thank you yahsemtough, for standing up for me. i see no point in further replying to markh's apparent flare-up (at least from his words). i just logged in, only to see a point-blank reply that wasn't in the least helpful.
everyone has a personal conscience - me too. but i have no prior knowledge of the "laws of the diver". perhaps i didn't make it clear enough, my group (and i) were having the dive in tioman as the open water dives leading to our OWD certification. in other words, this is our first time diving with tanks in the sea. we have no idea what we can do, and what we can't do - hence the boo-boo.
frankly, the starfish was handed to the girl by our asst dive instructor while we were on our leisure dive - i wouldn't want to touch anything underwater myself too - gosh, i can remember how slimy the sea cucumber was when the asst dive instructor gestured for me to touch it... eeelch! he later explained that he wanted us to have an idea of what we can touch or what we can't touch underwater...
as for the bread bottle that was brought down, we received no objection from our instructors apart from safety. as for this, i didn't know it's a no-no.
seriously, can any one point me to some site that has diving ettiques? it would be helpful and i could disseminate the information with my other coursemates to prevent them from doing anything like that in the future.