2 weeks ago

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.


IMAGING OCEAN VIEWS 2016 B Y B R I A N S K E R R Y C H A N G E Since the advent of photography, mankind has recorded nearly every important historical event through still frames. When we think of the U.S. Civil War, the Kennedy assassination or the moon landing, we visualize photographs. This is the way the human brain works — even when we think of motion pictures or video, we see individual still frames in our mind’s eye. Humans are visual creatures. Tens of thousands of years ago people painted pictures on cave walls to record the things they witnessed in their lives and the things that mattered to them. But photography captures a moment — a brief, fleeting scene that would otherwise vanish in an instant. And in the image that remains lies great power. Images have the power to educate, entertain, motivate and inspire. From a single still frame we can evoke emotion. With a solitary photograph we can change the world. Since the beginning, photography has been used to honor the natural world. Photographers working in far-off, exotic locales or in their own backyards share images in a collective celebration of our planet. They show us things we have never seen before and inspire us to see familiar things in new ways. This year, 2016, marks the centennial of the National Park Service, caretakers and protectors of the U.S. national parks. Called “America’s best idea,” national parks were created in large part because a photographer named William Henry Jackson accompanied the Hayden Geological Survey to America’s West in 1871 and returned with stunning images of places many people had believed were only myths. When JELLYFISH WITH TREVALLY Alor Archipelago, Indonesia By Eric Madeja 11th Place SURFING PYGMY DEVIL RAYS Ixtapa, Mexico By Carol Brooks Parker 12th Place I came across this rarely seen jellyfish on a dusk dive in Indonesia’s Alor Archipelago. The trevally was very protective of its companion and bit me on the hand multiple times before retreating to hide within the jellyfish’s mantle. Rough seas made this split-level shot a challenge, but the overcast sky added a dramatic element to the image. Nikon D300, Tokina AT-X 107 AF DX 10-17mm fisheye lens @ 10mm, 1/125 sec @ f/18, ISO 400, Sea & Sea YS-250 strobes (2), Sea & Sea MDX-D300 housing; During a trip along Mexico’s Pacific coastline we stopped in Ixtapa, which possesses a beautiful curving beach. The surf rolled in, backlit by the early morning sun, and I was startled to see the rays gliding in the breaking waves. With the sun behind the clear aqua water, the rays appeared suspended as if behind the glass of an aquarium. I was shooting hand held, and I kicked up the shutter speed to freeze the action. Nikon D4S, Nikon AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 ED zoom lens @ 400mm with a circular polarizing filter, 1/1000 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 400, hand held; 86 | SPRING 2016

T H E W O R L D Congress saw the images, they took action and created Yellowstone National Park in March 1872. Although we live on a water planet, the majority of the population is not divers. Thus underwater photography plays a vital role in sharing what we as divers know: Earth’s oceans are magnificent and must be protected. The images we produce bear witness to the fact that this stunning realm exists. Though few will ever experience it personally, what lies beneath the waves matters immensely to all who live on land. As underwater photographers, we are explorers and ambassadors. We travel to places with a camera in hand and return with images that enlighten. Underwater photographers reveal a netherworld to celebrate sharks and shrimp, dolphins and damselfish and so much more. Underwater photographs speak for those that have no voice and for places that might seem to be mythical. Photographers holding cameras have before them a limitless palette with which they create. They share through photography that which matters to them — the things about which they are passionate. And passion is contagious. Most of us begin making pictures for no other reason than our personal enjoyment, but inevitably the pictures reach others and effect change. Our friends, family and colleagues are educated, entertained, motivated and inspired. And with that, we change the world. MAURICIO HANDLER SPOTTED DOLPHINS Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica By Juan José Pucci Highly Honored JUVENILE ELEPHANT SEAL AND KING PENGUIN Gold Harbour, South Georgia Island By Jayanand Govindaraj Highly Honored I have traversed this gulf many times and always hoped to encounter the pods of spotted dolphins that come here to feed but had not had any luck. While traveling to a nearby hotel for a photography assignment, a pod of dolphins suddenly appeared and played around our boat just long enough for me to take a few shots. That brief moment was magical for me. Nikon D810, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, 1/1000 sec @ f/8, ISO 800, hand held; While I was on a trip to South Georgia Island in January 2014, Gold Harbour was full of juvenile male elephant seals lying in heaps, moulting and mock fighting. The weather that day was dreary, and a light snow was falling. Neither the seals nor the penguins were afraid of humans and would allow us to get quite close. Before I photographed this seal, I noticed the penguin coming, so I waited until it was in the frame to take the shot. Nikon D800E, Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR lens @ 200mm, 1/800 sec @ f/8, ISO 640, hand held; ALERTDIVER.COM | 87

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