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Qualified to what depth AOW?

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by pitdiver, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    I have been reading some very old posts back to 2008/09. One from our old friend "Bottlefish" puzzles me. Stuart mentions that when he did his AOW back in 1999 he was qualified to 40 mts. When Mrs PD did hers in 2003 ( we still had the paperwork) she was told that she was qualified to 40 mts as well. If this is the case when did the AOW depth come up to 30 mts. If it true it was 40 mts when she did her's is she still qualified down to 40 mts. I must admit she has always said that she is really interested in diving to 30 mts let alone 40.
     
  2. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    I dunno. Just checked my cert card and it doesn't say on it what depth, and a brief look on the padi website doesn't say.

    I'd guess they reduced the depth for only one reason. MONEY. To sell more deep diver specs or the Tec 40 course.

    I don't know how this would work in law with insurances, dive or life.
     
  3. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    As per Bottlefish's post the Deep Diver certificate hadn't been introduced so perhaps it was thought of as another way to top up the tills.
     
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Did my AOW in 2012 - two months after the OW. From what I remember I took the 'deep' option which got me to 30 metres. I then had to do the Deep speciality course to get to 40 metres.
     
  5. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Active Member
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    The 'deep' experience dive was mandatory for me in 2014 & gave me a qualification to 30m.
     
  6. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    The original PADI AOW was a single deep dive with a max of 42m, the max of the RDP
    (although it had the odd caveat once approaching that depth).

    Then later PADI split the cert by cutting back to 30m so they could sell 40m as a deep
    speciality either as an extra on the course or as a stand alone after.

    PADI AOW can be achieved though at 1m deeper than the max of OW's 18m, so that's 19m.

    Which means AOW can be anything from 19m to 42m depending on circumstances.
     
  7. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    From a personal point of view, I wouldn't have been happy to go from an 18m qualification to 40m in one go (I know that you should build up slowly). Newer divers on a single tank are beginning to push their air availability even at 30m and by 40m are getting into the deco world. I know I'm an old man and more risk-averse than you youngsters. :whistling:
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Totally agree with the current state. It's not a good thing to encourage some newly "qualified" diver with no experience to think that they can drop down to 40 metres isn't good. Something about what I know now as opposed to what I didn't know then....

    Must re-watch the "deep speciality" video again. Can't remember if there's any mention of SAC and minimum gas. I know they have this utter crap of "drop tanks" just in case you need more gas at your 5 minute safety stop (crap as you've *got* to return to the tanks dangling under the boat which implies you don't need to worry too much about monitoring and carrying enough gas)
     
  9. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    A day after doing BSAC Sport diver which has Nitrox, Deco, Gas planning, Redundancy, Line-work,
    Compass, Rescue & DSMB and is eventually a 35m grade, the diver has done no more depth than
    what he did at Ocean Diver level and that's 20m. Despite all that in-depth training BSAC still say
    post-course that the diver is not ready for 35m and has to do progression dives incorporating all the
    elements above, eventually enabling the diver to get down to the max for the grade.

    Meanwhile the average non-deco PADI AOW diver will do a single dive and a bounce to 30m
    (ignoring the deep speciality and 19m nonsense) and from that and the most rudimentary attention
    to planning and skills is then supposedly qualified to do 30m deep dives.

    PADI OW, Rescue, DM, OWSI etc. all good, PADI AOW the biggest pile of poo in diving and one that
    gives the holder of the cert a false impression of skill or competence.

    PS: Best PADI route is PADI OW, BSAC Sport, PADI Rescue, PADI DM etc,
    No need to do AOW at all :)
     
  10. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    As I'm taking the first Sports Diver lecture this week and for the next few weeks, it will probably be the new year before I do any of the dives. In the meantime, I can dive to 30m with the BSAC club, I think, using my PADI qualification. Not sure how my progression from 20m should go from there! While it is a pain having to drive an hour for an hour's lecture, that's my fault for not living closer to the club. From the little I've seen, I think that the SD course will be what I was looking for and worth the time. I wish I'd seen Tel's recommended progression before I took AOW. :whistling:
     
  11. Alex Denny

    Alex Denny Active Member

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    BSAC do a 40m qualification if you do twinset and accelerated deco. It stands to reason they reckon no dive to 40m is sensible on a single cylinder. I know that UK conditions can be worse than other places, but at 30m I would much rather have at least a pony bottle than no other redundancy. Just because you CAN do a thing doesn't mean you should...
     
  12. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    Not quite as black and white as that. You can dive to 35m with SD and, unless I have missed something, if you progress to DL you are qualified to dive to 50m (on air) with no MANDATORY requirement to carry any redundancy.
     
  13. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    An instructor made a big point to me that the degree of risk massively increases with depth.

    From 10 metres, you swim straight up; small risk. From 20 metres you swim straight up and there's a risk but you'd probably get away with it. From 30 metres it's a bigger risk that you'll get injured. From 40 you will struggle and will probably be injured. From 50 you will be injured, possibly badly. From 60 you're probably going to be seriously injured or die.

    Right back when I started diving in the UK I never liked the risks associated with diving beyond 30 metres without redundancy. One of the primary reasons for moving to a twinset and learning how to use it.

    The "slower" BSAC approach to depth is much better than PADI's IMHO. You're getting more training over a longer period which gives time for the responsibilities to sink in. It's scary that you get an instant card "qualification" and, if you've the wrong attitude, you could easily over extend yourself simply because you've not got the experience to recognise when there's a massing of poo around a fan.
     
