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Taking divers on your boat?


Andy135
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Has anyone here ever taken divers out on their boat? If so, what's the deal, in particular with respect to liability if anything (or any one) goes tits up?

I'm interested to know more about the wrecks in my area but I'm no diver, so I'd be up for taking a pair of divers out in exchange for some intel and photos of the wrecks but not if it means I would incur any liability if the worst should happen.

Thoughts?

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1 minute ago, Andy135 said:

Has anyone here ever taken divers out on their boat? If so, what's the deal, in particular with respect to liability if anything (or any one) goes tits up?

I'm interested to know more about the wrecks in my area but I'm no diver, so I'd be up for taking a pair of divers out in exchange for some intel and photos of the wrecks but not if it means I would incur any liability if the worst should happen.

Thoughts?

Suppose it depends on your insurance policy. Best people to tell you would be your insurance company. 
Wont your fancy Lawrence gear give you clear enough info on the subjects in question? Or is there a certain type of detail you’d like to know more about?

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1 minute ago, Saintly Fish said:

Suppose it depends on your insurance policy. Best people to tell you would be your insurance company. 
Wont your fancy Lawrence gear give you clear enough info on the subjects in question? Or is there a certain type of detail you’d like to know more about?

My fancy gear won't tell me what species of fish are down there. Plus I'm just interested in the wrecks themselves.

Good point on insurance.

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Just now, Andy135 said:

My fancy gear won't tell me what species of fish are down there. Plus I'm just interested in the wrecks themselves.

Good point on insurance.

I’ll tell you what’s down there when you fish them......... dogfish.

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8 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

My fancy gear won't tell me what species of fish are down there. Plus I'm just interested in the wrecks themselves.

Good point on insurance.

There was someone who was an rv expert, can’t remember who. 

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39 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

Has anyone here ever taken divers out on their boat?

Yes ............ your liability is no different to taking out any other FRIEND on your boat ....

If you have never helmed with divers before then it might pay you to get a bit of tuition from an experienced dive helm.

Don't forget to FLY THE CORRECT ALPHA DIVE FLAG, and keep the shot line buoy in sight at all times, but stay a safe distance downtide of it. You will enjoy telling other boats to feck off on the radio !

33 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

My fancy gear won't tell me what species of fish are down there.

Species vary almost from tide to tide ...............

If you look at the some web based dive sites then you can usually find a good number of decent photos. Sometimes Wrecksite has a link to some pics

 

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17 minutes ago, GPSguru said:

If you look at the some web based dive sites then you can usually find a good number of decent photos. Sometimes Wrecksite has a link to some pics

Yes, I've exhausted all the dive photos and YT vids but there are very few images of the wrecks I fish, hence the idea of getting some tame eyeballs on the wrecks.

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I take both divers and snorkelers and also do it myself. Like mentioned a clearly visual dive fag is important and make sure the wind doest make it hard for other boaters to see. Also be on a constant lookout to wave arms and point in the direction of your divers to the people who haven't a clue what dive flags or any other kind of marker means. 

I have full confidence in taking care of my people in and around my boat. If they get into any difficulties under water they should be more qualified than you and the fact they should be buddied up together should mean they outrank you in that field if there was an issue, which wouldn't be your responsibility. You are only likely to get in trouble if you injure them with your boat. Turn off the engine when they are in the water close to the engine and make sure your boarding access can hold their weight. Getting in a rocking boat can be tricky, hand rails and strong ladders are a must with scuba divers.

Once a diver is ready to go over the side you will need to make sure they aren likely to get hooked on cleats, ropes or anything around the boat, they become heavy and cumbersome at this point.

Knowing a bit about diving is a great help as you will be aware of dive times at different depths but much of this comes down to a divers use of the air they carry in the size cylinder (tank) . An average fitness diver I drop at open water (basic qualification) will get get around 35-45mins on a 12lt tank depending on how hard they've had to work down there. Fitter people don't use their air as fast. Rebreathers are a whole different challenge, avoid divers using these.

