Subject: RE: July 25, 2014 Tour Guide Meeting Agenda
Good Morning Committee Members,
Kindly see the attached scuba diving standard to be circulated to your membership for discussion before the official standardization process is implemented by the Belize Bureau of Standards. This standard has been signed off by the Tourism Technical committee, for approval to the next stage of approval by the Standards Advisory committee which meets again in October.
This standard will be the mandatory technical regulation for the entire scuba diving industry in Belize.
Myself and Ms Lenny Ayuso will do destination visits in the upcoming weeks prior to any official move by the BBS to take this to the standards process.
Please read and discuss fully with your membership, and get any comments back to us as soon as possible.
From: Roshel Godfrey
Sent: Thursday, 24 July 2014 12:47 PM
To: '[email protected]
'; [email protected]
); [email protected]
); [email protected]
); Joel Torres; [email protected]
); Armeid Thompson
Subject: July 25, 2014 Tour Guide Meeting Agenda
Good Afternoon All,
Please find attached the meeting agenda for tomorrow. I have already made the arrangements for those of you that are flying in.
“If you have never been met with opposition,
You have never done anything worth doing”
Description: Description: Description: M:\DIRECT_ONLINE\2013\LOGOS\btb_logo_CLEAN_122112.png
ISSUED FOR COMMENTS ONLY
BELIZE NATIONAL CODE OF PRACTICE FOR RECREATIONAL
SCUBA DIVING SERVICES
This is a draft and should not be regarded or used as Belize Standard.
Last date for comments: (YY/MM/DD)
Belize Bureau of Standards
3rd Floor, Diamonds Building
P. O. Box 430
DRAFT BELIZE NATIONAL CODE OF PRACTICE FOR RECREATIONAL SCUBA DIVING SERVICES
The preparation of this standard for the Standards Advisory Council established under the Standards Act 1992 was carried out under the supervision of the Bureau’s Technical Committee for Tourism Services and the Technical Sub-Committee for High Risk Activities, which at the time comprised the following members:
Mrs. Armeid Thompson Belize Tourism Board
Dr. Vincent Palacio University of Belize
Mr. Douglas Thompson Belize Hotel Association
Mr. Abil Castaneda Ministry of Tourism
Dr. Geraldo Flowers BTB/NICH/BRDP Project
Dr. Jaime Awe NICH/Institute of Archaeology
Ms. Noriko Gamero Beltraide
Mr. Rob Giron Belize Tourist Industry Association
Ms. Rochelle Reneau Belize Coalition to Save Our National
Mr. Mark Bernard Ministry of Health
Ms. Tanya Williams Belize Coalition to Save Our National
Mrs. Lourdes Smith Association of Cruise Service Providers
High Risk Activities Technical Sub-Committee
Mrs. Armeid Thompson Belize Tourism Board (BTB)
Ms. Anne Marie McNeil Independent Consultant
Mr. John Searle Seasports Belize
Mr. Philip Kewley Independent Consultant
Mr. Joel Torres Belize National Tour Guide Association
Mr. Mark Castillo Independent Consultant
Mr. Brian Woodye National Institute of Culture and History (NICH)
Mr. Diego Alvarez Chukka Belize
Ms. Valerie Woods Chukka Belize
Mr. Michael Simmons Cayo Adventures
Ms. Astrid Salazar Beltraide
Ms. Michele Young Beltraide
Mr. John Bodden Ministry of Health (MOH)
Mr. Abner Bacab Independent Consultant
Mr. Vitalino Reyes Vital Nature & Mayan Tours
Ms. Patricia Ramirez Capeling Splash Dive Center
Mr. Martin Alegria Department of the Environment (DOE)
Mr. Gustavo Garcia Sea, Air & Land Design and Engineering Ltd
Ms. Lenny Ayuso
TABLE OF CONTENTS
0 FOREWORD 5
1 SCOPE 5
2. NORMATIVE REFERENCES 5
3. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS 6
4. REQUIREMENTS 9
POLICY REQUIREMENT 9
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS 9
SCUBA DIVING TOUR OPERATOR REQUIREMENTS 9
STAFF REQUIREMENTS 12
DIVE PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION 13
BOATS AND VESSELS REQUIRMENTS 14
5. REQUIREMENTS FOR OPERATION 14
6. HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS 16
7. MANAGEMENT OF EMERGENCY 18
8. MANAGEMENT OF EQUIPMENT 19
9. MANAGEMENT OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT 20
DRAFT BELIZE NATIONAL CODE OF PRACTICE FOR
RECREATIONAL SCUBA DIVING SERVICES
0.1 This standard specifies minimum requirements for the effective and operational safety of the scuba diving experience in Belize. The standard was created in an effort to prevent and minimize accidents when scuba diving and for the prevention of possible environmental impacts of recreational scuba diving operations on fragile marine ecosystems in Belize.
