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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.

RESEARCH, EDUCATION &

RESEARCH, EDUCATION & MEDICINE EXPERT OPINIONS humiliating for him. Had we known about his autism we would have provided him with his own private instructor who had experience teaching children with autism. Parents should be aware, however, that not all dive operators have experience working with children. Adequate oversight should not be taken for granted. I recommend that parents ask dive operators the following questions before their children go diving: • Is a first aid kit and oxygen unit on board or nearby? • Is a radio or cell phone available? • Are all staff divers current and active divemasters or instructors? (Don’t hesitate to ask to see their C-cards.) • What are the depths and conditions of the dives? (Make sure the child won’t be diving deeper than what is recommended for his or her age.) • Do any of the instructors have training or experience working with kids? • Does the boat have a safety tank, dropline and dive flag on board? Parents should request a refresher course for children who have not been diving in 12 months, and they should not hesitate to ask that a divemaster accompany them if they aren’t comfortable diving alone with their child. AD MEET THE EXPERTS David Charash, D.O., CWS, FACEP, UHM, is medical director of wound care and hyperbaric medicine at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut. He is a certified diving medical examiner as well as a DAN Referral Physician and DAN Instructor. Dr. Charash lectures locally and nationally on dive safety and dive medicine. Thomas March, M.D., a practicing pediatrician for 30 years, has a special interest in developmentally and behaviorally challenged pediatric patients. A diver for more than 35 years, he has special training and interest in administrative medicine and fitness-to-dive evaluations. Simon Mitchell, MB, ChB, Ph.D., FUHM, FANZCA, is a physician who is widely published in his specialist fields of anesthesiology and dive medicine. Head of the department of anesthesiology at the University of Auckland, he is an avid technical diver, a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the 2015 DAN/ Rolex Diver of the Year. Margo Peyton, MSDT, is a scuba educator, member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and the founder and director of Kids Sea Camp, through which more than 5,900 young people have learned to dive. Each year roughly 1,200-1,600 students dive with Kids Sea Camp, which has a perfect safety record. David Wakely, FRCEM, FRCS, MBBS, BSc, Dip IMC, EDTC-II, is a consultant in emergency medicine as well as wound care and hyperbaric medicine at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Bermuda. He also is a dive medicine consultant for the Bermuda police and government and a dive instructor who works extensively with children. STEPHEN FRINK 56 | FALL 2015

Respond Smarter With DAN First Aid Training Programs An Educated Diver Is a Safer Diver Whether you find yourself on the scene of an accident or witnessing a health-related emergency, chances are you will be involved in a crisis situation at some point in your life. Developed by medical experts, DAN’s first-aid courses will make sure you are prepared to help. Respond smarter, and explore our course offerings. n Basic Life Support: CPR and First Aid n First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries n Neurological Assessment n Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries n Diving Emergency Management Provider DAN.org/TRAINING

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