Preparation: Key To Diver Competence Essay

879 words - 4 pages

Scuba Diving is a way of life for some people; but for most, it is just a hobby or sport. In all cases, these bubble-blowing adventurers submerge themselves into a magic world where life is no longer bi-dimensional and air supply is limited by how much is loaded in their backpacks. It is, indeed, a humbling and eye-opening experience, a true statement of the magnitude and beauty of our planet. Unfortunately, Scuba Diving is also an activity that has many risks, some of which can be fatal. To reduce the risks involved, prior to being certified, Scuba Divers go through a somewhat rigorous training program where all risks are highlighted and basic techniques to avoid them are introduced. Despite all efforts, dive fatalities are present every year. According to … “the most common causes of dive fatalities are drowning, arterial gas embolism and cardiac incidents” (cite). However, the root cause of dive incidents leading to fatalities is much simpler: diver incompetence.
A Diver achieves competence by following one of the training programs developed by different Scuba Diving Organizations. However, once certified by an organization, the minimally trained diver is responsible for improving those skills and keeping the acquired knowledge fresh in his mind. Experience is the best way for a diver to maintain competence and increase the skill level. However, taking advanced courses and reading different dive publications also helps to stay on track. Whenever a diver has a long pause between dives, months or years, a refresher course is recommended; especially if the diver is not very experienced to begin with. Despite this recommendation, many inexperienced divers plan dive trips without regard to their current skill level. To illustrate, Claire’s story, a deceased diver from the West Coast, depicts the importance of maintaining competence or taking a refresher course prior to a dive.
Claire was very new to diving; in fact, the dive in question was her first open-water dive following her certification a few months prior. On the other hand, Jake, Claire’s dive buddy, had some experience that was preceded by a long year without practice. In preparation for the dive, the divemaster assigned Claire and Jake as buddies and neither one of them voiced any concerns on their obvious lack of experience. However, they did express their concerns once they realized that the only instructor on board was taking a student with him and was not diving with them. Despite this, the divemaster quickly dismissed these worries, along with Jake’s problems with his rental equipment and proceeded with the pre-dive protocol. During...

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