Most of the training focuses on systems, skills repetition, and understanding and using redundant systems - folks getting into cave diving typically are already extremely experienced divers who if anything need only some minor skill tweaks - most cave instructors will not take on students who don't already have significant open water technical diving experience (multiple tanks, mixed gas, rebreathers, decompression, wreck, etc).
A running joke is that the lost line drill (where you're placed intentionally off of the guide line and have to find it without a mask/light/visibility) is the most punctual cave task you'll ever do - you have the rest of your life to get it right.
Here's a few good books on it (non-affiliate links):
Caverns Measureless to Man by Sheck Exley (the father of cave diving): https://www.amazon.com/Caverns-Measureless-Man-Sheck-Exley/d...
The Darkness Beckons by Martyn Farr: https://www.amazon.com/Darkness-Beckons-History-Development-...
Beyond the Deep by Bill Stone (the Tony Stark of cave diving): https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Deep-Deadly-Descent-Treacherou...
The Cenotes of the Riviera Maya by Steve Gerrard (patron saint / mapper of Yucatan caves): https://www.amazon.com/Cenotes-Riviera-Maya-2016/dp/16821340...
This is more of a map and explanatory notes but gives great insight into the complexity of it. Currently there are 2 systems that almost all cenotes are part of in the Yucatan, and there's some really interesting work going on trying to link the two. Current work is going on at about 180m depth through a number of rooms at the back of "The Pit", and there are multi-day expeditions going on trying to find the linkage.
It's the story about the diver David Shaw and his attempt to recover the body of diver Deon Dreyer in one of the deepest sweetwater caves on earth. A bit of a read but well worth it.
That said, it's a terrific article.
This is particularly relevant since the stilt obscuring the cave is precisely what led to the incident described in this article. It's not clear it happened because the divers were careless or despite them, but I thought it would be worth pointing out to non divers that one of the many things you learn while studying for cave diving is how to occupy a lot less space while swimming than you're used to.
This has got to be the scariest video on Youtube in which no harm comes to anyone.
Off topic, but here is a viable contender:
There are videos of higher towers, but I believe that this video is the most thoroughly annotated one.
I feel like any of Alex Honnold's ropeless climbs deserves a link too, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phl82D57P58
I expected to see these guys:
Also surprising is the apparent lack of safety... the carabiners / clips just loosely hang around the occasional rung and are often completely unattached... I wouldn't trust that if he fell the clip would hold him.
skip this one :)
Now, being in a cold cave with a dangerous CO2/O2 ratio, exhausted, suffering from hypothermia and fearing for my life.. that doesn't sound like so much fun.
Can someone explain this phenomena? How can the water in a sea-cave become potable?
The narrow region where freshwater and seawater intermingle is called the halocline, it creates a cool optical distortion which reminds me of the "oil paint" filter in photoshop.
Somewhat related video: dense brine that doesn't freeze in Arctic sea ice sinks rapidly through liquid seawater below
If there is no convection or wave-action to mix the saltwater with the fresh, they can coexist in the same vessel, with very slow diffusion of salt into the fresh layer. If the fresh layer is refreshed by rainfall or fresh outflows of groundwater, the top may always be drinkable, even as the bottom is not.
they mention the caves where flooded 60000 years ago, which is long time ago to replace all the original sea water with fresh water from other sources
or maybe it's condensated water from walls of cave creating layer on top, though not sure how would that work
I also assume they're experts who know what they're doing, but at the same time, I guess there'd be too many unknown unless there was some established air-tight drilling technique specifically for this type of scenario?
What I'm curious about is whether these cave-divers used this procedure, because they were prepared for it in some capacity. I mean, they managed to start - and then abandon - the idea, in a few hours.
You described a blowout preventer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowout_preventer) by the way :)
Many cave systems are quite shallow, and while I don't know the details on the one there in Mallorca, by the size of what's described it was probably above the water table even though there likely wasn't a free-air connection to the surface.