0.2 In preparing this standard, assistance was derived from the following publications:
a) ICRAN-MAR 1; ICRAN Mesoamerican Reef Alliance and Code Taskforce: (2007). Standard Requirements for Recreational Scuba Diving Services in the Mesoamerican Reef System, San Francisco, CA 94104: Coral reef Alliance
b) PADI Instructor Manual: (2013). Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688-2125 USA
c) DAN Europe - EAP. (2014). DAN Europe - EAP. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.daneurope.org/eap.
d) Dive Flags. (2014). Dive Flags. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dive-flag.com.
1.1 This standard specifies the minimum requirements for conducting guided recreational scuba diving operations in ecosystems such as coral reefs, sea grass beds and related coastal environments of Belize, only. The standard applies to the following critical areas:
a) Minimizing impact to the marine environment, particularly coral reefs, sea grass fields and related coastal environments;
b) Establishing minimum requirements for conducting guided and recreational scuba diving;
c) Ensure the safe operation and management of recreational scuba diving tours the activity, safety, health, emergency, equipment and special equipment of guided and recreational scuba diving and competence of staff;
d) Provides guidelines for the rental of scuba diving equipment;
1.2 This standard does not:
a) Specify curricula or practices for initial, nor advanced diver training, the qualifications of instructors, or related subjects;
b) Address standards related to technical diving such as cave diving, mixed gas diving or commercial diving;
c) Address standards for hookah, snuba, snorkeling, sea trek nor any other type of watersport that is not Scuba Diving.
2 NORMATIVE REFERENCES
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this standard. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.
a. Belize Tourism Board (Tour Operators) Regulations, Chapter 275;
b. Belize Port Authority Act - Chapter 233; Revised Edition 2000
c. Belize Fisheries Act - Chapter 210; revised Edition 2003
d. Environmental Protection Act – Chapter 328; Revised Edition 2000
3 TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
For the purposes of this standard, the following definitions shall apply:
3.1 Autonomous Diver means Open Water Diver and above. However, all visiting certified divers to Belize shall be accompanied by a local divemaster that is a licensed Belizean tour guide.
3.2 Coral Reef Conservation means the act of conserving coral reefs and related near shore ecosystems such as sea grass beds, mangroves and related coastal environments.
3.3 Coral Reef Ecology means the study of organisms in coral reefs and related environments, and the physical and biological interactions with their environment.
3.4 Diver means the visitor or tourist that is paying or purchasing a dive service from a scuba diving tour operator
3.5 Divemaster means a qualified professional scuba diver responsible for the monitoring and safety of other divers.
3.6 Pre-Dive Briefing/Dive Briefing means a briefing given to the diver (s) prior to a guided scuba diving tour. It shall include, but is not limited to safety and emergency procedures, separation procedures, exit and entry procedures, buddy or group assignments, underwater signs, the identity and role of staff, and a diver’s expected conduct.
3.7 Dive Assistant means a person who has sufficient knowledge and skill to dive and holds minimum of a divemaster certificate or equivalent from an accredited recreational scuba diving organization.
3.8 Dive Flag means a red flag with a white diagonal running from the upper left hand corner to the lower right hand corner or a blue-and-white swallow-tailed flag is the signal flag for the letter A, pronounced phonetically as "alfa" or "alpha." A dive flag shall indicate the presence of a person(s) engaged in diving in the water or that is in progress in the immediate area.
3.9 Dive Leader means the person who has sufficient knowledge, skill and experience to plan, organize, supervise and lead dives to known sites within the region, possesses personal rescue and rescue management skills and holds minimum of a divemaster or equivalent rating certificate from an accredited recreational scuba diving organization. In order to lead dives in Belize, a dive leader must be a licensed Belize tour guide.
