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DIVE PRO BLACKLIST PROJECT

In the past the dive professionals network, had a few times instigated #NameShame campaigns. And recently after a spike in reports received we decided to reinstate the dive pro blacklist project. The first case we shared incidentally went viral and shocked the asian diving community, but also divers and our members worldwide.

In 6 hours time we had the 'culprits'... links, names and evidence provided largely by our community of professionals. An amazing example of how our community of professionals should, and can act when witnessing behavior unbecoming of a professional diver.

An amazing response which resulted finally the arrest by local authorities of 4 persons involved (we heard one is out on bail).

Due to the high spirits and volume of response (the video was viewed 343,000 times and reached over 810,000 people and counting) we got, I was able to identify the following flaws and facts in our current system.

  • Professionals are hesitant to report incidents to their area representative or authorities, for fear of complications or in some cases even reprisals.
  • Generally there is this belief that reporting someone, amounts to a waste of time.
  • In many areas there are no set legal framework by the authorities for this type of infractions.
  • Diving Educational Companies and organizations do not cooperate, nor exchange information regarding quality assurance reports. This loophole enables rotten apples in our industry to thrive for decades.
  • There is no universal code of conduct for professional divers or recreational divers set in place.
  • Diving Educational companies and most organizations have no quality assurance procedure in place to reprimand recreational divers.
  • Some case were mentioned were reports had been delivered and the association in question, just brush it off with a standard message...thereafter there is usually no follow up on the case.
  • Seemingly behavior like this seems to be a regular ocurrence in some areas, and the local professionals are helpless.

This leads me to the following conclusions:

  1. A universal code of conduct needs to be ratified for both professional and recreational divers in the training and exploration sector.
  2. All organizations delivering pro diver credentials must endorse and let their members sign this as part of their membership agreement.
  3. A council of pro diver elders needs to be created who can rule with experience, wisdom and detachment over submitted black list cases.
  4. Organizations and companies active in the delivery of pro diver credentials should deliver reports of their quality monitoring activities for statistical usage.
  5. The above said companies and organizations should also communicate all punitive measures against their members to a universal blacklist.
  6. A comprehensive, democratic and fair procedure should be put in place, so as to ensure maximum efficiency, effect and respect from both divers and professionals.

The following is a steps proposal towards setting up the above said procedure:

  • A confidential incident report is filed via this link
  • Evidence gets shared to our network to identify the individual if necessary to uncover their identity
  • After identification evidence material is gathered, community is informed and thanked.
    Names of the parties involved are not to be released.
  • A comprehensive report about the parties involved, is to be sent to relevant parties and local authorities.
    A copy of the report is made public on our website (involved parties are not identifiable)
    click this link for an example
  • Parties involved have 7 working days to acknowledge receipt of the report
  • 15 days to respond officially or update us on their preliminary findings.
  • When a party has been penalized, the said party will be mentioned on the blacklist (accessible only to pro diver members - or by written request) for as long as their penalty is in effect.
  • If our actions are not met with adequate results another strategy will be devised, which could result in us sponsoring a local legal procedure against the defendant, but also to the certifying body which is not cooperating.
  • As a last resort only, if all else fails then a public social media #NameShame campaign can and will be instigated.

So now how do we go ahead with this topic, from a virtual world into reality?

We propose the following process:
A committee is formed to start working on these universal rules (should take no time at all), the above said procedure is fine tuned.
When the pro members have ratified this proposal we go over into a public and private vote.

Last but not least we inform all pro diver credential delivering companies and organizations of our new rules and ensure their participation.

 

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Comments 1

THEOCEANROAMER on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 18:51
good remarks!

someone sent me this, which I think has good remarks.
"Hey You should read Robert Delfs comment to Jen Darby's post about Dive Prop Blacklist. He has a lot of valid points. Let me see if I can send that to you.
Burt Jones
Burt
Here is Robert's comment;Almost every live-aboard dive boat operating in Indonesia has its own blacklist of guests who broke the rules more than once and therefore are not welcome on that boat again, and I'm sure some resorts keep blacklists as well. In most cases, you have to really fuck up to get put on one of these lists. Operators find it hard to be tough on the people who write the big cheques. There are plenty of people out there I would never want to share a boat with again under any circumstances, but still they somehow keep finding people to take them on again.

