My diving friends will concur a shocking and gross negligent video of what is perceived as a Cypriot dive centre/guide taking a non diver tourist to the MS Zenobia in Larnaca back in August.
To my non diver friends, even at this shallow 6 metres depth, there is so much that could go wrong. Not only does the ‘passenger’ have no fins, buoyancy device, weights or exposure suit, she has no cylinder! She is breathing off the guides’ cylinder and yellow emergency mouthpiece. Simple maths will equate that the breathing gas will deplete in half the time with two people breathing off the same cylinder. One golden rule is that you dive with a buddy. Why? Because if there was a problem with your own breathing system, you can share from your buddy and end the dive. Firstly, where is this guides’ buddy and secondly, why is he continuing the dive? And no, the videographer is not the buddy.
This situation is an accident waiting to happen. Not ‘if’, but ‘when’. If he lets go of the passenger for one of many possible reasons or she drops the mouthpiece, panic will undoubtably ensue. If she bolts to the surface, there is a severe risk of damage to her lungs and/or decompression sickness. Or worse still, drown. Her life is literally in his hands.
A favourite destination of mine, with mystery surrounding her demise, the MS Zenobia is rated as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, let alone Europe and hence it’s popularity. It is a most cracking dive and in areas, not for the faint hearted with adequate training. And yes, I have yet to visit the captain’s blue Lada car which is still on the Bucket List.
Diving is becoming a more popular sport and with any sport, you need to train and be fitted with the correct equipment. I remember when in Croatia a couple of years ago, a guide wanted to take me to 52 metres on the Taranto. This would have been outside of my own qualification, together with being irresponsible and negligent of the operator. Of course, I declined.
I guess what I’m saying here is “beware” of cowboy operators as for sure, they are undoubtedly out there. If any of my non diver friends fancy trying diving, let me know as I can point you in the direction of a plethora of UK and worldwide operators. Never know, we could dive the Zenobia together one day?