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#4231 - 05/12/01 05:15 PM WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
My advice after just completing my 8 wk class and not doing my OW check outs was because our instructor placed us in what, I felt, were some of the worst diving conditions to newbies - do not sign up with ANY agency per se until you go talk to several instructors until you find one that you WOULD trust your life with. My 'gut feeling' from day one was not good with my instructor, and when it came to check outs I walked away from the dive site. Visibility was less than 5 ft, there was no dive boat or hand line, it was shore entry, vis was so poor it appeared to be a cave dive - Dive Masters were NOT escorting dive students out the the floating flags at 23 ft depth. Dive Masters were being seperated from divers under water - total chaos. BOTTOM LINE - go chat with an instructor and find all this out up front - if your not at ease with he/she - find a NEW instructor or agency! Good luck

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#4232 - 05/12/01 05:27 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
Toothpickman Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/08/01
Posts: 116
I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the majority of freshwater lake dives (at least in my area) have those conditions, shore entry, low visibility, and yes there is the threat of seperation, but if that happens you do you 360 turn and head up. My agancy/instructors were not new either, their store had been established for nearly 25 years at the time and they had several more years than that of experience. Not all dive spots are 100ft visibility, and great sea life. I agree that if you do not feel comfortable with the instructor do NOT go diving, until you find one you are comfortable with, but I also want to point out that those conditions are not that uncommon in many parts of the world, and that many divers, new and old dive in them


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#4233 - 05/13/01 04:40 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
...then fresh water lake diving insn't for me...I got into this to dive in Florida like conditions, were 50 ft and better vis is often the case. I have, and never HAD, any intention of lake diving due to that reason, and reason of cold water conditions and the need for hoods, gloves, etc. I want to dive in waters that are 60 degrees or better and have much better vis than this. Problem is, agencies ASSUME that just because you want to take a course up here and get certified for when you DO go south, that you plan, would or want to dive in waters with lake-like conditions...I don't and never had.

I sport caved for 10 yrs and have been in some of the tighted and freikest caves there are; but I never one felt that my life was being jeapordized the way I felt at that dive. That lake was nothing more than a 'mud hole' - period. Thats why this sport has a high drop out rate...other instructors warned me about this 8 wks ago, and said "Why is he taking you guys there - thats the worst place he could take new aspiring divers. No wonder less than 10% of the students in SCUBA stay into the sport, and 75% drop out before the 25 dive mark."


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#4234 - 05/13/01 05:03 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
newbi2scuba Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 26
Loc: Martinez, GA, USA
You should check into having a referral to do the OW check out in Florida, if you have completed all other aspects. I have seen this advertised as an option with some organizations. Hope you can complete the course out that way.

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#4235 - 05/13/01 05:46 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scubagrl Offline
avid diver

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 11
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA
I agree with newbi...get a referral if you can! When I decided to get my PADI O/W cert (I live in Milw, WI), I found out where my certifying agency was going to be doing their O/W dives--in a dark, cold quarry! No thank you! So I did the classroom and poolwork here, and the next trip I took to the Caribbean I took my referral and did the open water dives there. Good luck, and happy diving!

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#4236 - 05/13/01 06:48 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
Whats your problem with lake diving? The instructor can't help that the lake your in is a piece of crap, but they could find another lake. And if the viz was really 5 ft, i don't think they would take uncertified divers in it, unless the dive instrutor is a piece of crap.

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#4237 - 05/14/01 12:05 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
Well daver,
they did just that yesterday...one 16 yr old girl panicked during her mask flooding skills and walked away from it...31 people were to dive...after the first 12 got done with that cove, you couldn't see their fins where they were standing in 2 ft of water...

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#4238 - 05/13/01 01:22 PM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
Sounds like the instructor is a piece of crap then.

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#4239 - 05/14/01 02:59 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
scuba1066 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/27/01
Posts: 230
Loc: Oneida, NY
As of Sunday, here’s the way things went…is this the way checkouts are supposed to go? Here’s the way it shook out…

One-diver ruptures an eardrum Saturday – instructor says, “She must have had an ear infection going on prior to this dive. Instructor then applies alcohol to students ear – naturally, student screams from pain.

One diver experiencing vertigo after the dive with ear equalization problems during the dive.

My dive buddy is experiencing the following all at once:

*Inflator on BC not working properly
*He is so over weighted that he is literally crawling on his hands and knees
*His weight belt is around his ankles
*He has lost his Dive Master escort
*He has lost his dive buddy
*Visibility is almost zero
*His dive buddy’s OCTO is encrusted with sand/mud prior to the dive from dragging it around during the dive

This is pretty scary stuff. And, this is what we KNOW of…since we both aborted the dive and didn’t go Sunday.


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#4240 - 05/14/01 10:54 AM Re: WARNING: Choose your instructor carefully!
daver Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 34
Loc: Overland Park, KS USA
Defintatly not a good dive instructor. You should definately find another dive shop in your area, and report them to whatever organization they are "certified" through. I'm lake diving this weekend with an excellent instructor. I plan to enjoy it. Hope you have more enjoyable experinces in the future.

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