7 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.


FROM THE SAFETY STOP LETTERS FROM MEMBERS STEPHEN FRINK IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING Your article “When Bad Things Happen to Good Divers” (Publisher’s Note) and the letter from Shane Gross (Letters) in the Summer 2015 issue really got my attention. I often get looks when I comment on things I see that are unsafe. I feel all divers — not just working pros — have a duty to help educate those who are less experienced and to help prevent accidents. Diving is a recreational sport, but we put our lives on the line every time we dive. I have seen divers bully their buddies into making dives they clearly weren’t comfortable with. I have seen divers who are more concerned about being first in the water than about safety. I have spoken up during such events because the crew apparently did not want to offend the guests. If more divers become focused on safety, speak up and help educate, we all benefit. — Kelly M. Lee, via email SHARED RESPONSIBILITY I missed the article “Don’t Blame the Dive Operator” (Dive Safety Culture, Spring 2015) that Shane Gross mentions in his letter in the Summer 2015 issue, but I would like to comment. I am a 78-yearold guy who took up diving late in life. Though I have attained the Master Diver certification I still prefer to stay close to the divemaster (DM). My navigation skills are still not as good as I would like them to be, especially in blue water, and I’m more comfortable knowing I’m not going to lose the boat. I agree it is divers’ responsibility to keep tabs on their own air, depth, weather and everything else that might affect the dive. However, I believe it is still the DM’s responsibility to check on the divers often to be sure nobody is trying to get his or her attention. I have dived with many DMs who never check to see if they might be needed. Although they all say to let them know when we are at 1,500 psi and then 700 psi, many never look back to check. I know I need to improve my blue-water navigation skills and need to always know where I am in relation to the boat, but I also feel it is the DM’s responsibility to make sure I am not lost, especially if I said I would be diving close by and explained why. Is this wrong? Am I expecting too much? — Gary McCoy, Carrollton, Texas HEAVY GEAR I have a minor correction to the article “Year of the Military Diver” (Dive Slate, Summer 2015). The Mark V (like other models of “heavy gear”) does not have a neck seal. The suit bolts to the breastplate with an integral rubber gasket, and the hat connects to the breastplate with an interrupted bayonet thread and leather gasket. Air flows freely between the hat and suit. — Chris DeLucchi, via email 14 | FALL 2015

Cover1.indd 1 7/21/15 3:20 PM A MAN OF HONOR In “Year of the Military Diver,” I am disappointed that Alert Diver omitted the 45th anniversary of Carl Brashear’s achievement of Master Diver, the highest designation a U.S. Navy diver can achieve. Brashear was the first African-American diver in the U.S. Navy. His advancement to Master Diver came four years after he located a hydrogen bomb from a downed B-52 bomber in 2,850 feet of water off Palomares, Spain, which led to its recovery. He lost his leg in an accident during the recovery of the bomb. Brashear was born to a poor rural sharecropping family in Kentucky in 1931. His is a remarkable story of the triumph of the human spirit. — Gary Lehman, via email SMALL CHOICES After I finished reading your cover story, “Racing Extinction” (Dive Slate, Summer 2015), I considered how I might become an “indomitable spirit” and make “small choices” that “lead to the kind of world we all want for the future,” and I came to a decision. Since I don’t eat shark fins or manta ray gill rakers, at the very least I will no longer contribute to the acidification of the ocean by flying on large carbon-burning aircraft to those exotic dive destinations advertised in your magazine. And no longer will I use carbon-burning WRITE US Tell us what’s on your mind by writing us at: THE MAGAZINE OF DIVERS ALERT NETWORK SUMMER 2015 RACING EXTINCTION ROATÁN AND TOBAGO: CARIBBEAN SPLENDOR MARTY SNYDERMAN PORTFOLIO EXPEDITION TWILIGHT ZONE WOMEN’S HEALTH AND DIVING dive boats to transport me to dive sites or use air compressors that use electricity created by burning carbon fuel or, for that matter, will I purchase any dive product (such as those advertised in your magazine) that uses fossil energy to produce it. Also, in further effort to minimize my carbon footprint, I’ll never again patronize a dive resort that serves beef since cow flatulence is even more harmful to the sea than all those other activities combined! Yes, it’s going to be difficult bicycling and sailing to dive destinations, getting by on sprouts and beans for breakfast and diving without gear. But if I love the ocean (and I do), what other choice do I have? Rank hypocrisy? AD — Steve Borgess, Wachapreague, Va. CORRECTION The black-and-white photo of Chuck Nicklin on Page 28 of the Summer 2015 issue was not credited to Lee Peterson as it should have been. We apologize for the omission. MAIL Alert Diver 6 West Colony Place Durham, NC 27705 ONLINE Send email to: All letters included in this column are subject to editing for length and content. LEE PETERSON ALERTDIVER.COM | 15

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