3.10 Dive Shop means a facility or building where recreational scuba diving services, booking and information, are offered by a scuba diving tour operator.
3.11 Dive Site means the area where a scuba diving tour operator conducts recreational scuba diving. It is usually the open water of the fore reef or the deep water of a channel in the barrier reef.
3.12 Environmental Briefing means oral or visual information sharing by dive leaders that instruct and guide divers on ways and reasons to minimize impact on coral reefs, sea grass beds and related coastal environments while scuba diving.
3.13 Guided Scuba Diving Tour means scuba diving where clients are accompanied and supervised by a dive leader or divemaster appointed by the scuba diving tour operator.
3.14 Marine Protected Area (MPA) means an area of the marine environment that has been reserved by local laws or regulations to provide protection and conservation to part or all of the marine, terrestrial and cultural resources within its boundaries.
3.15 Recreational Scuba Diving means an underwater recreational activity which utilizes a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). Recreational scuba diving is limited to diving no deeper than 130 feet or 40 meters within the no stop limits of recognized dive tables or dive computers; inclusive of semi-closed rebreather (SCR) and closed circuit rebreather (CCR).
3.16 Recreational Scuba Diving Ratio: For this standard, it means 1:8; i.e, 1 guide per every 8 divers.
NOTE 1: This ratio is a maximum ratio based on Scuba Diving with ideal conditions; however, ratios shall be adjusted at the discretion of the Scuba Diving Tour Operator and/or Dive leader considering environmental factors such as, but not limited to, strong currents, low visibility, dive depth, and diver certification level and experience.
3.17 Risk Assessment means a precautionary examination of possible causes of harm in the workplace in order to determine measures to prevent said harms.
3.18 Scuba Diving Tour Guide means a licensed, certified and/or renewed Divemaster, instructor or equivalent grade.
3.19 Scuba Diving Tour Operator means an entity (business, individual or organization), including any individual acting on behalf of such entity, which offers one or more of the following services:
(a) training, education or information sharing on scuba diving services;
(b) organizes and guides scuba diving tours and excursions for certified divers; and
(c) Rental of scuba diving equipment.
3.20 Scuba Instructor means anyone who holds a valid and renewed instructor certification from a recognized scuba training agency such as, but not limited to: Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), Scuba Schools International (SSI), or Technical Divers International (TDI).
3.21 Scuba means a self-contained breathing apparatus.
3.22 Staff means individuals fully employed or working under contract hired by a scuba diving tour operator and includes but not limited to a dive leader, dive assistant, boat captain, deck assistant and office personnel.
3.23 Supervised Diver means a Discover Scuba Diving participant, Scuba Diver Certified, and student diver.
3.24 Waiting Area means an area where people sit or stand until the event they are waiting for occurs.
3.25 Snuba Diving means underwater swimming with the use of air tanks that remain on the surface of the water.
3.26 Hookah Diving means shallow diving in limited depths and areas with the use of a personal surface-supplied compressed air apparatus.
3.27 Sea Trek means underwater diving with the use of a helmet diving system.
4.1 Policy requirement
The following requirements for a scuba diving tour operator and staff are compulsory and its violations can be reported to local authorities, including co-managers of marine protected areas, natural monument and national park rangers or manager, the Fisheries Department, the Belize Port Authority (BPA) or the Belize Tourism Board (BTB). The Quality Assurance Department of the Belize Tourism Board reserves the right to conduct audits and inspections to ensure the below are adhered to. Failure to comply with these mandatory standards may result in legal or disciplinary action.
