If you are a certified diver it will not be long before you hear the words, “Trust me.”
Going beyond your limitations as a diver might seem like an exciting adventure and having someone to take you to a place that you are not yet trained or certified to see will certainly add to that eagerness. Having someone take you on your first night dive before you’ve done your advanced class or showing you how to hook up a lift bag to an object and bring it up as a treasure is almost a rite of passage for many new divers. It seems so honest and innocent but as we heard in this week’s episode… this can quickly turn in the opposite direction and with dire consequences.
There is a significant difference between mentoring an aspiring diver, building experience with them, learning each other’s habits and attitude in the water and helping to guide them into a new area that they are unsure of. As opposed to taking a diver that you do not know or have no genuine experience with and especially when neither of you are prepared to properly be in that unfamiliar environment.
The trust me dive is just that. It is where a seemingly experienced and advanced diver takes a newer and assumingly less experienced diver into more depth or a more demanding location beyond the knowledge and training of the new diver. The trust me dive takes the new diver to a place where they are unprepared in one way or another… or multiple ways and others.
Deeper than you are trained for… “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”
Insufficient gas… “It’s OK I have a Pony Bottle.”
Entering an overhead… “I promise, we won’t go very far.”
In hindsight, this is very dangerous. It can put the new diver into a situation they are not prepared to handle. Even if they have the mental toughness to endure the situation, they may simply be unable to reason the decision-making that needs to take place. Additionally, this assumes they have been informed of the hazards as well as possess and understand the use of the area specific equipment needed on that dive.
The worst part of the trust me dive is that if it is completed successfully without incident it creates a shift in the diver’s mind of acceptable behavior. This new level of acceptance can push the standard of qualification to a place where the right gear, right training and right mindset are no longer even considered.