Terrific balls, you cave-divers! Definitely not for me .. though the stories do delight, and sometimes .. terrify.
"I would rather my kids grow up without a Dad than live without my adrenaline fix"
I am neither a father or a cave diver though, so I might be missing a piece of the puzzle. Would either groups of people care to comment?
There are a lot of parents in the world. Once you start judging them (for actions other than abuse and neglect), you very quickly realize how limiting that is. Do we need to look down upon astronauts who have children? What about pilots? People who travel for work for days or weeks at a time? Someone who commutes an hour to work each way in a car that has a poor safety rating?
The good news is that once you become a father, you'll get to decide (possibly with a partner) what the acceptable level of risk is for you and your family.
> The good news is that once you become a father, you'll get to decide (possibly with a partner) what the acceptable level of risk is for you and your family.
That's a obvious. What I think is being questioned is if they made a good decision. In other I can freely decide not to strap my kid in a car seat but that doesn't mean I won't get a ticket or my child won't be seriously injured or worse in a car accident.
In all seriousness, I do have a hard time guessing which one most children would pick. I can see reasonable arguments made on either side. Personally, I think it would be far more inspiring to have a father who died pursuing his passion, then one who gave it up to stay at home.
Also, from the article: "My children don't like it much but they don't tell me not to do it"
This is demonstrably untrue in my social network. Just in my own friend group I know a handful of folks who would much rather their father simply didn't exist, rather than having this effectively random person they now owe some supposed family obligation to. Basically they got all the responsibilities of having a father, and none of the benefit.
I don't know what problems your network face, so I'm not judging, but in my own experience, people who haven't lost a parent sometimes think that maybe they'd be better off. I'm sure there are plenty of cases where this is actually true and I can see why having someone who you're meant to care about but who is essentially a stranger isn't a particularly nice thing, but at the same time, having grown up without a father, I and those I know who lost a parent, would rather have someone than not have someone. Maybe its a "you don't know what you've got until it's gone" kind of thing (or maybe those people in your network really do have shitty family).
I think many kids, especially those with an adventurous mom/dad, would think "my mom/dad is strong and knows what he is doing, so (s)he won't be in that 5%"
> I think many kids, especially those with an adventurous mom/dad, would think "my mom/dad is strong and knows what he is doing, so (s)he won't be in that 5%"
Not this guy's:
> "My children don't like it much but they don't tell me not to do it," he says.
Put another way, would you say a father that chooses to drive a 2 hour commute (each way) per day is being reckless? No doubt you can find countless children who lost a parent in an auto accident who would tell you they would have wanted their father to have a shorter commute and still be with them. But since driving is a familiar activity, no one questions the risk that someone is incurring with that kind of decision. And yet that 2-hours to work and 2-hours back drive is, based on the stats that I've been able to find, around 1 micromort. Over the course of a year, that adds up to around 200 micromorts, or roughly 1/5000 chance of dying. I can't find the data on cave diving, which is no doubt higher than recreational diving, but SCUBA has a value of 5 micromorts per dive, so it's roughly equivalent to driving 1250 miles on a highway. Someone doing 40 dives per year is taking on roughly the same risk as that 50,000 mi/year driver.
Humans are really bad about estimating risk. We do it by equating risk to the ease in which we can imagine something happening. It's why so many people are afraid of statistically safe activities like air travel while underestimating much more serious dangers. We need a framework, like micromorts, for thinking about risk logically to better determine what amount of risk to take on and then "spend" that risk budget in whatever way helps us get the most out of life. Parents can say, "I'd like a 90% chance of being alive when my kids turn 10, a 75% chance of being alive when they turn 18 and a 50% chance of being alive when they turn 30." Once you've decided on a risk threshold, you can work backwards to determine how many micromorts you're allowed to take on each year.
Otherwise, you're just living your life based on irrational fears.
It doesn't mean that being risk averse is the right way to live. It's a fair point and a good thing to consider when you are a parent. That's all.
While I get the emotional impact of this, it really shouldn't be an argument either way once you begin using some framework to judge decisions.
