Scuba diving is an enjoyable, fun hobby but also one that comes with certain risks. Anyone who reads diver's accident reports will come across several tragic cases of injury or even accidental death. Those new to the sport place a lot of trust in instructors and other professionals to help keep them safe during the initial learning and certification process. Diving students should be aware of what responsibilities these professionals must take serious as any dereliction of duty could provide the basis for a civil suit.
Ensure the Equipment is Safe
Diving students doubtfully possess the necessary experience to select the right equipment. A diving instructor should warn a student if he/she feels the student has acquired cheap or unsafe equipment. The student should also be notified when the equipment is ill-fitting or being worn improperly.
Before the student dives off a boat, the instructor should double-check to make sure no obvious problems are present. The dive boat crew should also be on the lookout for clear defects in equipment. The company renting out the equipment must never offer anything in less-than-perfect condition.
Remember, any party that contributes to the distribution or use of unsafe equipment could be held liable in the event of a disaster.
Provide an Honest Assessment
An instructor who passes a student in an open diver certification class when the student clearly had not performed at an acceptable level might be liable in the event of an accident. So could the dive center that employs the instructor.
Instructors who cut a student a lot of slack out of fear the student may no longer patronize the dive center or the instructor's services are committing a grave disservice. Once the student is certified, he/she is allowed to rent equipment without restriction and also engage in risky or dangerous dives without supervision. In the aftermath of an accident, if it is discovered the instructor passed a student who deserved to fail, a good personal injury lawyer will likely prove culpability.
Admonish Ill-Behaving Students
With group classes, instructors and dive masters are responsible for maintaining the good behavior of the students. Any participant who is engaged in dangerous horseplay or otherwise poses a threat to the group should be removed from the class. Allowing high-risk, reckless actions means the instructors, the dive boat, and the dive center could all share in the liabilities caused by the misbehaving student.
If you are injured due to any type of negligence, stay on dry land for a while and speak with an attorney from a firm like Schlicter & Schonack LLP.