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Never had a problem...

Colin Miller - Dive Medical Officer/Surgeon
January 15, 2004 at 22:52:22

1. Sorry to say, I just found Scuba Forum and I'm not very impressed. What could be a great resource for the dive community is (from what I've seen so far) in fact a few folks making good points and a large number of people slagging anybody who dares to disagree. Too bad.

2. I've been on the Fiji Agressor (12/99), the Tahiti Agressor (01/03) and the Turks and Caicos Agressor II (01/04). All have been quality boats run by quality crews. Our group has been very happy with all the Agressor trips (Cayman, Kona and Bay Islands in addition to the above trips). Every boat has had quirks, but when they were major, we were compensated - without threatening to sue. We plan on continuing with the Agressor fleet as they've been good to us. We get personal service before, during and after the trip; there is a marked emphasis on diving safety; the diving is excellent and the company even better. I'd like to single out Piers Van Der Walt as the best boat Captain I've ever sailed or dived with. Every "organized" vacation I've ever taken (including Rugby WC in Oz this past October) recommends trip insurance and has a waiver. Unavoidable these days, I would guess. How the organization handles the actual events of a problem on a trip may vary - never had a problem with Agressor.

3. Diving is a dangerous avocation and liability is a huge part of it. Has anyone seen the articles in the 'zines on buddy liability? Yes, people are suing their dive buddies for accidents! In our group we've had several incidents over the years that may very well have been serious or even fatal, but for some luck/providence/hand of God - whatever you like to call it. We look out for our buddies and each other and do not rely on the divemaster for anything other than the dive brief. We have 'disinvited' people from our group for being unsafe divers. At least one of them was a "divemaster" - previously reported as a qualification on this forum, but a dubious one at best in my experience.

4. Regardless of what Mr. Hasson said in the press (I'm surprised he even agreed to an interview), I doubt it reflected his true feelings on any of the events. And unless someone on this forum was in Cocos and can report, I would be reluctant to reach conclusions based on press reports, unattributed statements and innuendo. Having investigated more than my share of fatal and non-fatal accidents, it's been my experience that very few people (if any) know what really happened that day - and none of them have posted here.

5. And finally, a bit of medical education in response to an earlier post about A/C and colds. You don't get a URI ("cold") from cold weather. You get it from living in close proximity to other people (e.g. on a boat) and from alterations in airway protection mechanisms (e.g. a week of diving that's inflammed your upper airways). The portly skipper may have made you uncomfortable, but he didn't make your group sick.

All IMHO, and hopefully on topic. Flame on folks!

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