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Block Buster News In Por Esto Re Scuba Mau Dive Op


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#41 CZMDM

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:30 AM

When the incident happened there were hundreds of posts on ScubaBoard. The most common theme: "I didn't know which op to use but I know I am going with this one now"

When instructors and DMs end up bent 3 times the response was similar: "You're our hero. We cannot wait to dive with you"

I can just see these people making a decision about say the use of a bus company:

wife:"Which should we use baby? Ameri-bus or Greyhound.
husband: "Well I just read that an Ameri-bus hit a pole and killed all the passengers!"
wife: "Well it's obvious what company we should use."
in unison: "Ameri-bus!"

When the glass bottom boat pulled up to make an open water crossing, nobody held a gun to those divers heads and made them get in the boat. Frankly if you really don't know enough about boats and the sea to not make a better decision than that....sooner or later you are going to let someone talk you into something that will get you killed.

We need to be able to trust any operation that is available to the public. But the public has to make a slight contribution to their own well being. Forget being a dive instructor, just as a guy who wants to live as long as possible, when I read all those crazy posts, I could really only shake my head. It would be funny if it wasn;t concerning something dangerous.
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#42 Spencer

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:51 AM

CZMDM - Thanks for watching out for that sort of thing. Factual info on activities are fine but I agree bashing someone no longer here to defend themselves and putting a strain on their family is not productive. To all who monitor this site...GREAT JOB!
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#43 CZMDM

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:03 AM

CZMDM - Thanks for watching out for that sort of thing. Factual info on activities are fine but I agree bashing someone no longer here to defend themselves and putting a strain on their family is not productive. To all who monitor this site...GREAT JOB!



Thanks, but the only reason I even mentioned it is that if people want to hate on somebody for its removal and they will....they need to hate on me and not Carey.

I would like to make a small point and a lot of you won't probably even know what I am talking about. There is a Canadian guy who loved diving with Mau. This person has been very vocal about it and has been hated on from everybody like people who know nothing to the guy who survived the incident.

Of the 3 divers only one had DAN insurance and he was not an employee. The internet "diving community" was shocked, but people here live week to week and they don't have the money to do things like you might elsewhere. After the incident the Canadian guy (and you people hating on him, know full well who it is), without bragging about it or posting it on ScubaBoard, came down here and paid for DAN insurance for ALL of the remaining DM's. IMHO, on the internet, so many times, the good guys are treated like villians and the bad guys are treated as heros. It is beyond me, but hey it's the internet.
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#44 cookielady

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:30 AM

Mike... Thank you for removing the offensive pieces of the thread and trying to keep the topic constructive.
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#45 CZMDM

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

Thank you CL. I have always appreciated how your love and concern for the island and its residents is reflected in so many of your posts. Hope to see you here soon.
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#46 cvchief

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 01:19 PM

Thanks, but the only reason I even mentioned it is that if people want to hate on somebody for its removal and they will....they need to hate on me and not Carey.

I would like to make a small point and a lot of you won't probably even know what I am talking about. There is a Canadian guy who loved diving with Mau. This person has been very vocal about it and has been hated on from everybody like people who know nothing to the guy who survived the incident.

Of the 3 divers only one had DAN insurance and he was not an employee. The internet "diving community" was shocked, but people here live week to week and they don't have the money to do things like you might elsewhere. After the incident the Canadian guy (and you people hating on him, know full well who it is), without bragging about it or posting it on ScubaBoard, came down here and paid for DAN insurance for ALL of the remaining DM's. IMHO, on the internet, so many times, the good guys are treated like villians and the bad guys are treated as heros. It is beyond me, but hey it's the internet.


That guy seems to be a nice guy. (And nearly a resident as much as he is on the Island.) I nailed him with a set of beads during the second parade... :)
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#47 nauticab

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:05 PM

mike i had no idea he did that and it was very generous on his part. thanks for that tidbit of info.
i just hope and pray we have no more "incidents" like this in 2012. enough is enough.
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#48 Coz2wonder

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:31 PM

Question for you Mike.

When engaging a dive operations for service, what documents should the operator be able to provide to the customer?

The most important I would think would be that they have a business license, they carries insurance, they have current certification for all of their staff, DM, Instructor, boat captain, as examples.

