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AD 2016 Q2

As we pointed out in the spring 2013 edition of the Alert Diver, even being a dive buddy has potential legal implications. So, to bump this up a notch, what about the diver training organisations themselves? Where do they stand? How do they relate to South African law? Are they all considered the same under our legal system in spite of the differences in organisational structures and training programmes? How does this affect their respective instructors and trainee divers from a legal perspective? These are not exactly simple questions. It is certainly true that the respective training organisations differ in a number of ways. However, this does not imply that there are necessarily differential legal implications for each of them. In fact, under South African law, the legal principles are common in all matters. Therefore, if you suffer a loss and you (or your estate in the case of a fatality) wish to recover damages, the legal principles would be applied commonly; whether you are driving or diving. Although not a frequent occurrence, there have been quite a number of law suits associated with diving injuries and damages in South Africa. This is not surprising, as the occurrence of law suits is really a function of “numbers”. As training increases, so do the chances of injuries and, with it, the chances of legal recourse. So, it remains wise to insure yourself, your equipment or your business in a proper and effective way. But before getting back to the potential differences amongst the training agencies, let’s first explore the foundational legal principles on which any civil claim would be adjudicated: inherent risk, negligence and duty to take care.

GIANT MANTA AT CLEANING

GIANT MANTA AT CLEANING STATION Revillagigedo Biosphere Reserve (Socorro Islands), Mexico By Claudio Contreras Koob 9th Place This giant manta approached the island and slowed its pace near where I was waiting. Immediately a group of clarion angelfish left the security of the reef, approached the manta and, to my delight, began cleaning it in front of me. Mantas often travel great distances to reach cleaning sites like this one in the middle of the ocean, which is a testament to the importance of cleaning fishes in the health of the system. Canon EOS 5D Mark ll, Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG fisheye lens, 1/80 sec @ f/11, ISO 160, Nikonos SB-105 strobes (2), Seacam housing; www.claudiocontreras.com EYE OF THE STORM WAVE Hapuna Beach, Big Island of Hawaii, USA By Nick Selway 10th Place There is nothing more powerful than being in the water and experiencing huge waves crashing over your head in the Hawaiian Islands. On this particular morning I went to Hapuna Beach, and the waves were breaking with 6- to 8-foot faces. This wave pitched up, sucking in all the sand and foam from the previous waves, and barreled right over me. At the end of the barrel a bit of light came in, giving the image a stormy mood. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 15mm fisheye lens, 1/1600 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 400, SPL Waterhousing; www.lavalightgalleries.com 98 | SPRING 2016

MENS LOGO PMS 877 C PMS 187 C PMS PROCESS BLACK C PMS OPAQUE WHIT C SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS: Pantone 877C Pantone 187 C Pantone Opaque White C CARIBBEAN FLAMINGO FEEDING CHICK Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico By Claudio Contreras Koob Highly Honored Both Caribbean flamingo parents care for their chicks, which hatch about one month after the egg is laid. Covered with white down for their first week, the chicks are fed a blood-red secretion rich in hemoglobin, and they grow very fast. Flamingo colonies are highly sensitive to human presence, but I was able to get very close to the nests without disturbing the birds by hiding underneath a camouflage throwover blind and crawling on all fours. Canon EOS 5D Mark ll, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens with a Canon Extender EF 2x II, 1/500 sec @ f/11, ISO 200, ground pod; www.claudiocontreras.com ALERTDIVER.COM | 99

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