TRavel Smarter : Evaluating an unfamiliar Dive operator

Your first trip to a dive destination can engulf you in new experiences — unexplored sites, unfamiliar creatures and sometimes unanticipated situations. While you have likely researched the dive operator and read online reviews about them, it’s a good idea to evaluate them in person after you arrive. Here are some guidelines to help you determine if you can trust the business with your safety.

BEFORE THE DIVE
Look around at the state of the shop. Is it cluttered and disorganized? Is the rental gear old, unclean, in obvious disrepair or showing signs of serious wear? If the staff doesn’t maintain the building or their equipment, then chances are they may overlook or take little care with other aspects of the operation.

Ask questions of the staff members, and pay attention to both the substance of their answers and their demeanor while talking with you. They may answer your questions fully, provide additional information and do so with friendliness and enthusiasm, or you may encounter a staff member who seems to be going through the motions and is not willing to engage with you. Their attitude can help you determine if you can trust them during your dives.

Ask if they can handle repairs, ask about their policies, and ask them about any special accommodations you may need. Ask other divers in the shop if they have dived with them before and what their experience was like. The responses you get from other divers and the thoroughness of the staff’s answers will give you some idea about how dedicated the business is to taking care of you as a diver.
BOARDING THE BOAT
Any vessel with more than six passengers for hire that is operating from a U.S. port must have a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) inspection certificate, so make sure you see that displayed. A captain of a boat operating within the U.S. and while carrying passengers for hire must also be licensed by the USCG. Smaller vessels or those that operate from ports outside the U.S. are subject to different regulations.

The boat should also have appropriate safety equipment: a fire extinguisher, personal flotation devices for every person, a first aid kit, an oxygen unit, a radio and nonskid decks. The usual modifications for divers should be present as well, including an adequate platform and ladder, descent lines and well-organized gear stations with proper, secure storage. The captain should tell you where all the safety equipment is located during the boat safety briefing, which should happen before you leave the dock. This is also a time to ask questions and make sure you feel comfortable with the boat and its equipment.

ON BOARD
Now that the dive shop and the boat have passed muster, the last step is preparing to dive. The divemaster, who should be certified, should give a thorough dive briefing. A good divemaster will get to know everyone on board and understand each diver’s skill level and experience. You should understand the system used to account for each diver — there must a physical count in place — and what will happen in case of an emergency in the water.

Remember to trust your intuition and be willing to find another operator or cancel your dive if you feel unsure or unsafe. Experienced divers may be savvy about spotting potential issues, but even novice divers can rely on common sense to tell them if something isn’t right; if something feels off to you, it probably is. Any one warning sign alone may not necessarily indicate an actual problem. But any indication of a problem or combination of problems could potentially increase your risk, so it is up to you to recognize the signs and keep yourself safe.

