LeRoy Rix


Larry "Harris" Taylor, Ph.D.

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C-cards may not be reliable indicators of diving skill and comfort. Some personal observations:

I know of advanced diver, divemaster, and instructor c-cards that were either sold or given to non-divers. In one case, a dive shop owner with a large debt to a limo driver eliminated his personal debt by issuing a divemaster card to the non-diving limo driver.

I have seen photos on C-cards of advanced diver, divemaster, and instructor that were small furry beasts or, in one case, a duck.

I have heard a dive shop owner tell an instructor to certify a basic diver solely on the basis that this person had purchased a large amount of dive gear.

Some training programs certify people beyond their skill level (see BattleRoyale)

Some programs will take a non-diver to Master Instructor level in 28 days.

Some programs will take a never-been-under-the-ice to an ice diving instructor in a weekend.

Some agency cross-overs, especially for a newly formed agency, are done through the mail with no testing or evaluation ... just with payment of a fee.

Slide from "I am certified, why not authorized?" slide set

(Used in introduction to U of Michigan Diving Authorization Program)

My all-time favorite:

A dive shop has a sign behind their counter that says all disputes are resolved by their lead instructor, LeRoy Rix.

It turns out that LeRoy makes motors and Rix makes compressors, so the shop's lead instructor is their air compressor.

(LeRoy's Instructor C-Card is taped to their compressor)

The points are: 

1. While a necessary component, a C-card alone may not be a reliable indicator of diving knowledge, skill and in-water comfort.

2. The best way to determine a diver's level of understanding / experience is by personal interview.

2. The best way to determine a diver's in-water comfort is in-water observation.


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About The Author: 

Larry "Harris" Taylor, Ph.D. is a biochemist and Diving Safety Coordinator at the University of Michigan. He has authored more than 200 scuba related articles. His personal dive library (See Alert Diver, Mar/Apr, 1997, p. 54) is considered one of the best recreational sources of information In North America.

  Copyright 2001-2024  by Larry "Harris" Taylor

All rights reserved.

Use of these articles for personal or organizational profit is specifically denied.

These articles may be used for not-for-profit diving education