Scuba Diver cert vs Open Water Diver cert, and the start of a solution...
Morgan D'Antonio - Rescue/Master/Engineer
July 18, 2006 at 09:30:13
Greetings All, I'd like to address two things today. First an answer to Sandy's question of July 11, 2006 and secondly to propose a solution to the 'problem' of the Scuba Diver certification.
First, for those not aware, PADI is offering a cert called "Scuba Diver" which is different from "Open Water Scuba Diver" in that the person is not qualified/trained to dive without professional supervision. It's a shorter course, with fewer dives, and the obvious potential problem is that it's putting under-trained people into the water. (Read the CDNN editorial for details.)
Now let's start discussing solutions! Two words. Peer Pressue.
How often does a non-diving friend ask you about diving? How often do you encounter newbies with only minimal (e.g. OWD) certification? Do you take the opportunity to recommend the better courses and continuing their training??? I hope so!
It isn't enough to have instructors tell students to seek further training. It should be part of the diving community's culture. We are millions of voices. And if we always try to stay positive, we can influence millions more to join us.
Every level of diving comes with restrictions. Let's always encourage those with less training and skill to seek more, and politely ask those with more to show us what they know.
p.s. I've had training from PADI, SSI, and NAUI. In each case I've had buddies who were higher certified and more trained, and yet still IMHO dangerous. Know your own risk limits and just say NO when you aren't 100% certain.