Failure to Ensure Proper Training and Experience for the Dive

As in any business, the dive charter business is profit motivated. Consequently, operators may market their trips and rent equipment to as many people as possible in order to maximize a profit. While this is at the heart of the capitalist system, it is incumbent upon the operator to ensure that the divers on a charter are properly trained and experienced prior to being admitted on the trip. In addition to certification and experience requirements, the dive master should question each diver to ensure that they are physically able to engage in the vigors of the anticipated dive. Considerations include tides or currents, depth, visibility and other sea conditions.

Furthermore, each diver must be properly equipped for the dive. For example, each diver must have, in addition to normal SCUBA gear, an alternate air source, a buoyancy compensating device, a submersible pressure gauge, a timing device and a method of calculating allowable bottom time. Specialty dives may warrant additional equipment such as computers, lights, surface floats, etc.

While a dive master or vessel captain is not obligated to “baby sit” the divers on a trip, there is a duty to act reasonably within the services contracted.