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.


DIVE SLATE 22 OVERFISHING AIDS SPONGES, HURTS CORALS ON CARIBBEAN REEFS 24 AT THE BOUNDARY OF CREATION / 28 DAN MEMBER PROFILE 30 TRAVEL SMARTER, DAN EDUCATION SPOTLIGHT / 31 CALENDAR OF EVENTS MICHAEL BARNETTE MICHAEL BARNETTE EVAN KOVACS Back to Britannic By Michael C. Barnette For experienced technical divers, the Britannic is the quintessential wreck dive. This Olympic class ocean liner is the sister ship of perhaps the most famous vessel in history: RMS Titanic. Unlike the Titanic, Britannic never carried passengers on the transatlantic route. Instead, the British government employed it as a hospital ship with the outbreak of World War I. In the course of that service, it struck a mine deployed by the German submarine U-73 in the Aegean Sea on Nov. 21, 1916. HMHS Britannic now rests on its port side in approximately 400 feet of water, less than 3 nautical miles off the Greek island of Kea. Simply put, the Britannic wreck is spectacular. Given its pedigree and the fact it rests tantalizingly close to shore, one might think technical divers visit the site regularly. But there are even greater hurdles to exploring the wreck than its depth. One must first acquire permission from the British owner of the wreck site as well as permits from the Greek government before even considering the sourcing of tanks, breathing gas and additional gear needed for diving operations. Planning usually takes several months or even a year. And all this is easier said than done. Having participated in a previous expedition to Britannic in 2006, I was well aware of all the bureaucratic and logistical issues that generally wreak havoc on planned diving objectives. It is for this reason I was a little taken aback when I received an invitation to dive this epic ocean liner from noted wreck diver Richie Kohler with advance notice of only one month. Unbeknownst to me, underwater imaging expert Evan Kovacs had hounded the Malta-based, Russianstaffed exploration and filming company U-Group for more than a year in hopes of joining them in Greece. Affiliated with the Russian Geographical Society, U-Group had been exploring and filming Britannic using a three-man submersible and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from their research vessel U-Boat Navigator for the past two years. Kovacs hoped to piggyback on their permit to conduct reconnaissance in advance of a much larger future expedition to Greece. With the apparent support of U-Group and excitement about again visiting the wreck of Britannic, we found ourselves headed back to Kea in late June 2015. Accomplished Italian diver Edoardo Pavia — driving a van full of tanks, breathing gas, rebreather consumables and other necessary gear across Greece — rounded out our small team. But because of a general lack of interaction and communication between Western divers and our Russian counterparts, we were not exactly sure what to expect upon our arrival. Fortunately, our initial meeting aboard U-Boat Navigator allayed any uncertainty we may have had about 18 | FALL 2015

MICHAEL BARNETTE Diver Edoardo Pavia illuminates the bridge of Britannic. Opposite, from left: U-Boat Navigator in Kea, Greece; U-Boat Navigator’s threeman submersible explores the wreck of Burdigala; the well-appointed clinic aboard U-Boat Navigator ALERTDIVER.COM | 19

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