Jump to content
stewsmith

a question for dive instructors

Recommended Posts

iI was on a trip a few weeks back and one partiluar diver was absolutely terrible with bouyancy and in general had very bad diving skills. Her health and fitness to dive was very questionable also. This raised a topic for discussion over a few sun downers one night. Do PADI and other agencies allow instructors/guides to retain cert cards from divers until they can provide a diving medical certificate to say that they are fit to dive. I have never heard of this, but thought in certain situations that it would be a good thing to be able to do. Once the diver can provide this document, then the diving agency would send them back their cert card.

 

stew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably Stew, But as the dive instructor is essentially being paid by the client it ain't going to happen.

 

Dive training is now a money making business - period.

 

When I was trained (OK - back in the dark ages) it was a condition to provide a medical cert before training commenced.

 

Those days are gone - most everyone 'self certifies' now, right up to and including TriMix cert.

 

We have all witnessed the gobby 'I am a great diver' on live aboards that then proceed to tear up the scenery,

often they are at best given a polite reminder by dive guides, or at worst ignored.

 

My buddy had one by the throat at 25m a couple of years back and was shaking him for trashing a fan coral that must have been 100 years old. To be fair he

seemed to have got the message.

 

Again these are paying customers.

 

And we photographers are not immune - I once saw one that had to be steered into position by TWO dive guides - and she had the brass whotsits to tell me later how great she was in the water.

 

Paul C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Her health and fitness to dive was very questionable also. Do PADI and other agencies allow instructors/guides to retain cert cards from divers until they can provide a diving medical certificate to say that they are fit to dive. I have never heard of this, but thought in certain situations that it would be a good thing to be able to do. Once the diver can provide this document, then the diving agency would send them back their cert card.

 

stew

 

Before diving with a PADI dive centre, divers should be required to complete a medical questionnaire. If you answer yes to any of the questions, the centre should usually require you to get a medical certificate to say you are fit to dive. Without the medical certificate, the dive centre shouldn't let you dive. And, ultimately, even with a certificate a centre can refuse to take you as a customer if they think, for whatever reason, you're not fit to dive. Not sure how often that happens, though! But I can't think that a instructor would retain a cert card - that would be inappropriate. The cert card only says that the diver has been certified as adequately executing the skills required of the certification level. It doesn't mean a diver is fit (medically) to dive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all,

 

I can clarify some of this...!

 

PADI require all divers to complete a medical statement prior to receiving any in water (confined or open) training. This statement (and I'm sure most of you have filled one in!) consists of a series of yes or no questions. If any responses are positive, or if the would-be participant is uncertain then they MUST obtain written clearance from a doctor prior to any in-water training. Any medical clearance is valid for one year, assuming there is no change in the medical circumstances. There is no requirement for an individual to complete any form of medical screening if they are not involved in training-PADI are a diver training agency, and what people chose to do is up to them. Saying that, many reputable centres do require people to complete a medical statement, and you can argue that this represents best practise.

 

As regards certification at any all levels within PADI, an individual is only certified when they have completed all the performance requirements for the course in question. Hence you would not withhold certification (in fact you cannot) if someone cannot complete a given courses performance requirements-you simply wouldn't issue it! Certification is just proof of training received, it is up to any individual dive operation to seek additional information via a log book or other means to ascertain an individuals expereince, recent experience etc. PADI cannot, nor has the will to be a "police" force-it is simply a training agency!

 

Given all the above, I have direct experience of students deliberately falsifying and lieing on medical statements. In some instances this has put them and their health (and hence mine since I get to pick up the pieces) at risk.

 

"Diver training is a money making business"-well certainly some people make a living, but there is only one way to make a small fortune in the diving industry and that is to start with a large one! There are damn few wealthy dive instructors or dive centre owners out there!

 

I hope that helps-in your specific case Stew, find out who did that persons training (it will be on their cert card) and feel free to let PADI know. PADI do have the power (and do) inspect individual instructors training abilites, and ensure that they conduct things according to the relevant training standards. To say that as we instructors are being paid by the client we therefore pass them is quite frankly nonsense. I guess we could grab any diver we see behaving badly by the throat!

 

All the best-and just my thoughts

 

Adam

Edited by adamdiveruk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only reason and dive centre or instructor would ask for any medical form to be filled out is for one of three reasons:

 

1: they believe everything the certifying agencies lay down as rules to be right

2: they don't expect to be able to bring you back safely so they want you to sign something to pass the blame back to you so they can't be sued

3: they actually care about your well being and so would like to tailor the dives to meet your requirements.

