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Old 31 March 2009, 16:09   #11
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I have no axe to grind being qualified within PADI SSAC BSAC TDI and IANTD to a fairly high level
My only concern is not the agency as there are good and bad everywhere but the lack of evidence that diving causes no actual harm to young folk. Its scary enough reading in depth what it does to adults.
While there is no definite prooof either way, the balance is that it is no worse than for adults but this isn't really reasurring, my advice would be to be cautious.

As far as the SSAC/BSAC vs PADI debate. There are good and bad points to both systems but that is not the question being asked.
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Old 31 March 2009, 16:10   #12
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I stopped the upkeep of my BSAC logbook 20+ years ago, so on the odd occasion that I fancy a dive whilst on holiday, I have no hesitation in doing a PADI resort dive.

Morning session in the pool, followed by a shallow water dive in the afternoon, great fun hearing the instructor telling me I learn quick!
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Old 31 March 2009, 17:45   #13
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Do I detect a bit of diving agency bashing here?

I have a mate who's son was on Scuba in the Pool at around 7 years old
become a qualified diver as soon as he was old enough.

The only effect that learning to dive at a young age had is that he was the envy
of mates at school, and enjoyed many great diving trips while his dad was still paying!!!

Good luck to him I say.
I totally agree. We lived by the Red Sea so most of the ex pat's kids dived from a young age - it was just seen as normal. I am not aware of any of them ever having suffered because of it.

Mind you the conditions were so easy - nice warm water - no tides to speak of - viz of about 100' - totally different to the Bristol Channel...........
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Old 01 April 2009, 04:13   #14
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Thanks for the .........

......detailed responses which are very much appreciated - I've sonce been in touch with a local PADI school who voiced many f the issues raised and as s such have given me the confidence to go with them.

I have also just had another email from my brother who is anchorded off Bora Bora as we speak, he advised that yesterday he dove with 20 hammerheads spiraling above him.

Google earth Bora Bora if you fancy having your day ruined ;-(

Thanks again guys........ I'll keep you informed and when I return I'll post some pics.
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Old 01 April 2009, 09:32   #15
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Don't worry about the sharks too much - far more hype than reality. The Red Seas is full of them but they just don't tend to bother people. We often had Makos and hammerheads around us.

The things to watch out for are the innocent looking ones. things like the Lion fish which looks beautiful - the stonefish which you can easily step on in the shallows but can easily kill you - stingrays which are sand coloured and hide under the sand and will lash out if you step on them.

One thing to be especially carefull of with kids are shellfish - things lilke conches etc. They can shoot out a deadly bard from the opening and that can kill. You must teact kids to pick them up from above and keep well away from the slit.

Here is a map showing shark deaths over the last 10 years - more people are killed by falling coconuts - honestly!!!
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Old 01 April 2009, 09:42   #16
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And Bora Bora is amazing - went there and dived when I was about 10 or 11 but still remember it well.

Try a night dive if you can - maybe not for kids but I survived it - what a surreal experience.

We even saw an oarfish - even more incredible at night - it was semi transparent and you could see it's skeleton and the food it had eaten.

It was quite a scary sight - maybe they got the idea of sea monsters from them. The one we saw was about 20' long but some have grown to 56'!!!
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Old 01 April 2009, 16:36   #17
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And Bora Bora is amazing - went there and dived when I was about 10 or 11 but still remember it well.

Try a night dive if you can - maybe not for kids but I survived it - what a surreal experience.

We even saw an oarfish - even more incredible at night - it was semi transparent and you could see it's skeleton and the food it had eaten.

It was quite a scary sight - maybe they got the idea of sea monsters from them. The one we saw was about 20' long but some have grown to 56'!!!
Now that IS a dive and a half,especialy when your that age!On the subject of young divers,I and my brother started at around 11 yrs,can't compete with Codders,although first open water at 'Lamorna Cove'was magic!Went on to dive for years and later did a bit of instruction at a local Public School[for the pupils] in return our club got the use of thier superb pool.No ill-effects seen or reported,although like any 'action sport' it's always best to be cautious with youngsters.As Im sure as a parent you would be.
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Old 02 April 2009, 09:46   #18
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I've done BSAC, SAA and PADI.......blah, blah, blah.... but with youngsters it's a difficult call.. keep them shallow and the physical risks are slight...and by shallow I mean 6m or less.. plenty to see at that depth.... the most important things are maturity and training... that's your call…and I wouldn’t like to make it, as a parent…. If you think she’s mentally mature enough to be calm and not get excited or panic, then with the right training. She'll be fine. I did a very short spell on a Dive Boat in a very exotic location... and some of the "highly qualified" adults shouldn't have been allowed out in anything deeper than a bath.... all "ticketed up" with PADI qualifications coming out of their ears.....it was hard work being an underwater sheep dog... The keen, novice youngsters were much better... they listened… and learned...and saw an awful lot more at shallow depths than some of the old hands who think depth is everything….
I did my training the old-fashioned way… you weren’t allowed near SCUBA gear until you’d proved yourself doing open water snorkelling…… I still believe it was the right way to learn and am a little sceptical about some of these “intensive” direct access type courses….. There was a local PADI instructor who gained the nickname “Fizzy Nick”… all the above is just my personal experience based on being a coward….. but a live one.

… If she does decide to give it a go.. PM me.. I’ve got some of Jo’s gear somewhere and for the cost of getting serviced she can have it…
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… if you can still get the parts for twin hose rigs that is……. Just kidding..
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Old 02 April 2009, 11:15   #19
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I did my training the old-fashioned way… you weren’t allowed near SCUBA gear until you’d proved yourself doing open water snorkelling……
I spent 14 months swimming up and down the pool at Harrow & Wealdstone baths, a couple of times with cooking foil wrapped round me mask to simulate a night dive, before I even got to touch a demand valve! BSAC, don't you just love em.



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… if you can still get the parts for twin hose rigs that is……. Just kidding..
Me first rig was a Siebbe Gorman twin hose
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Old 02 April 2009, 11:27   #20
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...Me first rig was a Siebbe Gorman twelve bolt

...... Old Fecka!
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