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Qualified to what depth AOW?

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

  1. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    FWIW my take is BSAC have hung onto their 50mtr certs for dive leader and advanced. However, recommend helium past 40mtr and have a range of courses open from sports diver which increase knowledge and gas choices.

    As Tel says I'd be surprised to find many uk divers at 50mtrs on air single 15 stylee, much better choices and info available now.
     
  2. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Yeah it is.

    PADI cover their behind by adding the "conditions same as those you were trained in" getout,
    but the reality is that same as many AOW divers are under the deluded idea that they are
    Advanced divers they also believe that the 30m/40m ticket applies everywhere.

    It would make way more sense for PADI AOW to stick to the 18m depth and have 30m as a stand
    alone more in-depth speciality that's done as part of or after the course.
    Then turn the 40m into a deco/Nx level.

    This would also stop the AOW being signed off at 19m nonsense.
     
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  3. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The more I dive, the more I know I don't know

    Embarrassing memories of when I was a freshly minted AOW thinking I knew about diving.

    Why do PADI insist on calling it "Advanced"? And then there's the misnomer of DiveMASTER. Hmm, a junior qualification if ever there was one
     
  4. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    We know ;)
    Marketing? Creating the desire to buy the next course?

    And then there is "Every diver, who is at least 12 years old, should aim for Master Scuba Diver" captures the message quite well.

    After all it says "Join the best of the best in recreational scuba diving and live the dive life as a PADI Master Scuba Diver. The Master Scuba Diver rating places you in an elite group of respected divers who have earned this rating through both significant experience and scuba training. Fewer than two percent of divers ever achieve this rating. When you flash your Master Scuba Diver card, people know that you’ve spent time underwater in a variety of environments and had your share of dive adventures."

    (quoted text is direct from PADI website)

    With PADI you need only expand the acronym to 'Professional Association of Diving Instructors' and all becomes clear. They are a business and they exist to sell their product and generate revenues.
     
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  5. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    Now that's the scary bit.
     
  6. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    As I was the one who started this thread I would like to add my two pennorth.
    Although Mrs PD is AOW I have stayed at Open Water. I am quite content at this level. In think the point made up thread regarding the depth of AOW should be the same as OW 18 mts is sound. Because as I see it the " Adventure Dives" are only examples of what you can do underwater. Going down to possibly only 19 mts lets you dive to 30mts let alone 40 mts as my wife supposedly could Is silly.
    Change AOW to OWExtra or something similar and forget 30mt "Deep" dive.
     
  7. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    I think of AOW as Pass plus for divers.

    To be fair, it is Advanced Open Water, not Advanced, so it's not really PADI that cause the problem but those who call AOW divers and the qualification 'Advanced'

    M

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
     
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  8. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    That what I was trying to say but as usual
    I used too many words Snowman.
     
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  9. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I agree the AOW title is not helpful but I disagree with the suggestion of keeping the depth limit unchanged from OW. While it could be gained at 19m, I'd be surprised that many people do. I was taken to 27 and 25m in the deep and multi-level dives and given the confidence to go to 30m as part of a holiday dive in clear benign water - I would keep to shallower depths in different conditions. 30m is within reach of a non-deco single-tank diver as long as you watch the computer (with nitrox, as long as you watch your pressure gauge). My last week in Malta, I didn't do a dive less than 18m and, with 50 dives, I know I am only a beginner!
    The BSAC Sports Diver qualification five training dives that I'm just starting will not take me beyond 20m (the Ocean Diver limit), with the limit of 34m gained in a subsequent progression (signed off by instructors). This is a more gradual approach that would not fit well into the PADI model, but suits the more challenging conditions of UK waters (the reason I'm taking it).
    I feel that the two systems work for different types of diving. While a new AOW should not dive to 30m on a wreck in the English Channel, this is like saying that a driver with a licence but little experience shouldn't take out a Ferrari. The PADI training is clear that your limit is in the conditions that you were trained in and, hopefully the person's buddy would save him/her from themselves.
     
  10. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    The fluffy bunny ideal vs reality :p

    Dive outfits sell what will get them $/£, that's the whole point of running a business.
    If a site is limited by depth, that's what the AOW will be done at because the other
    punters in the same party, group, bus, need to do a lesser depth etc.

    This is especially a factor if a boat is needed as unlike a shore dive the boat hasn't got
    the luxury of accommodating all levels unless a handy drop-off is nearby and that brings
    up another can of worms, so tends to be avoided.

    You've also got perceptive value. An inexperienced diver will chuff through gas at 30m
    doing short dives at say 25min max, when the same dive on a similar site simulating
    30m, but done at 20m, will extend the dive time and the punter will feel they've got as
    much for there bucks even though the depth hasn't been done.

    I could add way more examples, but the bottom line and the reality is that a lot of divers
    will never see 30m on a course, as it makes more economic sense to do it a 20m.

    So what's left now is that get out clause of "conditions same as those you were
    trained in" and trust me it ain't working. So the simple solution (these are the ones that
    work) is to make it 18m post-course, but 30m on the course and or allow 30m under the
    direct supervision of a PADI Pro etc.

    This doesn't stop the diver doing 30m in what is for most a guided dive, but would mean
    a proper deep speciality or top-up course before being ok to just go off and dive.
     
  11. JasonP

    JasonP Member

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    I got back into diving a few years after my OW course on a holiday to the Maldives. I then came back and decided to do my AOW in the UK. First dive was the deep dive. It was the only one shallower than 25m that I'd done that year.
     
