• Snuba - Bad Idea - Wrong

    From phuketfishingcharters@gmail.com@21:1/5 to Chris Wolf on Sun Sep 16 17:27:24 2018
    On Thursday, May 13, 2004 at 3:13:12 AM UTC+10, Chris Wolf wrote:
    Having seen, firsthand, the "training" offered to Snuba divers, and also having read what the Snuba proponents and dealers have to say about it,
    it's pretty obvious to me that these people are operating in the same
    mindset as the people who operate the Space Shuttle:

    "We haven't killed anyone lately, so it must be safe."

    I'm a certified scuba diver, ultralight pilot, paraglider pilot (powered
    and unpowered), and skydiver. So I've gone through a lot of training
    courses over the years. It's always the same. If you want to get trained
    in a day, and then take your chances, there are dealers and trainers who
    will oblige you. Their position is summed up by a sign I once saw in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream store: "There is nothing that some man cannot
    make a little worse, and sell a little cheaper, and people who consider
    price only, are this man's lawful prey."

    All of these quasi-scuba operations (Snuba, BOB, Seawalking, etc., are
    based on the same idea that we can give people a quick explanation of the fundamentals (clear your ears and don't hold your breath), don't warn them about the potential dangers, don't train them to handle emergencies, and
    then just hope that everything goes okay. And most of the time, it does.
    But that's not being safe. That's playing Russian Roulette.

    When my buddy received his Snuba "training," he was told how to clear his ears, and not to hold his breath while ascending. However he was never
    told what would happen if he failed to clear his ears, or held his breath while ascending. I suspect this is very typical of most Snuba "training." Give the customer just enough information to keep him alive (hopefully),
    but don't inform him of the very real risks he's taking.

    Needless to say, this is a very dishonest way to do business.

    I don't believe in government-mandated safety regulations. If some idiot wants to buy a scuba rig, and go scuba diving without any training, that should be his right. That's how things should work in a free country. And if someone wants to take an hour of training, and then go scuba diving,
    that should also be his right. People have the right to risk their own
    lives (but not the lives of others).

    However anyone who offers scuba diving to the public, but fails to warn
    them of the potential dangers, and fails to provide proper training for dealing with emergencies, ought to be fully liable in a court of law when something goes wrong.

    When I was taught scuba diving, we had to be able to handle underwater emergencies such as loss of air, flooded mask, dropped regulator, etc. I remember one exercise where we had to sit on the bottom of the pool, in the deep end, remove our tank, turn off the air supply, and then make a free ascent to the surface. Then from the surface we had to dive back down to
    our tank on the bottom of the pool, turn on the air supply, replace the regulator, and redon the tank.

    The idea is to be trained to handle the likely emergencies one is liable to encounter underwater. Someone who hasn't received this training, isn't qualified to be breathing compressed air underwater. At least with any reasonable degree of safety.

    All of the quasi-scuba proponents are attempting to evade the simple laws
    of physics when it comes to breathing compressed air underwater. They are trying to pretend that this isn't a dangerous activity, and that any
    civilian off the street can do it, safely, with only a few minutes of training. And that just ain't so.

    Basically, what all these quasi-scuba proponents have done, is to drop all emergency training, and pretend there is no risk. This really brings in
    the suckers, who have no idea of the risks they are exposing themselves
    too. I doubt if any of these Snuba customers even know what an air embolism is.

    It's like those "swimming with the dolphins" tourist attractions that claim to be perfectly safe. They don't tell you that this is a wild animal that can suddenly turn dangerous.

    But what really ticks me off are those scuba dive shops and operators who offer things like Snuba, "on the side." For example, the guy who runs the Snuba franchise in Key Largo doesn't have a boat or a building. He runs
    his Snuba operation out of his van. So he partners up with the Silent
    World dive center on Key Largo. Silent World supplies the basic equipment (masks, flippers, wet suits), provides space on their dive boat, and
    promotes Snuba diving. (There is a big Snuba poster on the wall of the Silent World dive shop.)

    Now the people at Silent World have to be aware of the danger they are exposing Snuba divers to, but they elect to do it anyway. I consider them equally guilty of endangering the lives of their customers. In the future,
    I will refuse to patronize any dive shop that offers any of these
    quasi-scuba activities.

    Scuba diving is too dangerous to be treated as just another tourist
    activity, like jetskiing, or snorkeling, or parasailing. It's not
    something that you can do safely, after just an hour of training. And
    taking the tank off the diver's back, and floating it on the surface,
    doesn't suddenly make it safe.

    I'm an ultralight pilot, and I can teach someone the basics of flying an ultralight aircraft in just a couple of hours. He'll even be able to take off and land. But he won't know what to do, in an emergency, if he encounters bad weather, or has his engine suddenly quit, or hits some bad turbulence. It's the same case with Snuba diving.

    Before I went to Key Largo, I did a web search on "Snuba danger" and "Snuba problem," just to see what was being said. I found nothing at all. If I
    had not been a trained scuba diver, I would have not known of the potential dangers.

    I'm going to change that. I'm going to set up a web page, warning people about the dangers of things like Snuba diving, BOB, etc. At least then they'll have a chance of learning the facts before taking the risks.

    Chris Wolf

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    Snuba, SASUBA, Powerdive all come under Surface Air Supplied Diving or Hookah Diving.
    Hookah diving is recognized by world-wide dive schools and has far less inherent dangers ( therefore far less time in training) than scuba. It is a shallow water activity ( yes there are dangers to be understood and taught) however as the user is
    tethered to a sound floatation device at the surface and users having a dive buddy as well as the floatation being able to be seen clearly by boat operators there is no qualified reason to try to discourage novice or experienced to enjoy this marine

    Your unqualified opinion sounds to me like you are involved in a dive shop who is disgruntled by a competitor offering SNUBA or SASUBA and not only making extra profit, but providing a worthwhile, exciting, SAFE, underwater introduction to the joys of
    the marine world to many, even non-swimmers.

    As a marine-sports tourism operator of over 30 years, I urge more dive operators to add hookah equipment and hookah diving to their programs.
    Watch for the World Scuba Awards coming soon and I am certain those dive operators offering SASUBA, Powerdive or Snuba will be at the top of the Scuba Diving Award-winners!

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