Everyone wants others to remember them, but normally, we do not want to be remembered as “That Diver”. The diver that made a lasting impression as being annoying and obnoxious.
If you want to be remembered as “That diver”, the one that ruined a dive, follow these tips. If you want to be remembered positively, avoid them at all cost.
1. Be The Coral Monster
The Crown of Thorn Starfish (COTS) is very destructive to a coal reef. They slowly move across the reef destroying all corals it passes. Sadly, a few divers do that as well.
Some divers will gather coral to take home with them as souvenirs. Often more destructive are the divers with poor buoyancy control and dangling equipment. The gauges drag through a coral colony, breaking it as it snags.
Poor trim will send a fin into the reef breaking whatever it contacts. Some may even stand on the reef. Often underwater photographers will cause a great deal of damage as they concentrate on getting the perfect shot.
Their bulky equipment might damage something, or they lose concentration on their form and lie on corals to get that perfect shot for conservation purposes.
2. Abuse and harass Marine life
Most recognize that they are a guest in the undersea world and do their best to cause as little disturbance as possible. Some, however, feel it is perfectly fine to harass marine life. There are divers that will touch or prod animals so they can get a better look at them.
Recently, someone posted a photograph of divers harassing a turtle and bringing it on a dive boat. It is unlikely that dive boat will accept that type of behavior in the future. The name of the dive center could be seen in the photo, and within two days PADI had received over 2,000 complaints about the dive center.
The local authorities also were made aware, and they closed the dive center pending investigation. Marine life should always be treated with respect.
3. Brag About How Many Dives You Have Done
There is also the variation of this as MY equipment is the best, so you need to update your equipment. There is nothing wrong after a dive over a few drinks talking about your favorite dives and your gear.
It is annoying for many divers when this happens on the way to the dive site and where it is not a conversation but a constant flow of what amounts to as noise. Save your bragging until you are someplace where the audience is not captive.
4.Keep Interrupting the Dive Briefing
There are two variations of this annoying diver, the know-it-all, and the Need-To -Ask-Every- Detail. It can be very annoying if someone frequently interrupts the dive leader as they give their dive orientation. The information is important, and the flow of delivery should not be stopped.
If you have a question, wait until an appropriate time to ask it. Do not keep interrupting, it might be the next thing the leader was going to say. If you believe you know more than the guide, keep it to yourself. If it is really important, bring it up at the end of the dive, as a question if possible.
5. Claim Your Space Everywhere
This may be the most common of the annoying divers. The ones who believe that they need more space than everyone else and feel they can put their gear anywhere. You will find they spread out their kit occupying more space than is allocated per diver.
They are also often the ones climbing over everyone trying to get everything together for the next dive. Keep all your gear together within the area that is for you and respect any dry areas onboard a dive boat.
Many dive boats have dry areas where wet gear and people are not allowed. The “My space” diver is often the same diver who believes everything on board is available for their use, your towels, your sunscreen and your drinks as an example.
6. Do Arrive Late
You arrive at the dive center at the proper time, got your gear sorted out, and everything, and everyone is aboard. You are ready to depart, that is until a later arrival boards, and everything has to wait for them to get settled.
7. Use the Camera Rinse Bucket to Rinse Your Weights
Likely the simplest rule on a dive boat. Most dive boats will have a large bucket of fresh water to be used to store cameras between dives. It is only for cameras and related gear. It is not for your weights, wetsuit or anything else. The Annoying diver will use it to rinse his gear.
8. Be the Obnoxious Photo Hog
This diver may have great intentions. However, they get so focused on getting the perfect photo that their actions mean that no one else can take a photograph or even see the subject.
9. Photo Bomb the Pictures from Fellow Divers
We know the photo bomber just puts itself in a photo. It can be unintentional as the diver is just not aware of what is going on. Often they can just move in to take their photo and scare away the subject. Another action of a photo bomber is that they get close and silt out the area that was to be photographed.
I have a great DVD that was done on a dive. The diving was incredible, the visibility perfect, the coral and marine life abundant and a few different shark species. It also has a diver swimming up to the camera and making an obscene gesture.
Photo Credit: Ilan Ben Tov/Solent
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10. Be a Bad dive Buddy
In your open water training and in most additional recreational dive training the concept of having a dive buddy is etched in stone. It is a commandment “Thou Shalt Have a Dive Buddy”.
There are times when your normal dive buddy is not available. Most dive operators will team up two divers without buddies. Often it just who does not have a buddy? Ok, you and you are now buddies.
While that situation can be annoying in its own way, how the divers react is what matters. The annoying bad buddy can either be the novice diver or the experienced diver.
The Crowding Buddy: This is a dive buddy, normally a novice diver, who is always at your side. Their body will often brush against you and at time you can feel the wake of their fins. While a dive buddy should be attentive and nearby, personal space needs to be respected. If you can reach your dive buddy in a few seconds, you are close enough.
I Don't Want You as A Dive Buddy: Some experienced divers become annoyed having to team with a novice diver. They may feel that the inexperienced diver could be a hazard to them, which might be true. However, if the dive site is appropriate for the diver's certification that should not be assumed.
Others may feel that they are paying for a dive and now are being forced to baby sit. The annoying part is how this reaction is conveyed between divers. If one diver acts in a hostile or even indifferent manner to their new buddy, it can be very annoying and in many cases troublesome as no sense of responsibility develops.
Same Ocean, Same Day Buddy: In this case the diver takes no responsibility to being a dive buddy. They completely ignore you, offer no communication and just go about doing their own thing. You either have to follow them or disregard your responsibilities as a buddy.
I am certain that each diver could add a few more to the list. The silence of diving is attractive to me, so overuse of a tank banger I find irritating, and loud divers between dives also fall in that group. Many people find second-hand smoke offensive, and there is little space on a dive boat to escape a smoker.
Add in the diver that adds unwelcome advice on how you could improve your diving based on his expert viewpoint or the diver that has to tell everyone what they saw during the dive. What would you add to the list?
Have you ever met "That Diver"? Let us know in the comments below
Article written by Rutger Thole who is an avid scuba diver and loves to travel, dive and write about scuba diving. Based in Amsterdam he runs bookyourdive.com and at least twice a year he plans a dive trip of the beaten track.