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Posted Apr 23 2009 5:24pm

As I traveled home from a dive recently, I heard a friend of mine discussing about an incident that recently occurred. An experienced instructor was probably suffering from decompression sickness after doing a dive at just 18metres deep. The instructor was ill and his only hope is to get himself to a hyperbaric chamber located almost 300km up north from the incident site. The outcome depends totally on how severe the decompression sickness is and how fast they can get him into the chamber. The worst is obviously death!

As diving sport picks up pace and becomes a popular hobby, one has to realize that there are more such cases to come. Also, as diving becomes more popular, those in the industry are bound to cut corners and simplify courses in order to earn fast bucks. This then leads to more inadequately trained divers and many irresponsible trainers.

Such is the case of the above scenario. An instructor trying to cut his safety diving profile in order to earn more. This in itself reflects the attitude of the instructor and though he may be a nice individual but irresponsibility in a sport than can be fatal is totally wrong. He should be dismissed and not given the chance to train another individual.

Strangely, this was also a topic of discussion during the dive I went for. A senior diver and also an instructor noted that the syllabus for training for courses in diving has been modified so much to make it easier to attain the license. As we discussed, we realized the mark differences in the syllabus during his time, mine and a recent diver. Generally, to make diving more recreational, the diving associations have made it more relaxing. Less stress is seem to be given to the importance of safety and diving hazards and more focus given on how to dive. Maybe it is not just the associations but also the instructors who again cut corners and fear to touch the issues that may cause students to worry, and further make quick bug money. And because they, the instructors close their eyes to the importance of dive safety and hazards, those who train under them would follow and thus a string of irresponsible and inadequately trained rankings from open water to advance, rescue diver, divemasters and assistant instructors are made. Not only do they harm themselves but do not realize that they have misplaced or erased the responsibility given to them upon getting certified and place harm or possible harm on other divers they accompany.

So for those who aspire to dive, choose wisely - ask and evaluate. Assess the character of your trainer and see whether he or she holds the attitudes of a responsible trusted instructor. At the end of your training, you should be able to say that you are confident to dive safely! For those who are already diving, continue to practice safe diving. For those who train others, please have the sense of responsibility that your trainees trust you with their lives during and after training. So be responsible and dive safely!

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