Also, is First Aid training and certification part of the requirement to operate a commercial dive operation business.

It's my opinion that the customer has every right to protect themselves, and ensure their own safety . The only way to do that is with knowledge.

So, that being said, what questions SHOULD be asked, and what documents should be readily available by the OP?

As far as the boat, what are some of the basics as far as readiness, and emergency equipment on board that I customer should be looking for.
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#49 nauticab

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

want to jump in regarding your questions paula (which are excellent and mike's answers should shed light on the subject for many people).
when i worked as a DM with an operation dealing with the cruise ships, the company's credentials and those of the DMs were fully documented. our safety guidelines were explicitly detailed for the cruiseline, and not only did we need to provide documentation of our DM and instructor certifications, all of us, including capt and mates, had to take DAN first aid and oxygen provider courses, and of course we had to have the DAN O2 cases for each boat and during snorkeling excursions (even shore excursion). aside from this, each of the DMs and instructors were required to hold personal DAN insurance as well as PADI professional insurance (which covers injuries of your clients). all of these costs came out of our pockets or were deducted from our pay. as far as we knew, other dive shops NOT working with cruise ships HAD to comply with all of these standards, some but probably not all. mike, you can elaborate or correct me.
this was 10 years ago BTW. in order to have the concession with the ships, that is what we needed. it baffles me seeing DMs here with no insurance, although standard DAN insurance is not covered to the full extent here for those working as DMs. however, additional insurance IS available and IMHO, it should be a requirement for all employees to carry it. for those who do not know, master and preferred DAN insurance plans run between $75 and $100usd. ONE trip in the chamber can run $5000usd.
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#50 CZMDM

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:06 AM

Most of the documentation is between the operation and the parks board and the city and fed. The boat will have the mat. number and should have the park permit, and insurance. All licensing for the boat, the Captain docs and the DM's park docs.........the reality is that those documents are usually kept with accountants or in other safe locations like you would house documents. Any number of public entities can demand to see them. With the newer attitude towards boat inspections for both safety and drugs some boats keep their docs on-board. I don't in general feel the need to show all this documentation to the client anymore than I would ask an airline for their legal documentation. Some dive ops have good records, some have never had a diving accident and some have had multiple accidents or incidents of people being bent. These things I believe are on the diver to investigate and for the local community to be honest about.

In the old days there was no way to really check the reliability of a dive op or DM or instructor, unless an op or diver was banned outright. Today there is the internet. But I find a lot of BS on the internet. DM's and instructors that live in tropical locations tend to be treated like rock stars on the internet. I have seen blogs on-line concerning DM's and instructors who have been bent or have jeopordized the well being of divers. The result always amazes me. Instead of demanding to know what happened and looking at the situation objectively many times the majority of the on-line "diving community" will turn on the blogger and condemn them instead. I cannot fathom this dynamic. I want to dive with good safe divers. I don't trust divers who are repeatedly bent or have repeatedly been called out over diver safety. I mean I won't even take out divers who have been bent repeatedly. So the dynamic of people who defend bad DM's and instructors always amazes me. When some diver points out a serious problem with an op I want to thank him, not try and make him look like some kind of crazy person who terrorizes dive ops because of some unknown personal derangement. About two months ago a diver reported on CMC that he had witnessed a drug transaction. The first several posts in response were not of shock or anger about the incident but rather anger and claims of some type of vendetta against the op by the blogger. This kind of stuff blows my mind, because I knew if the same thing happened in the states divers would be screaming to have the op checked out. I think it would be helpful if PADI would investigate on its own, as they certainly must be aware of most of these incidents.

DM's must be CPR and First-Aid certified and must be Park certified. This is usually between the op and the DM or instructor. Most DM's will have some variation of a DM or an instructor card with them. I keep an instructors card with my dive kit, but my park permit I leave at home as it is a major problem to replace it.

