SUREFIRE SCHEME TO MAKE £££!
Everybody makes mistakes, and me more than most. Having lost my buddy to equipment failure, I decided to go diving alone - or so I thought.
It was only after I surfaced that I found that I had been followed and observed (OK, stalked) by a man who believed that he was my buddy. Can you imagine my embarrassment?
I had spent the dive mooching about like a truanting schoolgirl, enjoying doing exactly as I pleased with my naughty, liberating aloneness in the inky black waters of the North Sea.
I had dawdled on the shotline, lost the wreck, headbutted the wreck, swum in a confused circle around the deck, lost the shotline, headbutted the shotline and sung a medley of Atomic Kitten numbers on deco. Just the usual.
Of course, had I known that I had a buddy, I would have made the effort to behave like a proper diver, rather than spending much of the dive faffing about with my mask and tugging at a bunched-up area of undersuit around my crotch. But this type of humiliation is just a routine part of my diving escapades.
What bugged me was that my mystery buddy seemed to have no complaints. Not that I claim to be a shining example of good diving practice, but he obviously thought that the extreme cold-shoulder treatment I gave him was my usual stroppy-bitch style of diving.
I was mortified. I may be a stroppy bitch, but not even I would be so hideously impolite towards a new buddy. I prefer to wear them in first before the real abuse starts.
When it comes to the standards of behaviour that we expect from our fellow-divers, I am obviously hideously out of touch. When I learned to dive with my old BSAC branch, I gained the impression that if a diver got injured or bent, you helped them in two ways: first, by contacting the Coastguard for help, and second by administering appropriate first aid such as oxygen, stemming blood loss etc.
Apparently this is old hat. These days, you simply leave the injured party to work it out for themselves and sort out their own treatment, while you go and have a cup of tea. Jonathon Lewis's letter to Diver this month points out the error of my ways.
Amazingly enough, Jonathon is from my old BSAC branch, Clidive, and I have to admit that some of its members are shining examples.
Most people who had mistakenly left a fellow-diver bending and unassisted would probably just have the grace to say sorry, we made a mistake. But these Clidive members have done nothing wrong: they didn't make a mistake, and they even brag about what a fabulous example they are to the rest of the diving community.
Now there's a branch with bottle!
Actually, like most BSAC branches, the vast majority of the members are lovely - until they join the committee. Unfortunately, joining a committee seems to transform even lovely people into Stalinist-style apparatchiks, slaves to the party line.
But the good news, according to Mr Lewis, is that you need never worry about funding your expensive dive trips or lust hopelessly after new kit again. Sod the Lottery, apparently it's easy as pie to get £25,000 from the BSAC's insurance - just sue someone in your branch over, well, anything you feel like because, if you believe Jonathon, nobody needs to have done anything wrong.
Fantastic! I can't believe BSAC hasn't incorporated this novel £25,000 bonus scheme into its recruitment publicity. After all, PADI is only offering a puny £30 for anyone who introduces three members!