4.2 General requirements
4.2.1 Scuba diving tour operator shall:
a) Have a valid Belizean Tour Operator license;
b) be a member and ensure the relevant staff is also a member of a recognized accredited scuba diving licensing agency; namely, but not limited to, Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), Scuba Schools International (SSI), or Technical Divers International (TDI) and have in possession a valid certificate of said membership and have documentation of professional liability insurance;
c) have a written established Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that shall address decompression and injury emergency response procedures and tropical storm/hurricane evacuation plan (See Annex B for sample of an SOP);
d) Maintain a file for each permanent staff member that will include a copy of the following documents:
i. Social Security card;
ii. current professional dive credentials where applicable;
iii. current address;
iv. valid Belize tour guide license where applicable;
v. Boat Captain’s license where applicable;
vi. job description.
e) abide with the following requirements of operation to ensure quality of the dive site and tour:
i. ensure equipment (snorkel, mask, BCD, regulators, emergency oxygen units, engines and vessel) are in good working condition to provide for the safety and health of divers;
ii. provide clean and comfortable waiting areas, restrooms and other required premises for divers;
iii. provide, if requested by divers, proof of staff’s qualification;
iv. provide oral dive instructions and information in English, Belize’s official language unless another language is requested by the diver;
v. conduct recreational scuba diving tours only at dive sites allowed by the national or local authorities;
NOTE 1: Guided Scuba Diving tours to the “Blue Hole” shall be limited to divers that possess an “Advanced Open Water Certification” or equivalent, which allows scuba diving to a depth 100 ft or 30 meters.
vi. ensure proper mooring of dive vessel so as not to damage the coral reef at the dive site.
f) ensure the below are fulfilled prior to provision of scuba diving tour:
i. Liability waivers: shall be provided by the Scuba Diving Operator and signed by the Diver (s). It shall outline risks related to Scuba Diving such as the below, but not limited to:
a) Possibility of decompression sickness: if flying on an airplane, jet or helicopter or any travelling at altitude is done within 18 hours after scuba diving;
b) Person (s) that is pregnant or trying to get pregnant: It is not advisable to dive. There is not sufficient evidence to indicate the effects of Scuba Diving on a fetus.
ii. Ensure diver (s) meets all necessary prerequisites and any qualification requirements in order to obtain the service;
iii. Insurance requirements in accordance with national regulations;
iv. If the service provided involves training; it shall be done using the standards of the recognized scuba diving agency with which the scuba diving tour operator is accredited with;
v. Information concerning the service which shall not be limited to: cost of tour, departure time, depth and/or time of dive and return time shall be provided to the diver (s).
g) Cooperate with other stakeholders, marine protected areas’ managers and other authority agencies to establish limits and use of dive sites and to install and maintain permanent mooring buoys;
h) When scuba diving from shore, entry and exit routes shall be used that avoid walking on corals or sea grass beds.
i) ask for proof of diver’s certification prior to agreeing to the rental of scuba diving equipment and/or gear.
a) All staff required to go into the water shall have a valid Belize Tour Guide license in their possession/on their person;
b) All staff required to go in the water shall be at least a divemaster or dive instructor; Divemasters in training shall also be allowed to go into the water; however they shall not lead dives nor take the place of a dive assistant in order to cover ratios;
c) All staff on the dive boat shall be familiar with their actions and responsibilities in the event of an emergency e.g. diving accident;
d) All staff shall be required to dress professionally at all times while conducting a guided scuba diving tour;
e) All staff that conducts dives shall adhere to environmental and conservation regulations as per the Environmental Protection Act; Chapter 328.
22.214.171.124 Dive leader shall:
a) demonstrate leadership and role modeling both above and underwater by practicing good environmental behavior;
b) conduct an oral pre-dive briefing to review these preferred practices and alert divers to the impact of poor diving practices on coral reefs, sea grass beds, related coastal ecosystems and wildlife;
c) identify the environmental impact caused by client’s inappropriate diving behavior and use practical tools and methods for taking corrective action such as:
i. first time offender shall be given a verbal communication in a private place and in a positive and reassuring manner mentioning that failure to comply will result in banning from activities;
ii. second time offenders shall be banned from diving activities;
d) Perform an oral briefing prior to the scuba diving tour with the use of a whiteboard, video, handouts, or other educational materials if deemed necessary;
e) ensure that the equipment and tools to be used for diving are well maintained before and after any dive;
f) A dive leader shall oversee all guided scuba diving activities. The dive leader shall utilize an additional dive assistant with large groups. A Dive leader and dive assistant shall serve as role models, share information and provide leadership to clients;
g) A dive leader and dive assistant shall have the minimum of a Belize Tour Guide License and a Diver Master Certificate License from a recognized scuba diving organization.