I used to feel that depending upon their intended use it should be visually obvious to most divers whether or not any given boat was sea-worthy. I was used to boating in Florida and the Bahamas where USCG standards are applied rigidly. Here on the island I am no longer sure that I believe that. I see divers getting into boats I would never get into. A lot of boats here would never pass a coast guard inspection. When you have a shallow freeboard (the distance between the water and the upper decking of the boat) the boat can be swamped by waves either from weather related waves or the wake other boats. Personally I like using "real" boats. The last boat I owned here, a 27' Boston Whaler had a freeboard of nearly 2 feet at the stern and nearly 3 feet at the center. A lot of homemade boats have freeboards of less than 14 inches at the center of the boat. To me that is not a boat. It is a canoe with an outboard. There are some local made boats, ie Aldora boats that have decent keels, sponsons, sit high out of the water, are properly powered and are very seaworthy. Many boats here do not have bilge pumps. During the course of the year this leads to a few boat sinkings.

There are virtually no navigational markers anywhere in the area. As a matter of fact if you want to see something hilarious walk to where you can see the end of the pier at Punta Langosta. At the very tip on either side of the pier there are two lights, one red and one green. When approaching shore, by boat, a red light on the right and the green on the left indicates a safe channel to enter an area of shallow water. So to a Captain at sea, what those lights indicate is a channel between them. Luckily we rarely have fog and the pier is visible because where the signal indicates a channel sits the pier. I am surprised that someone hasn't plowed right into it.

Of course there should be marine radio, life preservers, anchor, extra line, life jackets, oxygen, flares and if possible an EPIRB on board any boat. There should be an emergency plan in place. On the island IMHO the best plan in case of accident would be to get in touch with an ambulance and set up rendezvous point to connect with it and get the diver there while they are using oxygen as, in most cases, the land vehicle is much faster than the boat. After that the DM would need to get to the clinic and make sure the medics have all the correct information of the dive profile.

DAN insurance: If you can only afford one piece of diving equipment make sure that it is DAN insurance. IMHO only a totally irresponsible diver would be without it. Like Dailene stated chamber treatments are extremely expensive. With DAN you are not only covered for chamber treatments, DAN also covers things like: Air lifts to the USA, hospital stays in the USA and it will even cover hotel for spouses or partners if the diver ends up in a State that is not where they live.

IMHO diving computers should have been made a mandatory piece of gear a long time ago, just like a pressure gauge. The idea of a group of divers going out without a computer and then basing their dive on the profile of the DM is an accident waiting to happen. This is slightly off-set by the fact that most computers are way too consevative. I have a Skinny Dipper computer from 20+ years ago. I matched it to the computer I used now. At one point on the second dive at roughly 45 feet the newer computer gave me a max bottom time of 45 minutes. My old computer at the same point showed me having a remaining bottom time of 124 minutes.

Like everything in life, the ultimate responsibility is on the one who is taking part in the activity. Pointing fingers after a diving accident is almost always an exercise in futility. There are a lot of excellent divers here. There are some divers who just want to hit on chicks on the boat (watch out for those weight belt gropers) and drink all night. There are a handful of people that really should have lost their credentials a long time ago.

In the end, when I get on a boat no matter who is driving it or who owns it or who may be the DM.......my well being is on me. In every risk situation I put myself in.....I put the entire responsibility on me. When I participate in risk activities, I never submit to peer pressure. If I am not going to look out for myself and make intelligent decisions about my well being and safety then who will?
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#51 ScubaMom56

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

the black eye on the diving industry after opal's tragic incident.... i was referring to heath's claim that the downcurrents took them to 350+ feet which as we all know, is a lie. it was a CYA scheme for his irresponsible actions. but this scheme, albeit short lived, spread like wildfire as to the "dangers" of diving here. yes, there are downcurrents, but any experienced divemaster here knows how to see them from the surface, underwater, on the wall, and how to best avoid them or get out of them. the general public of SB did not understand this and there were something like 15 pages of posts before the truth got out that there was NO downcurrent.so while her personal dive decision was just that, heath's posts and claims left an ugly scar for the business community of cozumel.april, i hope the upcoming memorial helps you and your family bring a comforting closure to this tragedy. take care.



So much for me offering an olive branch......


