Minimum entry-level training standards? How about Open Water Plus?...
Paul M - Instructor/Electrician
March 22, 2006 at 10:30:32
Scott's question as to where we should draw the line is apt. As the CDNN editorial states, there is a lot of debate about how much training we should require of entry-level divers. In my experience, the standard Open Water course works pretty well for most divers if in-water training sessions are doubled and additional training exercises are added to enhance buoyancy control and emergency preparedness. Of course there are other factors such as the innate ability of each individual student, class size and so forth, but all beginners will benefit from additional training in buoyancy control and emergency ascents.
The Open Water course emergency ascent training standards are too conservative even for the recommended depth limit of 18 meters/60 feet. And as CDNN points out, most divers are Open Water certified but they often dive much deeper than the recommended limit. My "Open Water Plus" course acknowledges that and better prepares them for real world diving by training them to do emergency ascents from deeper depths.