 

number three happens rarely but does happen. qualifications and medical conditions cannot stop you from diving. you can always find water and buy your own equipment. qualifications (or lack of them) and a medical condition that are on most very short questionaires they give you normally stop you from diving using rented equipment or on a private boat or piece of property.

 

ps i am a little cynical when it comes to these things and believe that the agencies like PADI have gone to great lengths to make lots of money at the expense of quality instruction of students and instructors and this has eventually worked its way all the way through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

cheers for the replies. to be a little more precise i will try and explain the situation.

 

recently i boarded a liveaboard, i wont mention the name of it as i am sure most people can guess. this was not a PADI agency from what i can tell as none of the usuall medical forms were given out, the only form that was given out was one that more or less said anything that happens to you on this trip is your fault and not ours. as my wife and i were filling in our forms a woman in her late 50's sat down at our table and started mumbling to herselelf and then asked my wife and i what it meant by " diving qualification " which was asked on the said form. i replied that she was to put down what level of training that she had received and with what agency. with a grunt and a groan she replied rescue diver. oh great i thought, someone here to help me should i need some assistance. well as the next few days came and went it was obvious to everyone on board that this woman was a liability. the buddy that she had been paired up with refused to dive with her and no one else was going to let her dive with them. now without sounding nasty, this woman IMO (and in everyone elses opinion on the boat) had mental health issues,and also had physical problems. now i have nothing but praise for people that have disabilities and enjoy diving and taking part in other activities, but to think that this woman holds a qualification as rescue diver is seriously not funny. ok she might have had the qualification before her ill health and that is what i imagine did happen, that she qualified and over the years, as will happen to us all, her and our health deteriates. without drumming her down, she could only just, and i mean only just look after herself above the water.

i did feel really sorry for her and would often chat to her even though her own nationals on the boat ignored her for the whole trip. my wife and i probably spoke to her more than anyone else on the boat and it is from the chats we had that most of my opinions are based. the woman in question was suspected of having a DCI whilst we were on the trip and fortunately there were 2 guests on board that were doctors and administered oxygen and monitored her for a few days, and also telling her she wasnt to dive until she ( the doctor ) felt that she was ok to dive. it also transpired that she had no diving insurance, so when the doctor made a suggestion that she go to the nearest chamber for an examination she refused. surely in a situation like this the guides/instructors have a duty of care. which i would have thought retaining her dive cert until she had been examined by a doctor of diving medicine,

and then the agency sending it back to her.

 

stew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a lady I got stuck with about 4 yrs ago, I was told she was a super duper tech deep legend blah blah blah, she had the tickets and the gear but absolutely no idea!!! Not meaning to sound nasty but she also seamed to have a mental health issue... maybe even like she had had a stroke...

Anyways the short version was that I had to bring her up from 60m, breathing but non responsive... until about 10m when she then turned into a panicked diver and tried to bolt to the surface.

When we got to surface I tried to speak to her to see if she was ok and was lucky to get two words out of her...

 

I told the boat skipper that she should never be on the boat again let alone dive with me, she was seriously dangerous!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
she had the tickets and the gear but absolutely no idea!!!

Now that is a rhyme ! I like !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"There are damn few wealthy dive instructors or dive centre owners out there!

 

Absolutely agree Adam - in fact I will go so far as to suggest that the instructors are probably bigger victims of these agency's than the punters.

 

Paul C

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stew

when you give the long/full version it is a good idea

the lady in question might not have to go to the chamber as the symptoms can subside by themselves

but the doctors could recommend a checkup in 4-6 weeks to get the card back

and wasn't the guy in Townsville last year a rescue diver?

the football hero who saw his wife lose consciousness, then shoot to the surface only to leave the DM to go get her.

the lay person thinks a rescue diver is some Army trained pro.

far from it in reality.

But, some DM's are the greatest either.

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stew

when you give the long/full version it is a good idea

the lady in question might not have to go to the chamber as the symptoms can subside by themselves

but the doctors could recommend a checkup in 4-6 weeks to get the card back

and wasn't the guy in Townsville last year a rescue diver?

the football hero who saw his wife lose consciousness, then shoot to the surface only to leave the DM to go get her.

the lay person thinks a rescue diver is some Army trained pro.

far from it in reality.

But, some DM's are the greatest either.

cheers

 

Hi Stew,

 

I make all my students who enroll for the courses to get a full diving medical done before starting the course. And ofcourse they have to fill the PADI medical questionnaire as well.

