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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.

CONTENTS Spring

CONTENTS Spring 2016 Wire-coral gobies such as this one in Fiji are widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea, often found in pairs on the same branch of wire coral. Photo by Jan Andrews Departments 10 From the Safety Stop 16 Dive Slate 30 Encounters 32 Dive Fitness 34 Local Diving 38 Life Aquatic 41 Research, Education and Medicine 42 DAN Was There for Me 44 Advanced Diving 48 Expert Opinions 52 Safety 101 54 From the Medical Line 58 Skills in Action 60 Incident Insight 104 Water Planet 106 Member to Member 108 Gear 112 Parting Shot 8 | SPRING 2016

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