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Safety rules

Diving the East coast is different from diving the leeward side. Divers who did it before know that conditions can be a bit harder on the windward side. Nothing too much, but to keep it safe we developed a set of rules. In our pre-dive briefings we tell our guests what the rules are and why we have them. When everybody sticks to the rules, diving the East coast is perfectly safe. Of course every once in a while there are people who forget the rules, or simply did not hear one or two of them. Whenever we see that during the dive, we have ways of refreshing the knowledge of the rules. And up till today, we never had a diver disobeying them. Every diver knows that ignoring safety rules can not only create a possible hazard for themselves, but also for the rest of the group.

Today we had a diver who had the opinion that the rules did not apply to her. Up to four times I made absolutely clear what she should do. Still she decided not to do what I first asked and later told her to do. For the first time I had to make the assessment: does this create a situation that directly endangers the divers? In this case I should abort the dive. Or can I take the risk and leave her by herself. Now she was a very experienced diver, so I decided to leave her on her own and continue. Since divers who decide not to obey our safety rules can create a hazard for the group, we unfortunately had to tell her she could not come on the second dive.

I am afraid she and her buddy did not really enjoy their dive. Her buddy got very upset by what happened and he used a lot of air. After 35 minutes he only had 500 pounds left. We had to swim out, do the safety stop and end the dive. It was not his fault, but still he excused himself for the behavior of his buddy.

Although the dive was short, the other eight divers had a very good time looking at the Eagle Rays, the Turtles, the Groupers, the huge Barracuda, the Green Moray and all the other stuff that makes diving the East Coast a special experience. On the second dive the hole had a special surprise for the divers. A Southern Stingray, buried in the sandy bottom. And the Tarpon, and the Morays, and the ....

Posted by Wietze Koopman on 2009-09-30


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