives etc etc.

What does this mean? It means that a diver who is fast learner, keen and conscious may be a much better diver at 25 dives than your bo-chup, dive once a year holiday diver with 100+ dives. (The latter group, when coupled with the "photographer" category, can be especially destructive to the reef!)

Admittedly, gauging a diver's competency isn't easy. The most thorough way may be for an instructor to assess a diver underwater for trim, buoyancy control, safety checks, protocol and above water for diving knowledge on NDLs, narcosis etc, but this is certainly not practical for most people.

As there's a minimum number of dives requirement for PADI DM and AI courses, I have heard of some dive centres which get around this rule by getting their students to go through 10 minute shallow dives to "clock" the required number of dives.

So which is the greater evil? Imposing an arbitrary standard that only has some relation to actual requirement, or not imposing the arbitrary standard? I'm leaning towards the latter.
The Golden rule of diving - Any diver can call the dive. At any time. For any reason

Rustystar

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Coming from another high risk field, industrial rope access, operatives under IRATA (equivalent to PADI) are issued a logbook. In order for them to keep their license, they are required to renew every 3 years to maintain competancy. If they want to proceed to the next level, they need to clock in a minimum of 1000hours of rope time. Each log entry is filled up with technical details such as type of maneuvers, techniques used, duration and maximum height. Each log entry is signed/stamped by a level 3 or trainer licensed holder, with their license number.

Of course clocking in 1000hours for diving is not feasible but having at least a minimum dive time, stating depth, water conditions and type of activities done will inform a dive assessor the level of competancy a person has. Refresher courses every few years should be considered so that everyone is up to date to their skills as well as any changes to safe dive practices.

Also, a good dive group will always have rescue plans and equipment on standby should the unexpected happen. Everyone should be briefed on what they must do during such events and the availibility of resources available.

Arguably, this may not go well with those who seldom dive or don't have time to spare.
Hexarmor Expert / Topside Subsea Support
Industrial Rope Access / Commercial Diving Management