I went on a dive to the Yukon and the Ruby E this weekend. Two guys on the same dive boat were visiting San Diego and decided to go diving. Nice enough guys, but I noticed the following as everyone was getting ready to go out to the wrecks:
1) Wetsuits were on backwards, hoods were on outside the suit
2) One had 30 lbs of lead on him, but only weighed about 150 lbs
3) Couldn’t remember how to gear up, connect hoses
4) Did not have a dive computer or tables for nitrogen exposure < ! >
5) Talked about going inside the Yukon, but had no wreck reel or experience penetrating wrecks < ! >
It was an accident waiting to happen if I’ve ever seen one. The Yukon is not a forgiving wreck, and these guys did not have any room for error. I ended up being their dive buddy and tried to help them out. It was a bit of a mess. They were nice guys, but it was a downer to pay for a dive trip and end up being the mother hen. Ultimately I’d rather do that than worry about whether or not they were going to get bent, or come back up at all.
In theory, I’m a big supporter of personal responsibility. I think we are coddled too much, and don’t react well when something doesn’t go to plan. It is one of the things I love about travel to other countries. But in this case, I’m not sure what to think. They really had no business being on the boat. I’m guessing there was an attitude of “if they let us do it, it must be safe”.
If you only dive every few years, or only in tropical water, please go to a refresher class. At the very least start on something easy, like La Jolla cove, then work your way up to wreck dives. Don’t put your life at risk and make other people responsible for your safety.