Home Page    Contact Us    Links    FAQ    View Cart        

   Diver Communication - Part One

    When, How, and Why it is important

 

           Communication between divers is an essential part of the diving experience.  So why is it that so few divers seem to know even the most basic tenets of effective communication?  They often think that communication about the dive begins at the dive site, instead of when it should begin.  That being when the decision to dive is made.  In addition they have less than a complete understanding of how to effectively communicate about the dive.  Were you told that to effectively communicate you must have a clear understanding of the dive in question?  Including the skill and comfort levels of each diver?  And other than the clear goal of enjoying the experience were you told that communication is a critical safety consideration? (click title to expand to full article)

           Let’s take a more in depth look at when divers need to communicate.  As stated previously many new divers have the idea that communicating in detail about the dive is done at the dive site.  In fact this often results in less than ideal outcomes for a number or people.  Unless the pair are regular buddies and practically knows what the other is thinking, waiting until then often results in items being overlooked.  Most of these are minor but, as we all know, minor issues have a way of turning into major problems when we throw being underwater on scuba into the mix.                

            As an example, a recent incident involving dive buddies had some potentially serious consequences that by luck were avoided.  A newly certified diver was on their first boat dives post certification with a self described “experienced diver”.  The new diver reported being extremely nervous about the dive before even entering the water.  Unfortunately this was not communicated in an effective manner to the buddy and the divemaster.  Halfway down the line the new divers buddy experienced an inability to equalize.  Fearing damage to their ears they tapped the new diver on the shoulder, indicated a problem, and made an immediate ascent back to the boat.  Under normal circumstances this would have been the proper thing to do and both would have ascended.  The new diver stated that they then froze as they could see other divers below them but could not decide what course of action to take.  Coupled with the pre-dive nervousness; the event resulted in the diver breaking down and having to stop until they could get control of themselves and subsequently joining the group already on the bottom.  They completed the dive but the new diver stated that it was not a pleasant experience.  The new diver did the second dive with the group but was so put off by the entire experience that they have not dived since.               

             So as we can see the “normal” course of action to ascend upon not being able to clear was not in fact normal for one of the buddies on this dive.  The lack of communication regarding this situation had less than desirable results.  It resulted in a new diver having to do dives they were not ready for and did not enjoy.  Given the amount of anxiety the diver displayed the results could have been much more serious.  All of this clearly was the result of a lack of effective communication between the divers.  This is evidenced by a number of things; the first being that neither diver seemed to know how to effectively plan a dive.  This was demonstrated by the new diver not knowing what to do when the diver who was having problems ascended.  Had the divers been communicating as they should have the new diver would have known what to do.  As with many other shortfalls that seem to be seen in new divers, and some not so new divers, the beginning of this is often rooted in their initial OW training.               

            When classes are shortened to put more divers in the water faster critical items of information, as well as some skills, often get left out.  The number of questions I see on message boards dealing with basic items of information, skills, and responsibilities are a clear indication that many divers are not getting the information they need to safely conduct dives with a buddy of similar training independent of a professional.  I have to conclude that the lack of communication begins here.  The instructor is not communicating with the students all the information they need and as such they are not taught to communicate effectively with each other.  So when do divers need to start communicating?               

             In this instructor’s opinion the first time they come to an OW class is when it should begin and it should be part of every session from then on.  It should be the OW instructor that initiates the conversation and encourages it throughout the class.  Communication is only effective when all parties are part of the process.  So when an instructor neglects to get students involved in the process the downward spiral has already begun.  The proliferation of internet based courses gives some the idea that communication with an instructor need only take place for a limited time.  Admittedly it seems that in a few cases involving unscrupulous operators this is the case.  The student completes the majority of academics on line, comes in for a quick review and test, and then heads for the pool.  Here a few hours are spent quickly going over skills and then checkout dives are scheduled.  But it is not only in the on-line courses that this one way communication takes place.   On the checkout dives students seem to not know how much weight they need, are still having issues assembling gear, are not using assigned buddies to gear up, and have only rudimentary skills.  This is not an exaggeration as I have personally witnessed all of the above and worse in classes preparing to get in the water.  Once in the water they are hurried through skills kneeling on a platform or the bottom, swims are quick and short, and in a clear illustration of poor planning and communication; divers are led on these swims single file.  You cannot communicate with your buddy swimming single file!   

            So in this short series of dives the instructor has, if unwittingly, told divers that this is a time when they do not need to be communicating no matter what was said in the pool or academic portions of the course.  This has the effect of saying to them that what, if anything, was discussed previous to the dives has little to no importance.  The conscientious instructor will see to it that none of this has to happen.  Even if the student chooses to do the academic portions of the course on line the instructor can still see to it that the importance of communication is emphasized.  They can do this by initiating communication at the earliest opportunity and keeping the lines open.  Many on line courses at the basic level ask the student to choose a facility or instructor to complete their training.  This is when the actual lesson in communication should begin.               

