Scuba diving: ending the world of silence?

When I took the decision to write the article “diving accident: how to avoid the suite of mistakes you should never do“, I expected to receive comments and sometimes harsh remarks.

It is not so common that one could imagine daring to admit his mistakes, his difficulties, his problems in the world of diving. I must admit that I hesitated to publish this article

Also, today, it seems important to me to end once and for all with the world of silence in scuba diving.

Indeed, surprisingly enough, although I do not understand why, the world of diving is still marked by a tradition of “silence” delaying sometimes the necessary acts in the case of a diving incident / accident.

Too many divers will not inform their buddy of their state of fatigue, stress, … before a dive. In the same way, they will be just as numerous to say nothing in case of fatigue, in case of pain, at the end of a dive…While trainers insist strongly on the fact that it is important to immediately report any incident for obvious security reasons even if they too could be victims of this “silence” attitude.

For example, this group of federal instructors coming to celebrate an event by organizing a dive alltogether. It was only weeks later that, fortuitousely, the person in charge of the organisation learned that one of the divers had finished his day “with the help of doctors of the deco chamber” ! This diver, federal instructor, also remained under this “law” of silence, this shame of having “failed” when he is certainly a good instructor.

Is it through ignorance, guilt or shame that many divers will prefer to remain silent and never put words on how they feel? Is it because what they feel is maybe new, unknown, and they have difficulty in being certain that it is an accident? Is it because they do not want to “disturb”? Is it because they are afraid to “exaggerate”? Is it because they do not want to be “the one who fails”?

I do not know why divers stay silent about diving incidents and accidents, as I did years ago (as I explained in this article “diving accident: how to avoid the suite of mistakes you should never do“). Also, because I believe that this does not happen only to others, it seems important to me to ask the question of knowing …

How can we act to end this world of silence?

Before the dive

Divers must understand their responsibility for their safety and that of their dive buddy. To inform of his state of tiredness, his anxieties, … and to agree to give up the dive in case of doubts is an integral part of an increase of the security.

During the dive

They would be +/- 15% of the diving victims to have had a problem during the dive: cramp, anguish, shortness of breath, narcosis, … All incidents that need to be communicated to the dive leader (or observed by the members of this group) which must therefore stop the dive or at least bring the divers in a shallow and safer place. Each diver MUST warn his team leader as soon as possible in case of problems. And if it is the leader of the team who himself has a problem, he MUST warn the other members of his team.

After the dive

Say what you feel with your buddy and / or the dive guide, dive director or any diver present with you.

If you don’t say anything, nothing will happen and you risk putting yourself in danger.

In the same way, the observation of the divers who are with you after the dive must become a reflex … even if these divers have a level of diving superior to yours!

The instructor who performs several successive dives on the day, several days in a row, can obviously also be a victim of a diving accident. His body remains a human body, instructor or not.

So be attentive to your favorite instructors 😉

I hear some people say to me: it is obvious, things must be said, it is necessary to point out the problems. Everybody knows that.

Yes, everyone knows it. However, in practice, when you take a little bit of time to observe the divers who surround you, you will notice very quickly that, unfortunately, when diving, …

… “the communication of what is wrong is often wrong! “

Currently, the best way I have found to allow a free speech among students and / or divers with whom I am used to dive is to tell them my own mistakes. Never be ashamed of having failed at certain moments of your dives and especially … to put forward, what you have learned from your mistakes.

Because training is also taking advantage of each other’s mistakes and the rapid communication of difficulties and problems is an integral part of accident prevention and / or more efficient implementation of the rescue chain…

There is no shame in having a diving problem. Water is not our natural element and as developed in this article, we are little guinea pigs. But it’s all together that we can help increase our diving safety.

… So we do not hesitate any more: we COMMUNICATE to end the world of silence!

Share the article if you too want to take action against diving accidents.

Don’t forget … 😉

Helene

[READ ALSO] this article on diving safety

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