Divers should carry an inflatable marker which sits upright around 2m on the surface. This comes in handy when the current makes it hard to get back to the boat, or simply following a drift dive watching the marker.

Your skill as a boater will need to be able to work out any drifts to pinpoint dropping them on a wreck. Remember visibility can be quite poor so if you can't put them on a spot and they spend 35mins swimming around, you will of wasted your time and theirs and theirs costs money in tank refills. Things like Lowrance point 1 will greatly help getting the accuracy you need but then you have to valuate how long it might take them to get down, some people fart around with getting their weights, buoyancy and cameras ready and miss the mark!!! Dropping a grapple line they can follow to the wreck is a great help (though I don't use them).

Dive gear is pretty immense in a small boat, two people will often have two tanks each, heavy weight belts and camera gear that can be very large in housings with strobe lights etc. This gear needs to be secure underway and can often damage your boat. Getting divers back onboard can also be tricky if the sea has turned choppy. Mostly I get divers to remove their gear in the water which I clip to a short float line, their bcd and tank should have enough air in it to stay afloat at the surface. Weights are often integrated in the bcd but some are still old school weight belts, make sure you have a good grip of any weight belts before a diver lets go and get them to show you where to hold the belt so the weights don't slide off!!! They will need to remove their fins to get onboard most of the time, so you will need to assist in all of this. Almost forgot, taking the camera gear and placing it on a towel so the front lens is not face down is vitally important (these can cost $$$$).

Once I have my divers onboard and they have caught their breath I get them to lift their tanks and bcd's onboard as these can weigh up around 40kg depending if they have integrated weight. This usually bashes the side of your boat a bit!!!

I know its another long post but I really think you need to be aware of a few facts before considering this, for me its the fact boats can get knocked about when working with scuba divers. 

Rather than continue with this I will start an alternative which I would recommend.

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An alternative and something you have already in the back of your mind is a live view transducer. Using one of these in combination with a downrigger with a GoPro (or similar camera) you can simply make up or buy something to get the camera down and pointing directly at the wreck. The live view could allow you to concentrate your efforts around the fish and see in reel time exactly where the fish are in relation to the camera and also keep a close eye how close to camera is to the structucture. There are camera leads that allow for a direct feed back to most modern leading sonar brand head unfits too.

If you don't have a downrigger, well that's something you wouldn't want to be without if you do get a live view. Using a downrigger where you can see exactly where it is in relation to structure and fish is a game changer to fishing. You see fish at 43m and you simply drop a bait, plastic, jig or what ever right on them, if they don't take any interest you change the lure.

Im taking a researcher out who has a pretty impressive underwater drone. In the past its been more a case of lowering it down on good looking reef and randomly filming around, where now we can see fish live at different angles to the boat and head straight at them.

Even at anchor you should be able to anchor over a wreck and use the anchor line pulled at different angles from the boat to swing both left and right to cover filming more of the wreck.

To me divers are full of problems and rarely get decent film anyway, they could even spook fish away before they get close enough to get them on film.

IMG_4873.thumb.JPG.07abd1e89d6f792cfc8d6600b0459046.JPG

 

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8 hours ago, JDP said:

An alternative and something you have already in the back of your mind is a live view transducer. Using one of these in combination with a downrigger with a GoPro (or similar camera) you can simply make up or buy something to get the camera down and pointing directly at the wreck. The live view could allow you to concentrate your efforts around the fish and see in reel time exactly where the fish are in relation to the camera and also keep a close eye how close to camera is to the structucture. There are camera leads that allow for a direct feed back to most modern leading sonar brand head unfits too.

If you don't have a downrigger, well that's something you wouldn't want to be without if you do get a live view. Using a downrigger where you can see exactly where it is in relation to structure and fish is a game changer to fishing. You see fish at 43m and you simply drop a bait, plastic, jig or what ever right on them, if they don't take any interest you change the lure.

Im taking a researcher out who has a pretty impressive underwater drone. In the past its been more a case of lowering it down on good looking reef and randomly filming around, where now we can see fish live at different angles to the boat and head straight at them.