Think of it this way, if I nearly died in a car wreck on the way to work, would it be fine for me to never get in a car again? I almost died doing that once!
It would make more sense to determine the risk. That he already nearly died doesn't really change the risk profile. Cave diving is extremely risky. That should be the important factor. Having nearly died should not.
This question appears rhetorical (with an intended answer of "no"), but I absolutely think such a risk should be considered, whether or not you're a parent. The higher-order bits here are probably the time you're wasting with 100% probability, perhaps the increased life satisfaction of a great job, etc, but the p% additional chance you die in a car crash, as you said, is non-trivial, and even though I know very people incorporate such thinking into their decision making, I think they should.
Today I learned this.
The same thing (but reverse) with asking children whose fathers didn't go on an adventure and see if they would've preferred a more adventurous father!
> The same thing (but reverse) with asking children whose fathers didn't go on an adventure and see if they would've preferred a more adventurous father!
Yes, each child only knows one half of the story, as it were. But the knowledge imbalance is not symmetrical. The child whose father has died understands boredom and dissatisfaction in other ways... perhaps his mother is boring, or sometimes nags him, and even his adventurous (now dead) father surely disappointed him sometimes, and so on.
The child who has not experienced death really has no idea what that suffering is like. It's just utterly callow to think his opinion has equal weight.
With my kids I know they would rather have me around, but they are young so I'm already "superman" to them. Who knows how our relationship will change as they grow older.
Except for those who hate their guts. Or those who distrust them. Or those who are bored by their lifestyle, possibly relevant to this topic.
Not that it necessarily changes the argument, but the "choice" is probabilistic. That is, it isn't father at home vs. dead, but "probably boring dad but most likely alive" vs. "maybe famous dad but some chance of death".
You can have fun and be adventurous without taking heavy risks. It's fair to say that someone who continues to put himself at harm is foolish in one capacity or another.
Whether you "buy" the simple causal graph that he used as an example is a minor point.
I'd say taking a sabatical, walking the country asking strangers personal or "deep" questions is an adventure and a risky one, yet you don't risk your life more than by just commuting to work.
I guess risks depend on the country, but are comparable.
In my country (New Zealand) we have a government run, compulsory, insurance scheme for accidents and death. If you die by accident then your family gets a payout based on a percentage of your (former) income.
We don't have the right to sue for accidents, relying on ACC for compensation.
"Heh, I'm going to kill myself so I don't have to work to support my family and they can have insurance money instead" is not a thought many people would have.
That's assuming a two parent income. What if one parent stays home with the children instead of working? Yes, you can get insurance. No, it doesn't replace a lost parent.
No, it's specifically worded to not be just about income. That was the point of rewording it as "support".
"Judging" is a bit of an overloaded term. I don't think it's OK to call someone human trash for having a risky hobby.
I do think people can say, "You're better than this. Make better choices."
One version is dehumanizing someone for their behavior. The other is (when phrased well) constructive criticism.
Without actually taking a stance on the topic, it seems quite a reasonable argument that, while you have a young child, you shouldn't actively go around risking your life -- they're your dependents, i.e. it's not just your life you're messing around with. When they stop being your dependents, do whatever you want, it's just your life now (and I guess your spouse's, who is presumably fine with what you do).
Now he's hit about that right time and I don't know if he even still has the desire. Age changes a lot of that. Still, it does seem like he made the responsible choice to me.
I'm not certain if this is an argument for or against, given how much I'm in the same "too tired" boat.
I've discovered that I now get too fearful while climbing, too scared something bad might happen and I'd leave my children without me in the world.
It breaks my concentration, makes my actions erratic, and most crucially, makes me not enjoy it.
Who knows how I'll feel once they're older, but I suspect it won't ever change back. And that's OK.
That's an argument for having life insurance; it's not necessarily an argument for not taking risks.
And yes, I know many cases are a lot less than desirable.
(When did people start to think money is a good substitute for everything?)