h) A Dive leader shall verify that each diver is a certified diver and have the necessary credentials or experience for special types of dives;
126.96.36.199 Dive assistant shall:
a) Abide and be knowledgeable of the requirements set for the dive leader;
188.8.131.52 Boat captain and deck assistant shall:
a) Be trained in Oxygen First Aid delivery; scuba diving tour operators’ procedures for diving, and safety practices including diver rescue procedures, boat handling and navigation, communications, and first aid; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); and shall have completed an emergency oxygen for scuba diving injuries course as they will be the person(s) to receive an injured diver in the case of an accident;
b) Be knowledgeable of the boat operations requirements and regulations stated in the Belize Port Authority Act - Chapter 233; Revised Edition 2000 and the Fisheries Act Chapter - 210; revised Edition 2003.
4.2.3 Dive Planning and Organization
a) When conducting a guided scuba diving tour, a person onshore, employed by the scuba diving tour operator, shall have written details of the planned and alternate dive sites and dive routes. They shall also have a manifest of the passengers, crew and their expected return time;
b) All dives shall be planned in accordance with specifications required by the accredited scuba diving agency with which the tour operator is a member of;
c) Before commencement of diving, a suitable method of diver recall must be agreed upon between the diver(s) and the scuba diving tour operator;
d) Scuba diving tour operators shall assess all divers are fit for the dives that they plan to undertake;
e) Scuba diving tour operators shall give divers a briefing that shall include, but is not limited to: dive safety, dive equipment and function, underwater signals and site orientation;
f) Scuba diving tour operators shall retain written, accurate record of each dive conducted for a period of one year. The record shall include the dive plan, the name of the dive guide(s), name of the diver (s), the location, depth, time in, time out, and any incidents occurred (See Annex A).
4.2.4 Boats and vessels
a) All vessels used for diving shall comply with all Belize Port Authority regulations stated in the Belize Port Authority Act, Chap 233;
b) All vessels/boats used for Scuba Diving in a reserve shall be registered for the said purpose as stated in under part IV of the Fisheries Act, Chap 210, section “commercial fishing, research, sport fishing, licenses and registration of dive boats.”
c) All vessels used for scuba diving shall carry an Oxygen system capable of delivering sufficient oxygen to any diver (s) involved in a decompression accident during their transportation to suitable evacuation site or medical facility;
d) All Dive vessels shall comply with regulation “Diver’s down flag” stated in Fisheries Act.
5. REQUIREMENTS FOR OPERATION
5.1 A guided scuba diving group shall be conducted at a recreational Scuba diving ratio of 1 guide to every 8 divers. If the group exceeds this ratio, dive assistants shall be added in order to stay within the ratio.
5.2 Water entry points from boats shall lie over water with sufficient depth allowing divers to become acclimated with no impact on corals or sea grass beds;
5.3 When diving from shore, a diver buoy shall be placed and entry and exit routes shall be used to avoid walking on corals or sea grass beds;
5.4 Scuba diving equipment:
a) Diving equipment shall consist, but is not limited to the below items:
i. wet or dry suit when and if appropriate
vi. alternative breathing gas system
vii. cylinder and cylinder-support system
viii. buoyancy compensator
x. means to measure time and depth limit exposure to inert gas
xi. submersible pressure gauge
xii. safety tube (sausage)
xiii. dive computer
NOTE 1: Specific environments may require additional equipment (e.g. an underwater navigational aid, knife/cutting device).
b) A record of all rental equipment, inclusive of scuba cylinders, shall be maintained at the scuba diving tour operator’s tour establishment at all times. The record shall include the following information on each piece of equipment:
iii. Serial number
iv. Servicing due and completed dates
v. Name, signature and certification # of the technician
c) All equipment used for diving shall be serviced and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations;
d) Compressors shall be operated and maintained in accordance with manufacturers recommendations;
e) A running log of a compressor’s use shall be maintained. The log shall include the following information:
i. Start/Stop time
ii. Filter part numbers
iii. Filter life
iv. Service due
v. Operator name and signature
f) An air analysis certificate in accordance with whichever agency the operator is accredited with, shall be posted or available;
g) Tanks shall be maintained in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions;
h) A record of all tanks shall be maintained. This should include the following information:
i. Manufacturers name;
ii. Date into service;
iii. Visual Inspection Procedure (VIP) due date;
iv. Hydrostatic test due and completed date;
v. Servicing done on the tank or valve;
vi. Name and certification number of the person doing the work;
vii. Tanks which are de-commissioned and taken out of rental fleet.
