I could not agree more (with CDNN's editorial)...
John T. O'Connell - AOW/Attorney
June 9, 2005 at 10:48:13
I recently read your article "PADI 'Scuba Diver' Course: Unsafe At Any Depth." I could not agree more with your sentiments.
I am an advanced open water diver and have been litigating scuba diving injury cases for the past ten years. I got my start trying scuba diving cases in Hawaii. A represented the estate of a man on his honeymoon who took the advertised Discover Scuba Diving course and embolized. I could not believe that what took me 20 hours of pool time, twenty hours of instruction and several supervised open water dives could be learned on the way out to a dive site. I could not understand how six novice divers could be adequately supervised by a single dive instructor. I could not believe that potential divers are not told that their life could end if they took a full breath of air and ascended four feet. Selling dive equipment that sits unused in a closet seems to be more important than safeguarding the lives and safetu of the public.
While we were succesful in our lawsuit I can not say the same of others who have fallen victim to mass marketing campaigns. I have to blame this largely on a release that all must sign prior to entering the water. Any release that absolves any organization or individual for their own negligence has to be, in my view, abrogated as against public policy.
I appreciate your views and hope that many take heed of its warning.