To Bring or not to Bring….your cert card on a trip?

Here at the dive shop we always ask for our divers to show their certification card when they sign up for any type of dive.  I am always so surprised how many people make a comment that they were never asked to show it on previous dive trips or we are the first to ask in many years!Getting certified makes you a scuba diver which allows you to dive all over the world!  We all know that, but why should we bring our card if nobody seems to be asking for it anyway?  Then my question is, why bother getting certified, you might as well just dive after you have done some kind of training, right?   WRONG!!!

imagesThe certification card is proof that you are actually certified plus it shows the guide/ divecenter  your level of diving, of course a log book helps but it is not enough.  I am a PADI Course Director and do get to travel once in a while 🙂  I have noticed that the above comment from my customers are valid.  In several cases I have not been asked to show proof of certification.

One of many examples, Sipadan Malaysia trip. I did some research on the internet for diving and it mentioned everywhere that the shops were going to need proof of certification by showing a card. With all the travel commotion I forgot my card, but no biggy as I have everything digital as well! (long live the internet!)  Well guess what? Sipadan has no internet! (not during our trip a few years back)  So on the short domestic flight to Semporna I was all worried I would not be able to dive; as I had no proof.

We got to the divecenter and signed paperwork and set up our own equipment. After returning from a 2 tank boat dive, I asked why they had not asked for our cards? The response was:”you have your own gear so you must be certified, plus after seeing you dive I think you must be a least a divemaster!”  At that time I was still an Master Instructor but after I told him my cert level and my husbands ( a PADI CD already) things changed.  The magic PADI Course Director level just got everyone on their toes!  New divers had timages-2o show proof of certification, buddy checks were all of the sudden mandatory, as well as buoyancy checks.

I couldn’t believe how much the attitude had changed by having a PADI CD as one of your customers.  It shouldn’t be like that.  Every diver needs to show proof and every diver should be screened on last time of diving.

Last week on of our divers inquired about Bat islands (an advanced dive with currents and depths to 30 m/ 100ft) He was certified open water, so we apologized but refused to take him along.  He was a bit upset and mentioned how another shop would take him.  They had never asked for his certification level.  We explained the whole dive and its conditions, so he signed up for a local dive. I am so happy, both him and us made the right decision as he had a small panic attack on the descent line. (Bat islands has no line) Now can you imagine what could have happened if he did go to the Bat islands?  I dont even want to think about it!

Bring your card, insist on having the center check it, make sure you let them know if you have not been diving for a while, don’t refuse a refresh, and know your own limits and restrictions!  BE A SAFE DIVER!



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