  12. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    OW course then the AOW course and the AOW is an advance on the OW course whats the issue?

    The course title says Advance Open Water not Advance diver, Master Scuba Diver I do have an issue with though.
     
  13. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the title is AdvanceD Open Water, which is then extrapolated by others to produce an advanced diver, no matter what PADI says. It's a futile discussion as they ain't going to change it.:whistling:
     
  14. pitdiver

    pitdiver Active Member

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    Iain, some people will grasp at anything. Anyway it seems this thread is beginning to create an somewhat unpleasant atmosphere so can we agree on some points.
    1) Advance Open Water is open to different interpretation
    2) Because of 1 perhaps it should be known as something else
    3) Diving to any depth beyond your experience should be thought through.
     
  15. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Unpleasant atmosphere, really?

    Surely such topics should be all about being better informed as to real dangers
    and if that means discussing some uncomfortable areas, so what?

    This past month I've talked to well over 100 PADI divers all looking to join BSAC
    and actually signed up about 30 :) Of those about a third are PADI AOW divers
    most warm-water trained and about 3 of those who clearly had no idea as to any
    standards and expected to just carry on UK as if they were overseas. Even the
    UK ones are not immune. One UK AOW diver was a bit peeved when I said he'd
    need to do work-up dives if he even wanted to dive with us. My reason was
    simple enough, he did his AOW at Cromhall (Google it).

    I'd like to say that this was a rare occurance, but i've been doing this for 2 decades
    and the rough ratio of about 10% of AOW divers who don't fully understand what
    they've got is pretty constant,so no matter what any personal opinion it's pretty
    clear that the message is not getting through via standard PADI methods.

    As has been said, PADI is not going to read any of this and change anything soon,
    way too big a cash earner for that to happen, but if any PADI OW divers or even
    AOW divers step back and think again after reading the likes of this, then it's been
    worth it :)
     
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  16. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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    There was a lovely discussion on Scubaboard a couple of years back that sticks in my mind (And if you want to see a toxic forum atmosphere, that’s the place to go!).
    An “incident” had occurred somewhere in Florida, and one of the posters was describing what he had done. His profile described himself as an “advanced diver”. Cue for a page of abuse about how all the measures he had taken were unsafe, and he wasn’t trained, and he should have left it to the Divemaster, who had much more training in rescue techniques and life support, and how he had probably made things worse.
    At that point someone else pointed out that this was a BSAC Advanced Diver, and provided an outline of the training and experience required to get that grade, including an explanation about 50m depth limits, CBLs and so on. The other posters were silenced, apart from the ones who said things like “Wow.... that’s like ... wow.... errr... 160 feet... wow don’t you die going that deep?”.

    The moral of the story is that the grade “Advanced Open Water Diver” is badly named, it gets abbreviated to “Advanced” both by divers and dive shops, it promotes an attitude of “I’m better than you”, and it really does Diving and divers a disservice. It is “pass plus”, it is a bit of guided experience, it ticks the box for insurance companies and it gives a DM a bit of an idea where to put the Diver in his warm-water group. It also makes money for PADI and dive shops, so we are not going to see it go away.
    To go back to the Original post, though, as I understand things, the original depth limit for AOW was indeed 40metre/140 feet (“ the generally -accepted maximum for recreational Diving”) . Some time back, though (probably when @Tel was in short trousers), they reduced that to 30metres, and started the Deep Diver speciality course.
    In reality though that limit is something for insurance companies and governments to use in classifying who can do what. It says little about the capability of the individual Diver, hence the “in conditions you have trained in” caveat that the lawyers have told PADI, SDI etc to use.
     
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  17. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Yeah I was in short trousers when I did my AOW and got my 42m ticket.
    (it was 42m, not 40m then), that was't cause I was young, but cause it was
    hot and we all wore shorts :p

    BTW here's a couple more, all of which i've seen used for real to gain an advantage.
    Guess which one is the better one :)

    PADI AI vs BSAC AI
    PADI OWSI vs BSAC OWSI
     
  18. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    That's PADI who chose the name to deliberately obfuscate and mislead people.

    I honestly thought I was "advanced" after I did that course. Mind you, they also mislead DiveMASTERs into believing they're "masters" -- minimum of 50 dives required to be a DM...

    Even now, with many hundreds of dives behind me with dozens of decompression dives, I don't consider myself 'advanced'.

    It's deliberately misleading of PADI to use that misnomer and they damn-well know it.
     
  19. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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  20. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Well, trainee divers (and the dive centres) can interpret it how they like, I never felt that or felt that the actual material or dive centre I used ever positioned it that way.

    It's people saying "Oh, yeah, I'm Advanced" who propagate the myth, but certainly the impression that you can jump and do 30M dives anywhere after the AOW course (especially if you do it straight after the OW one as some do or your deep dive was to 19M - mine was to 28M) is a bad one.

    Getting "Advanced" anywhere in your grading is a lot harder with BSAC, but it's still fairly irrelevant as a term! :D

    M

    PS I'd agree, though, that the word 'Advanced' (or more relevantly, the attitude that you are 'advanced') has no place in the thinking diver's world! I've been skiing for 30+ years, but always balk at calling myself Advanced, but if I don't I get bindings that release when I turn on the piste and grouped with people still struggling with Stem Christies in Ski School! (actually that last bit's probably not true as no-one learns them any more! :D)
     
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