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Carnival Pride - possible death ashore in Grand Turk


CPWhittingham

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What is discover divers..is that like SNUBA???

 

No, it's not like SNUBA. It's a discover scuba course where you get an introduction to scuba in what should be a confined environment (i.e., not the open ocean). Typically, the students would be in no more than 15 feet of water in an area such as a protected cove. However, I've read of a number of discover scuba excursions that are being conducted in water that is too deep and in conditions that are not safe for uncertified divers. There also should be a very low ratio of student divers to instructors, ideally no more than two dives per instructor.

 

We've been discussing this incident on scubaboard and on another discover scuba excursion earlier this year, the same operator used a ratio of 4:1. If there really were 16 students in the water on this latest excursion, then it was a tragedy waiting to happen.

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There are a way or two that they wouldn't necessarily also be cousins. If his cousin has a biological parent and step parent that are considered the op's aunt and uncle, but a separate biological parent who is also the cousin's brother's biological parent with another separate biological parent? Or something along those lines.

 

That being said this posting has me a little bit worried and I feel horrible for that boy's family. We were planning on doing one of the Discovery Dives? when we cruise in September, but neither of us has ever actually dived before. The post online I found said they were very safe, but I'm not sure how I feel about it now. My husband really wanted to go though...

 

 

Discover Scuba can be done very safely, but personally, I wouldn't do it on a cruise excursion. I've helped my boyfriend (PADI Master Instructor) with a couple of classes as part of my divemaster training. He does one-on-one training in a safe, protected area in the Sea of Cortez at San Carlos, Mexico. The cruise excursions that I've observed have always had many more students and not enough instructors, as far as I'm concerned, to be truly safe.

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They are normally safe, just be aware of the newbie/leader ratio.

It should really be 1/1 not 4/1 EVER, Regardless of what the shop or anyone less might tell you. 2/1 works if you are in a group of discover divers that all use the 2/1 ratio. Yes stuff can still happen but the odds are way in your favor that they will not. If it does happen the leader can deal with the trouble and hand off the non distressed discoverer to one of the other buddy teams, ie 3/1 until the issue is resolved or everyone heads to the surface.

Hold the leaders hand, don't be shy.

Here is one issue that can happen to any newer diver, OW Cert or Discover, this happened to an "Advanced" diver in deep water ( 90ft.).

They had never experienced rolling on there back and having the sec. stage reg. mouthpiece higher than their lungs. The pressure difference made it seem to them like the reg. had stopped working, IT DID NOT, but it did get much more difficult to breath,ie: normal physics. A leader was forced to hold them under at 90ft. as he tried to bolt to the surface. He would most likely have had a air embolism and died in his panicked state. Safety is not always at the surface that is why you need a buddy close. Try breathing on your back in shallow water so you know what it is like, do not be surprised, this will happen to you at some point, don't panic when it does!

Something I always did when I helped out was to break up couples. New divers need to pay attention to the leader and have fun, not pay attention to their topside partner.

Something else, more for ladies ( some men ) wear a swim cap or braid your hair.

Long hair might be sexy but it will get tangled in your dive equipment. The only option at that point is to cut it and hope you like your new hair style.

 

BTW

SNUBA is more like Hooka diving ie: surface supplied air.

It has some limited advantages for new divers, the main being no gear to on your back

to worry about and shallow depth capability only, limited by hose length.

With a 20ft hose you will be had pressed to get much more than 15ft. depth., more like 10ft.

Normally a Scuba Tank is installed in a float and 1 or 2 hoses are attached to a small harness

that ea. diver wears, the float is towed along behind by the divers hoses.

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That being said this posting has me a little bit worried and I feel horrible for that boy's family. We were planning on doing one of the Discovery Dives? when we cruise in September, but neither of us has ever actually dived before. The post online I found said they were very safe, but I'm not sure how I feel about it now. My husband really wanted to go though...

 

I see you are taking the Legend, Is this when you are planning on doing this? We did it with Anthony Keys in Roatan as our first time diving and they were outstanding. We had a total of 6 with two instructors. We spent about an hour in the class room and then another hour in shallow water going through a few safety instructions prior to going on our dive. They actually did not let one of the individuals dive because they did not perform well during the instructions. We enjoyed it so much we became certified the following year.

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Sorry but IMO that 3/1 is not safe as a normal plan.

If anyone required personal attention underwater the alternate leader would then need to watch 5 new divers, that Sucks! 3/1 for a short time is doable if you gather everyone near.

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Sorry but IMO that 3/1 is not safe as a normal plan.