6 HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
6.1 Liability forms shall be available for a diver to review and sign. The scuba diving tour operator shall keep a file for storage of such forms;
6.2 The scuba diving tour operator shall have a written Emergency Action Plan for each type of service offered. The procedures shall take into account any unique local hazards, the capabilities of local emergency services and training required by the provider's staff. It shall also identify and define actions to mitigate existing and potential hazards and risks to clients and staff, and how to respond to emergencies including (See Annex C for EAP template):
a) identification of a core emergency response team (ex: care team)
b) rescue procedures for underwater, in-water, and surface emergencies;
c) diver recall procedure (s); and
d) evacuation routes;
6.3 All staff shall be trained in all aspects of these emergency management procedures and the scuba diving tour operator shall review the procedures with staff annually. A live re-enactment shall be supervised by the Belize Tourism Board’s Quality Assurance Department upon request;
6.4 In the event of any accident resulting in the death of a diver, a scuba diving tour operator shall make available the equipment and gear used by the diver at the time of the accident to the Belize Tourism Board’s Quality Assurance Department for independent assessment by a certified technician;
6.5 A dive leader and/or dive assistant shall have a list of all divers or dive students for roll call on and off the boat;
6.6 The pre-dive briefing shall review safety and emergency procedures, separation procedures, exit and entry procedures, buddy or group assignments, the identity and role of staff, and a diver’s expected conduct .
6.7 Prior to conducting a scuba diving tour, a scuba diving tour operator shall consider the below:
b) local restrictions;
c) underwater visibility;
d) divers’ fitness;
f) surface visibility;
g) planned activities;
h) water current;
i) entry and exit;
j) water depth;
k) boat traffic; and
l) emergency plan
6.8 Dive leaders have the responsibility of preventing any diver from participating in the dive if, following a risk assessment, this is determined to be in the best interest of the diver, other divers, or both. A risk assessment can indicate the need to reduce the planned number of divers in each group due to sea conditions or other factors.
6.9 Scuba diving tour operators shall ensure that, in addition to meeting all specified requirements outlined in the Belize Port Authority Act and the Fisheries Act, that dive boats are equipped with the following:
a) communications equipment, including contact numbers for evacuation services, medical services and the nearest hyperbaric chamber;
b) navigation equipment appropriate for the locality; and
c) an oxygen first aid unit including sufficient medical-grade oxygen to deliver a minimum amount to last for the duration of the journey to shore or other medical emergency services, as per 4.2.4 (c) above;
6.10 The dive leader and boat captain shall account for each diver on the vessel, as per 6.4. above, prior to leaving the dive site. This shall be accomplished by making use of the following count systems:
a) An active count system requires the persons being counted to actively participate in the counting process. Roll calls, tagging or signing systems are examples of such systems.
b) A passive counting system whereas the boat captain and the divemaster both have to do individual counts and both counts need to match;
6.11 A dive safety log shall be filled in by the dive leader or dive assistant for the diver upon dive completion. It shall contain the following information (See Annex A):
a) date of dive;
b) diver's name;
c) dive buddy’s name;
d) dive leader’s and boat captain’s name;
e) dive site’s name and location of the dive;
f) time in and time out;
g) maximum depth of the dive;
h) any incident, problem, discomfort or injury experienced or suffered during the dive;
6.12 The boat captain or deck hand shall remain in the vessel to lookout for any possible potential hazards or dive incidents that may occur in water;
6.13 All scuba diving equipment shall be washed and rinsed as per manufacturer’s recommendations after each and every use;
6.14 Alcoholic beverages:
The consumption of alcoholic beverages prior to or during a guided scuba diving tour shall not be allowed.
7 MANAGEMENT OF EMERGENCY
7.1 A scuba diving tour operator shall develop an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), as per 6.2 above. The EAP shall include a list of emergency procedures to follow and medical services’ numbers, head office contact, hospital/clinic contact, DAN hotline number, recompression contact etc. (See Annex C for EAP template)
7.2 The scuba diving tour operator shall ensure that all staff is fully familiarized with the EAP and signs a document indicating such;
7.3 Injury and lost diver prevention plan: An injury and lost prevention plan shall be kept by the tour operator. This is general information that includes:
a) Emergency First Aid Procedures; and
b) Injury Information Form: A scuba diving tour operator shall ensure that an Injury Information Form is filled out in the case of an emergency for every diver injured. The form shall include: the diver’s name, address, a description of the injury, significant medical history and dive profiles.
