In defense of new divers...
Brian - OW/Animator
October 31, 2005 at 16:27:05
I think it has alot to do with where they were trained. Alot of divers get certified in lake smooth, no current areas that are bathtub warm and then freak when they have to deal with the mildest of conditions.
Not all of us are like that though. My recent certification course was conducted in 64f water with surge and current. Not extreme by any means, but enough to make alot of places look like a piece of cake. Our instructors didnt rip the masks and regulators out of our mouths without warning, but we had to fully remove the mask and regulator under 18m of water and replace it. No just cracking the mask, it came off. no holding onto the regulator, we had to toss it off to the side and find it again. Though the final test did scare me a little bit with some of the divers. Alot of them had minimal knowledge of the dive tables. I know that most people use computers these days, but still they need to know what the computer is doing for them. Anyhow, I dont think we're all aweful, but I can see how some new divers are woefully unprepared to deal with any level of stresss.
As to the PADI scuba diver cert- well it has a purpose. It gets people far enough in the program that they'll want to continue. I dont have a problem with a diver center selling that course and later upgrading that to open water, but I dont like the idea of referrals. Too many potential problems. Too many new divers thinking that they have this "cert" and now they can dive where they really want when they havent even completed some of the most important training. Id be happier if they didnt issue an actual cert and they just filled the log book out for what they have done.