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  1. #1

    Default State cave diving policies and Wes Skiles PSSP - 12/30 - 12/31

    Just curious about an apparent lack of attention being given on 12/30 and 12/31 to enforcing state policy on cave diving at Peacock. From what we could tell, the ranger on duty made no checks of C-cards or of buddy teams. On 12/31, my wife and I saw one person soloing underwater and interacted with a second diver at the surface who was probably going solo as well.

    I'm not writing to express concern about solo diving. I've no desire to push anyone's hot buttons one way or the other. (For what it's worth, the solo diver we saw underwater was carrying a buddy bottle.) I just remember that Rick made a point of checking on such concerns and was wondering whether the policies had fallen into neglect.

    To put this another way, why have policies without enforcement, apart from casting blame after the fact?

    One other change to the Peacock protocols surprised us. (Note: it's been two years since we've been active at PSSP, due to a combination of work and family obligations and health issues.) While the diver sign-in sheets make sense, I was surprised about the relative lack of information being requested, compared to what we provide at Madison. Specifically, divers apparently aren't being asked to sign in as individuals and to sign out upon exiting.

    Any comments?

    Kindness in thought leads to wisdom.
    Kindness in speech leads to eloquence.
    Kindness in action leads to love.

    -- Lao-Tzu

  2. #2


    I would be careful about demanding enforcement of policies like this....it may well be easier to close a park like peacock down to divers than it would be to install a permanent checkpoint like they have at Madison to keep an eye on us. I am sure that the policies are there to give some liability protections for them, but violations of the policy are a divers problem, not a parks problem. I think it's very reasonable for the parks to expect us to govern ourselves, as they are not primarily in the cave diving safety business. If I saw someone apparently solo diving, I would have said something to them, and likely would have written down their license plate number to give to the ranger. I have no interest in losing access to sites like peacock, and I feel that self governance of these policies is part of our responsibility to have the opportunity to dive there.

  3. #3


    Did you remind personally to these supposedly solo divers that state parks do not (unfortunately and it sucks big time) allow solo?

  4. #4


    The state of Florida does an incredible job of being a historic 3 time gold medal winner nationwide and doing it with shrinking budgets. These shrinking budgets mean less part time help and the staff having to cover more with less, which means Peacock may not have the ranger visibility we are used to. I remember when I first started cave diving , the relationship cave divers had with the parks was almost adversarial at times. Now, they have a great appreciation for cave divers because we have been able to provide scientific/exploration data or perform build projects. This relationship over the years has gained us access to new sites because they have an appreciation for our recreation and they want to enhance our visit experience. We recently saw a potential chance for the loss of Eagles Nest because a few people couldn't follow the rules. So much work has gone into establishing these land owner relations, and when a few people become civil disobedient,by history it has had a tendency to cost us. Nobody wants to be the cave police, that I understand,but are you willing to lose access because of the actions of others?

    "Not all change is improvement...but all improvement is change" Donald Berwick

  5. #5


    +1 for the self governing

  6. #6


    Perhaps the State of Florida would have more income if they respected folks as adults and permitted solo diving already. This is a particular hot button that has limited many of us from diving the state properties when we would be.

    But the OP of this thread calling for further policing within the parks is just sad. Be careful what one wishes for before all dive plans, gas & diver profiles, specific diver health reports, age limits, exact equipment specifications, preferred certs from specific organizations & connected instructors, etc are questioned pre and post dives. More enforcements and policing are not always the course for safety but instead often cause undue stresses where there not need be. Treat adults like adults until proven elsewise.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaGypsy View Post
    Perhaps the State of Florida would have more income if they respected folks as adults and permitted solo diving already.
    If the state of Florida wants solo diving it is their call, and of course as a user you can petition this to change the policy. But one could ask would having solo diving put the parks in the black? They derive more income from other users, especially campers, so it may behoove them to take part of Peacock and turn it into camping with facilities, or allow fishing at P1 to attract the angler population. If more money is a goal there are many things that could be done to attract more user groups, which would put cave divers in competition for parking spaces, which defines the park's carrying capacity. Mutually exclusive to not permitting solo diving, there are some very good things they have done to accommodate cave divers, and accept us as a user group, even as small as we are compared to other user groups.

    "Not all change is improvement...but all improvement is change" Donald Berwick

  8. #8


    +1 for self governing..

    however there is various options to self govern:
    Noting down licence plates and denounce it to the rangers might not be the best option.
    There would be veery little chance I would ever do that.
    If self governing works then there is no need to involve any of the rangers and thats better because if the rangers get involved this also proofs ignoring the rules of some divers and might actually lead to the negative consequences.
    So talking to the folks in question is the way to go and letting them know that they can do whatever they want for themselves but the current behaviour (solo diving) is impacting all of the cave divers and might cause the park to be closed down. Maybe that makes them reconsider or at least think a bit more in depth.
    If they act rude and somment like mind your own business etc. only then it might be an option to involve the rangers, but personally I would only do that if someone keeps solo diving repetively..

    So a clear no to an "ask" of stricter enforecement by the rangers..

    The other part that seems sad at the OPs description is the "assumption" of solo diving, it makes it sound as if there was no communication with the "potential" solo divers and the fact that the one interacted with another might be a completely different situation and the two might in fact dive toghether.
    It is also the question what is really solo diving and what not. I guess "bad" buddy teams that enter the water at slightly different times and exit the water at slightly different times and are not really 100% toghether would still be somewhat "defendable" against a no solo rule. As long as they have a case towards the rangers I would be ok with it..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    St Pete, Fl


    “If you see something say something”

    Hey these guys aren’t following the rules.

    “Don’t say anything!”


  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by PfcAJ View Post
    “If you see something say something”

    Hey these guys aren’t following the rules.

    “Don’t say anything!”


    Kind of like how Eagles Nest became such a problem that we almost lost access to

    "Not all change is improvement...but all improvement is change" Donald Berwick


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