    JohnL likes this.
  14. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    No, I reckon you chose well. Whilst AOW doesn't offer much real progression it does, as you observed, enable you to join some the club dives that would be closed to you as a OW limited to 18m.

    When I was a trainee SD, with only PADI OW, I missed a few trips I'd otherwise have joined.
     
  15. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    You can do deeper quickly with BSAC as nothing prevents you diving outside the branch, something I started quite early. My first sea dive as an SD, having not gone deeper than the 20m shelf in Stoney, was the City of Waterford. It was a bit dark so my Fuji F11 didn't manage any stills although I have got a pretty shabby bit of video showing us swimming out through a hole. Camera work was truly terrible too!
     
  16. Matt Jordan

    Matt Jordan New Member

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    'you are qualified to dive to 50m (on air) with no MANDATORY requirement to carry any redundancy'

    That made me cringe a bit...

    Although in 2008 I turned up in Egypt as a non diver on a Friday, saw a picture of the Thistlegorm and walked into a dive centre to ask how I would go about getting a look at it.

    Next Friday I was on the boat about to do a 30m, overhead, single tank dive with 7 other newbies and one dive guide.

    Ow, aow, nitrox in 7 days and you will be qualified for the wreck sir!

    Looking back, that makes me cringe even more....but you don't know what you don't know. At least with extended training and knowledge detailed above IF you want to dive to 50m on air and one tank at least you know what risks you are taking.

    As mentioned already I cannot help but feel that the AOW course must be one of the most dangerous 'qualifications' available to new divers. I wonder how many more people gave up diving prematurely after a scare by doing the course and diving to the cert.

    4 to 5 days of diving, maybe 12 dives total and instructor gives you a card that you are qualified 30m when you don't know any better and your instructor is your sole point on information.

    Yeah I know, should have checked with the forum in 2008 right?!!!

    Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk
     
  17. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    The training to Dive Leader, and the associated 50m ticket, includes a significant amount of dive planning, gas planning, risk assessment and general good advice which leads many with dive Leader cert to never venture to 50m on air. My deepest air dive is 42m and I concluded that was more narcosis than I was comfortable with (I was on twinset by then) so my 45m and 50m have never signed off, making me a dive leader with a 40m ticket (unless I choose to change it). In any case, my trimix and CCR tickets offer scope for somewhat better dive plans.

    Whilst you rate AOW as dangerous you should remember dive centres do not always limit PADI OW divers to 18m as they seek to simplifying their life by keeping divers in a single group. In 2005, as a fresh PADI OW I went to Malta the eight dives I did included the Blue Grotto (my 10th dive) and the Rozi (my 16th dive). Had I not refused to accept their plan I would also have done the Imperial Eagle as the final dive. Instead they ran two separate groups and we returned to Cirkewwa Point for another 20m reef dive.
     
  18. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Ditto - I was told I was "ready" for a boat dive as a recent OW in Madeira that took us to a 28m reef. First boat dive, choppy sea, 10m deeper than I'd been before, got low on air (as did my buddy), the two of us sent up to the surface on our own and great difficulty climbing into the boat. I knew that I'd been far too close to my limits and was very shaken up. No more diving that holiday due to weather. Next trip I took AOW with a different dive centre and it got my head back in gear; the earlier experience also taught me that it was my responsibility to assess a dive regardless of expert advice.
     
  19. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Max Depth needed to gain Dive Leader is 26m.
    While you can progress to 50m on air if you want, it's not a mandatory part of the grade.

    I've done many a 50m single cylinder air dive, almost all in very warm and nice clear water
    profiling down from shore where the 50m bit was for a very short time. Very dived up though
    and very used to deep air dives - never a problem.

    Same depth in UK conditions with a square profile, absolutely not - different ball-game
    altogether.

    Bottom line is it's an assessment of risk based on experience and all the horror stories
    regardless of agency or grade can almost always be linked to a lack of experience and an
    unrealistic self-assessment of competence.

    There is a longer version but the short dirty one is :)
    Beginner - I know nothing
    Intermediate - I know everything
    Advanced - I know nothing

    .
     
    speed098, JohnL and Matt Jordan like this.
  20. Matt Jordan

    Matt Jordan New Member

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    Hi Dave,

    Just to clarify I dont think the AOW is dangerous, but of the courses available and the experience required to start them it seems the most dangerous available to NEW divers (ie me at the time!). In terms of progression (depth and skills required to attain that depth) vs experience and leading someone to have an inflated understanding of their skills by using the term 'advanced' when that person may have completed only a dozen dives.

    I wasn't knocking your cert, as it highlights the point. Yes someone could be certified for that depth on that gas using no redundancy - however the key point being that by the time you have that certification you are trained to a level where you will understand exactly the nature of the dive you are undertaking so you can make your own informed decision. Wouldn't be for me personally and sounds like it wasn't for you either, although at least with that level of experience you can make an informed risk assessment.

    All in all a good instructor would only certify to the level the student is capable of, regardless of agency, its unfortunate that this seems more the exception than the rule and is a new diver capable of spoting the difference.

    Sorry gone slightly off topic!

    Getting back on subject the PADI cert changed as nitrox became more popular and very effective to 30m also keeps narcosis within perceived sensible recreational limits for most, hence the more recent aow is 30m.

    Interesting is that most of the more 'tec' orientated agencies have also recently reduced their depth limits for non mix certs in the last few years as light helium mixes became more popular over deep air/weak nitrox.

    Or maybe they do just want to sell us more cards...who knows

    Sent from my E6653 using Tapatalk
     

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