The issue of responsibility has certainly been my kick lately and I’m really not sure what brought it up, probably listening to people shirk responsibility in everything. No longer is a traveler responsible for anything that happens when they travel. Blame it on the travel agent. No longer is a parent responsible for his child. Blame it on the teacher. No longer is an individual responsible for contributing to society. Blame it on the government. And therefore…by extension… no longer is a certified diver responsible for any part of the dive experience. Blame it on the instructor, dive guide, resort, whoever will accept it.
So I am here to stop the buck passing and remind all of us as certified divers what we are responsible for and to become accountable. While I may be a dive professional I am also a “diver on the dive boat” and therefore have the same responsibility for all the things listed below.
1. Proper Training for Scuba Diving
Your instructor is responsible for teaching you the skills you need to be an independent and qualified diver. However, as the student you have to decide that you are comfortable with your mastery of the skills. If you are not confident in your abilities, ask your instructor to teach you until you are confident to a level where you can go out diving without them.
2. Continuing Education for Scuba Diving
Your open water certification is a license to learn. Like anything, practice and education make you better and more confident. You are not going to be taught to dive in every environment and condition in your beginning course. And it is not the responsibility of some random Dive Master on a dive boat to teach you. You are responsible to be trained for the environment in which you choose to dive. If you are out of touch with diving for a long period of time, do a refresher. You’ll be more confident to jump back in that big beautiful ocean.
3. Fitness For Scuba Diving
You are responsible to stay at a fitness level to be able to dive safely. You can endanger other divers as well as your guide if you need to be rescued due to your lack of fitness. Get thee to the gym. (Here is an update….PADI has a specialty course on fitness for divers I literally found out about 10 minutes ago), and here is a link www.scubafit.com/padiscubafitdiver.html. Check it out!
4. Gear For Scuba Diving
This is a big one. We all realize diving is gear intensive but sometimes we forget that we are responsible for not only bringing it but for it’s condition and maintenance. Have your gear serviced regularly and then dive with it in a pool before you schlep it across the world only to find out the tech missed something. Keep a checklist of your gear to be sure you bring everything with you on a dive vacation. Remember that you are responsible to have all of your gear on the boat even if the dive resort “takes care of it” for you. While the dive shop has a duty of care to fill your tank all the way, you are responsible to check the tank, that your weight pockets are in your BCD before you enter the water and that you have both fins and your mask.
5. Your Dive Buddy
When you choose a dive buddy, you have taken on a responsibility to aid and assist as well as stay with your buddy. As a buddy team, you decide what form and to what extent that will be. Take this responsibility seriously.
And….BONUS! Here is some extra responsibility for you!
We are all responsible to look after the health of the ocean, it’s inhabitants and it’s reefs. Please be kind.
To Your Adventures!