Diver training agency PADI® is reminding the diving industry that diver safety always comes first.
“Diver safety is each and every diving professional’s first and most important priority because when it’s lacking, preventable tragedies can occur,” says Drew Richardson, CEO and President of PADI Worldwide. “Dive incidents ripple well beyond the victims. They are deep, personal tragedies also impacting families, friends, and the entire global diving community – regardless of the diving organization individuals are associated with.”
“There is generally a reasonably low risk in diving when community, training course, and safe diving practices are followed, but when they are not, the severity of a potential accident will have serious consequences that could have been entirely avoidable,” continues Richardson. “While most diving Professionals put safety first, recent incidents where fatalities have occurred were not simple slips or forgetful moments. These tragedies resulted directly or indirectly from violating course standards, abandoning sound judgement and ignoring or overriding obvious and accepted dive community practices.”
To refresh the importance of diver safety being at the forefront of every business decision, course training or supervision, PADI shares the five safety points that must never be ignored.
1. Course Safety Standards and Community Safe Diving Practices
These are central to diver safety. Incident data repeatedly show that when someone deviates from these, the potential for an incident goes up. Analyses find violations cause or contribute to many diver fatalities. The lesson is obvious: follow all course standards and diving safe practices always, all the time, to the best of your ability. They work – and the data show it.
2. Safety Overlap is Not Superfluous
Safety procedures overlap and repeat, and this is intentional and necessary. No single safety procedure accounts for all variables – and those variables include inevitable human error – so multiple procedure “layers” are applied to close the gaps and help offset unintended simple mistakes or omissions. Incidents show that skipping seemingly repetitive procedures or disregarding seemingly “minor” standards removes a safety layer that in retrospect, would have prevented a tragedy.
3. Safety is Human
Safety standards and practices work when adapted to the local conditions and to the diver’s ability, but they don’t work by themselves – nor are they intended to. They rely on conservative good judgment and reasoned application. Doing this is primarily a matter of common sense and choosing the more conservative option should always be selected when in doubt. The basics of depths, ratios, equipment, or procedures are ones that even Open Water Diver students would know are mandatory, so misjudgment from a diving professional in these areas is inexcusable.
4. Safety Procedures are Dynamic
People, weather, diving conditions and circumstances vary. Technology, diving physiology knowledge and community practices change, so Standards and Procedures change with them. Stay updated. If someone finds themselves in a perplexing situation where following standards and procedures seems difficult or even impossible, chances are it’s not. In general, there’s no reason or excuse for violating established dive training Standards and Procedures.
5. Always be “On Duty” When it Comes to Safety
Diving has an impressive safety record but as a community we should always strive to continue to improve it. The actions of diving professionals must be visible and unmistakable, reflecting what is taught and following best practices without exception. A good example of this is predive safety checks, which sometimes get overlooked outside of training; yet incident data and anecdotal reports suggest that tight checks would prevent many incidents and close calls.
By conspicuously doing predive checks as professionals, the industry can encourage other divers to do the same. PADI is providing a free Download of a Predive Safety Check poster to display in prominent places such as boats, dive centers, classrooms or pool areas. Checklists are important safety reinforcers and used in aviation, surgical practice, technical diving and in diver instruction and guiding. They are a way to promote safe diving.
“When a dive instructor neglects standards, disregards required equipment or flouts established practices, they not only increase the likelihood of an unnecessary tragedy, but they can also be difficult or impossible to defend reasonably,” says Richardson.
“These actions can also void professional insurance warranties, leaving provided coverage for defense and liability in question at best. However, when you follow standards and procedures diligently to the best of your ability, you greatly reduce risk,” continues Richardson. “And should there be an incident, your actions can be compared to these standards to defend that they were proper, reasonable and appropriately applied to the local diving conditions for the divers under your supervision.”
You can download a Predive Safety Check poster from the PADI Pro Site under Course Related Documents, which is available in 14 languages. PADI Regional Training Consultants or Quality Management staff personnel around the planet are available to assist and consult where there may be questions.
