Connect with us

Phuket

Diving: Safety regulations in the dive industry

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

on

Diving: Safety regulations in the dive industry | The Thaiger

PHUKET: As promised, let’s dig into two of the biggest questions professionals in the industry are faced with in Phuket: “can we bend the rules to take photos on a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course” and “what counts as a ‘confined water environment’ for DSD”.

Even at the PADI seminar on March 8 (story here), which included some of the most interested and concerned PADI professionals on the island with regards to violations of regulations in Phuket, these questions were floated, with the instructors outlining ways in which perhaps regulations could be circumvented.

Before diving in, it’s necessary to understand why the questions are being asked in the first place. Despite living costs in Phuket skyrocketing, the salaries for those in the dive industry haven’t really budged in more than a decade. However, snapping a few photos of a DSD student while underwater provides an instructor with some additional revenue, allowing them to make more than 3,000 baht a day in some cases.

One such example of bending the rules that was aired at the meeting was whether or not a DSD student could be loaned a camera or bring their own camera on the dive – thus not violating the rule that states that instructors should not bring a camera while managing uncertified divers in a foreign environment.

The simple answer provided by Robert J Scammell, a PADI instructor examiner, at the seminar was, “No”. Having been an expert witness for the prosecution in diving related cases in the past, Mr Scammell illustrated how easy it is to decide on whether or not something is in line with regulations.

Simply ask yourself, if there was an accident, how would these actions appear in the black and white of a police report? Are any of the justifications used to make something an acceptable level of gray going to hold up as ‘prudent judgment’ in the court of law?

An instructor’s first priority should neither be making more money, nor should it be having a happy client – it is the student’s safety. The instructor taking pictures of a student on a DSD course, or after it, is in violation of regulations, as it puts the uncertified diver at an increased level of risk.

Additionally, handing a camera to someone who has just learned to breathe underwater and has no sense of buoyancy is just as irresponsible. If an accident does occur underwater – which has happened too often in the region recently – it would be very hard for a judge and jury to see such an action as one that would have been taken by a ‘prudent’ instructor.

That is the key, as within the industry, the underlying rule for all certified dive professionals is whether or not the actions were in line with those of a ‘prudent’ professional. So, if pictures are essential to a customer enjoying their underwater experience, an instructor is better off coordinating with an on-boat photographer and just skimming commissions off the top.

The same process of determining prudence can be applied to whether or not a dive site is a ‘confined water environment’. One doesn’t have to listen to a dive instructor griping for very long to hear about people feeling forced by dive companies and tour agencies on the island to do DSD courses in the strong currents that often rip across King Cruiser.

A closed water environment, required for a DSD course, is a pool or site that offers ‘pool like conditions’ in regards to clarity, calmness and depth – it should be shallow enough to stand in. Of course, this means DSD courses could easily be held in some of the Racha Island bays. However, King Cruiser with a max depth of about 30 meters would require an extremely tall student for it to be considered ‘shallow enough to stand in’.

“Standards for ratios and depths are listed as maximum limits. This means that you must apply sound
judgment in determining what is appropriate for training each time you conduct a course or program,” the PADI instructor manual states. This means that even if something isn’t clearly banned by the manual, such as bringing your dog diving on a DSD course, the responsibility to know that it is an unsafe idea comes back to the dive instructor.

“The PADI Discover Scuba Diving program introduces people to scuba diving in a highly supervised, controlled and relaxed manner. It dispels common misconceptions about scuba by letting individuals try it for themselves,” states PADI’s Guide to Teaching. “These participants need and deserve a high level of patience, attention and sensitivity, both for their safety and for their enjoyment of the program. The real reward for the PADI professional offering the Discover Scuba Diving program is the day-to-day opportunity to guide people through, and share with them, a truly remarkable experience in discovering diving.”

