Originally Posted by BruceB
(hangs head in shame and gets coat)
Should think so too!!
However, the important point is to have something that will cut off the engine if the person in charge of the boat is in the water. Provided the mechanism used is reliable and functions as it should every time, does it really matter how it works? Perhaps not - but it obviously does have to do the job properly.
My personal preference is very very much in favour of the physical connection and the security of the killcord, but even they can malfunction.
For someone who regularly leaves the control position and has to move around the boat, a wireless system must have some perceived advantages, but I'm not sure that those advantages make up for the risks and the temptation to fall into bad practice.
Personally, if I'm working with divers, I would normally stay at the helm. I see my role as "diver-driver" to be in charge of their safety by being in control of the boat, and to do that best means being at the controls. I would always require a divemaster on board with me, and he can help them get back on board if they can't get up a boarding ladder by themselves. At the very most, I might help the first - he can help the rest.
There are some things about the wireless systems that make me uncomfortable. First of all, I think it would take me some time and lots of trials to be confident with it. I'm not sure if it has a low-battery warning, and that would make me nervous. I'm not sure which system I looked at, but I remember that if you fell in the water wearing it you could be 50m away before it activated the stop switch (I really don't want to swim that far - especially if there is a wind blowing the boat away quicker than I can swim), and the system "for security reasons" would only allow the engine to run for a short period until the driver is back on board and reactivates it. Sorry, but the security I want is knowing that the engine will keep running until I'm picked up, and if the necklace thing fell off (does it float?) I can still use the engine to get home.
Maybe one day - but I don't trust the technology yet.