Outside comments, debates, chronics
You are chatting with a diving friend and the conversation turns to mutual acquaintances. “Do you know Bob and Carol?” your friend asks. “Oh yes, good divers!” you reply. We will usually refer to someone as a good diver when they are not around. We will rarely say it to their face. And it is something that we all rather hope people say about us behind our backs.
Mike Ange discuss methods of building a safer and more comfortable diver at the more advanced levels by preventing the diver from anticipating issues before they occur. While this may sound contradictory to the earlier articles in this series, in reality, it is taking those skills to the next level.
In the first article in this series, we discussed the importance of building the diver’s comfort zone and how the comfort level of the newly trained diver affects his or her long-term participation in the sport. This begs the questions: how much impact does drop-out actually have on the sport; and what can the instructor do to correct the problem?
This column is adapted from a chapter in my book, Scuba Physiological – Think you know all about Scuba Medicine? Think Again! The chapters in this book were originally written by scientists in the field of decompression research as part of a three-year project called PHYPODE (Physiology of Decompression). My (self-appointed) task was to rewrite their sometimes-complex research in a form accessible to all divers.
Is diving safe? This is a question as old as the sport itself and the potentially accurate answers fill an entire spectrum of responses. Over the past 17 years, I have studied this question intently, publishing numerous case studies and articles in addition to several books. In the last third of that period, this study was for the purposes of an academic paper in a degree program. Here is the definitive answer: It depends.
At the end of my article in the previous issue, I referred to the fact that developing technologies, expanding markets and customers with different backgrounds and expectations have presented diver training agencies with challenges as well as opportunities. One major challenge has been to adapt training programmes to a changing world, while endeavouring to maintain the structures and paradigms that have been in place for over 50 years.