From our regular columnists

Just Culture

August 31, 2014 - 13:13
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The story is found: 
on page 61

A diver had an oxygen toxicity seizure because an incorrect gas was filled in a cylinder by a dive centre. A baby died because the wrong dose of medication was injected. Who is to blame for the error and how do we try to make sure that these types of incidents aren’t repeated?

Some of the readers may remember an article I wrote on this subject a couple of years ago, but this one will go into much more depth and give examples of the issues faced in both the scuba diving community and other environments, which have more established safety management system programmes and

What if diving was new?

August 31, 2014 - 13:06
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The story is found: 
on page 55

Imagine scuba diving is a brand new sport. You hear about it for the first time when one of your friends tells you about a scuba experience she had recently on holiday and you think this sounds incredibly exciting. After thinking about it for a long time, you decide you want to learn. You take lessons to improve your swimming and then you look online for a dive instructor. There are no dive centres in your town.

You are the first person you know who has signed up for a scuba diving course. For the people of your parents’ generation, even if they were aware that scuba diving existed, they would never have considered it even remotely possible that they could learn to dive.

Kimbe Bay

August 31, 2014 - 12:56
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The story is found: 
on page 35

There is a line of thought in the scientific community that this is where it all began and the first corals originated… a large sheltered bay, roughly one third along the north coast of the island now called New Britain.

There can be no doubt regarding the profound fecundity of Kimbe Bay because the numbers, as they say, cannot lie and surveys by some of the best known names in marine biology, such as Professor Charles Veron and Dr Jerry Allen, and respected organizations like The Nature Conservancy, have helped

How Did That Get in There? —Water in the Tank Mystery

June 30, 2014 - 16:04
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The story is found: 
on page 54

Anna’s story: “I was on my eighth or ninth dive, about five minutes in and at a depth of around 13 metres when I realized that my air was not coming out smoothly. I couldn’t think why this should be. I had checked my pressure gauge on descent and it had shown 190 bar. I switched to my octopus, but there was no difference. Soon the air became very thin. I tried to stay calm and thought for a few seconds.


Checklists - a tick in the box

June 30, 2014 - 15:27
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At the Rebreather Forum 3 conference held in Florida in May 2012, a number of presentations were made which advocated the use of checklists as a means to prevent diving incidents from occurring, or at least reducing the likelihood of occurrence.

The reason why the presentations and consensus statement arrived at this position was because there is considerable evidence from aviation, medicine and other fields and disciplines that shows the proper use of checklists reduces the probability of incidents occurring.

Ron Akeson (1957-2014) - Mission Well Done

June 30, 2014 - 12:35
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The story is found: 
on page 38

I don’t think a week ever went by where I didn’t hear Ron tell someone at his Bellingham dive store, “My motto in life follows the saying: growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” If you ever had the pleasure of knowing or meeting Ron Akeson, you probably understood how he viewed life, because he truly believed in trying to squeeze in every little bit of living into each and every day!

A cascade of grief seemed to grip the local dive community in a domino effect as more and more heard of his passing. Multitudes continue to call in, shocked to hear their mentor, past dive instructor and friend would no longer be around.

Safety Culture: What is it and do I have it?

May 02, 2014 - 15:52
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In August 2012, I wrote an article which discussed just culture and what this meant in the context of recreational and technical scuba diving, and using this concept, how we can improve diving safety.

But just culture is only one part of a safety culture, a term which is being promoted by a number of organisations and individuals as something that needs to be developed by individual divers to improve their safety.

Cayman Brac: The best shore diving in the Caribbean

May 02, 2014 - 14:28
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The story is found: 
on page 31

First visited by Christopher Columbus in 1503, his reports tell of incredible numbers of fish, turtles and crocodiles hence their original name of Caimen or The Cayman Islands.

Whether entering these waters as a novice or as a more experienced diver, what is obvious is that Cayman waters have some of the clearest waters in the Caribbean, with very few currents they are the ideal destination for virtually guaranteed results.

Don’t Let Folk Get Carried Away!

May 01, 2014 - 16:28
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The story is found: 
on page 63

A few weeks ago, a dive centre chartered a boat to take five divers and two instructors out to some islands off the south coast of Bali. It was rainy season and, behind the rainclouds, there would be a full moon that night in an area where currents are notoriously strong and unpredictable.

After about ten minutes underwater, they found that the current was so strong that it was difficult to keep the group together. So they ascended early to find that a storm had swept in, surface conditions were now very rough, and the rain had reduced visibility to a few metres only.

Why you should never go diving with an idiot

May 01, 2014 - 15:12
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The story is found: 
on page 67

Being swept along on this technical diving thing, has been a long, somewhat twisted, but definitely entertaining journey. If you and I had met when the whole affair started, we could not possibly have envisioned how directly and pervasively, what were then radical activities, like cave diving, trimix diving and rebreather diving, would influence the mainstream dive community.

But perhaps, evolution is too soft a word to describe what’s happened. So many things have changed. Gear, training, the places we visit to dive, how we exchange information, even what form dive magazines and textbooks take: case in point with X-RAY MAG for example.

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