There is an inherent risk in scuba diving. But, we are lucky, because those risks diminish every year with advancements in science and physiological study. In the beginning, when recreational scuba diving began, it was a bunch of navy divers bringing the underwater world to the masses. But it was a bunch of dudes, and it was a bunch of guess work.
It used to be a guess how much air was in your tank. It used to be a guess how deep you were diving. It used to be a guess how long you were underwater.
Now we dive with computers with advanced algorithms. Rules that we used to follow without question are no longer in play, because we have math and science to tell us exact truths, not just infrequent observations. (like check out this link that gives us some “new rules” of scuba diving, for instance: reverse dive profiles are ok!)
But there is a rule that I follow without question, which is to err on the side of caution. Because to give my life up for some dumb mistake would be pointless and tragic.
However, not everyone is of this belief. Many divers believe they have enough experience to forgo compasses, or to dive wrecks without reels. So often, experienced divers get injured or die because of amateur mistakes. Why?
To get cocky in a sport that still carries inherent risks is an added and unnecessary gamble. It is no longer a sport that is dominated by men, or by guess work. Even using all the science in the world, there is still an inherent risk in scuba, so why add to that risk, pointlessly. When I hear divers bragging about taking risks, to me it sounds like bragging about driving drunk. It sounds terrible.
I love diving, and every death and injury related to scuba diving hurts my professional industry. It is my job to make sure that everyone who participates with me comes away safe and healthy and with the best knowledge for the future. Which is why I err on the side of caution, if i must err at all. Carry this thought with you, divers. Your life is valuable and beautiful, and it should be enriched by the underwater world, not shortened.
Please, dive mindfully, dive carefully, dive safely. No one is above being safe.