However, the tough reality of the industry is that if you turn down the work, there is always another diving instructor or dive master willing to step in for a day’s wages. So, despite individual diving professionals being fully responsible for the consequences of their imprudent judgment, change must come from dive operations, which can ensure that DSD are being taken to appropriate dive locations and instructors are paired with cameramen on the dives. This way, everyone gets a little more cash and the budding scuba divers have a safer, more enjoyable experience, perhaps getting hooked on the underwater wonders that has drawn countless thousands below the surface of the Andaman.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phuket

UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket

The Thaiger

Published

on

UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket | The Thaiger

PHOTO: siangtai.com

Officials are still trying to push on with a search for two Filipino tourists who were washed out to sea by waves at Freedom Beach in Phuket last night around 5pm. With nearly 24 hours having passed since the pair’s disappearances grave fears are now held for their survival.

Conditions have been quite rough and squally for most of Thursday. Freedom beach is also bordered with rocky cliffs making searching difficult north or south of the shores of the beach.

12 Filipino tourists were visiting the Beach, between Patong and Karon on the island’s west coast, and were playing in the shallows despite quite strong winds and big waves.

Lifeguards from the nearby Patong Beach and rescuers from the Kusoldham Phuket Rescue Foundation rushed to search for the two but the search had to be called off due to the failing light and the waves up to 2 metres.

Patong Bay Watch volunteers resumed the search this morning in two boats. There has so far been no sighting of the two missing Filipinos.

UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket | News by The Thaiger UPDATE: Search for Filipinos lost off Freedom Beach, Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Freedom Beach in much better weather

Continue Reading

Patong

Fire destroys 12 shops in Patong market

The Thaiger

Published

on

Fire destroys 12 shops in Patong market | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Siam Rath

A fire at a market in Patong early this morning has caused damages estimated at 1 billion baht in value. Five fire trucks raced to the scene at the SB Plaza on Rat-U-Thit road at about 2am. It took firefighters an hour to bring the fire under control.

12 shops were destroyed. No one was injured in the blaze.

At this stage police speculate that the fire was caused by an electrical short-circuit. It was raining sporadically last night.

Fire destroys 12 shops in Patong market | News by The Thaiger Fire destroys 12 shops in Patong market | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

Krabi

TMD issues a new weather warning for tropical storm Danas

The Thaiger

Published

on

TMD issues a new weather warning for tropical storm Danas | The Thaiger

The Thai Meteorological Department has issued another warning about tropical storm Danas since saying it’s on the move, from the Philippines’ Luzon, north and north-eastward into the East China Sea. The storm appears headed for Taiwan and likely to dump plenty of heavy rain on the way.

The storm is ‘sucking’ in moisture from the Indian Ocean across southern Thailand, causing additional rain in the southern and central provinces.

The influence of DANAS will intensify the monsoon across the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand on July 18 and 19 brining outbreaks of heavy rain to the South, the East and the lower Central regions of Thailand.

“People should beware of flash floods and water runoff, according to the warning.”

TMD advises that all ships proceed with caution, and small boats remain ashore.

Possible isolated heavy rains are forecast for…

July 18

Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Lop Buri and Saraburi, Sa Kaeo, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun.

July 19

Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi, Lop Buri and Saraburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung and Songkhla, Ranong, Phang Nga, Phuket, Krabi, Trang and Satun.

TMD issues a new weather warning for tropical storm Danas | News by The Thaiger

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required



18 ก.ค. 5โมงเย็น ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ฮ่องกง ชิงแชมป์เอเชียรุ่น U23 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล23 mins ago

18 ก.ค. 5โมงเย็น ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ฮ่องกง ชิงแชมป์เอเชียรุ่น U23

“แอน ทองประสม” เล่นทายาก ในวัยเข้าเลข 4 [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ดาราไทย2 hours ago

“แอน ทองประสม” เล่นทายาก ในวัยเข้าเลข 4 [คลิป]

18 ก.ค. 5โมงเย็น ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ฮ่องกง ชิงแชมป์เอเชียรุ่น U23 | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล4 hours ago

18 ก.ค. 5โมงเย็น ถ่ายทอดสดวอลเลย์บอลไทย-ฮ่องกง ชิงแชมป์เอเชียรุ่น U23

คลิปนาทีพลเอกประยุทธ์ให้สัมภาษณ์นักข่าวภาษาอังกฤษ ตอบคล่องปร๋อเรื่องกฎหมาย | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง1 day ago