I didn't say it was. See my response to wfunction.
> That's an argument for having life insurance; it's not necessarily an argument for not taking risks.
Yeah, because fathers can be replaced with money and children wouldn't feel a thing.
You clearly have a belief system which is risk adverse and that's fine but i find it a little judgemental on other people's family lives to be saying what's reasonable and not reasonable to do as a father.
Well, I'm not the one who said what the father did was unreasonable, so you might have meant to reply to someone else. I merely said I thought the argument provided for that stance was reasonable. Happy to say the same about an argument for the opposite stance as well when I see it too. The fact that I might find an argument reasonable that doesn't mean I find it convincing and necessarily agree with the conclusion.
No, the poster you're responding to does not 'clearly' have that. That's your opinion, and nothing more.
That's not what I said. What I said was that it's not necessarily an argument for not taking risks. You have to balance the risk against the potential cost. That is perfectly compatible with there being a cost that can't be made good with money. And it's also perfectly compatible with minimizing the cost--yes, you can't replace a father with money, but you can make the impact as bearable as possible by ensuring that money is not a problem.
Says the guy who translated "actively go around risking your life" into "taking risks"?
You should probably avoid things that cause life insurance rates to jump up. That's a good barometer for excessive risk.
>Even if you have life insurance?
Parents and money are not substitute goods. Life insurance is helpful for financial security, but it doesn't account for the detriment to being raised by a single parent.
That's at least a reasonable criterion. I would be interested to see data on the impact of cave diving on life insurance rates.
> Parents and money are not substitute goods.
I already agreed with that upthread.
With kids at home? specifically?!
There are ways to enjoy life, or take "risks", that do not involve mortal danger.
> Do we need to look down upon astronauts who have children? What about pilots? .. Someone who commutes .. in a car that has a poor safety rating?
Are those as dangerous? If so, then yes, I think so.
> People who travel for work for days or weeks at a time?
People agonise about this all the time. But seeing the kids not very often is very different from dying and never seeing them again.
Oh, great. Does that mean we should also stop judging people about abuse and neglect too? I mean, fuck other peoples kids, right?
Depends on how you look at it.
We are fragile creatures and the world is a fairly dangerous place. People die every day driving cars, riding bikes, going for walks—doing things far more mundane than cave-diving.
If taking a walk is as dangerous as cave diving - then yes, I'd consider moving.
If you want to reduce the risks in riding a motorcycle, you can drive slower, in dry conditions during the day. I'm not sure exploring uncharted underwater caves is the slow lane..
True, so let's not take to the extreme. Risk-adversion is a quantitative, not qualitative, practise.
I'm not saying minimising risk is the only goal in life, but avoiding very high risks is - do you think cave diving is no riskier than driving a car on the motorway?
Taking a specific incident and combining it with "that sounds dangerous" is not likely to come up with anything meaningful.
But maybe - you'd need a proper analysis of the relative risk. Isn't that done with cars/driving? All sorts of vehicle legislation may be driven (npi) by driving incident data / risk analysis.
> Taking a specific incident and combining it with "that sounds dangerous"
I'm not. I think it sounds dangerous before this specific incident. But you are right - a meaningful, proper analysis would be appropriate. I'm not saying my suggestion is enough, I am saying, maybe something formal would be appropriate.
Maybe you should just base it on what a given repetitive activity does to your life insurance premiums.
OP is between "extra premium" and "cannot get coverage"
The bit that's incorrect here is that "free climbing" encompasses many forms of rock climbing. "Free" in the context of "free climbing" means that vertical progress is made solely by climbing the rock itself.
This is as compared to "aid climbing", wherein vertical progress may be made by affixing some form of gear to the rock, and climbing said gear, or something attached to it.
The article most likely means that if you free solo, you're uninsurable. Solo in this case meaning, without a partner to catch your falls.
E.T.A. Note also the existence of "aid soloing", and "rope soloing", both of which are done without a partner, but with varying degrees of gear in place to catch you should you fall.