7.4 In the event of an accident and/or incident happening on a Scuba diving tour, a tour operator shall ensure that a copy of the accident and/or incident report is submitted to the Quality Assurance Department of the Belize Tourism Board and other relevant authorities in a timely manner;
7.5 Staff preparedness: The scuba diving tour operator shall ensure that all staff is trained and familiar with the establishment’s respective Emergency Action Plan (EAP);
7.6 Emergency Equipment: A scuba diving tour operator shall ensure that emergency equipment is readily available at all times. Emergency equipment shall include, but is not limited to, an oxygen kit and first aid kit that are in good working conditions and with all needed emergency materials available, and shall ensure that everyone on board the vessel knows where to find them;
7.7 Oxygen Equipment Maintenance: The inspection, servicing and repair of oxygen equipment is the responsibility of the scuba diving tour operator. The scuba diving tour operator shall ensure that the above is carried out by a certified technician;
7.8 Dive operations: A scuba diving tour operator and staff shall make sure divers know what to expect and what to do in certain situations. This includes the use of entry/exit procedures, safety stop procedures and lost diver procedures.
8 MANAGEMENT OF EQUIPMENT
8.1 The management of recreational scuba diving equipment is the responsibility of the scuba diving tour operator. The management shall include the inspection, repair and maintenance of regulator systems, BCs, cylinders, gauges, metering equipment and computers. All shall ensure that the:
a) Scuba Diving Equipment shall be inspected annually by a certified technician;
b) worn or torn Scuba Diving Equipment shall be repaired or replaced immediately and based upon condition and recommendation of the certified technician mentioned above;
c) basic on-site scuba diving equipment maintenance may be conducted by the dive leader or divemaster;
8.2 Certifications of equipment inspection and repair shall be kept in a file and shall be made available to Belize Tourism Board’s Quality Assurance Department if requested;
8.3 The servicing, maintenance and storage of other scuba diving equipment (masks, fins, snorkel and wet suits) shall be conducted based upon the discretion of the scuba diving tour operator. It shall be performed in the best interest to present a safe, healthy and clean dive shop.
9 MANAGEMENT OF SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
9.1 Cylinders shall be stored in the following way:
a) Cylinders shall be stored in a cool and dry place;
b) Partially empty air cylinders shall be stored as above and kept to at least 25psi to prevent any moisture from entering the cylinder;
c) Compressed and uncompressed air cylinders shall be maintained in an upright position.
9.2 Cylinders shall be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations;
9.3 Air compressor system (where applicable):
a) An Operations Manual for the compressor shall be kept on file;
b) The scuba diving tour operator has the responsibility for the safe operation of the air compressor and shall ensure that the individual operating the system has basic mechanical training in the operation of the compressor;
c) All staff shall be familiar with emergency shutdown procedures of the compressor;
d) The operation and maintenance of the air compressors shall be in accordance to the manufacturer’s recommendations, and the following components of the compressor should be addressed:
i. Pressure relief devices: A scuba cylinder shall be fitted with relief valves of sufficient capacity to prevent the rated pressure of the scuba cylinder from being exceeded. In addition, compressors may be fitted with ‘offloading’ mechanisms.
ii. Filtration, drying and odor absorption: materials used for filtering, drying or odor absorption shall not introduce contaminants into the air supply. Drain cocks shall be provided to draw off any water and oil that may accumulate in filters. The drain cocks shall be arranged so that they can be operated while the filter is in use.
iii. Supply lines: The supply line between the compressor and the receivers shall be either permanent pipe or high quality air grade hose with external grade protection suitable for the delivery of breathing gas and shall be free of contaminants. All supply lines shall be located or guarded so that they are protected against mechanical damage, fatigue and vibration.
iv. The exhaust pipes of gasoline or diesel-powered air compressors shall not be a health hazard. The fumes shall be vented away from breathing by staff, divers and other surrounding people.
e) If a tour operator has an air compressor system, the scuba diving tour operator shall keep in a file the test certificate from a certified technician and shall be made available to the Belize Tourism Board’s Quality Assurance Department.
