An Interview With Brian Carney

There has been quite some buzz, on and off, about the concept of having a Solo Diving course available to divers. In 2001, Scuba Diving International (SDI) led the way on this initiative and produced training course materials that stress independent diver skills and its practice, becoming the first and only agency to offer a Solo Diving course in over a decade.

We found this interview from way back in 2001 when Brian Carney was still the Training Manager for TDI and its newly formed sister agency, Scuba Diving International (SDI). The focus of the interview was on the newly created certification called “Solo Diving.”

Why is SDI offering a Solo Diver C-card? Aren’t you a little ahead of the curve on this one?
Carney: Maybe, but it is not an unfamiliar position to be in. We were the first to certify 10-year-olds and require open-water students to have computers. But our instructors think we’re a little behind the curve.

How So?
Carney: They have been asking for it for some time. Since most of our instructors are also TDI instructors, they deal with experienced divers who want to walk on a boat, show a Solo Diver certification and not be bound to another diver they don’t know and who may be a danger to them.

Speaking of danger, you’re going to get accused of getting people killed, ruining the sport’s popular image, and returning us to the bad old days of macho daredevils. How will you respond?
Carney: By saying that there are pros and cons to buddy diving and to solo diving. The key is to be rigorously trained, confident and experienced, whether it’s the buddy system or as an independent diver. Properly trained and executed, both systems can be safe. Our main concern is that there are literally thousands of divers going solo right now who lack the requisite training to do it safely. They’re accidents waiting to happen. If they’re going to do it, we want to make sure they do it safely. We think it’s time some agency stepped up to the plate and made a commitment for everyone’s sake.

This sounds familiar. I remember some concern about nitrox.
Carney: And deep diving, and dive computers before that, and BCD before that. It’s been a constant theme: certification agencies resist change, fail to provide updated training and divers pay the price. That’s one of the reasons SDI/TDI was founded; to provide the training other agencies refuse to.

Now, 11 years later, we asked Brian to give us his input about Solo Diver and what he has seen it do to the sport of diving.
Carney: Wow, thinking back to the day we launched that program, Sean (Sean Harrison, VP) and I had no idea just how big it would become. Today it is one of the more popular specialties divers strive to achieve, like becoming a Dive Master. But I think the thing that is most gratifying is now divers are taking advantage of a course to properly train them how to solo dive, as opposed to just doing it on their own. In addition, dive operators around the world are accepting and requiring the Solo Diver certification in order for divers to dive on their own.

So what are YOU waiting for? Get on over to a local Dive Center today or contact WorldHQ for more information. Take a look at the course description here:

Look for new developments in Solo Diving planned for 2013…you’re going to love it!

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