neophyte's question (not answered in FAQ): Why get certified?

neophyte's question (not answered in FAQ): Why get certified?

Post by Leland Woodbu » Thu, 27 Jun 1991 01:17:56


I am new to diving.  I just returned from Hawaii, where I dove (for the
1st time in my life) off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.  Came back
to discover this newsgroup.  I read the "Regular Monthly Posting" (and
the FAQ provided therein) by Nick Simicich and, though I found it
helpful, was surprised that a very basic question is not addressed
there:  Why get certified?  Of course, everyone "knows" -- even
non-divers know -- that if one is to be serious about diving, one gets
"certified."  But nobody's explained:  Why do it?  For that matter, what
does "certified" mean?  What are the consequences/limitations of not
doing it?

Leland Woodbury
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neophyte's question (not answered in FAQ): Why get certified?

Post by Nicholas J. Simici » Mon, 15 Jul 1991 15:01:08

Quote:

>I am new to diving.  I just returned from Hawaii, where I dove (for the
>1st time in my life) off the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.  Came back
>to discover this newsgroup.  I read the "Regular Monthly Posting" (and
>the FAQ provided therein) by Nick Simicich and, though I found it
>helpful, was surprised that a very basic question is not addressed
>there:  Why get certified?  Of course, everyone "knows" -- even
>non-divers know -- that if one is to be serious about diving, one gets
>"certified."  But nobody's explained:  Why do it?  For that matter, what
>does "certified" mean?  What are the consequences/limitations of not
>doing it?

This question has only come up a couple of times while I've been
reading rec.scuba, and it seems to have a fairly simple answer.  The
type of diving services that you can procure without certification is
quite limited.  You can generally only do shallow dives under the
direct supervision of an instructor, and will typically only be taken
to sites (if there is a choice) that are already trashed, because it
is presumed that you won't know enough to not trash a good site.

In some countries, it is illegal to dive without certification.  But
in the US, there is nothing illegal about diving without
certification.  Typically, you can purchase everything without
certification except for air.  And if you buy a compressor, that
ceases to be a problem.  But you will be pretty much on your own, and
you are unlikely to find that reputable dive charter operators will
take you diving.  

Now, in addition to this, some very useful information is imparted to
you in the certification course.  You might be able to read books and
practice with your friends and learn all of the information presented
in a certification course, but it is likely that you won't learn
everything from books that you would in a modern certification course.

Finally, a good part of a certification course is spent in teaching
you your personal limitations.  After attempts to teach yourself, you
would tend to know what you can do.  A certification course will teach
you what you don't know, and might well show you where your
limitations were.  And that sort of knowledge is what is going to save
your like.

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