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No surprise that Hughes wants to cuddle up to DAN...

Tim Griffith - Recreational Diver
October 22, 2001 at 21:30:14

Are you really so naive Ron or just another dive industry apologist? This is all about image doctoring. The contributions will be nickels and dimes compared to what they will be awarded in court. From DAN and Peter Hughes web sites:

DAN - "As requested by Peter Hughes Diving, DAN has established a fund to benefit the families of the guests and the three crew members who died Oct. 8 aboard the M/V Wave Dancer."

Hughes - "We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and sympathy from our previous guests and dive industry professionals who have offered financial support in memory of the fine men and women who perished."

On the surface this all sounds well and good, you know, let's help the victims in this difficult time. But this situation is fundamentally different from let's say, the World Trade Center disaster. Hughes can set up a fund and ask us to pay for his mistakes if he wants but experience teaches us that fair and appropriate compensation for the victims is a matter for the courts and insurance companies to decide.

Regardless of what is written on the waivers ("I agree I will not sue if I am injured or die because of Peter Hughes' negligence, blah, blah, blah"), there will be lawsuits (as there should be) and if Hughes was negligent (as I believe he was), there will be substantial settlements that go far beyond the nickels and dimes DAN collects from "dive industry professionals" (can you say PADI?).  The insurance company will pay millions and we will all contribute to the fund, whether we want to or not, with higher premiums. Hughes won't pay a dime--we will pay for his negligence and the Peter Hughes Diving business will continue as usual.  Nothing ever really changes after these events.

Peter Hughes is under investigation and based on the reports I have read in Cyber Diver and elsewhere, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the deaths resulted from gross negligence.  So it's no surprise then Hughes now wants to cuddle up to DAN, an organization synonymous with "dive safety". And it's no surprise that DAN is willing to attach its name to the fund considering how much money big companies like Hughes generate for their salaries, retirement funds, trips around the world and all of the other important things they are doing these days with our contributions.

Peter Hughes apologists will scream 'UNFAIR' and claim that the objective is simply to help the families of the victims. They are naive. I will not contribute to the Peter Hughes fund. To do so, endorses the gross negligence of a company that put profits ahead of customer safety. Neither will I contribute to DAN in the future. As I have already stated, there are much better insurance policies and I am sick and tired of DAN's pandering to big money no matter where it comes from.

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