Also note that absent the qualification of "soloing", rock climbing is generally understood among climbers to mean the kind that is done with a partner and a rope. Among climbers, bouldering is understood to include climbing routes of low height ("problems") without the protection of a rope, but generally with the protection of a crash pad (big foam thing to land on).
This was 4 years after I lost my mother doing something she was passionate about.
I can tell you in no uncertain terms that losing both parents before you turn 16 is no walk in the park. But I managed, I survived, and now work in a field that often touches both of the things that killed my parents and I have a bit of a desire to 'conquer' the things that took them.
I wish they both were here today, but I do not wish they hadn't done the things they had done. Even as a kid I held no ill will toward either of them. I'm glad my mother got to do what she wanted, and I wouldn't be where I am now if it weren't for my father's line of work.
I am not a biological father and I have gone cavern diving. While it's not okay to be reckless and disregard all safety, as a child of parents who passed doing unnecessarily dangerous things, I can say that I have never wished that they had not done those things that they wanted or felt necessary to do. I only wish that I had made better use of my time with them.
It is easy to assume that this is the entire picture, but this likely is not true. Perhaps if he were not a cave diver, he would be an alcoholic or a drug addict or beat his kids. We don't know and even if the author does, he likely would not share such information. The world would absolutely not be more supportive of his choices if he tried to justify them with "It's either this or (something far worse)."
If he is actually an adrenaline junkie, this is a matter of brain wiring. It is not a choice. When you are born with something like that, the best you can do is try to channel it as constructively as possible instead of letting it lead to trouble.
There are plenty of people in the world who are criminals, alcoholics, addicts, shit-stirrers of some sort and various other bad things. Adrenaline junkies are sometimes firefighters, EMTs, or soldiers. Those who can't be those things have hobbies like this.
I am a parent. In fact, I was a homemaker and full time mom for a lot of years. I have special needs kids who still live with me, even though they are both adults. I am generally interpreted by the world as a very devoted mother, which is generally accurate.
But I learned long ago that I need to make sure to get my own needs met. I can't live for my kids alone. Doing that goes bad places. I can't be a good parent if I don't first deal with what the woman in the mirror needs to get through the damn day without going ballistic.
I don't need an adrenaline fix and I am not a cave diver. But we all need different things and that metric generalizes. I have seen lots of parents do terrible things because they failed to "put their own oxygen mask on first."
Thanks for writing that!
Here's an actual real life demonstration of why you should put your oxygen mask on first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUfF2MTnqAw
Similarly though, there's a trough in the safety numbers where folks between about 100 and 1000 hours seem to be involved in most accidents.
I'm not sure if I'll keep this up if/when I have children, but that's something I'll have to wrestle with when it comes. I have a number of friends who've retired from caving until their kids are teenagers or permanently now that they are fathers & mothers.
There's probably a good lesson here for computer programmers...
That sounds like a great Ask HN topic.
This is very different. If an instructor is present the danger is clearly lower. The book deals with the phase where pilots first fly alone without external help.
Turns out a large boulder shifted and cut their guide line (and significantly obstructed the route out) which led to this - there's no amount of planning that would've prevented that.
This man has been doing this for 24 years, if something diving today with him is safer because of the experience he got.
There are extremely risky sports like B.A.S.E, jumpsuit skydiving or freestyle motorbike stunt. This is not that risky.
I have seen a lot of people die in their 50s of cancer after smoking 3 packs a day. You don't see people around telling smokers: You have children, you should not take risks like this.
Even working too much could be riskier than diving caves. A fried of mine is quadriplegic because he felt sleep in the car for working too much.
Not exactly true.
If you are in the US in a big city in a blue state, politicians and police say that, but for a slightly different reason.
So, they don't say that?
I absolutely do see that, although it's more often about not exposing your kids to smoke than specifically about saving the parent's life. (Which makes sense if the concern is child welfare, since smoking deaths typically come at an age where most people's kids are full-grown.)
