Before you get yourself caught up in the ego of scuba diving, considering the following story.
The First Real Scuba Dive
It was a warm windless day in Ponto D’Ouro, Southern Mozambique when I took a group of open water divers for their first PADI ocean dive. The training had gone very well and everyone had had extremely good practice with hand signals, diving gear and buoyancy control.
They were ready as they’d ever be.
One gentleman in particular had his 10 year old son with him. His son was sharp as a pin, picking up every skill needed to ace the PADI Open Water course. The dad had done fairly well too. He was well prepared. But there was one big problem…
He would butt in when other students asked questions about diving and give his version of the correct answer. He would point out other mistakes before I had a chance to correct them appropriately. All in all, he was a know-it-all dickhead. He was also a smoker which lead to him being out of breath really quickly.
When all the students drove out to the dive site, brand new fins in hand, everyone was excited. You could feel the energy and excitement in the group. Everyone was ready. To top it all off, conditions where perfect. Mozambique often gets around 30 meters visibility and this was going to be a scuba dive these students would remember for the rest of their lives.
OK to Dive
We descend on arguably the most beautiful shallow dive in the world, Doodles, the main scuba diving reef in Ponto D’Ouro.
Everyone equalizes perfectly and even the 10 year old boy is extremely comfortable. The awe of the magnificence around the diving students can only be described as utterly breathtaking. (But this is part of the problem… more on this later.)
A quick side note: You can read about many other diving stories and diving related gear reviews here.
Open Water Dive #1 Skills Completed
After everyone completed the skills required to complete the first dive, we all had a few minutes to explore the surroundings. Paired up, the students moved slowly and carefully over the sandy patches surrounding the pristine reef.
Now, in the scuba safety briefing, we covered hand signals. Everyone knew exactly how to show they were running low on air when they reached 50 bar and also how to show the cut-throat “Out of Air” signal.
The A-hole with no prior warning swims up to me and shows out of air!
My disbelief has me reeling. Did he forget to tell me when he reached 50 Bar. I had checked with the group several time throughout the dive. I even did some of my own checking periodically.
No, he really did! He didn’t forget to show me… he was too embarrassed! How could someone who “knew so much” be the first to be out of air! His EGO lead him to this very point.
Well now we had to fix things and quick!
I checked his pressure gauge and it was on zero! We we’re 8 meters down!
Here’s where the dive turned really bad
I instructed him to immediately request to buddie breathe. His buddie was right there ready help. Believe it or not, the a-hole grabs the octo and with the panic, inserts it into his mouth upside down. He inhales deeply (after having held his breath for his super ultra-coolness) and swallows a large gulp of sea water.
He flips out, rips off his mask and begins to ascend!
Immediately I step in and punch through his waving arms with my octo into his mounth and press the purge to force air down his lungs. I have to hold him with both my arms and legs patting him on the chest as I control his ascent.
The worst of it is this is all happening in front of his 10 year old son!
Damn! Please remember, don’t let ago get in the way of you staying alive, especially when you’re a dickhead.