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 SHOOTER S H O O T E R : LAURENT BALLESTA Photos by Laurent Ballesta; text by Stephen Frink Sometimes a photograph reveals things about the photographer. That is certainly true of this image of a coelacanth in its natural habitat, taken by French scientist and marine photographer Laurent Ballesta. To me the photo reveals previsualization, extraordinary dedication and careful execution. I knew it could not have happened by accident. Ballesta confirms and explains: “I had in my mind’s eye a photograph of a coelacanth, not a fish-identification portrait (although I intended to shoot that as well) but a cover photo for my book, and I wanted to show it where it lived — in its own ecosystem. This happened to be off the coast of South Africa at 400 feet.” 96 | FALL 2015

“The idea was to shoot from a distance while a diver inside the cave with a strong dive light illuminated the cave to silhouette the coelacanth’s unique profile. The problem was that there were eight such caves in the area, and each time we went to the bottom we had to figure out which one might hold a fish. Coelacanths are not particularly shy, but they aren’t inquisitive either. We couldn’t expect the fish to come to us, so we had to find where one might be, and that took precious minutes away from each dive. We dived using rebreathers, and each dive afforded us only 35 minutes on the bottom while requiring five hours of decompression. With three or four divers searching the bottom for the first 12 minutes of every dive, we would find the fish maybe 30 percent of the time.” “In the end it took 15 days of trying to get this shot. I don’t know whether to say I captured the image in 1/15 of a second or 120 hours, which is about how much time I spent traveling to the site, diving and maintaining my camera and rebreather during those weeks. If you consider I had the image in my mind when I was a graduate student reading about the coelacanth for the first time and dreaming of photographing one in the wild, this was the culmination of a 20-year quest, distilled down to that single press of my shutter.” Four hundred feet deep in Jesser Canyon off Sodwana, South Africa, Tybo was supposed to go inside the cave to light the background behind the coelacanth, while Yanick and Florian were supposed to stay above the cave with their impressive scientific equipment and video cameras. After 15 days and 11 dives, I got the photo. The hardest part was convincing my team to waste the first five minutes of each 30-minute dive to try for this photo. ALERTDIVER.COM | 97

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