Very unsafe and unprofessional conditions during our dive trip to Isla Cano. The shop itself was very disorganized. They had scheduled more divers for the trip than they had equipment. The equipment was dirty and worn and was not kept in any identifiable order in the racks and bins. They never checked our certification cards. My first BC I was given didn't have a hose connection that allowed me to attach my computer. They apparently didn't have the tools to change out that hose so as to accept my computer. They certainly didn't offer to do that and the console on my BC only had a pressure gauge, no depth gauge, clock or compass. The pressure gauge seemed to work but had a little loose screw rolling around on the face under the crystal. There was little to no formal briefing and no orientation to the dive sites, just a short review of basic hand signals before the first dive. Entry into the water for the first dive was conducted haphazardly by the non-English speaking boat pilot, not the dive masters. My partner hit his head on entry as a result, not seriously but it left him in some pain for several minutes. The anchor (which obviously hadn't been dropped yet) slid off the front of the boat and very nearly hit me. It dragged the box of spare regulators down with it. Our dive master had to collect the regulators from the bottom and carry them in his arms for the rest of the dive, which at least kept him from flailing his arms about as he swam, which he did when he wasn't holding anything. At the end of the trip I began to doubt that he is a certified diver, let alone a certified dive master. There were two teenaged girls on the trip who were not certified and were out for a Discovery School dive. The dive master assigned to them seemed more interested in taking pictures rather than watching the girls. There were no safety stops, although we estimated our own. It turned out that NO ONE had a working depth gauge on their rentals. I asked for one before the second dive and was given a BC with a console that had a depth gauge but it was obviously not calibrated and read 12 feet up on the boat. It was only between the two dives that the crew put together a list of divers. They apparently didn't know who was even in the water during the first dive, and there was no checking the list after the second dive either. On the second dive, the "dive master" was really flailing and then 20 minutes into the dive he just disappeared. The rest of us didn't know what to do and hung out for another 20 minutes, keeping close to each other and self-guiding our assent and safety stop. It turns out that he had run out of air and made an emergency assent! On the trip back, the boat steering mechanism broke and a fix had to be improvised with a 2 x 4 for the hour and a half trip back to the mainland. We've had some disappointing dive trips before but I have never withheld a tip from the dive masters. They certainly didn't get one from us after this scary misadventure. Fortunately, no one was hurt on that day but the whole experience leaves me fearful that an injury or fatality is inevitable if practices at this shop are not reformed quickly.
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