The program isn't inherently evil, albeit incomplete...
Lou - Scuba/Sales Exec
July 11, 2005 at 08:03:55
I completely understand your point, and the concerns of the other professionals on this forum. I teach boating safety courses, and one of the first things that I tell new students is that the basic course is just that, and they will learn how much they don't know over the course of eight weeks. We encourage everyone to take follow-up advanced courses to gain a more comprehensive understanding of what is necessary to be safe out on the water. Our main challenge is that, at least in New York, people don't need even a basic "license" to purchase and operate a boat.
Likewise, I can see how the "scuba diver" certification might be a marketing tool that tells people that they won't need to take DSD everytime they want to go diving while on vacation. My example was just to show that the program isn't inherently evil, albeit incomplete. I guess you get a feeling similar to the one that I get when I see someone try to fend off a 30,000 pound motor yacht with their foot; or standing on the swim platform while the boat is being docked. Common sense just isn't common!
I've found an excellent diving school here. They're in business for 27 years, and are proud of their 100% accident free record; none of their divers has had a diving accident anywhere in the world. He's willing to accept our classroom and pool work for the first three modules, but insists that we repeat the first two open water dives (complete with exercises), in addition to doing dives three and four, before he'll issue a certification. He evidently doesn't want to turn unprepared divers loose on the world (or on other dive masters)! Strangely enough, that gave me a feeling of confidence in him. 70 feet under water is not the place to find out that you're not properly prepared for a mishap.
I know that I'm more the exception than the rule, but I'm still glad that I took the "Scuba Diver" course. It showed me not only how much I didn't know; but how much I could enjoy the sport, if I had more training. My new-found confidence in the water is due to the course, and my luck in finding conscientious, patient instructors. We spent what seemed like an inordinate amount of time working on our buoyancy skills, but I could fully appreciate why when we did a "fun" dive after taking the course. I'm willing to bet that I have more control over my buoyancy than most new divers with full Open Water certification.
Have a safe, enjoyable summer..........