You can say that about anything. Smoking, alcohol, racism, leftism ( jk :-D )
But is identity investment in something life-risking really compatible with reasonable parenting? that's the question.
Also implied is that we can even agree what "reasonable parenting" means.
Ironic, since by using the term "risk free", you are the one implying a dichotomy: either something has risk or it doesn't.
It's technically true but that's unhelpful, since risk is not a binary value: it's a spectrum. Certain hobbies and jobs are demonstrably more risky than others.
You can determine a threshold though?
> can even agree what "reasonable parenting" means.
So much as we can agree what reasonable <anything> means - which we can, as there are all sorts of laws regulating various aspects of life. We can, to some degree, legislate "reasonable driving", or "reasonable flying".
I don't think there is a standard here unless we want to draw the line at the painfully obvious. But the danger doesn't lie in the painfully obvious, it lies in the gray area where we all differ.
And "reasonable" only ever seems obvious in retrospect.
> I don't think there is a standard here
Has such a proposal been investigated?
> And "reasonable" only ever seems obvious in retrospect.
After than, I have questions about reasonable parenting when hiking in the foothills. How much water should I be required to bring? I could go on and on regarding the gray areas of life. You have the answers?!? Please share.
Did I claim to? Anyone that dares suggests standards of safety should exist, must be omniscient first?
And yes,I think those things should be regulated too. To extent that they practically can, they are - you can be cautioned for not driving with due care and attention.
I've tried to show that's not a fair question since we don't agree what is reasonable parenting or what is risk. But yes, it is compatible because it is the only way.
Consider this, until recently, conception through birth was quite likely to kill you. It didn't get much riskier than having kids, yet people still chose to have them. Over and over. So yes, risk is what life is made of.
The example of childbirth has more factors to it - other than it being required to further the human race, there is a biological imperative to do it. Plus, in the past, women didn't always have as much choice.
So yes, activity.
If we were at all responsible at evaluating risk to leaving children, there is no way we'd travel in cars as a family unit.
Every human activity is life-risking (as is inactivity.)
If you greatest joy in life is this, you may choose to take the risk. Children are not an all or nothing proposal.
That said, parents don't always get a choice. Sometimes pregnancy is unplanned or even unwanted. I'm not sure how much moral responsibility parents bear in this case, but this scenario illustrates that the issue of responsibility isn't always black and white.
The extension to this is the significant likelihood of other accidents. Car accident, blood clot, stroke, embolism, drowning, falling off of a ladder, heart attack from a stressful event.
A significant number of parents die all of the time, with or without dangerous hobbies. Number your days.
Edit: Let me be very clear here: I am not advocating for any position or change of position on this matter in any way. I am simply stating an observation of how the world currently operates to clarify original poster's statement.
How about not having children, then? Or at least until/unless you have stopped diving?
> doesn't mean you have to sacrifice everything for them
There are a lot of small things you don't need to, but the big things you should. Your life, their father, is a big thing. If it means more to you to dive, do that instead.
Time to clear out of the theater to make room for other people who want to partake. Basic etiquette.
What does that mean? My posts aren't dupes. If my responses are similar, it's because similar posts existed in the first place.
> make room for other people who want to partake
This is a digital forum, there are no such restrictions, "theater etiquette" doesn't apply.
A good quality post is a good quality post, why would it matter who posts it?
I'm not sure I understand this mentality. Why force a life into this existence if you don't do everything in your power to make it as accommodating as you can? Modern life in it of itself will be working against it.
The person you are responding to is espousing an atittude that is far older and more widespread throughout the world.
You're reading about an accident, and then assuming the amount of risk involved without knowing anything about the sport. Accidents happen all the time, in all sorts of ways. It's very possible to do something like this and have a large safety margin, as has been shown by his 24yr history of doing it. Someone who is this experienced at what they do, in a dangerous seeming sport, will be very well aware of possible mistakes, and how to mitigate them. I personally think teaching your child to be "safe" and not take "risks" is kind of stupid. I'd much rather teach my child to learn how to push the limits intelligently, and see what in this world is possible.
