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 2016 Features 64 THE MALDIVES A NEW LOOK AT AN OLD FAVORITE Text and photos by Stephen Frink The 1,200 islands of the Maldives are spread over 35,000 square miles of Indian Ocean. This vast wilderness of reefs and atolls features a stunning variety of reef dwellers and pelagics both great and small. 72 FINDING TREASURE IN THE BVI Text and photos by Tanya G. Burnett Steeped in pirate lore and warmed by tropical breezes, the British Virgin Islands are a playground for sailors and divers. The wrecks and reefs of “nature’s little secrets” teem with color and life. 78 GIANTS OF THE UNDEAD MED By Doug Perrine Far from being dead, the Mediterranean Sea is home to abundant marine mammals and other wildlife, including fin whales, sperm whales, pilot whales, many species of dolphins and more. ON THE COVER: PILOT WHALES Nice, France By Greg Lecoeur 7th Place While sailing in the Mediterranean with friends, we spotted several big dorsal fins on the horizon. No sooner had we changed course to approach them than they came to us. We stopped the boat, and I put on my mask and fins, grabbed my camera and eased into the water for one of the best underwater encounters I’ve ever had. These whales were very interested in me and swam around me for five long minutes. Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 lens, 1/160 sec @ f/9, ISO 320, Nauticam natural light housing; www.greglecoeur.com 82 DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS AND HEALTHY FOODS FOR DIVERS By Petar Denoble, M.D., D.Sc. Might certain foods and vitamins provide some measure of protection for divers? Petar Denoble explores the potential benefits of a variety of healthy foods and dietary supplements. 86 OCEAN VIEWS 2016: CHANGE THE WORLD The entrants in this year’s Ocean Views photo contest are truly ambassadors for our ocean world. As photographer Brian Skerry states in his introduction to the contest gallery, “The images we produce bear witness to the fact that this stunning realm exists.” A polar bear mother and cubs take a break from hunting seals in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Photo by Amos Nachoum 6 | SPRING 2016
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