8 months ago

AD 2015 Q4

This is the “not do” component. It is also somewhat harder to define. After all, who determines the duty to care and the non-compliance thereto in unique emergency situations? Still, this component is more likely to lead to a recovery of damages. Put differently, when you are under a legal duty to take reasonable care and you do not do it, then you could be held liable for damages that are directly caused by the breach of that duty. The key elements are “reasonable care” and “directly caused”. Let’s break that down, starting with directly caused. This means that the damages are linked directly to the failure to perform the reasonable duty. This is called a causal connection. In other words, there must be a connection between the duty not complied with and the damages. deep diving are so hazardous that it may well be better to only jeopardise the life of one individual rather than two. That is, of course, as long as no one is put at risk during the subsequent body recovery or rescue efforts! Well, as a qualified instructor and dive leader, I shall continue to teach and advocate the buddy system. I do not like the idea of diving alone anyway. I prefer to share the joys of diving with someone able to share the memories of the dive. To me, diving is, and remains, a team sport. Which introduces another consideration: How would the principle of duty to take care be applied to children who dive? Training agencies impose age and depth restrictions on children who enter the sport before the age of 14. Depending on the age and diving course, a child may be required to dive with an instructor or at least another adult dive buddy. If the adult were to get into trouble, the child would not be expected to meet the duty of care of another adult. He/she would be held to an age appropriate standard. What about all those waivers? As mentioned in the previous article, waivers define the boundaries of the self-imposed risk divers are willing to take by requiring that they acknowledge them. Waivers do not remove all the potential claims for negligence and non-compliance with a duty of care. As such, it is left to our courts to ultimately interpret the content of a waiver within the actual context of damage or injury.


IMAGING PHOTO TECHNIQUES Collaborating with a Dive Guide Text and photos by Mike Bartick My first dive trip to Lembeh Strait was an eye-opening experience that forever changed my approach to diving and shooting underwater. I had always considered myself to have a good eye for finding unusual subjects and even took a bit of pride in my ability. But when I was introduced to my first real dive photo guides, I realized just how little I really knew. As I prepared for my first dive my guide gave a short but detailed briefing. Actually it was more of a strategy session, covering specifics such as the hand signals he used and how we would work together to photograph our target subject. This was a step above any dive briefing I’d been given in the past, and by sticking to the plan we successfully photographed my first pygmy seahorse on that initial dive. The differences between a dive photo guide, or spotter, and a typical divemaster can be summed up easily: A dive photo guide’s primary role underwater is to keep an eye open for critters and to assist the diver in finding and photographing subjects. A divemaster is mainly concerned with the safety of the group (although he or she may point out a few things along the way). GENESIS OF THE DIVE PHOTO GUIDE In the late 1980s Larry Smith took the helm of a then no-name resort in an obscure corner of North Sulawesi, Indonesia, now known as Lembeh Strait. Smith’s passion for diving and obsession with exotic 104 | FALL 2015

Clockwise from far left: A lemon goby in an empty bivalve shell; a flamboyant cuttlefish embryo; a blue-ringed octopus in hunting pose; a black hairy frogfish (A. striatus) fishing for a meal animals were already legendary when he began to train his local divemasters in the fine art of the critter hunt. He and his staff began to explore the area for new dive sites, and he soon realized the new dive staff had a natural talent for finding the critters. The news soon spread, and Smith’s efforts began to be noticed throughout the dive community, particularly among underwater photographers. Soon the resort was buzzing with photographers, all clamoring to get images of these seemingly new and rare critters of the strait. With hard work and dedication he and his crew carved out an entirely new niche in the dive industry now known as “muck diving” and established the role of the dive photo guide. Today, finding the right guide has become an important consideration for underwater photographers. It’s been said, “It’s not the dive site, it’s the dive guide on the site” that makes a dive come to life, and that has definitely been my experience. GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR COLLABORATION Preparation is key to getting the most from your guided experience. Knowing the possible subjects and creating a list before your trip of what you would like to see or photograph is a great way to start. There is a Holy Grail of exotic macro life specific to any destination, and the guide will already know what the marquee subjects are. One thing your guide won’t know is what your portfolio already has in abundance. So if longnose hawkfish are redundant to you, let your guide know. Or if you truly covet a photo of a blue-ringed octopus, likewise tell your ALERTDIVER.COM | 105

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