If a shared blacklist is to be developed, then at a minimum, there would have to be a way for people to be informed they have been listed, and why; as well a meaningful appeal process to allow people to defend against misidentification, hostile or vindictive owner/operators. We know they are out there too.

All that already adds up to fair amount of overhead and a lot of work for somebody, and the "Pro Blacklist" described in the link Jen Darby posted would require even more resources. Who is going to pay for all that?

On a related point, II know from experience that just getting 20 live-aboard operators to all sign on to a code of contact isn't easy. Getting the operators to enforce that code with their own guests was even more difficult.

Another question is how the blacklist would deal with rogue operators who allow their divers to break the rules, and/or who refuse to cooperate in identifying miscreants when were observed engaging in misbehaviour from a particular live-aboard or tender/launch.

And then there's the matter of live-aboard boats who break the rules but whose guests may be innocent (more or less) — i.e., anchoring or dragging an anchor in/over coral; dumping or improper disposal of wastes. I'd also include here boats which tolerate misbehaviour by their guests, something I know we've all seen. I've had an owner swear to me on his mother's life that reports of extensive, negligent damage to coral by his guests on a dive he was leading were blatant lies — until I told him I was one of the witnesses, and mentioned who the others were. At which point he switched to a different story.

Last (but not necessarily least), I'm not fully comfortable giving a lot of power to an organization made up of individuals I don't know but who think it's important that they get to call themselves "PRO" anything. If all it meant was simply to designate someone's main occupation then I don't think I would mind, but some at least seem to think it means more than that. It often turns out to be the same kind of diver who buys a wetsuit with black rubber Batman-style pectoral panels and a simulated six-pack.

Let's be clear—getting a PADI Instructor's ticket is a serious thing, and will indeed put someone in the position of being responsible for the lives of others. That doesn't make it the same as becoming a medical doctor or a commercial airline pilot."

someone sent me this, which I think has good remarks. "Hey You should read Robert Delfs comment to Jen Darby's post about Dive Prop Blacklist. He has a lot of valid points. Let me see if I can send that to you. Burt Jones Burt Here is Robert's comment;Almost every live-aboard dive boat operating in Indonesia has its own blacklist of guests who broke the rules more than once and therefore are not welcome on that boat again, and I'm sure some resorts keep blacklists as well. In most cases, you have to really fuck up to get put on one of these lists. Operators find it hard to be tough on the people who write the big cheques. There are plenty of people out there I would never want to share a boat with again under any circumstances, but still they somehow keep finding people to take them on again. If a shared blacklist is to be developed, then at a minimum, there would have to be a way for people to be informed they have been listed, and why; as well a meaningful appeal process to allow people to defend against misidentification, hostile or vindictive owner/operators. We know they are out there too. All that already adds up to fair amount of overhead and a lot of work for somebody, and the "Pro Blacklist" described in the link Jen Darby posted would require even more resources. Who is going to pay for all that? On a related point, II know from experience that just getting 20 live-aboard operators to all sign on to a code of contact isn't easy. Getting the operators to enforce that code with their own guests was even more difficult. Another question is how the blacklist would deal with rogue operators who allow their divers to break the rules, and/or who refuse to cooperate in identifying miscreants when were observed engaging in misbehaviour from a particular live-aboard or tender/launch. And then there's the matter of live-aboard boats who break the rules but whose guests may be innocent (more or less) — i.e., anchoring or dragging an anchor in/over coral; dumping or improper disposal of wastes. I'd also include here boats which tolerate misbehaviour by their guests, something I know we've all seen. I've had an owner swear to me on his mother's life that reports of extensive, negligent damage to coral by his guests on a dive he was leading were blatant lies — until I told him I was one of the witnesses, and mentioned who the others were. At which point he switched to a different story. Last (but not necessarily least), I'm not fully comfortable giving a lot of power to an organization made up of individuals I don't know but who think it's important that they get to call themselves "PRO" anything. If all it meant was simply to designate someone's main occupation then I don't think I would mind, but some at least seem to think it means more than that. It often turns out to be the same kind of diver who buys a wetsuit with black rubber Batman-style pectoral panels and a simulated six-pack. Let's be clear—getting a PADI Instructor's ticket is a serious thing, and will indeed put someone in the position of being responsible for the lives of others. That doesn't make it the same as becoming a medical doctor or a commercial airline pilot."
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