Even at anchor you should be able to anchor over a wreck and use the anchor line pulled at different angles from the boat to swing both left and right to cover filming more of the wreck.

To me divers are full of problems and rarely get decent film anyway, they could even spook fish away before they get close enough to get them on film.

IMG_4873.thumb.JPG.07abd1e89d6f792cfc8d6600b0459046.JPG

 

I like the idea of a GoPro. Cheaper to use (and potentially lose) than Fisty's dumb idea of a thousand pound drone. 🤦‍♂️

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25 minutes ago, Saintly Fish said:

Why would you loose it? Don’t be so negative. It’s on a line.

Not negative, just realistic. Too many things that could snag the drone - strong currents, eddies around the wreck, the wreck itself, lost nets and pot lines, lost angling gear with trailing line...

 

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12 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

Not negative, just realistic. Too many things that could snag the drone - strong currents, eddies around the wreck, the wreck itself, lost nets and pot lines, lost angling gear with trailing line...

 

If you get stuck you can fly @JDP in to snorkel down to free it. 

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The live view should be able to keep you out of trouble. As for free diving, my current dive fitness is keeping me around 8-10m, my daughter is hitting 25m and her best friend (another girl) was hitting 40m at 16yrs old. Thats not 40m down and straight back up, its staying there a couple of mins to shoot things. Some of the older spearfish guys, one being a 70yr old still gets down 60m to shoot fish. We can spend all day free diving large areas where scuba only allows us to do two dives over relatively short distances.

Funny thing is while writing about the pro's and cons of diving a delivery arrived with my replacement dive computer which has taken 11 months to get back. 

There are quite a few cheaper versions of the GoPro available, in saying that the GoPro 9 is under 300 quid here and old 3-4-5 models are before image stabilisation are almost give aways now and you don't need stabilisation for that kind of thing. Im going to be doing some GoPro work using my downrigger and panoptics. 

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1 hour ago, Andy135 said:

I like the idea of a GoPro. Cheaper to use (and potentially lose) than Fisty's dumb idea of a thousand pound drone. 🤦‍♂️

 

There are cheaper options that give good results ............... a water wolf camera is about £120 and is ok to 100m ................

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I've just pressed the button on a GoPro Hero8, with Protective Housing (waterproof to 60m) and rail mount.

I did consider a Water Wolf but with a GoPro I can get HD video on land and on the boat as well as underwater, plus the GoPro has loads of mounting accessories that make it more feasible to shoot video hands-free on demand (voice activation, controlled and edits by mobile app), so standby for lots of blurry footage of a rusty pile of scrap underwater plus the obligatory victory shots of a vanquished whiting or two.

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2 minutes ago, JonC said:

Have you ever done any diving Andy? It sounds right up your street. 

I would love to do it if only they made the suits in my size. 

No proper diving. I've done a try dive in a swimming pool, and plenty of snorkelling and I'd love to learn to dive properly, but I can't justify yet another hobby. The boy is interested in learning to dive when he's a bit older, so maybe it's something we'll do when he's old enough.

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3 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

No proper diving. I've done a try dive in a swimming pool, and plenty of snorkelling and I'd love to learn to dive properly, but I can't justify yet another hobby. The boy is interested in learning to dive when he's a bit older, so maybe it's something we'll do when he's old enough.

I did a short tourist course in Egypt a few years ago which was good but I can’t see it being much fun I’m the English Channel. 

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Just now, JonC said:

I did a short tourist course in Egypt a few years ago which was good but I can’t see it being much fun I’m the English Channel. 

Yeah, I can imagine that diving in the Red Sea would be a whole lot nicer than the east Wight, even in summer.

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1 minute ago, Andy135 said:

Yeah, I can imagine that diving in the Red Sea would be a whole lot nicer than the east Wight, even in summer.

One of the other Dads at my boys rugby club is a commercial diver mostly working in the Thames. Not my cup of tea, zero visibility and 10 knots of tide. 

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