Missing Diver in Tacoma (Nov 2006)

General banter about diving and why we love it.
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diver-dad
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Post by diver-dad »

runamonk wrote:Their instructor will be made an example of and will probably never teach again I'm sure. We can all hope anyhow. What's really strange to me is if this instructor has been doing these kinds of dives with students for a while, you would think at least one student would have piped up at some point and said something to someone about it, word would have gotten around a little bit or something.
Pinkpadigal wrote: ... I have warned people about Dave. For years. No one would listen to me. .... I jumped up and down and warned divers 3 years ago. No one would listen to me then either. .... As bad as this accident is, some good has come out of it. 1. All of us, in all the chat rooms are talking about it. People are listening and realizing how dangerous it really is to go deep. 2. It is bringing attention to "rogue" instructors and is teaching divers to ask questions. ...
:angryfire: Lots of justified emotion and righteous indignation in these discussions, and talk of serious action ... good.

Surely NAUI has some process or procedure to revoke an instructor's certificate - and I would think that needs to be based on some level of formal documentation (police reports, etc). It has to be that way in order for NAUI to protect themselves legally because you can't pull an instructor's certificate, affecting their ability to earn an income, without having your ducks in a row to show adequate justification.

I very highly doubt phonecalls to NAUI, word-of-mouth warnings, etc. will work. ](*,)

Can any of you instructors get the real requirements from NAUI?

That's the only way you will be able to do it - and it seems the time is right for that.

My 2 psi.
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Post by Grateful Diver »

Actually ... myself and a couple of other NAUI instructors contacted NAUI as soon as we learned the details of this accident. Dave's instructor certification was permanently revoked a few days later ... after an investigation by the NAUI Board of Directors.

And yes, all NAUI instructors are taught (and possess updated copies of) NAUI Standards and Procedures ... and this dive involved multiple violations.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
dsteding
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Post by dsteding »

[EDIT] What Bob said . . .
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BASSMAN
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Post by BASSMAN »

Bob,
Do you know if there is any kind of Civil penalty?
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lamont
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Post by lamont »

Rob Holman wrote:At the risk of stirring the pot...

I don't think the issue was doing a bounce dive. Or even going deep. Both can be done safely. It was doing a deep dive w/o training, a sound dive plan, or proper equipment.

At least from my perspective.

(I should probably caveat the bounce dive comment by saying that it should be done with correct deep stops and any deco obligations that you incur, which would be very minimal if you just touch 200 and come back up-all of which you learn how to manage in a good tech class).
It seems to me, though, that bounce dives are usually problematic and indicative of doing depth for the sake of depth. There's an edge condition where you might drop down to 200 to check out some sponges or whatever at that depth, and then scoot because your mission is accomplished and you don't need to hang out at depth. But typically bounce dive profiles imply that the depth is the only mission and that the divers are unprepared to spend any time at those depths and shouldn't be down there in the first place. I wouldn't go to a depth that I couldn't spend 20 minutes there and get back safe consistently...
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Sounder
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Post by Sounder »

From Mrs. Sounder: Without getting into a legal debate and argument over details, there is reason to consider criminal charges as well as seperate civil recovery depending, unrelated to criminal court, on several details.
Last edited by Sounder on Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Grateful Diver »

BASSMAN wrote:Bob,
Do you know if there is any kind of Civil penalty?
A civil suit could be brought against Dave by Chad's family ... but I do not know if they are considering such an action. Nor do I know if there would be any benefit to their doing so, since Dave had no insurance. Right now what Chad's loved ones need most is to heal ... and whatever they decide, I hope the dive community will be willing to support their decision.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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diver-dad
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Post by diver-dad »

Grateful Diver wrote:... Dave's instructor certification was permanently revoked a few days later ... after an investigation by the NAUI Board of Directors. ... all NAUI instructors are taught (and possess updated copies of) NAUI Standards and Procedures ...
Thanks for the info, GD ... that's welcome news to many.

Curious mind: :smt024 Can he recertify with NAUI? If not, is that info also shared with PADI and others?
- DD

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Post by Jstockn »

Grateful Diver wrote:
BASSMAN wrote:Bob,
Do you know if there is any kind of Civil penalty?
A civil suit could be brought against Dave by Chad's family ... but I do not know if they are considering such an action. Nor do I know if there would be any benefit to their doing so, since Dave had no insurance. Right now what Chad's loved ones need most is to heal ... and whatever they decide, I hope the dive community will be willing to support their decision.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
Was the dive a true training dive or just a fun dive? Where was the common sense at? If it was a fun dive all the divers have to take responsibilty. Including the one who passed away. Yes it was a sad event.
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Post by Grateful Diver »

diver-dad wrote: Thanks for the info, GD ... that's welcome news to many.

