The dive industry is dismayed at the number of diving fatalities that have occurred in New Zealand during the last three months; a total of nine! At one point the numbers were higher than the road toll for a single month.
Diving is a safe sport. There are simple rules to follow. These rules become second nature to a diver if they regularly dive and become comfortable in the water’s environment.
It’s a bit like learning to drive a car. After a while the complexities of driving a motor car in traffic become automatic. Most of us barely know we have flicked the blinkers on to turn a corner!
One of the dangers an experienced diver can fall into is that they become a bit too automatic. An attitude of been there done it all can seductively creep into a diver’s pre-dive routine. Put simply: they become slack. They also can become slack re: the maintenance and servicing of their gear.
Another issue is that they may not have dived for more than a year or so and although they are experienced they will be a bit rusty – maybe like their dive gear? They should adjust their whole dive procedure to factor in this diving inactivity. They should also factor in dive location and prevailing conditions.
Often overlooked is: are they physically FIT to dive? Have your scales gone way north, and was the last jog you did to grab a cold beer from the fridge?!
New divers are naturally cautious re: their first diving adventures. These divers need to ensure they are with divers who know that they are new to the sport. The more experienced divers should adjust the dive to suit the new diver’s ability. But what can happen is that a new diver gets all excited about the dive and just does not raise their hand and say, “Hey guys, I’m not comfortable about doing this dive”.
Experienced divers should quietly observe a diver that they have not dived with before and not be afraid to ask a few questions about how the diver is feeling, etc. Unfortunately, this simple conversation often does not happen unless the diver is with a very careful experienced diver, or professionally-run operation that is overseeing the dive and has in place, at the least, a qualified Divemaster.
Turn to pages 50–51 to read further comments on this complex subject and please do send me your comments.
It’s all happening again at the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show on 12–15 May at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane, Auckland. Our team look forward to meeting all of you who can make this, your annual chance to catch up and renew your subscription. Once again, Oceandry are kindly providing a $1000 voucher to one lucky subscriber!
We have a fun People’s Choice Photo Competition this year. You could win a trip for two to Vanuatu! Check out all the details with the Vanuatu Tourism representatives that will be there on our stand. Also present to answer all your questions is a representative from Indonesia’s awarding-winning dive resort Wakatobi – check out page 24.
See you at the show at Hall 1, Stand 170!
Dave Moran, Editor.