If anyone required personal attention underwater the alternate leader would then need to watch 5 new divers, that Sucks! 3/1 for a short time is doable if you gather everyone near.

 

I agree, no more than two newbies per instructor, and much more preferably, one. When I helped out, there were three discover divers. We had my boyfriend (instructor), a DM, and a DM in training (me). My job was to keep the students who were not actively engaged with the instructor holding on to the aft anchor line. I was the "corraller." Once the instructor had gone through the techniques with each student individually several times, and they were all comfortable and doing well, we let them all loose and we three were with them as they began doing some diving. So, it was still one-on-one.

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I think ill stay up here on dry land, thanks. If i want to see fishes i will snorkel or go to a aquarium.

 

I am sure diving is exciting and fun, but too many risks for me.

I understand completely

and if that is your level of confidence, then you are entirely justified in staying on dry land! ;)

.

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I understand completely

and if that is your level of confidence, then you are entirely justified in staying on dry land! ;)

.

 

Has nothing to do with my level of confidence. Common sense tells me it isnt a fit for me and my body.

 

I have severe asthma, which isnt recommended in diving. How can i use my inhaler underwater if i need the medication?

 

Like i said i am sure diving is fun and exciting, but i am smart enough to know when something isnt right for me and my body so i am not going to push it and hope for the best, as the outcome can be tragic as this thread points out.

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I think if we do end up doing a dive then I will be making sure we have at most a 2:1 ratio. The one I originally looked up was through Island Marketing and they said they spend an hour classroom training first and then head to the water, but I think they said they go up to 30ft?

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We were diving in Grand Turk the day after this happened and my son found a weight belt and some other diving equipment in the sea bottom. The dive operator (not through the ship - used Grand Turk Diving) said he heard there had been an incident there the day before. I am sorry to hear this happened.

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I had two friends on this excursion. There were 16 people plus 3 instructors. 1 instructor stayed on board the ship. The father of the boy was unable to get his bearings under the water so he ended up not diving.

 

So it was 4 to 1 ratio?

 

From reading the posts of divers on this thread saying more then 2 to1 was not a good idea, why would they attempt 4 to 1 ????

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I have tried to read through all these posts. So sorry for the family's loss.

 

Was there any confirmation on the dive operator? Was it a dive excursion through Carnival or privately? My DH is booked with Grand Turk Diving for monday so I was wondering. Thanks

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I could be wrong but I believe the current standard of practice calls for a max of 4/1.

IMO that is at least 2 to many for a group discover dive, ie 2 or more discover teams of 2/1.

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Yes, it was the Carnival excursion, contracted to Oasis Divers.

 

I once made the mistake of booking an excursion, assuming that since it was Carnival-sponsered, it would be safe. A busload of people and two guides, hiking over trails that were damp (it had been raining) and barely wide enough to use at some points (straight up on one side, straight down on another). Instead of staying together, the group got split up. 1 guide had about four people, 1 guide had the rest. I was in the rest, and when I started getting sick, the guide tried to talk me into continuing. I was actually worried for my health (dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness), and I wasn't about to continue going further, knowing that that would just be that much further having to hike out. I ended up talking my group into continuing without me, knowing that the smaller group would come back along. They eventually did, but the guide did not stop to check on me, or wait with me for my group to show back up.

 

Someone else on that excursion complained to the Shore Excursion desk about how unsafe the excursion was. I was surprised to get phone calls checking on me. I recently looked to see if that excursion was still listed on Carnivals website, and I didn't find it.

 

Point is - don't get lulled into a false sense of security just because it's sponsored by Carnival. I cannot imagine the sorrow that this family is suffering right now, and my thoughts are with them.

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I was on a SCUBA dive in Cozumel, I had my certification for two years prior to this trip. ANYWHO I was chatting with the other divers, among them there were several with more experience than me, and a couple with less, and ONE who had been certified right before the cruise.

 

ANYWHO, our first dive went fairly well, until we were ascending, the gentleman who had been certified right before the cruise blew past our safety stop (since we went around 100ft down it is ENTIRELY necessary) He did not have any MAJOR issues, but he did get some really bad nose bleeds and was told not to dive again that day...

 

The company that we dove with was booked through the cruise line, and they told us multiple times that we NEEDED to do the safety stop. I am sure the person diving maybe had some issues that were not related to skill, but there are times where someone may not quite listen to all directions.

 

It is unfortunate either way, and my best wished go out to the diver, the family, and to the other families of the divers that had perished due to diving incidents.

 

Diving is dangerous, when you have a tank strapped to your back an you are 50+ feet underwater, things can happen.

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