Curious mind: :smt024 Can he recertify with NAUI? If not, is that info also shared with PADI and others?
The revocation is permanent ... he cannot recertify with NAUI. Revocation info is public, and although I cannot say with certainty I do think it makes sense for these credentials to be checked by any IE taking place through another agency.

However, given Dave's past reputation ... it begs the question of how he managed to become an instructor at all. Instructor evaluations are supposed to weed out those who are unsuited for this sort of work ... regardless of any diving skills they might possess. NAUI uses something called the "loved one standard" ... and by that standard, Dave's approach to diving should've disqualified him from ever becoming a NAUI instructor in the first place.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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Post by Grateful Diver »

Jstockn wrote: Was the dive a true training dive or just a fun dive? Where was the common sense at? If it was a fun dive all the divers have to take responsibilty. Including the one who passed away. Yes it was a sad event.
For at least two of these fellows, and possibly a third (I'm not certain about the third), this was supposed to be their AOW night dive. According to one statement I've received from one of them, there was no mention of it being a deep dive until they met in the parking lot for the dive.

Chad was not one of the students ... it's still unclear to me why he was there.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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Post by nwscubamom »

Grateful Diver wrote:
BASSMAN wrote:Bob,
Do you know if there is any kind of Civil penalty?
A civil suit could be brought against Dave by Chad's family ... but I do not know if they are considering such an action. Nor do I know if there would be any benefit to their doing so, since Dave had no insurance. Right now what Chad's loved ones need most is to heal ... and whatever they decide, I hope the dive community will be willing to support their decision.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
Oh wow, I didn't realize that. The guy didn't even have insurance? And was teaching AOW that night?

We had somewhat of a similar situation down here years ago with another instructor who had, for different reasons, been put on probation, and eventually expelled from PADI. He then hit up SSI to teach there, and almost was able to 'crossover', but due to phone calls and objections from many folks, was not allowed to. Didn't stop him from taking people's money and masquerading as an SSI instructor though.

Sheesh, there's more than one bad apple out there.

I would not have known to check credentials when I learned to dive. I just assumed that if they work at a dive shop, they're fine.

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Post by Grateful Diver »

The sad thing is, Janna ... Dave lost his insurance because he was fired from the dive shop where he had been teaching. He didn't get fired because he was a rogue instructor, and had known S&P violations ... he got fired because he got caught stealing gear from the store.

With many businesses, it's all about the bottom line ...

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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Post by BASSMAN »

Sounder wrote:From Mrs. Sounder: Without getting into a legal debate and argument over details, there is reason to consider criminal charges as well as seperate civil recovery depending, unrelated to criminal court, on several details.

Sounds like a Lawer talking. Huh?


Does anyone have info on how (or if) we can help out Chad's Family?
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Post by Sounder »

A lawyer indeed :book: , but you should try arguing with her! :pale: #-o
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Post by Jstockn »

To my understanding is the diver who passed away was not part of the training so how can anyone but himself be responsable for doing such dive.
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Post by Joshua Smith »

Jstockn wrote:To my understanding is the diver who passed away was not part of the training so how can anyone but himself be responsable for doing such dive.
He certainly was responsible for his own actions, just as we all are. Read the rest of this thread for numerous explanations of the instructor's culpability.
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Post by Tangfish »

Like it or not, if you're the most experienced diver in a group (especially with the spread being from newbie to instructor) - you bear the responsibility of identifying an accident in the making.
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Post by lamont »

Jstockn wrote:To my understanding is the diver who passed away was not part of the training so how can anyone but himself be responsable for doing such dive.
That is a question for the courts to decide, not the Internet.

Generally, being an instructor carries with it a larger implied legal standard of care, which opens instructors, DMs and other dive professionals up to litigation in these kinds of situations. The same thing happens with EMTs and Paramedics who are no longer covered under good samaritan laws and are more open to litigation. Arguing over weither or not this is right or wrong in an absolute sense is irrelevant because the law, in fact, views things this way. Any instructor or DM candidate should also have had this explained to them, so it shouldn't come as a suprise to anyone who has been through the training (which makes the actions of the instructor pretty stupid on a meta-level as well).

Also, since Chad went to save one of the AOW students and I believe was in DM training with Dave i could see it argued that Chad was acting as a DM on the training dive, which certainly opens up a legal liability issue. Plus the training dive going bad is what led to the accident since it was the student that had the issue that Chad tried to save, so even without the question of if he was acting in a DM capacity, the presence of the students on the dive contributed to the death.
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Post by Six Gill »

As a dive instructor, you always will carry the demand of having responsibility when leading a dive or running a dive event. You will find that the many professionals who frequent these boards will have a protocol of really finding out about you as a diver before they take the "big splash" with you. It's for your safety and the safety of the dive professional.

The facts are beginning to really be so extremely obvious in this horribly sad event; I hate to be going over the same subject but hopefully this forum will be not only educational but deterring to those who think that taking that extra chance is in any way worth it.