คลิปนาทีพลเอกประยุทธ์ให้สัมภาษณ์นักข่าวภาษาอังกฤษ ตอบคล่องปร๋อเรื่องกฎหมาย

ฺBlink กรี๊ดคอแตก ลิซ่า Solo คอนเสิร์ตวันแรก BLACKPINK world tour in your area : encore | The Thaiger
BLACKPINK6 days ago

ฺBlink กรี๊ดคอแตก ลิซ่า Solo คอนเสิร์ตวันแรก BLACKPINK world tour in your area : encore

ไฮไลท์ บราซิล-โปแลนด์ วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019 รอบสุดท้าย | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

ไฮไลท์ บราซิล-โปแลนด์ วอลเลย์บอล เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019 รอบสุดท้าย

คลิปย้อนหลัง Miss Grand Thailand 2019 รอบชุดประจำชาติ | The Thaiger
บันเทิง1 week ago

คลิปย้อนหลัง Miss Grand Thailand 2019 รอบชุดประจำชาติ

ถ่ายทอดสดMiss Grand Thailand 2019 รอบชุดประจำชาติ 10 ก.ค. | The Thaiger
บันเทิง1 week ago

ถ่ายทอดสดMiss Grand Thailand 2019 รอบชุดประจำชาติ 10 ก.ค.

ชมไฮไลต์ ‘นุสรา ต้อมคำ’ เซตมือ 1 เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019 รอบแรก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล1 week ago

ชมไฮไลต์ ‘นุสรา ต้อมคำ’ เซตมือ 1 เนชั่นส์ ลีก 2019 รอบแรก

6 ก.ค. บ่ายสอง ถ่ายทอดสดตุรกี-บราซิล วอลเลย์บอลเนชั่นส์ ลีกรอบตัดเชือก | The Thaiger
วอลเลย์บอล2 weeks ago

6 ก.ค. บ่ายสอง ถ่ายทอดสดตุรกี-บราซิล วอลเลย์บอลเนชั่นส์ ลีกรอบตัดเชือก

สูสี! ไฮไลต์บอลโลกหญิงรอบรองฯ คู่ 2 เนเธอร์แลนด์ 1-0 สวีเดน | The Thaiger
ฟุตบอล2 weeks ago

สูสี! ไฮไลต์บอลโลกหญิงรอบรองฯ คู่ 2 เนเธอร์แลนด์ 1-0 สวีเดน

“คิมซูฮยอน” ปลดประจำการทหารแล้ว ภาพแรกหลังออกจากกองทัพ [คลิป] | The Thaiger
K-Pop2 weeks ago

“คิมซูฮยอน” ปลดประจำการทหารแล้ว ภาพแรกหลังออกจากกองทัพ [คลิป]

รังสิมันต์ โรมเปิดคลิปนาทีคนร้าย จอดรถมอเตอร์ไซค์ไล่ตีจ่านิว [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ข่าวการเมือง3 weeks ago

รังสิมันต์ โรมเปิดคลิปนาทีคนร้าย จอดรถมอเตอร์ไซค์ไล่ตีจ่านิว [คลิป]

เลว! วินจยย.อุดมสุขยกพวกตีกัน ไม่กลัวตร. หนุ่มโดนลูกหลงกระสุนเจาะศีรษะดับหน้าบ้าน [คลิป] | The Thaiger
ข่าวกรุงเทพ1 month ago

เลว! วินจยย.อุดมสุขยกพวกตีกัน ไม่กลัวตร. หนุ่มโดนลูกหลงกระสุนเจาะศีรษะดับหน้าบ้าน [คลิป]

ชมไฮไลต์การแข่งขันไทย-สหรัฐ “ฟุตบอลโลกหญิง 2019” กลุ่ม F | The Thaiger
ฟุตบอล1 month ago

ชมไฮไลต์การแข่งขันไทย-สหรัฐ “ฟุตบอลโลกหญิง 2019” กลุ่ม F

Trending