Can you tell me what that means?
> people who do great things take big risks
Parents? With their lives? Can you describe such a scenario?
> This is a thread for startups
Is the risk involved in startups of the same impact to their children as their deaths?
> then assuming the amount of risk involved
Am I? Is this considered a safe pastime then?
> and have a large safety margin, as has been shown by his 24yr history of doing it
Now who's assuming? 24 years of not telling anyone he's going on a dive?
> I personally think teaching your child to be "safe" and not take "risks" is kind of stupid
You're playing semantics. mortal/life-threatening risk/safety is clearly different from other forms of usages of the same word(s).
You absolutely should teach your children to avoid those kinds of risks, or at least, in the context of having dependants.
I wasn't sure what you meant by "equal society," everyones different, the only way to get "equal" where all children have "equally" committed parents, would be quite homogenous.
The main point I think I'll reiterate, is that yes, you are assuming the amount of risk this person took. The amount of risk involved goes down the more you know about something. This person definitely knows more than you about the sport of cave diving, and can better judge the amount of risk involved. I think that's all I'm trying to say. You can do something that seems dangerous to outsiders, quite safely.
And I also think that lessons from one sport, or activity, apply to other areas of life.
This person knows more than I do about diving, but not necessarily about risk; A doctor who studies lung cancer might know more about the risks of smoking than a life-long smoker.
IMO maaaaybe you could be married with no kids and do this ethically. But with kids? You're rolling the dice on a very important promise.
I do struggle with what that line of thinking means for soldiers though.
He'd been doing it for 24 years, so his tolerance for risk wrt cave diving is different than what you and I perceive--thus I don't blame him at all.
They accept that duty though, so it's the same thing - instead of "is it ok for a soldier to go to war" it's "is it ok to become a soldier".
> his tolerance for risk wrt cave diving is different than what you and I perceive
What does this mean?
To us, continuing to dive seems like an unacceptable risk. To the diver, it seemingly is not.
Along the same vein I believe GP then goes on to say that he does not feel that the diver's perspective is less valid just because he (the GP) doesn't understand it.
Either it's risky, or it isn't? If the diver has good reason to think that it isn't, fair enough. But is that the case?
As someone who's never done cave diving, the perception of risk is going to be higher than the actual risk. 1 time in 24 years is pretty low.
There are a few flags pointed out in these threads - like not telling anyone that he dived..
But if it's not ok to become a soldier if you have kids, that severely limits who can be a soldier. (For example, many soldiers get married and start families during their careers as soldiers. Should they instantly get discharged if that happens? Taken off all possibly dangerous duties?) That doesn't seem like a good idea for society as a whole, since it makes being a soldier a much less attractive career, and any society needs soldiers to defend it.
The argument with cave diving is at least somewhat stronger, since I don't see any pressing need for society as a whole to have a particular number of cave divers, or for cave diving to be an attractive career.
But that's an economic problem, isn't it? Maybe if children stopped working, we couldn't make enough matches? But unless we recognise the morally undesirable, why would we care to change anything?
You can recognise something as morally undesirable, yet for some other reason unavoidable. There are many things that fall into that category.
It's also a slippery slope - if something is needed does that justify all means in getting it? And to what extent does America really need (a certain amount) of soldiers? It's one thing to defend its borders, but is every military action of necessity - as opposed to national will?
Only if you think the need of any society to be able to defend itself is an economic problem.
> to what extent does America really need (a certain amount) of soldiers?
That depends on what threats we expect to have to deal with.
Also, if you argue that people with children should not be soldiers, you are taking out of the decision loop people who are likely to have a more restrained view of when violence should be used.
Plus, soldiers will see action/danger even when the country is not explicitly at war.
The line of reasoning for firefighters and police officers is likely similar (though IMO the risks in these professions are far more manageable because you're not literally surrounding yourself with people who try to kill you).
In the end I think it's a good thing we talk about these decisions at all and I hope it has not only to do with women (and thus mothers) entering these professions.
