Things I Have Heard Instructors Say


Larry "Harris" Taylor, Ph.D.

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I have heard certified instructors in all seriousness say to their students or audiences

"Do not spit in your mask. 'cause if you do, you will get AIDS."

"Human saliva turns clear silicon masks black."

"Urinating in a wet suit will keep you warm."

"The AGENCY X dive planning device has eliminated all risks from diving."

"AGENCY X would not sell something that was not perfect!"

"Cold water does not change decompression risk."

"If you hang your computer at 10 feet between dives, you can get more bottom time on the next dive."

"We do NOT discuss abnormal physiology in here."

(response to a young woman's question about diving during menstruation.)


"Its OK to dive with a cold, just stay shallow."

 (Boyle's Law curve shows greatest risk to barotrauma is from the surface to 12 fsw.)

"You cannot get the bends if you use BRAND X dive computer."

"Taking 10 aspirins before a dive will prevent the bends."

"Smoking before a dive will relax you you and increase your bottom time."

"Diving accidents are rare, so there is no need to take First Aid or CPR classes."

"I see you have an oxygen and first aid kit. Please cover them up. Never bring them to one of our club dives again. We have novices here and we do not want them to think there is any chance they could get hurt on one of our dives."

"If you have trouble descending, put an extra 10-20 pounds on your weight belt."

"Nitrox will make her horny!"

"All piston regulators are inferior!"

"It is impossible to get carbon monoxide poisoning if you use an electric motor on your compressor."

"You do not need to be able to swim 'cause we will sell you enough equipment to dive."

"You are a natural, you should consider our instructor training program (said on first pool session)."

"The most lucrative thing I do is instructor training: they give me money, I give them nothing, and I get free labor to boot."

"I am in the business of selling c-cards, not educating divers."

"He paid his money and bought a lot of equipment. I do not care if he cannot dive. Certify him!"

The points of this comments are:

1. No one person can know all things about all topics, so

2. If you do not know a specific fact, the appropriate answer is "I do not know, but I will find out for you." (I believe one mark of a true professional is an appreciation for what is not known and the willingness to admit to this human trait.)

3. Absurd or incorrect statements will cost respect, which is one of your most valuable commodities. Lost respect may directly translate to lost business.


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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 400 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