While it takes longer to catch on for some divers than others (and never for an unsavory handful), etiquette is one of the most fundamental aspects of diving, and one that serves us well throughout our diving lives. Although there are always personal additions and modifications for each diver, we consider the basic tenets of dive etiquette to be:
- Spatial awareness – always be conscious of your immediate area
- Good buddy practices – be ready to assist other divers with equipment and checking to make sure all is OK
- Marine life – don’t touch, chase, or otherwise harass aquatic animals
- Respect the boat – pick up after yourself and keep your gear out of the way
- Know your limits – never dive in any situation you feel uncomfortable with
Seems pretty straightforward, right?
Not so with this aquarium collector, who was filmed in rather unsettling footage aggressively approaching a diver who was part of a coral health survey team off Hawaii’s Kona coast. Apparently annoyed (for reasons that are as of yet unknown) that other divers were in the region, the collector swims rapidly over to team member Rene Umberger, gesturing angrily. When that doesn’t seem to get the point across, he or she then yanks Umberger’s regulator out of her mouth, an act that was caught not only on Umberger’s underwater camera, but also by another member of the team. Even after the collector swims back to his perch, he or she still continues to make threatening gestures at the stunned team.
This is not good dive etiquette, people, and frankly, we here at Aquaviews are appalled that another diver, regardless of what activity they’re engaging in underwater, would behave in such a deplorable manner and put the safety of other divers at risk. The offending collector has not yet been identified, but Umberger understandably wants the person tracked down and held accountable for actions that would have sent anything less than an experienced diver shooting to the surface in a state of panic.
What do you think of the events portrayed in this video? Should the collector face criminal charges?
Image via quinet