Thanks, but the only reason I even mentioned it is that if people want to hate on somebody for its removal and they will....they need to hate on me and not Carey.I would like to make a small point and a lot of you won't probably even know what I am talking about. There is a Canadian guy who loved diving with Mau. This person has been very vocal about it and has been hated on from everybody like people who know nothing to the guy who survived the incident. Of the 3 divers only one had DAN insurance and he was not an employee. The internet "diving community" was shocked, but people here live week to week and they don't have the money to do things like you might elsewhere. After the incident the Canadian guy (and you people hating on him, know full well who it is), without bragging about it or posting it on ScubaBoard, came down here and paid for DAN insurance for ALL of the remaining DM's. IMHO, on the internet, so many times, the good guys are treated like villians and the bad guys are treated as heros. It is beyond me, but hey it's the internet.


Thank-you for this information. I couldn't understand, the boyz were upset over the systematic destruction and eradication by "the Canadian" and Mau of everything Opal and the boyz had accomplished, the domain theft and website redirects, but, the boyz didn't say or do anything. Now I know why. wow, just wow.... I hope you will please excuse me if I don't join in on this chorus of "for he's a jolly good fellow". wow, just wow..... unbelievable..... wow.
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#52 CZMDM

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:42 PM

So much for me offering an olive branch......




Thank-you for this information. I couldn't understand, the boyz were upset over the systematic destruction and eradication by "the Canadian" and Mau of everything Opal and the boyz had accomplished, the domain theft and website redirects, but, the boyz didn't say or do anything. Now I know why. wow, just wow.... I hope you will please excuse me if I don't join in on this chorus of "for he's a jolly good fellow". wow, just wow..... unbelievable..... wow.



Thank you for helping me make my point..............in Cozumel, no good deed goes unpunished.

Can you please explain how an act of kindness (buying uninsured people insurance) might have caused the systematic destruction and eradication of anything?
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#53 Coz2wonder

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:36 PM

Thanks Nauticab, and Mike...if we could boil it done to check list that would help greatly.

Nobody wants/should to be put in a position where they would be fighting for their lives.
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#54 ScubaMom56

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

Thank you for helping me make my point..............in Cozumel, no good deed goes unpunished. Can you please explain how an act of kindness (buying uninsured people insurance) might have caused the systematic destruction and eradication of anything?


Had all "the Canadian" had done was to buy the insurance, then, left the shop alone to heal and recover from the loss of Opal, that would have been highly commendable, but, that wasn't what he did. His "good deed" had an ulterior motive of getting his favorite person to dive with back into the shop by eradicating the history of the shop like it was a "new" shop, then he could bring Mau back in and there would be all that wonderful history sans Opal. This started less than 10 days after Opal had died. All internet history was erased and new history was placed on scuba board putting Mau as the energy behind the shop and Opal was just his wife. With the purchase of the insurance, it put him in a "good guy" light, too bad it just wasn't bright enough to blind so the behind the scenes underhandedness couldn't be seen. But hey, he bought them insurance, before he tried to destroy and discredit them.

When I do something for someone it isn't in my thought process as to, "Ok, now I've done this for them, now, how can I use it to my advantage."
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#55 CZMDM

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:17 AM

Had all "the Canadian" had done was to buy the insurance, then, left the shop alone to heal and recover from the loss of Opal, that would have been highly commendable, but, that wasn't what he did. His "good deed" had an ulterior motive of getting his favorite person to dive with back into the shop by eradicating the history of the shop like it was a "new" shop, then he could bring Mau back in and there would be all that wonderful history sans Opal. This started less than 10 days after Opal had died. All internet history was erased and new history was placed on scuba board putting Mau as the energy behind the shop and Opal was just his wife. With the purchase of the insurance, it put him in a "good guy" light, too bad it just wasn't bright enough to blind so the behind the scenes underhandedness couldn't be seen. But hey, he bought them insurance, before he tried to destroy and discredit them.

When I do something for someone it isn't in my thought process as to, "Ok, now I've done this for them, now, how can I use it to my advantage."


