What is the Bottom Line?
Common sense dictates when a court of law will uphold a release. Within the recreational diving industry there may be the presumption that divers are aware of the consequences of engaging in the sport of diving. The courts have decided that diving is a matter of choice. The market place is filled with shops who require releases, and few who do not. Should the diver not wish to forfeit legal rights, the diver need not patronize those who require releases. If the diver is confident that the dive operator will never act unreasonably, then it is reasonable for the diver to sign the releases.
Are releases “worth the paper they are written on?” Probably so, as long as the parties signing it do so with a clear mind and pure intentions. If either of these factors are absent, a court will be hesitant to enforce the release.