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full article text can be found here: https://jcaelitescuba.com/articles/Address-the-Issue-of-Diver-Competence.htm
Dive Training Magazine: July 2012
Editorials: Addressing the Issue of Diver Competence
Text by Alex Brylske
"It's inevitable that once we've done something for what seems like a lifetime, one begins to look at newbies with a jaundiced eye. How many of us haven't told our kids about the good old days when the grass was greener, the sky bluer and the air clearer? The fact is that the human psyche (probably as a defense mechanism) tends to remember the good and forget the bad."
"I've had many similar conversations with old-salt divers, and I've found that what it really comes down to is their lack of understanding of how diving (including the diver himself) has changed over the years. When you and I started diving, divers were a pretty homogeneous bunch. The norm was reasonably good physical condition, a high level of comfort in the water and training that would make a Marine Corps drill instructor envious. And most important of all, we dove a lot. You could say that diving was more or less all we did for pleasure. Well, look around on any dive boat and you'll see how much that's changed."
"Today's diver can't be pigeonholed. They include big and burly types as well as kids, older folks (like us) and people who never imagined they'd ever purposely jump into water over their heads. What's made this possible, of course, is vastly improved equipment technology. Equally significant is that today's diver enjoys diving, all right, but not to the exclusion of other recreational interests. This means that instead of making 50 or 100 dives a year (common in days past) the average diver today, I'll wager, probably makes fewer than a dozen dives a year."
"There's also a lot of confusion about exactly what training can realistically achieve. Divers are initially qualified through a certification process, but they remain qualified only through continued experience. In no field can certification alone guarantee competence."
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