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.
LIFE AQUATIC GALAPAGOS Clockwise from upper left: green sea turtle; spotted eagle ray; schooling salemas; flightless cormorant MARVI CORDOVA MANUEL ALMACHI away. To rid their bodies of excess salt consumed while eating algae, marine iguanas frequently sneeze it out their nose. Land iguanas are abundant on some of the islands in the Galapagos. Presumably, competition for food and/ or territory is what first drove land iguanas to the sea for food and led to the evolution of a new marine species. Other endemic marine species include the Galapagos penguin, Galapagos shark, Galapagos sea lion, Galapagos fur seal and the salema, which is a small striped fish often found here in dense schools. The islands’ ecosystem is strongly governed by resource availability. When productivity in the ocean is high, life flourishes on land and in the sea. When resources become scarce, populations plummet. During strong El Niños, warm water typically flows eastward along the equator. The islands of the Galapagos are bathed in unusually warm water, and upwelling is shut down by strong stratification. Marine biologist Peter Glynn and his colleagues found that because corals are acclimated to relatively colder water temperatures in the Galapagos, up to 95 percent have perished in previous strong El Niños. Populations of penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions and seabirds also suffer significant mortalities when productivity diminishes. Some experts are predicting a strong El Niño for the second half of 2015, so researchers are closely monitoring water temperature and populations. Diving or snorkeling in the Galapagos is a rare treat. After years of protected status, many of the islands’ creatures have acclimated to human presence. Rolling with playful sea lion pups or being surrounded by unperturbed sea turtles is simply magical. Rays and fish swim close by, and schools of hammerheads often encircle divers for curious perusal. And when a penguin rockets by or feeds in a nearby baitball, it is nothing short of astonishing. Although animals are protected on land and in the sea, illegal fishing and poaching is a serious issue. The Galapagos National Park directorate strictly regulates tourism in the archipelago, and a licensed Galapagos National Park naturalist guide must accompany all visitors. The system appears to be working, and for now the islands remain a wondrous adventure for nature lovers. I treasure every opportunity to experience the Galapagos and recommend it as a diving, snorkeling and hiking adventure for all. AD STEPHEN FRINK STEPHEN FRINK 42 | FALL 2015
RESEARCH EDUCATION MEDICINE 44 DAN WAS THERE FOR ME / 46 ADVANCED DIVING / 50 EXPERT OPINIONS 58 DIVE SAFETY CULTURE / 60 FROM THE MEDICAL LINE 64 SKILLS IN ACTION / 66 INCIDENT INSIGHT A sea cucumber (Bohadschia sp.) releases eggs near Koh Tao, Thailand. Sperm released by male sea cucumbers will fertilize the eggs in the water column. ALEX TYRRELL ALERTDIVER.COM | 43
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