Author Topic: SCUBA declared "hazardous."  (Read 960 times)


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SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« on: July 23, 2010, 12:35:24 PM »
This is a re post I got from another board.

"Diane Harkey | Press Release
Harkey Bill To Expand Environmentally-Safe Ocean Recreation And Limit Frivolous Lawsuits Signed Into Law By Governor

Gino Folchi - (916) 319-2073
SACRAMENTO - Legislation by Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, that adds scuba diving to a list of other hazardous recreational activities while extending legal immunity to state and local governments, was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. The bill is the product of a two year effort with California Ships to Reefs, a nonprofit that advocates for fishing and diving tourism along the California coast.
"Fear of frivolous lawsuits has hampered efforts to expand recreational activities in many communities. I am pleased that Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law our legislation reducing liability for local and state governments while allowing for more recreational activities such as scuba diving, aiding coastal economies, the environment and the state of California."
AB 634 is intended to protect state and local governments from liability associated with scuba diving, particularly on ship-based artificial reefs. Diving in and near sunken ships can be hazardous, requiring special training and equipment beyond that for normal scuba diving which requires training and certification at every level. There are at least 3 ship-based artificial reefs in California waters or under state control on which diving and penetrations are being made.
"California Ships to Reefs is proud of its all volunteer organization, the Legislature and Governor for passing AB 634. The Governor's signature comes at an historic time, the tenth anniversary of HMCS Yukon's reefing in San Diego," said Joel Geldin, Chairman and CEO of California Ships to Reefs. "Today, California has removed a major impediment to artificial reefing. We are enthusiastic about the new unlimited opportunities ahead to create a network of artificial reefs on the state's coastline, improving ocean life and enhancing our recreational diving and fishing industries," Geldin added.
The bill is a prime example of the positive relationship that can exist between business, recreation and the environment, all while enjoying strong bipartisanship support in the Legislature. Dean Rewerts, Vice President of Reef Development of California Ships to Reefs remarked, "We appreciate how the Legislature was able to reach across the aisle and pass AB 634 without a single no vote, working for the common good of California. California Ships to Reefs believes the entire state owes thanks to Assemblywoman Diane Harkey for her foresight in carrying AB 634, making it easier to create man-made reefing projects in California to the benefit of the state and the environment."



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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2010, 06:34:43 PM »
 :confused2: Hazardous, well I'm not diving anymore. I wish someone would have told me before I bought all my gear.

Red Abalone Diving

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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2010, 07:48:46 PM »
Front face value, this I think this may be a good thing. Would I be surprised the legislation just passed in the bill required that yes; some type of adequate diving certification be required to dive shipwrecks intended to be artificial reefs, the answer would be yes. I support this some what. The reality is: in most cases these shipwreck reefs will most likely be placed in depths where the sea floor is at depths of 90 to 135 feet or more. Because of the possible maladies associated with compressed air dives and mix gas dives (nitrox) there is legitimate concern for safety. To what extend should the recreational diving certifying agency's be allowed to gouge us for this training is a fair question that surly needs to addressed if the State or some other agency insist that in order for someone to dive a artificial shipwreck reef that they be trained to do so before one is allowed to dive a site.  However the market in this case my decide the price in the end. Charge to much and I will not pay to play. Price it right and i'll play. Permit me to death and forget it, it ain't worth it.

And that was the opinion of one who holds two divermaster certifications, a PADI Divemaster rating and a SSI Dive Control Specialist rating.       

Offline Kali_Diver

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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 01:44:42 PM »
I just wonder how they will regulate this.Another card to cary or maybe some kind of some sort of database.

Red Abalone Diving

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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2010, 09:27:11 PM »
I just wonder how they will regulate this.Another card to cary or maybe some kind of some sort of database.

Well I'll wait in see on this one. However I am totally in favor of the least amount of regulation and in no way do I support that one would have to be on a guided dive to dive one of these shipwreck reefs.

Offline Kali_Diver

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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2010, 03:42:57 PM »
I agree totally.It wouldnt be fair to the people who spent good money on their own boats.I think their just tryin to cover their arse.

Red Abalone Diving

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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 05:12:08 PM »
Well keep an sharp eye on this one; something should surface soon or by early next year.

Offline NC_Diver

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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2010, 03:27:28 PM »
The way I'm reading it is that the state of california is saying that they are not responsible in any way and have released themselves of any liability by officially stating that scuba is hazardoes (just like rock climbing in a state park). If you were to go out and kill yourself on an artificial reef by doing something stupid, even though it was state sponsored and is in a state park it your own tuff luck.
I didn't see anything in there that they will have more power to impose some sort of new or upgraded certification level. I don't think any of that's going to change. The dive industry will still be self regulated.
Am I missing something?

Red Abalone Diving

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Re: SCUBA declared "hazardous."
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 10:22:29 PM »
Nope NC diver I think you hit it on the head correctly. By declaring and recognizing SCUBA diving as a hazardous activity, which it is, AB 634 paves the way for allowing diving activities on artificial reefs and other objects within state waters to happen.

AB 634 (Harkey)
Hazardous recreational activities.

AB 634, as amended, Harkey. Hazardous recreational activities.
Under existing law, public entities and public employees are
generally not liable to any person who participates in various
hazardous recreational activities, as defined, including, but not
limited to, certain water contact and diving activities, kayaking,
surfing, waterskiing, white water rafting, and windsurfing.
These provisions do not limit liability that would otherwise exist
for damage or injury suffered in any case where permission to
participate in the hazardous recreational activity was granted for a
specific fee.

This bill would include any form of
self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) diving among
these hazardous recreational activities. The bill would
provide that the exception to this provision allowing liability where
a specific fee is charged does not include a fee or surcharge
levied, charged, or collected for SCUBA diving access to an
artificial reef created or placed in cooperation with the state or
any political subdivision thereof, and operated by a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit public benefit corporation. The bill would provide that any
person participating in those SCUBA diving activities does so at
their own risk.


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