Dive Training magazine had a good article on when to call a dive. Good read.

Take care out there.
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Post by Tom Nic »

There is legal responsibility, and then there is moral responsibiltiy. Conscientious divers take responsibility for themselves AND for those that they are diving with (immediate dive buddies).

I am not an instructor, have only been diving a little less than a year and a half, yet EVERY time I dive with someone, including my buddy that I've had 3/4 of all my dives with, I'm doing equipment checks, going over dive plan, turn pressure, hand signals, making sure they are OK, mental state, etc. I understand people that have mentioned here that they don't want their equipment touched (and I certainly would not do that, especially not turning air OFF), but it's more than a basic courtesy from my perspective to check each other out.

Perhaps it's the "teacher" in me, but I'm learning and communicating on every dive. I can't see diving any other way, and would NOT dive with someone who did not have that attitude or was at least willing to put up with me. My life is on the line, and so is theirs, whether they realize it or not.

I really appreciate so many of the folks on this board who have taught me and or have reinforced this way of diving. If I haven't already said so, thanks again!
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Just a few words

Post by diverdowntoday »

I have a few words that I would like to say about this whole situation. For the past 6plus years, Chad and I have been together in a serious relationship. I think Chad knew me better than anyone, and vice versa. We actually got started diving because we were going to Belize for Christmas, and we had an oppurtunity to get "certified" by Dave. Chad and I went through classes together, took our tests together, and dove many times from that day on. Chad had a talent underwater. He felt free. It soon took over as his number one hobby. I was a closely ranked number two. But, that was okay, because diving made Chad happy, and that was all that mattered.
From my own personal experiences with Chad and Dave, I have a very clear picture about the behaviors that these individuals would be expressing at a time like this. I know how Dave dives and I know how Chad dives. I know that I felt safer diving with Chad than I did Dave. Chad had a calming affect under water. I always knew that going into the water I was going to have to relay on my dive buddies to help me out with things. And, that was always Chad. I didn't, and still, don't grasp a lot of the "technical" stuff associated with diving. I always relayed on Chad. I will be retaking my certification. I don't feel that I was taught to the level that I should have been taught. I think the same goes for Chad. I think, to an extent Chad understood how dangerous this dive was. But, I don't think that he figured in for error. Big mistake. The dive master on site should have advized not to go on the dive, but how much liability does that master hold?
I am still having a hard time understanding all of what has happened. I have lost my best friend, my boyfriend, and I have lost another friend to ignorance. I would like to start to get involved in how to make diving a safer sport? How do we advice others to be safe? Why aren't all divers required to wear a GPS? There are a lot more questions that I still have too. I need the answers. And, I want to help in any way, so that we don't lose another diver, and another family doesn't have to go through this.
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Post by dsteding »

Diverdowntoday-

My sincere condolences, the loss of Chad has hit this whole community rather hard, I cannot begin to comprehend your loss.

FWIW, I appreciate your heartfelt post. When it comes time to consider a new instructor there are some great ones that are on this board, BDub and Grateful Diver come to mind, but there are many others as well.

As for dive buddies, you'll have them here. I'm sure everyone will make you feel welcome. I'll dive with you any time.

-Doug
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Post by Pinkpadigal »

DDT...

I admire you for speaking up and talking about your experiences as well as Chad's. You have been through a lot the last 6 weeks or so and we all feel for your loss. While I did not know Chad, he seems like a good guy with a passion for this sport that compares to many of ours.

The bottom line this was a horrible accident, a lot of mistakes were made but no one was meant for this dive to turn out so wrong. I know of at least 2 people, unconnected to the people who were on this dive who have told me they have re-evaluated how they dive. While we lost a good man to the sea, this accident may have prevented others like it. More education, discussion and practice will make this sport even safer.

I am glad to hear you want to continue diving. The underwater world is an addicting world. It is hard to stay away. I am sorry that your instruction left you feeling unconfident and unprepared. Training should be the exact opposite! Your decision to get recertifed is a smart one and shows that you know what you need to do to improve. I think that a different perspective, a new instructor and your awareness of what can go wrong will make help make you a great diver.

There is a lot of good instructors on this board and others. Let any of us know if we can help.

Good luck with your continued training, and hope to see you under the waves soon.
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Post by Sounder »

Hey DDT,

Welcome to our group - we're glad you found us. I also think your decision to go back through OW is a smart one. If nothing else, it'll give you a fresh start and ensure you feel confident when you get back in the water.

There are lots of good people here who are safe divers and I encourage you to get involved. In addition, there are several instructors here who will ensure you get the training you need and who are passionate about enjoying the water safely. In addition to the instructors, there is a wealth of experience and wisdom here so be sure to ask questions when you have them. You'll be suprised how much help you get when you ask.

Take care of yourself and hopefully we'll get to meet in person soon.
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