 

Cheers

 

Shaff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do PADI and other agencies allow instructors/guides to retain cert cards from divers until they can provide a diving medical certificate to say that they are fit to dive.

 

At first I didn't understand this question. After the elaboration post it was much clearer.

 

guides/instructors have a duty of care. which i would have thought retaining her dive cert until she had been examined by a doctor of diving medicine,

and then the agency sending it back to her.

 

The concept of Duty of Care of people on the boat does not extend to other activities and beyond the trip itself. If she is mentally disturbed starts playing Russian Roulette on the boat or after the trip, it is not part of the "Duty of Care" unless the crew hands out loaded weapons.

 

Dive operations cannot "retain" or revoke certifications provided by other entities such as training agencies. If the car rental agency sees you driving up in a haphazard way, they can't retain or revoke your driver's license or driving priveleges.

 

The dive operator has the right to refuse service to this customer and refuse to accept the passenger for future trips.

 

The idea of revoking or suspending certs is a mind boggling task. I could fire off 12 reasons why it would be virtually impossible to enforce and administrate.

 

now without sounding nasty, this woman IMO (and in everyone elses opinion on the boat) had mental health issues,and also had physical problems.

 

As for mental health issues, we only required mental health clearance for those who signed up for the Ice Diver Specialty Course....in Texas.

 

I've had many students that scared me to death because of health, physical and mental issues. But I came to the conclusion I had even more students who were scared to death because of the health, physical and mental issues of their instructor.

 

BTW, this may come as a shock to people, but people lie on medical questionnaires. They lie big, too. They also lie about their childrens' health, too. They also doctor shop until they find one that signs the release.

Edited by scorpio_fish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do you automatically assume it is the instructor's (or the agency) responsibility totally? As an instructor, I can tell you, I do my best to ensure that people who shouldn't be diving for medical (or mental/emotion/lack of maturity/other) reasons don't even start my training classes - - but people can and do LIE on the applications. And people do have to take on some personal responsibility!

 

There are no requirements (at least in the US) to recertify - - ever - - so once you are certified, you are always certified. So, the woman may have been in good physical/mental health when she was initially certified. In that case, there is some respnsibility on the part of the dive boat or resort for the protection of the other divers and their divemasters to screen their guests. But, I've seen threads here and other places complaining about these screening practices - - so the resorts can't win either way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why do you automatically assume it is the instructor's (or the agency) responsibility totally?

 

because she is a paying customer, and her certification is with a particular agency.

 

As an instructor, I can tell you, I do my best to ensure that people who shouldn't be diving for medical (or mental/emotion/lack of maturity/other) reasons don't even start my training classes - - but people can and do LIE on the applications. And people do have to take on some personal responsibility!

 

I appreciate that people do lie when filling in medical forms, but if it is blindingly obvious to every guest on board that a certain individual shouldnt be diving then surely the responsibility lays with the guide. It would not work if it was left up to other guests to stop an individual from diving. At the end of the day, ( it gets dark ) ( sorry bad joke i know ) the feelings that the guests on board had were for her well being.

 

 

There are no requirements (at least in the US) to recertify - - ever - - so once you are certified, you are always certified. So, the woman may have been in good physical/mental health when she was initially certified. In that case, there is some respnsibility on the part of the dive boat or resort for the protection of the other divers and their divemasters to screen their guests. But, I've seen threads here and other places complaining about these screening practices - - so the resorts can't win either way.

 

Do rescue divers not have to keep their first aid skills up to date. I am a fully qualified first aider and i have to go on 5 day courses every 3 years to keep mine up to date. If i dont, i cannot work as a site manager, surely if first aid is part of the rescue diver course then this part should be kept up to date. I know i was referring to revoking her licence to dive rather than her rescue certification, but i find it strange that the first aid side of things would not have to be kept up to speed.

 

i know it is hard especially for liveaboard operators to have such controls, but imagine the scenario.

 

youve just paid $10,000 which is about £5 million in todays economic climate for a trip to somewhere offshore like cocos. you have a diver there with terrible diving skills and ill health who is happy to self certify herself fit to dive (and as was our opinion on our trip) your opinion on your trip, along with the remaining divers is " jesus christ, she/he shouldnt be diving " the inevatable (sp) happens and then the diver gets a hit or her health worsens. there is no medical centre near by and the boat has to head back 30 hours to land on day 3. $10,000 for a couple of dives at cocos is quite a lot to pay in my opinion.

