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Do skippers abandon dives unnecessarily ?

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by minus273degrees, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. minus273degrees

    minus273degrees Active Member

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    So from seeing the post about BSAC clubs tripping to the coast and more likely to find a dive even when the weather is bad if they have their own boat due to the fact that they have tripped all the way there etc.

    I pose the question do you think skippers are over cautious or cancel dives due to bad weather more frequently than what is really needed.

    Is there a culture of almost not expecting the dive to take place in this country ....
     
  2. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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    In my (limited) experience of south coast channel diving over the last six or seven years, I have only had two occasions where the skipper has called it off. I have had several trips though where my personal risk assessment told me not to get in the water (although other members of the group did have a dive).
    I think the issue may be greater when tech divers have arranged a "special" trip in the 50+ metre trimix zone, where skippers have offered a shallow alternative, leading to much grumpiness when mix is wasted.
     
  3. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Not in my experience.

    There are skippers who can read the weather and take into account the travelling required to get to them and can dives that are "iffy" rather than have a load of pissed off divers glaring at them in the pub when the weather worsens and there are skippers who will go out in all weathers in the hope the punters will can the dive before they leave port just so they get to keep the money.
     
    furryman likes this.
  4. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Not so much a culture, more down to the individual skipper as there is a massive variety in
    what they'll do, with some more cautious and others only thinking about the £.

    Some skippers will throw you in when conditions are past borderline to get the full fee,
    others will call it, attempt to get you in somewhere shallow and then claim well you still
    dived and then want full payment. I never pay this and have had some heated "debate".
    Pay for a dive sure, but I want a return on the diesel he saved by doing the harbour etc.

    Others will be a bit too cautious, calling it early somestimes due to the distance divers
    are travelling other times just because they want the divers to have a good trip. I like
    these skippers, usually divers themselves and happy to be safe then sorry.

    Then you've got the random excuse, i've had a boat cancelled "for safety reasons"
    because the date coincided with the round Island power boat race, which funnily enough
    has an easily avoided route. Guess our money wasnt as good as the spectators that
    booked it instead :(


    What I would say though is that it's amazing how many divers have not a clue when it
    comes to simple weather/chartwork/tide planning etc. and rely totally on what the skipper
    says. It's not that difficult to understand some basics so that when skipper says No, you
    can tell if the reason is that it is to rough or that tides are wrong etc , is he's off to his neices
    wedding that w/end.
     
  5. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Nor in my experience.

    and +1 What Dom says. x
     
  6. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    There is probably a bit of both. I've had a few trips that I was really looking forward to cancelled do to poor weather. At the same time I've been out in some 'fun' weather.

    It can also depend on the group of clients booked. I'm fine on a boat and in very rough seas (love it actually), but others not so good.
     
  7. Sidemount_Stu

    Sidemount_Stu Sidemount & Sane!
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    I don't think too many skippers will cancel unless necessary.... it's their livlihood... if they get a rep for un-necessary cancellations... how many potential bookings will go elsewhere..... i can't see it working as a business model that's for sure!

    If anything I think it's more often that boats hold off cancelling in the vain hope the weather will change... sometimes going out calling it "borderline" when it's already a no-go.... skippers cancel as a last resort in my (limited) experience.

    Diving is a pretty small community, word spreads fast, and a good reputation can turn to bad quickly..... they tend not to turn back to good nearly as quickly.....
     
  8. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    Stu's got it about right for me.

    I've done a few trips where the ride out was seriously choppy, but the dive itself was OK, but more than a few where the trip was cancelled a day or two before (and one memorable trip to Weymouth through a torrential downpour only to find the dive was canned a couple of hours before ropes off, but only the once - Usually if you get ropes off, you dive, unless you choose not to yourself).

    I can't think of an occasion where I've thought "They could easily have gone out in this" when the decision to cancel has been made and, as it's the skipper's living, I'd expect, if anything, them to err on the side of optimism, but I guess the risk of being labelled a 'dangerous skipper' would be even worse than an over-cautious one.

    M
     
  9. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Once did a weekend in Plymouth where we ended up diving the Breakwater for a day and we chose to bin the next day where, TBH, I think the skipper should have called it off. Whilst disappointing, it would have been a lot cheaper than spending the weekend on hotels & fuel to get there.

    Tough call though.
     
  10. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    As a result of that trip I withheld payment on a subsequent trip until after the Sunday....
     
  11. minus273degrees

    minus273degrees Active Member

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    Looks like the consensus is that most skippers are pretty fair if and when they call it.

    As its Friday I guess might as well stick it out there, what are peoples thoughts on 'own' boat users / clubs are they more likely to go out in risky situations
     
  12. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    I booked a boat out of Weymouth that got blown out, so the skipper emailed me a
    list of alternative dates that were no good and I emailed saying, give me some more.
    Despite saying this he assumed that the first date on his list was ok and I got a call
    early one Saturday saying where the f*** were we.

    He said that as a gesture he'd reduce the fee minus the diesel and i'd need to pay
    right now. He wasnt best pleased when told him to shove it based on the fact that
    there was no specific offer for consideration or acceptance from me,

    I never paid, but always wonder if he tried it on with others and if I was the only one
    he called that morning. He quit in the end and sold the boat.
     
  13. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Clubs tend to be more conservative, they know the legal ramifications.
    Doesnt mean they don't do adventurous stuff, just that it's done as an expeditiion.

    Own boat users on the other hand do what they like, some will play the same game
    as the clubs others just get on and do it.
     
  14. minus273degrees

    minus273degrees Active Member

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    This sounds interesting ... do go on...???
     
  15. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Instead of doing the same old stuff club plans to do sites away from the usual patch.
    Can be just a different area, but also almost undived or very rarely dived locations.

    BSAC has a fund setup for this, so members can apply for the more involved or
    interesting ones and if accepted they get a small sub to help fund the trip.
     

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