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Complaint: Island Style Diving Morrungulo
I’d like to lodge a complaint and make you aware of a serious safety concern with the dive centre in Morrungulo. The following happened on my dive on 31 December 2008:
At 8 metres I had to make a decision to terminate the dive. I was fighting with every breath to draw air from both my demand valve and my octo. While there was a tiny bit of air coming through, I had to use every bit of strength to draw enough oxygen into my lungs.
The dive centre refused to accept the equipment had malfunctioned.
The following day when we went to pay for my friend’s dive, they wanted to charge me for my dive even though I’d had to abort it due to their malfunctioning equipment.
A husband and wife team, they became extremely defensive when I explained what had happened. The wife had been on the dive, whereas the husband hadn’t. That didn’t stop him from making his opening statement: “I’ll tell you what happened. You panicked and don’t know how to dive.” There was swearing (“You are talking bullsh*t” x3) and they made outrageous personal insults (“I can tell just by looking at you that you are an incompetent diver”). While I don’t claim to be a professional diver, I am certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver with PADI and have dived all over the world over 60 times. I know this is not impressive to most, but its enough experience to know that the inability to breathe is a major safety concern.
When I asked for their Dive Centre number and instructor certification numbers, they refused to give them to me. The husband - upon realizing I was going to report them for unsafe diving practices - shouted, “we have the right to reply!”. I said that was absolutely fine, and that was when he said I didn’t have to pay for my dive.
I later heard from another friend who’d been on the dive that the husband had been boasting to him how he’d spent the last two weeks “fixing old equipment”!
The frightening fact is, had I been a first time diver, I may have continued with the dive - not having had the experience to know what breathing under water should feel like - descended to the full depth, panicked and drowned
This may still happen should this regulator fail again. Perhaps some sort of inspection should be carried out to prevent this sort of tragedy from happening in the future?