Negligence is an underlying dark side to the diving industry. Tec Clark highlighted this in his talk at this year’s DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida.
Clark, the associate director of scuba diving at Nova Southeastern University, states that negligence is causing new divers to be inadequately trained. This is primarily due to instructors cutting corners such as abbreviated training and a “weekend certification” mentality. This corner-cutting is causing more accidents to happen, some fatal, which is causing instructor liability premiums to skyrocket.
Clark’s talk was geared toward diving businesses, but what does this mean for potential dive students who are seeking the best and safest training to make them a better diver? DeeperBlue.com sat down with Clark to get his thoughts on how students can advocate for themselves when it comes to seeking the best training. He gives the following advice:
Students should not seek training based on price alone. In fact, it is better for students to seek the longest training possible. As a former dive accident investigator, Clark says there is an inverse correlation between longer training and fewer accidents.
Students should look for high-contact hours with instructors. According to Clark, some instructors allow for as few as one hour and 15 minutes total of pool training for their students. This is not nearly enough time for students to gain proficiency in closed-water environments.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to local dive shops and instructors when it comes to training. Ask about the length of training and the amount contact hours of instructors. You will become a better diver.
— by Robbie Harper