Simon Pridmore

The Lone Wolf

The scene for this story is a liveaboard in Southeast Asia, which, on most of its itineraries, would offer guests four dives a day and imposed a 60-minute maximum dive time for each dive. Divers were also asked to stay together on a dive, and follow their guide. There were 12 divers and three guides, so each guide would usually be leading four divers.

Routine Matters

Forgot your mask, fins or dive computer? It usually happens when you least expect it, just when you are dive-fit, in the groove and able to trust your instincts—or so you believe. (Illustration compiled with images from Pixabay)

It was day seven of the liveaboard trip and the twentieth dive of Darren’s holiday. He joined his team in the tender boat and they sped off to the dive site. He donned his gear and ran through his usual pre-dive checks, while the guide dropped in to do a current check. It was only when the countdown began for all the divers to roll into the water together that Darren reached for the mask hanging around his neck… and it was not there.

Choosing a BCD: Solutions for the Slight

A boy in a harness-and-wing system, which is adjustable, so it fits him perfectly. The system allows the head to be held higher on the surface of the water than a conventional jacket-style BCD does. It is easier to control and does not squeeze the diver’s ribcage and inhibit breathing when the air cell is fully inflated. Photo by Simon Pridmore.

In 2014, off the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, a diver on a discover scuba experience died when she became separated from her group and ran out of air. She was discovered on the surface, floating face down. The inquest found that the dive operation involved was to blame because they had failed to supervise her properly.

Selling Yourself Short: Your Skills Are Worth Nothing and You Work for Free

Salaries and benefits for new scuba instructors vary widely but, generally speaking, diving jobs are not well paid, and this is another reason why you really need to have a vocation for teaching in order to survive in this line of work.

At some point, many keen divers entertain the notion of giving up their 9-to-5 job and following the dream of becoming a professional scuba diver, making a living from their hobby and combining work with passion. After all, the advertisements for instructor courses in the dive magazines make it sound easy. All you have to do is sign up, fork out the dough and take the plunge. What could possibly go wrong?

What Does It Take to be a "Good Diver"? Part II

Technical diver in Lake Baikal, Russia. Photo by Andrey Bizyukin.

You are chatting with a diving friend and the conversation turns to mutual acquaintances. “Do you know Bob and Carol?” your friend asks. “Oh yes, good divers!” you reply. We will usually refer to someone as a good diver when they are not around. We will rarely say it to their face. And it is something that we all rather hope people say about us behind our backs.

What Does It Take to Be a “Good Diver?” — Part One

You are chatting with a diving friend and the conversation turns to mutual acquaintances. “Do you know Bob and Carol?” your friend asks. “Oh yes, good divers!” you reply. We will usually refer to someone as a good diver when they are not around. We will rarely say it to their face. And it is something that we all rather hope people say about us behind our backs.

Preconditioning for Safer Scuba Diving

This column is adapted from a chapter in my book, Scuba Physiological – Think you know all about Scuba Medicine? Think Again! The chapters in this book were originally written by scientists in the field of decompression research as part of a three-year project called PHYPODE (Physiology of Decompression). My (self-appointed) task was to rewrite their sometimes-complex research in a form accessible to all divers.