There are a lot of great reasons to continue your diving education beyond your open water course. Advanced training lets you explore new environments, gives you the opportunity to learn from new instructors, and allows you to master new equipment. Importantly, continuing your education is also a great way to become a safer diver.
Inexperience is a common factor in diving accidents — as it is in accidents on the road, in rock climbing, and in other activities. Of course, simply diving is a way to gain experience, but training offers learning opportunities that just going diving does not. While diving lets you learn from your mistakes, continuing education gives you more opportunities to learn from others’ mistakes. This is not only less painful, but also more efficient.
Another benefit of advanced training is the time you spend with experienced professionals and education-minded peers. Being in the company of people who are actively engaging in learning is in itself educational. When teaching, instructors make a point of modeling safe dive practices and executing demonstration-quality skills. In addition, an important part of learning is processing the experience, and continuing education courses are great for this. Post-dive debriefs help solidify good practices and correct suboptimal ones. Finally, don’t overlook the valuable connections you can make with other divers in your area. Lifelong learners make for great dive buddies.
Besides amplifying good practices, continuing your education can also interrupt problematic ones, such as normalization of deviance. Normalization of deviance is a phenomenon in which a diver practices unsafe behaviors (or their safety practices degrade over time), but they manage to avoid consequences by sheer luck. Over time this can lead to unsafe practices becoming established — and they can spread among dive buddies and even dive clubs or communities. Making a commitment to work with a dive pro and learn new skills can be a great way to put a stop to unsafe practices that can crop up over time.
Finally, continuing education empowers divers. The more you learn to manage underwater, the more you’ll be able to manage underwater. If you have a wealth of skills and abilities to learn on, you’ll be well prepared for whatever eventualities arise. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to pick up new tricks and enhance your experience of the underwater world.
For as little as US$40 per year for an individual or US$60 per year for a family, DAN takes the guesswork out of emergency logistics. Once a member calls the 24/7 hotline, DAN arranges care — including evacuations and complex air travel arrangements if necessary. Behind the scenes, DAN specialists coordinate medical care and transportation with local agencies, and in dive emergencies, DAN medical staff can even consult with local physicians who may not be familiar with dive medicine.
With more than 40 years of experience managing emergencies around the globe, DAN helps its members fully enjoy their travels. Learn more about the benefits of being a DAN member.