            The smart shop will immediately assign an instructor to the student if they have a staff from which to choose.  If the shop has only one instructor as is often the case with smaller operations, that instructor will initiate a line of communication with the new student.  And once that line is opened the instructor will keep it open and encourage the student to reciprocate.  Any time there is a question or comment on the academic course the student should be encouraged to call the instructor to discuss the issue.  Notice I said call. Not text, not email, but call.  These actual conversations will form the fundamental lesson of when to start communicating.  The lesson is that when divers need to start communicating is when they make the decision to dive.                 

            This is perhaps the most overlooked lesson in diver communication that I have personally experienced.  Divers need to communicate to plan dives as early as possible.  This may mean actually beginning days or even weeks in advance.  It seems all too common that many divers don’t actually plan their dives until they get to the dive site.  Or more often they are planning their dives but do it unknowingly since they were never taught that what they may be doing is part of the dive plan.  It is my opinion that any item of information or concern is part of the dive plan. Starting with the very first thought of diving.  That little seed in your mind that you would like to dive this weekend, next week, or next month is in truth the beginning of your dive plan.  So now that we have established when the plan begins we can talk about how to communicate that plan to your buddy.               

            SCUBA is not the same as deciding to go for a walk.  You don’t just pick up and walk out the door, jump in the car, drive to the site, and get in the water.  A number of things must be considered when the decision to dive is made.  How we consider them is often dependent on a number of things that we will now look at.   One of the easiest ways to plan any dive outing is to make a list.  There is no set format for this list and every diver’s will look different.  The location of the dive may be the first consideration so that would be number one.  Next is likely to be who we are going to dive with.  Many divers have a regular buddy and the choice of who is a given.  But what if we do not have a regular buddy?  For many divers this is often the case and adds another level of complexity to the plan.               

             Now we have to decide on who we want to call to join us.  This is assuming we are not going to just show up and hope someone is there.  This can be done but it does present issues that effect planning and we’ll look at those later.  For now though let’s go with the idea that we have several people we can call.  So who will it be?  Right now we have more items to consider that can seriously affect the dive.  We have chosen a site; will it be suitable for the buddy we choose to take with us?  We need to add as part of the plan the training, skill, and experience level of our chosen dive buddy.  When we do this we may find that they are not ready for the dive we’d like to do.  So now the plan must evolve again.

 

Posted by jimlap212 on Saturday November 03, 2012 8:38 am

 

25 comments

Friday July 12, 2013 5:37 am
Posted by Ray Harasymiw as 68.197.117.116
Would appreciate receiving your diving articles. I liked what I read in Dive Communiction - Part One.
Monday July 15, 2013 1:24 am
Posted by nike air free shoes as 120.36.245.199
The debt is at 163 million pounds (U.S. $ 225 million) and the Conservatives campaigned on a promise to start cutting as soon as they were in office. The cost-cutting ax is exercised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, a Conservative, and his deputy, General Secretary of the Treasury David Laws, a Liberal Democrat. On Monday, Osborne announced that 6 million pounds ($ 9,000,000,000) of the cuts would be made, and said he would publish details of the cuts in a week.
Tuesday September 11, 2018 3:42 pm
Posted by _ialis as 31.184.238.129
My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site.
He was entirely right. This publish truly made my
day. You can not consider just how much time I had spent for this info!
Thanks!
Thursday February 14, 2019 11:42 am
Posted by free dating sites as 178.159.37.51
http://freedatingsitesus.com/
free online dating
dating sites,free dating sites
free dating websites. free dating sites, free online
dating
dating online free
[url=http://freedatingsitesus.com/]free dating
online[/url]
Monday March 04, 2019 5:42 pm
Posted by buy kamagra in austr as 131.255.97.72
Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
Many thanks
Thursday March 07, 2019 11:02 pm
Posted by Kamagra 100 Mg as 77.48.35.68
Whats up are using Wordpress for your blog platform?
I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up my
own. Do you need any html coding expertise to make your own blog?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Kamagra 100 Mg
[url=http://kamagrainus.com/]kamagra pill[/url]
Saturday March 09, 2019 2:49 am
Posted by viagra as 36.66.61.155
I think this is one of the most significant info for me.
And i'm glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The website style
is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers
viagra
Saturday March 09, 2019 4:37 pm
Posted by Impotent as 203.99.131.218
Hiya! Quick question that's totally off topic.

Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my
apple iphone. I'm trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve
this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.
Thank you!
Impotent
Wednesday March 13, 2019 8:14 am
Posted by viagra spain as 46.37.80.4
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Microsoft FrontPage 12.0.
Regards
Buy Cheap Viagra Online - Yong, viagra spain
Tuesday March 19, 2019 1:30 pm
Posted by viagralim.com as 194.44.230.138
I like what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work
and exposure! Keep up the fantastic works guys I've
incorporated you guys to blogroll.
levitra vs viagra (viagralim.com) levitra vs viagra
Wednesday March 20, 2019 10:34 pm
Posted by best essay writing s as 186.72.74.70
Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a twenty
five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has
83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to
share it with someone!
Thursday May 02, 2019 8:07 pm
Posted by ________ _________ _ as 181.129.50.154
________ "______________" _____________ __ _____ _ ________ ______ _ ___ _______
_____ ____. ____________, _ ___ _____ _______
_____ __________ __________ __________.

___ ____________ _ ______ ____________ ______ ____________ _ ________ _________.
___________ _______ _________ _________ _ ______ _ _________ __________ ________ __ ________ ____.

________ _________ _-125 ________ _________ _-125
Saturday May 04, 2019 3:19 pm
Posted by ________ _2_-315_ as 177.207.242.100
________ "______________" _____________
__ _____ _ ________ ______ _ ___
_______ _____ ____. ____________, _ ___ _____ _______
_____ __________ __________ __________.
___ ____________ _ ______ ____________ ______ ____________ _
________ _________. ___________ _______ _________ _________ _ ______ _ _________
__________ ________ __ ________ ____.

________ _2_-315_ ________ _2_-315_
Wednesday May 29, 2019 6:44 pm
Posted by gamefly free trial as 108.174.59.121
Please let me know if you're looking for a writer for your site.
You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset.
If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some
material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
Please send me an e-mail if interested. Thanks!
Thursday May 30, 2019 6:19 am
Posted by how to get help in w as 107.175.153.234
If you are going for most excellent contents like I do, just visit this website every day
as it offers quality contents, thanks
Saturday June 01, 2019 6:25 am
Posted by gamefly free trial as 23.236.229.232
My family all the time say that I am wasting my time here
at web, except I know I am getting know-how all the time by reading thes pleasant posts.
Monday June 03, 2019 6:58 pm
Posted by gamefly free trial as 192.3.100.149
Genuinely when someone doesn't understand afterward its up to other people that they will help, so here
it happens.
Thursday June 06, 2019 2:36 am
Posted by gamefly free trial as 192.227.154.225
I was suggested this web site through my cousin. I'm not certain whether this
post is written via him as nobody else recognize
such certain about my problem. You are amazing!
Thanks!
Friday June 07, 2019 5:36 am
Posted by tinyurl.com as 198.23.211.37
Good post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject?

I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
Thanks!
Friday June 07, 2019 6:37 am
Posted by http://tinyurl.com as 192.198.119.78
I like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and reporting!
Keep up the great works guys I've added you guys to blogroll.
Friday June 07, 2019 2:31 pm
Posted by gamefly free trial as 192.198.127.208
What i do not understood is in reality how you're no longer
really much more neatly-appreciated than you may be now.
You're so intelligent. You recognize thus significantly in terms of this matter, made me
individually imagine it from numerous various angles.
Its like women and men are not involved until it is something to accomplish with Woman gaga!
Your own stuffs excellent. At all times maintain it up!
Saturday June 08, 2019 6:18 pm
Posted by tinyurl.com as 107.174.144.4
Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was
wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
I'm getting fed up of Wordpress because I've had issues with hackers and I'm looking at options for another platform.
I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
Wednesday June 12, 2019 7:04 am
Posted by ps4 best games ever as 192.198.98.51
Wonderful post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this
subject? I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little
bit more. Kudos!
Wednesday June 12, 2019 12:53 pm
Posted by playstation 4 best g as 104.144.196.108
Great article.
Friday June 14, 2019 7:27 pm
Posted by quest bars cheap as 192.241.73.95
Thanks designed for sharing such a nice idea, post is fastidious, thats why i have read it entirely





Take a Look at Upcoming Events

Want more Information? Email Me Now

  Email UDM Aquatic Services

Home Page  |  About Us  |  Why UDM  |  Services  |  Courses  |  Photo Gallery  |  Links  |  FAQ

 

          UDM Aquatic Services

                  Hours By Appointment:  Mon. thru Fri. 4-8PM, Sat. and Sun. 9AM - 5PM

 

615 McNary Ave. # 2

Canonsburg, PA  15317

Phone:

724-255-3765