Editorial 126

Diving Accidents, Rugby World Cup, Oceanz

Editorial by Dave Moran

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Diving Accidents

Friday 15 July 2011 was a dark day for diving in New Zealand with the tragic loss of two divers in Lake Pupuke on Auckland’s North Shore while on a training dive.

What went wrong?

Speculation as to what may have happened has been doing the rounds within the diving industry.

For many it brought back memories of the French Pass tragedy of 10 March 2000 when three trainee divers lost their lives while under the supervision of a diving instructor. Occupational Safety and Health Service (OSH) laid charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 against the dive shop and its course instructor.

Coroner Mr. I R Smith released his findings on the 14th April 2003. Within his findings he had the following:

b) Secondly, there is the wider issue of the whole funding and qualification process for Students under the NZQA in respect of Adventure Sport. It would seem that a great deal of funding is provided for Students completing Adventure Sports Courses, with little chance of the outcome providing a real employment opportunity and that the risk factor to Students suffering from injury or death on these courses, is high. Certainly it must be acknowledged that the diving sector of these courses has had a review after this tragedy occurred, but perhaps a wider review is required to ensure that adequate qualified personnel act as trainers for the Students.

To view the coroner’s full report visit


and click on the Safety & Health tab.

I guess questions have to be asked: has the diving industry’s NZQA training standard slipped, have people become complacent during the 11 years since the French Pass tragedy?

I hope the diving industry does not have to wait another three years before the coroner releases his findings. It could be debated that such delays could be detrimental for the diving industry. If training procedures etc need to be changed that should happen soon not in three years time. It would be a double tragedy if more trainee lives were lost before a coroner releases his findings.

Rugby World Cup

For those of you who do not live in New Zealand you may not beware that
the nation is hosting the Rugby World Cup. Rugby is the country’s
national sport. Over a period of six weeks New Zealanders and rugby
supporters from 19 countries will be celebrating on the rugby fields of
New Zealand as they cheer on their teams to win the ultimate rugby
prize, the Webb Ellis Cup.

New Zealand is in rugby party mode, it’s fantastic!

At the magazine we thought how can we bring a little rugby magic into a
diving magazine? Check out the video and be entertained by rugby legends
Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan and Ric Salizzo.To view footage of this
amazing ‘event’ visit our web site or, if buying the digital version of
the magazine, just click on the link – enjoy.


– Bring It On!

For those of you who can remember, would you believe it’s 21 years since New Zealand had a full blown Oceans Conference weekend. The first Oceans was in 1976, the last one being in 1990. The internationally respected Oceans photographic competition continued till 2003. There were a couple of ‘Nights to Remember’ (1996-97). The last of the big weekends was when the New Zealand Underwater Association celebrated its 50th birthday in 2003.

I congratulate Shane Wasik and his lady Nikki and their team for having the courage to stage a weekend similar to the halcyon days of the original Oceans conferences. If you’re into diving be in Tauranga over the weekend of 12-13 November.

Scallops Season

For those of you diving in the top half of New Zealand’s North Island the scallop season opened on 1 September.

They are fat and there are plenty of them. The season closes on 31 March 2012.

If you have not had a splash yet and your dive gear has a few resident spiders peeping out at you, take them down to your local dive store so they can live in style while your gear is serviced before you jump into the briny!

For full info about the scallop season in your region visit:



Spring is here – enjoy!

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