Sealife Micro 3.0 Camera and Light Gift Set Popular at DEMA Show
The new Micro 3.0 Underwater Camera & Light Gift Set from Sealife was very well received during the recent DEMA Show in New Orleans. The Set is an ideal item for the 2023 Fall travel and Holiday season.
The camera is the latest and third generation of its popular permanently-sealed Micro camera series. The camera is leak-proof with no O-rings to lube or maintain, so there is never a worry about flooding the camera. Like its forerunners, the Micro 3.0 features an ergonomic, compact design with easy to-use controls and menus. The camera has a 16-megapixel Sony® CMOS image sensor and offers 4K ultra-high-definition video. The camera’s ease of use starts with the three wide Piano key type buttons that are easy to locate and control, even with dive gloves on. The intuitive camera’s Easy Setup feature quickly guides you through the correct settings based on the shooting environment, depth and lighting accessories being used.
For a limited time through SeaLife’s USA dealers, SeaLife is offering the Micro 3.0 Camera & Light Limited Edition Gift Set that will include a Sea Dragon 2000F Photo Video Light.
The complete camera and light set price will be the same price as SeaLife’s Micro 3.0 Camera regular selling price (alone). Availability will be early November through SeaLife’s dealer network and while supplies last.
The camera & light gift set will also be available in other countries; however, prices may vary depending on location.
While the Micro 3.0 takes away the fuss and fiddling with camera controls that plague most underwater cameras, the Micro 3.0 does have an easy option for fine-tuning underwater images with manual white balance adjustments and the ability to capture images in RAW format, for those that want to edit their images later. The built-in wide angle 100° lens allows the diver to get close to the subjects while still keeping everything in the picture. The Micro 3.0 offers WiFi sharing ability, so you can wirelessly preview, download, and share pictures & videos to a smart phone or tablet with the free Micro 3+ app available at Google Play or Apple App stores. The Micro 3.0 “Explorer” Gift Set includes the Micro 3.0 camera, the Sea Dragon 2000F photo/video light, Flex-Connect Micro tray and Grip, light battery & charger, wrist strap, USB adapter, 3’/90cm USB cable, camera pouch & lens cap.
Find out more at www.sealife-cameras.com/micro-3-0-sets.
Dive into Festive Fun With PADI
Marina Scuba School’s Santa Splash Discover Scuba Experience
Join the festive fun at Marina Scuba School’s Santa Splash on the 16th of December in Crosby. While the real Santa may be busy, Marina Scuba School’s staff members will be dressed up in festive attire for a 2-hour DSD with a Christmas twist.
Open to adults, families, and children over the age of 8, this festive dive is jam-packed with Christmas treats.
The festive fun begins at Marina Scuba School, where you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and some delicious Santa snacks. During the 2-hour Discover Scuba Diving session, you’ll have the chance to learn essential skills required for scuba diving, all while searching for some Christmas goodies hidden beneath the surface.
This holly jolly dive experience takes place on the 16th of December in Crosby and only costs £40 per participant.
To book this exciting dive contact the dive centre by email: email@example.com
Vobster Quay in Bristol is thrilled to announce the return of the Vobster Santas, a spectacular yuletide diving event that promises to make waves for a cause. This festive fun is open to all levels of divers and invites participants to don their Santa gear and dive into the holiday season in style.
Scheduled for the 10th of December, the gates to Vobster Quay will open at 7:30 am, with a comprehensive dive brief at 09:30 am, leading up to a mass dive at 10:00 am. The goal? To surpass the previous record of 185 Santa divers in the water simultaneously, promising a visually spectacular and undoubtedly jolly spectacle.
Vobster Santas isn’t just about the joy of diving; it’s a mission with heart. The event serves as a vital fundraising opportunity for two esteemed charities, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Help for Heroes. Both hold special significance for Vobster Quay, and participants are encouraged to secure sponsorships through JustGiving to support these worthy causes.
Since its inception, Vobster Santas has successfully raised over £40,000 for these charities. This year, the bar is set higher, and Vobster Quay is committed to leading the charge. To kick off the fundraising efforts, Vobster Quay has generously donated £1000 to each charity, igniting the holiday spirit of giving.
For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to download the event poster, visit: Vobster Quay – VOBSTER SANTAS 2023
Photos: Jason Brown
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