It depends on whether your country likes to get involved in wars that don't actually protect their populace, of course.
It means exactly the same, but with millennia of cultural resistance to overcome before you can accept it.
I've never heard any vows include anything about cave diving.
Children are quite resilient, emotionally. And I wouldn't underestimate the positive effects it can have if your parents live interesting lives.
And then, there's the bicycle helmet paradox: disparaging him for his decisions may just keep people like him from having children altogether. Considering such risk-takers tend to be well-educated, and provide an intellectually stimulating environment for their children, it may be better for society to just let him be.
(the bicycle helmet analogy is that making helmets mandatory keeps enough people from riding bikes altogether, resulting in a net loss of life expectancy even when factoring in the reduction in deaths from accidents)
I've heard people who work in the ER refer to motorcycles as "donorcycles", apparently they are a great source of donor organs. It's probably not because they are very safe.
A huge part of riding a motorcycle is preparing for the unexpected. Always having an escape path, knowing your limits and the limits of your gear and riding within them. I'm sure there are similar concepts for divers, it's entirely fair to ask if this diver took all the necessary precautions or if there are additional precautions that are possible.
People die. A key responsibility of being a parent is to make sure arrangements are made for you children should you die.
I suppose whether this risk is warranted involves some complex calculus taking, among it's many inputs, the quality of arrangements that the parent has made, the actual mathematical degree of risk, and personal factors including those about the ages, personalities, etc., of the children involved. And that's true of basically every activity involving risk, but I don't think the key parameters on the boundaries here are unambiguous even if the input values were clearly knowable and computation tractable.
In general, I don't think outside parties ever have the information to have much of an meaningful discussion on specific cases, and it mostly ends up being empty posturing.
... is to be there for your children.
Could you even get life insurance if you engage in high-risk activities?
Probably, though you may need a specialized carrier and policy to have those activities covered.
In the last 30 years, Lockheed has lost only two test pilots in crashes. One in 1993 and another in 2009.
Is the risk that you die during an event which is not covered or is there some other contingency (like simply taking unnecessary risks while alive can be used to justify voiding of the policy postmortem)?
Military and E-AB (Experimental-Amateur Built) aircraft also have a higher than normal flight ops fatality rate, which speaks to the test pilot insurance rate, not directly to "routine testing of new civilian aircraft" level of safety.
A child of such a parent surely learns a thing or two about how to manage risk. Since life cannot be lived without risk, I would argue that such knowledge may better the child's chances in life.
Therefore, I argue this may be a better father than one that shies away from "unnecessary" risk.
It wasn't entirely your fault, but you did dash out without looking, and did dash out whilst the lights were flashing orange.
Do you never take that crossing (or maybe even any crossing) ever again?
The majority of cave-diving accidents stem from ignorance or disregard of cave-diving safety protocols. In this article, the diver seems to be very knowledgeable and aware of the protocols, but there were a few that weren't followed.
The diver's had a very close call, and no doubt recognises some of the issues that caused the accident, and I'm sure is determined to never make those mistakes again.
"There are OLD divers and there are BOLD divers, but there are very few OLD, BOLD divers."
Every single time I had an issue under water, it was when I was trying something BOLD and it brought back the instructors words.
Martyn Farr's book [mentioned in other comments] is littered with examples of BOLD divers but when you look up to see what they're doing now, many of them are dead. Normally related to a cave incident.
It was a great class, and he was a wonderful teacher. Scared the foolhardy, sobered the romantics, and conveyed a career's worth of lessons on riding safe. I've been accident-free since starting in '94, and I genuinely do think a large part of it was his initial, excellent instruction.
Should all parents stay in a padded room?
I think everyone has a different place for the line.
What does it mean to be alive at all?
this moment i picked out.. was the heaviest for me :
The odds of dying of a car accident are +- 5 times higher than scuba diving.
Are fucking serious?
It's the same circuitry involved in taking drugs or gambling, or jumping out of airplanes.