 

As i said in my original posting, this was a subject that was raised between a small group whilst enjoying a few drinks one night and we could not come up with the best solution, so that is why i posted the topic.

 

stew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a fellow diver on a Red Sea liveaboard a few years back; she was clinically obese and seriously unfit & the whole trip ended up revolving around her as a result.

 

Our itinerary was changed to avoid RIB transfers (she couldn't get in or out of them) briefings couldn't be held on the top deck (she couldn't cope with the stairs) and meals were delayed (due to her taking so much time to arrive in the dining room). Furthermore, it was pretty obvious she had falsified her health questionnaire.

 

Several of us spoke with the dive guides about the situation but the response was "there's not much we can do about it". That surprised me, surely they have the right to stop a diver from diving?

 

R

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI,

this is quite interesting as a thread, as to what makes any one any good to dive at all. Well throught is you are only as good

as the person who trains you. I know & have dived with people who are card getters, someone who must have all the cards in their

logbook. Some of them have ALL THE GEAR BUT NO IDEA. But I also know divers who have not got lots cert cards but are very good

divers. As for fitness well I think everyone should be dive fit, that does not mean you can run 5 miles in 10mins(I wish). :):dancing:

As for first aid I hold certs for work & diving & would say that you should make sure that it is still valid, I have to go & retrain before

the expiry date with is 2/3 days.

 

Andy :uwphotog::P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I make all my students who enroll for the courses to get a full diving medical done before starting the course. And ofcourse they have to fill the PADI medical questionnaire as well.

 

Same here!!

 

BTW, this may come as a shock to people, but people lie on medical questionnaires.

They also doctor shop until they find one that signs the release.

 

So true!!!

And in the last year I have declined to train one individual with doctors signed release but with clear medical problems IMHO...

Dont want something like that on my conscience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys

he was not talking about a newbie diver

the woman was already a rescue diver so legally she did not have to do a medical to dive as she was already certified

glad to hear some of you knock back students who are "medically" fit

always wondered what happens if a person turns up hungover, or drugged up and you as the instructor wanted to leave him/her onshore

hope most of the dive shops back you on your calls

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andy

who can run 5 miles in 10 minutes?

a friend of yours maybe?

wish I could ride that fast on my bicycle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
always wondered what happens if a person turns up hungover, or drugged up and you as the instructor wanted to leave him/her onshore

 

cheers

 

The guys/girls who work in Thailand are probably the best to answer this. I have heard that you have to be able to roll a 5 skinner ( whatever that is :P ) before you can get your AOW certification out there. Only joking I actually gained my AOW out there.

 

stew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember a dive centre owner in Antigua (maybe you know him) who was clinically obese but a superb diver. On the other hand, last week I objected to being buddied with someone because (1) I didn't want to be the one who pulled his body out of the water (2) I would not have been able to lift him and (3) his BC was fully inflated at 10m (30ft) because he insisted on wearing so much lead.

Edited by John Bantin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stew

I see!

I should have done my IDC there by the sound of it.

Whitsundays was good. But the whole 40 minute dive and 200 bar max, 50 bar back on boat thing annoyed me a bit.

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guys

he was not talking about a newbie diver

the woman was already a rescue diver so legally she did not have to do a medical to dive as she was already certified

glad to hear some of you knock back students who are "medically" fit

always wondered what happens if a person turns up hungover, or drugged up and you as the instructor wanted to leave him/her onshore

hope most of the dive shops back you on your calls

cheers

 

His question solicited responses from instructors. Part of the problem of this type of discussion is that there is a clear distinction between being an instructor and being an employee of a dive operation. A dive guide or a dive operation isn't necessarily an instructor or affiliated with any training agency. The concept that they can make a determination on behalf of a training agency to withdraw recognition of said agency's certification is problematic.

 

As for hungover or drugged up customers, as well as those deemed at risk, the instructor or non-agency affiliated dive operation has every right to refuse service. Taking it beyond the time and confines of the specific situation only works while discussing it around the dinner table.

 

Imagine someone spending $5000 on a dive vacation and having someone come up and tell you, "The boat voted 8-5 that you are too fat to dive. Enjoy your book."

 

It's nice when the anecdote provides a clear cut case. But such will not always be the case. Skinny people have high blood pressure, heart disease, and clogged arteries, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Imagine someone spending $5000 on a dive vacation and having someone come up and tell you, "The boat voted 8-5 that you are too fat to dive. Enjoy your book."

 

said with so much charm, i love it !! :P

 

stew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...