People here have heard so many wild rumors since the accident. So much stuff has been posted about it from local instructors to people who have never even seen Cozumel. Would you like to take the time to give us your view of the situation? Would you be interested in telling us the status of the dive shop now? There was also a lot of noise about the funds collected via FaceBook not making it to you or the hospital. Did you ever recieve those funds or did someone make off with them? If you felt like it you could really clear the air on this stuff by telling us your side of the story. I feel a little morbid asking you this, but I would really like to see the air cleared and if you have been ripped off or the dive op has been ripped off, I think it would be good the finally hear the story from someone who actually knows. I promise that you will not be seeing a lot of hateful posts here about it no matter what you decide.
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#56 MarkC

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:07 PM

<all ears>
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#57 bulsaros

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:19 PM

the only people that know the real truth are the ones who were actually involved at the time of the incident,pure speculation is absolutely no good to anyone
Scubamom should be left alone to grieve, lets not forget this woman's daughter has only recently passed away, when and if she feels like commenting on the tragic
events then she will do so, coming on this forum to defend her daughters action and business status against untruths must be gut wrenching for her
My opinion and its only my opinion is that everyone should keep their thoughts to themselves and not dredge up anymore cr*p.
I would like to see this thread locked with no further comments, will it happen over to you admin.
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#58 Charles

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:42 PM

..... the domain theft and website redirects, but, the boyz didn't say or do anything. Now I know why. wow, just wow....


I saw the domain issue and the website redirects with my own eyes. I thought that was truly unbelievable. If all is fair in love, war and business, I thought that was a new low for Cozumel. April, I am horrified and dismayed that you still need to be posting, especially on this board. After all that you have been through, I'll bet you're one hell of a tough lady, but no mother should have to experience what you have been through.

I'm not a diver, I never met Opal, but I know that many people, both her friends and those that took interest after the "unfortunate incident" will remember her as the girl with the radiant smile. I followed the whole "affair" from Alaska as two of my friends that work there were neighbors of Opal's.

There were many acts of compassion and kindness, but I was horrified at how quickly many people wanted to throw everyone under the bus. My first day back on the island in September, the day after my arrival, the first thing I did was to give $1,200 pesos to Gabi's wife so his family, his children could have food on the table.

I see no reason that a witch hunt could not be mounted to include numerous dive shops. Those that have been around know that a lot more than these two have made the papers and a lot of shops were fortunate to have had incidents overlooked. Since Mexican Law is rarely applied here and PADI seems weak, simple rumor or hear say from the street should be sufficient. A bus can be rented through the taxi union, maybe an older model at a discount if it is to only run over not transport people. To all of those who might fall into the category of "there by the grace of God go I" who managed to survive youthful indiscretions, no matter, feel free to go right to the front and start throwing stones with the rest. After judgement is passed on offending dive shops, their owners, assorted dive masters and instructors, don't forget their families too. That is where the bus comes in, no reason to not serve as an example to all.

I sure wish I could have nominated the dive master who took 15 divers on a night dive between the two cruise ship piers back in 1999. With four ships docked, currents carried the group in all directions. The divers struggled ashore exhausted from close to the International pier to almost the Presidente. I had to get the security team of Grupo H to search the waters and beaches with their flashlights, talk the taxi union rep to transport the divers back to their starting point where the drivers would get paid. The obviously non-experienced divemaster, knew nothing of the currents, spoke not a word of Spanish and only by miracle were no divers lost that night. I had to scream at him to give me a count of how many divers were involved, he wasn't really sure. Had one of the ships been leaving or the vehicle ferry arriving, it could have had a very unpleasant outcome.

I read Por Esto regularly, online daily, but regularly a paper copy when on the island. The article quoted, printed on February 7th, I read no less than four times initially. That was hands down the worst article with the most gross inaccuracies of any article I have ever read in Por Esto! Although they have produced outstanding works of investigative journalism, two of the times I read the article was to count the number of gross errors made that even a casual bystander knew was wrong.

April, I hope you can manage some form of the memorial that has been planned for next month. I used to live off Williston Road close to the Wachahoota Road, almost neighbors. I wish you the best, you surely deserve better than what life has handed you lately.
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#59 Spencer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:52 PM

Charles that was a beautiful, well thought out post. Seems this would be a good time to lock this thread before scubamom starts getting attacked for not responding...Carey, CZMDM and others please consider locking this thread as a dignified act of kindness and not as an act of pushing it under the carpet..others can converse about this offline if they feel the need.

Thanks soo much for you consideration on this matter.
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#60 cookielady

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:28 PM

I agree with Spencer regarding Charles post and the need to close this thread.
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