I wish this was true...but alas....is not. I traveled to CM for years, first with Certifications as a Divemaster and then later as an Instructor and always paid for my diving. The costs to the Club are the same regardless of the level of experience that the diver has. Keep in mind also that because of insurances, the visiting dive professional is not "working" for the Club. This is true even if they hold their own professional liability insurance, (which is required to maintain "Teaching Status"). Divemasters do not and cannot "teach", (with small exceptions to confined water beginning experience courses, if separately qualified), without being under the direct supervision of an Instructor. They assist Instructors and can lead groups of Certified Divers and play an important role in boat and class organization.
That being said, it costs the Club quite a bit for the boat leases, fuel costs, fees, etc. to keep the dive operations running, apart from the costs of having rental equipment and the G.O Instructors that staff the operation. FYI, aside from dive computers and wetsuits, all rental equipment needed for diving is included in the cost of the dive packages. I for one, and most other dive professionals, bring all of our own equipment except tanks and weights.
It's interesting to note that while I was a SCUBA G.O, the majority of the issues that we had to deal with concerning safety and rules were with visiting Divemasters and Instructors of all Certification levels. I also have to say some of the safest and most rules conscious divers were also visiting Divemasters and Instructors of all Certification levels. It was a matter of the attitude that they had and the respect, (or lack thereof), of the Club rules and Staff that threw them in one catagory or the other. There was usually no in-between.
Bottom line is that everybody pays....if you want to dive for free...become a G.O.
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