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opinion: scuba is more dangerous than freediving

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Stephan Whelan said:
Public opinion is another thing we need to consider. Whilst it may be true that X sport is more dangerous the Y sport, the public don't see it that way no matter what you say. :head

I good one I heard the other week was about diving with Sharks:

"You have more chance of being killed by a falling coconut than by a shark"

Yet I don't see people flocking to the coast to jump in the water with sharks :D

And he hits it on the head....I am ridiculously new to this sport. However, I am not new to extreme sports....I have spent the last 8 years of my very short life consumed by skydiving. This site is no different than other sites dedicated to other "fringe" sports. Replace the word fin with parachute, and depth with height, and you've got a skydiving forum.

When people ask skydivers what the most dangerous part of the skydive is, we always reply "The drive home." Its true, but who cares? The general public certainly doesn't see it that way. And lets be honest, if the general public did see our sports as mainstream and not so dangerous, they would lose their appeal to most of us.

So I say, enjoy the shocked looks of your SCUBA peers when you having a drink. Throw the words "calculated risk" out there, and smile. Perhaps you think it is more dangerous to scuba, but it's ok to let them think you are the one with bigger balls.
icarus pacific said:
I shoot fish both freediving and with tanks. I've done it all over the World, including Austrailia and the Med. When I needed to use tanks, I wasn' t the only one there doing it.

Isn't it stictly forbidden :rcard ?? What is the legal state-of-the-art all over the world ??

If it is not forbidden, it is very unfair for the fish...
Re: My Point

sturgeon said:
a marine resource management tool
If I understood you well, banishment of scuba spearfishers is a "marine resource management tool" ?

Apart from the USA, in what other countries is scuba spearfishing allowed :waterwork ??
Subaquaticus, what is unfair to the fish??
The idea is to catch fish as a sport. We can spear on scuba here because the number of scuba divers who do are not going to make a big difference to the fish stocks.

Are fishing nets fair.

Baiting a very sharp steel hook so the fish thinks it's food, is that fair for the fish.

Spearfishing of any sort will only be fair if the fish have spearguns and can shoot back.

If you want to catch fish and want to be fair to the fish, dive down and catch them with your bare hands, no wait fish don't have hands, grab 'em with your teeth.

Although we can spear on scuba here if we want to, I've only ever spearfished while freediving because I couldn't be bothered dragging all that gear around,swimming is too slow and the fish can hear you coming from 10 reefs away. It gives the fish too much advantage and I hate being fair to them.
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Just weighing in with MHO. Death/injury rates for most "extreme" sports can be accounted for by people who are poorly trained, or ignore the training they have received. Examples include: Neglecting a predive check, choosing to dive after finding negative factors (gear, physical problems, poor conditions, etc), diving alone, etc. As someone else (sorry I can't qoute at the moment) said earlier in this thread, diving sports are fairly safe, provided that sensible preparations and precautions are observed.

I think that the higher incident numbers for SCUBA are most likley a reflection of the higher number of SCUBA divers in the water.

Now that I've said my piece, I have a 2 hour commute on I-5 (one of California's busiest highways). THAT is dangerous!

Dive Safe

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Going back to the original question, relative dangerousness, it is hard to compare the two. You would have to figure out some way to compare equal levels of skill, experiance, aggressivness, etc. in order to even start a reasonable comparison. My 2 cents says Scott had it right, freediving is less forgiving. The dangers are different. Tankers are more likely to be injured, strain their backs, get bad air, bends, embolism, etc. None of these are likely to result in death. Free divers are less likely to get injured, and a properly handled BO does no damage. However, sloppy safety combined with a reasonable amount of ability can get you killed.

I'll never forget the face of those divers seeing me hanging with my mono at -25m :D

I don't think any of us practice underwater activities for the associate danger levels. All those sports have a specific learning curve, and as always ignorance is the biggest danger... and since the sport keep evolving we are all ignorant to a certain point.
Then the only difference between both sports could be our personal level of developement, and a non freediving experienced tank diver will obviously have a different perception than a experienced freediver... even if is a good tank diver.

At the top you have extremely experienced people like Sven, that normally have a more global vision of the specifics of each world and sometimes do a good job reminding us what is really important.

I'm not an experienced scuba diver, and I've never feel as confident blowing bubles as when I'm freediving. I think that at my skills level I rely too much on all the technical aspect, and somehow the rather simple freediving apparel gets the experience closer to my control and feelings.
But again this is relative to my skills level for each discipline and as a lot to do with my personality.

As a mountain guide we learn to differentiate objective, and subjective dangers. It would be easy to list all the objective dangers for both disciplines, even if any evaluation is rather subjective. From my point of view the scuba objective list of dangers seem to be more complex. And again with out making any evaluation, a more complex scenario requires more control to insure a positive outcome. This is why in general I see scuba as a more technical discipline of underwater sports, requiring more support, information and experience to stay on the safe side.

We live on a technical society, and we are used to rely on technology and information. So probably an underwater beginner could feel more at easy on scuba, and is no surprise the public opinion seem shift toward the scuba as safer. Go to a different society and you may end up with a different opinion. As freediving evolves research, technical development and mainstream information increase, and this external perception should change over time.

Underwater the main danger is ignorance... it doesn't really mater if you wear a tank or not.
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I believe scuba is more dangerous then Free Diving because i would love to one day spear a scuba diver just to see how much of a fight they would put up.

Scuba or Free Diving are only as dangerous as you make it.

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