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Why Did You Even Have a Plan

Published on: 16th November, 2016 | Reviews and Training Tips
Photo credit: Ashton East
This story concerns a dive team who had a contingency plan for becoming separated on the drift, and the problems caused when one diver forgot that plan.

Our story begins with two divers who have done this particular drift dive many times. Our divers make sure they properly discuss their dive plan and contingency plans. They specifically agree that if they become separated on the drift, then they will each complete the dive solo and meet at a prearranged point. They will wait for an hour for the other to arrive before deciding there may be a problem.

So our divers enter the water and after some time become separated. The first diver is concerned that he has lost his dive buddy, and so exits the water early. In all the swirling current he is unable to see surface bubbles from the other diver. On the balance of caution our first diver contacts emergency services and reports a missing diver.

Meanwhile, our second diver is continuing the dive as planned, he exits the water and quickly reaches the designated meeting point. It is a nice sunny day and our second diver is enjoying the view over the channel and wonders about why there are so many marine rescue boats and police cars around.

Some short time later a police car dives past our second diver's comfortable bench, brakes heavily and reverses. "Are you the missing diver?" shouts a police officer. Our second diver ponders the existential implications of this question. "What?" he replies.

The moral of this story is that good planning and communication are meaningless if you do not stick to the plan.


Ashton East

OC and CCR trimix, stage cave, underwater photographer; NSW, QLD and UK Legal Counsel.