Annex A (Informative):
Example of a Dive Safety Log that exemplifies the type of information to be collected in a Dive safety Log Book.
Dive 1 Location: Glover’s Reef, Southwest Caye Date: 11/01/2006
Time out Max. depth
(m) Bottom time /
dive time Repetitive dive group
1. R. Wilson
2 R. Toth R. Wilson 09:04 09:27 18 23 M R. Toth
Log entry completed and signed
Dive leader M. Castillo Boat Captain V. Palacio
Incidents etc Dive 1: Incidents – None Problems – None Injury – None Discomfort – None Others – None
Environmental conditions Surface conditions – Calm Currents – 0
Visibility – 10 ft Maximum depth – 20m
Other – None
Dive 2 Location: Glover’s Reef, Usher’s Caye Date: 11/01/2006
Time out Max. depth (m) Bottom time/
Repetitive dive group
1. R. Wilson
2. R. Toth 2:35 B R. Wilson 12:02 12:22 23 20 R. Toth R. Toth
Log entry completed and signed
Dive leader M. Castillo Boat Captain V. Palacio
Incidents etc Dive 2: Incidents – None Problems – None Injury – None Discomfort – None Others – None
Environmental conditions Surface conditions – Calm Currents – 0.5 knot Visibility – 10 ft Maximum depth – 25m Other – None
Annex B (Informative): Sample of an SOP
Name of Facility: _________________________________
S.O.P authorized by: _______________________________ Effective as of: (specify date)__
It describes the need for procedures and a general overview of the SOP. Things to be considered in this section include who will be using the SOP and the reason for the SOP.
This section briefly describes the SOP’s purpose. It describes the reason why the SOP is required. (e.g compliance with Scuba Diving Standards). It also describes tasks and procedures being covered in the SOP.
This section states the sections and areas that the SOP covers. If certain areas are not covered in the SOP, then it should be mentioned in this section as well. This section also states the importance of the procedure.
Responsibilities and Procedures:
This section describes detailed information like people required for details responsibilities for each, the supplies, tools and equipment required and the result of task performed. These include Pre-dive procedures, procedures when Scuba Diving is in progress, Post-Diving Procedures, and Record-keeping.
Ensure that all staff is familiarized with SOP for the effective implementation of such.
Any forms or templates to be used for SOP should be attached here
Date of SOP Effectiveness: ______________________________
Annex C (Informative): Template of an EAP
EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN (EMERGENCY PLAN) TEMPLATE/SAMPLE
for the purpose of Scuba Diving Tours in Belize
Facility’s Name:_________________ Facility Owner’s/Manager’s Name:______________
Facility’s Address: _________________________________________________________
Facility’s Contact Information:
Tel: ____________________ E-Mail Address: _____________ Website: ________________
Date Emergency Plan prepared: ____________________
(BRIEF DESCRIPTION/SUMMARY of the Emergency Action Plan)
List of Emergency phone numbers (it is not limited to the below):
Bert (local ambulance direct line) 223-3292/0078
Belize Coast Guard Channel 16 (Marine Radio)/222-5260
Recompression Chamber (Ambergris Caye) 226-2851
Fire Department (# local fire station)
Crime Stoppers 0-800-922-8477
Tour Operator Head Office
Local hospital or clinic phone numbers (# local hospital/clinic)
Astrum Helicopters 225-5100
DAN Hotline number 1-919-684-9111
(Brief Description of procedures to follow In case of Medical or Injury Emergency & name of person in charge to ensure this protocol is carried out e.g. boat captain or Dive leader)
(Brief description of procedures to follow in case of boat-related emergency& name of person in charge to ensure this protocol is carried out e.g. boat captain or Dive leader)
(Brief description of procedures for evacuation in case of Tropical storm/Hurricane & name of person in charge to ensure this protocol is carried out e.g. Tour operator Manager)
The following personnel have been trained to ensure a safe and orderly emergency evacuation of other employees:
Name Title Responsibility Date
Emergency Action Plan Signed:
Owner/Manager of Facility (Name in print and signature)