I was thinking the other day about some of the attributes that every scuba diver must have. This is not necessarily an exhaustive list; I’m just thinking out loud.
1. Follows directions. From the very first lesson, you have to follow your dive instructor’s guidance. And on every dive, you have to listen to your instructor or dive guide. Failure to follow directions can be lethal.
2. Pays attention to details. You dive with a life support system. Once you are open water certified, no one is more responsible than you for your own gear. You need to verify that everything is connected properly and working properly. You need to monitor your depth, air supply, descent/ascent rates, and more. An equipment failure or improper action can be lethal.
3. Doesn’t panic. Panicking underwater can be lethal. Have you noticed a theme? But, it’s true. We train for problems. Therefore, the solution is to stay calm, cool, and collected. Remember your training. You’ve practiced for this scenario. Do what you were taught, and live to dive another day.
4. Is smart. You can earn one certification and then just do fun dives for the rest of your life. But, I don’t think it’s possible to complete specialized training and be stupid. You really have to learn quite a bit about physics, physiology, and more. You have to make plans, do calculations, and prepare for contingencies.
Keep in mind that humans are not meant to survive underwater. A scuba diver demonstrates an ability to survive insurvivable conditions.
Plus, this article is grossly oversimplified. Too much oxygen can be toxic. Too much nitrogen can make you drunk, sort of. Carbon dioxide buildup can put you to sleep. Permanently. And everything changes depending on what we are breathing, how long we have been breathing it, and at what depth we have been breathing it.
That said, I have now survived an underwater environment 16 times. Officially. It’s 17 if I include my first training dive, which does not count as a logged dive.
However, I know instructors who have survived hundreds of dives. I know someone who has logged about 2,000 dives. I even know someone who has logged a mindboggling 13,000 dives!
My point is, it’s very easy to die underwater. Simply breathing in water is enough to do it. So the attributes it takes to survive under such alien conditions is something that I think employers should consider taking a look at.