Read similar articles at:  alertdiver.com

Categories

 2019
 2018
 2016
Accidents After anaesthesia Air Quality Air exchange centre Air hose failure Altitude changes Altitude sickness Ama divers Anaerobic Metabolism Annual renewal Apnea Apnoea Arterial gas embolism Arthroscopic surgery Aurel hygiene BCD Back adjustment Back pain Back treatment Backextensors Badages Bag valve mask Bandaids Barbell back squat Bench press Blood flow Bone fractures Bouyancy compensators Boyle's Law Boyle\'s Law Bradycardia Brain Breast Cancer Breath Hold Diving Breath hold Breath-hold Breathing Gas Breathing Broken bones Bruising Buoyancy Burnshield CGASA CMAS CO2 Cabin pressure Camera settings Cancer Remission Cancer treatments Cancer Cannabis and diving Cannabis Cape Town Dive Festival Cape Town Carbon dioxide Cardio health Cardiomyopathy Chamber Safety Chamber science Charles' Law Charles\' Law Charles\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\' Law Charles\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' Law Chemotherapy Chiropractic Citizen Conservation Cleaning products Coastalexcursion Cold Water Cold care Cold Compressed gas Conservation Contaminants Contaminated air Corals Courtactions Crohns disease Crystal build up Crystallizing hoses Cutaneous decompression DAN Courses DAN Profile DAN Researchers DAN medics DAN report DCI DCS Decompressions sickness DCS theories DCS DM training DReams Dalton's Law Dalton\'s Law Dalton\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\'s Law Dalton\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Law Deco dives Decompression Illness Decompression Sickness Decompression illsnes Decompression treatment Decompression Diaphragms Diseases Dive Chamber Dive Industry Dive Instruction Dive Instructor Dive Pros Dive Research Dive Training Dive Travel Dive accidents Dive buddies Dive computers Dive excursions Dive gear Dive health Dive medicines Dive medicine Dive operators Dive safety Dive staff Diveleader training Diveleaders Diver Profile Diver infliencers Divers Alert Diving Kids Diving Trauma Diving career Diving emergencies Diving guidelines Diving injuries Diving suspended Diving Dizziness Domestic Donation Dowels Dr Rob Schneider Drysuit diving Drysuit valves Drysuits EAPs EAP Ear pressure Ear wax Ears injuries Education Emergency action planning Emergency decompression Emergency plans Emergency underwater Oxygen Recompression Emergency Enviromental Protection Environmental factors Environmental impact Environmental managment Equipment care Evacuations Evacuation Evaluations Exercise Exhaustion Extended divetime Extinguisher Extreme treatments Eye injuries FAQ Failures Fatigue Faulty equipment Fire Coral Fire Safety Firefighting First Aid Equipment First Aid Training First Aid kits Fish Fitness to dive Fitness Flying Francois Burman Free Student cover Free diving Free flow Freedive Training Freediver Freediving performance Gas Density Gas laws Gas mixes GasPerformance Gases Gastric bypass Gear Servicing Gordon Hiles HELP HIRA Haemorhoid treatment Hazard Description Hazardous Marine life Hazardous marinelife Health practitioner Heart Attack Heart Health Heart Rate monitor Heart rate Heart Heat stress Helium High temperatures Hip strength Hot Humans Hydrate Hydration Hydrogen Hydroids Hydrostatic pressure Hyperbaric Chamber Hyperbaric research Hypothermia Immine systems In Water Recompression Indemnity form Indian Ocean Indonesia Inert gas Infections Instinct Instruction Instructors Insurance Integrated Physiology International travel International Irritation Joint pain Kidneys Kids scubadiver Labour laws Learning to dive Legal advice Legislation Leukemis Liability Risks Liability releases Liability Life expectancy Lifestyle Low blood pressure Low pressure deterioration Low volume masks Lung function Lung injuries Lung surgery Lung MOD Maintenance Mammalian Dive Response Mammalian effect Marine Scientists Marine parks Marinelife Master scuba diver Maximum operating depth Medical Q Medical emergencies Medical questionaire Medical statement Middle ear pressure Mike Bartick Military front press Mixed Gas Mono Fins Mooring lines More pressure Motion sickness Muscle pain Mycobacterium marinum Nausea Nautilus Nitrogen build up Nitrox No-decompression Non-rebreather Mask Normal Air Nosebleeds O2 providers O2 servicing OOxygen maintenance Ocean pollution Open water divers Orbital implants Oronasal mask Oxygen Cylinder Oxygen Units Oxygen deficit Oxygen deicit Oxygen ears Oxygen equipment Oxygen masks Oxygen supply Oxygen therapy Oxygen P J Prinsloo PFI PJP Tech Part 3 Phillipines Photography Pistons Planning Plastic Pneumonia Pneumothorax Pollution Pool Diving Preparation Prepared diver Press Release Professional rights Provider course Pulmanologist Pulmonary Bleb Punture wounds Purge RAID South Africa RCAP Radio communications Range of motion Rashes Recompression chamber Recompression treatment Recompression Recycle Regulator failure Regulators Regulator Remote areas Renewable Report incidents Rescue training Resume diving Risk Assessments Risk assesments Risk assessment Risk elements Risk management SABS 019 Safety Stop Safety Saturation Diving Save our seas Science Scuba Air Quality Scuba Injury Scuba Instructor Scuba children Scuba dive Scuba health Scubalearners Sealife Shoulder strength Sideplank Signs and Symptoms Skin Bends Skin outbreak Skin rash Snorkeling Snorkels Sodwana Bay South Africa Spinal pain Splits Squeezes Standars Step ups Stroke Sulawesi Supplemental oxygen Surgeries Surgery TRavel safety Tattoes Technical Diving The Bends The truth Thermal Notions Tides Tips and trick Transplants Travel tips Travel Tweezers Unconsciousness Underwater photographer Underwater pho Vaccines Vagus nerve Valsalva manoeuvers Vape Vaping Vasvagal Syncope Venting Volatile fuels Washout treatments Wastewater Water Weakness Weigang Xu West Papua Wetsuit fitting Wetsuits White balance Winter Woman in diving Work of Breathing Wound dressings Wreck dive Wreckdiving Youth diver abrasion air-cushioned alert diver altitude anemia antibiotics antiseptics bandages bent-over barbell rows body art breathing air calories burn cardiovascular checklist chemo port child clearances closed circuit scuba currents cuts dead lift decompression algorithms decongestants dehydration dive injuries dive medicing dive ready child dive reflex dive tribe diver rescue diver training dive diving attraction doctors domestic travel dri-suits dry mucous membranes dry suits dry e-cigarettes ear spaces elearning electrolyte imbalance electroytes emergency action plans emergency assessment equalizing exposure injuries eyes fEMAL DIVERS fire rescue fitnes flexible tubing frediving gas bubble health hospital humidity immersion pulmonary edema (IPE join DAN knee longevity lower stress marine pathogens medical issues medical procedures medical risk assesment mental challenge micro-organisims minor illness mucous membranes nasal steroids nasal nematocysts newdivers nitrogen bubbles off-gassed operating theatre operations orthopeadic outgas pain perforation phillippines physical challenges pinched nerves plasters polyester-TPU polyether-TPU post dive preserve prevention pulmunary barotrauma rebreather mask rebreathers retinal detachment risk areas safety stops saturation scissors scuba equipment scuba single use sinus infections smoking snorkeling. spearfishing stings strength sub-aquatic swimmers ears tattoo care tecnical diver thermal protection training trimix unified standards vision impaired warmers water quality