Monday, December 20th, 2010
“I have been in the pool business, in one form or another, for 25 years. Scuba diving just kind of comes along with the profession. The government passed a federal law a ways back called the Virginia Graeme Baker Act that states that all main drains in commercial pools have to comply to new regulations because people have been trapped and drowned in pools. The law was a result of former Secretary of State James Baker’s granddaughter drowning in a hot tub. Because of the law, my company, Paddock Pools, hired me to go around and inspect all of the commercial pools in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia and make sure they comply with the new regulations. Crazy thing is that the law requires millions of dollars in reconstruction of commercial, not residential, pools even though the accident happened in a residential hot tub. Figure that one out.
“So that they don’t have to drain the pools in the winter time, they send scuba divers, like me, to inspect the pools and work on things like the drains to make sure they don’t freeze. I don’t mind the cold that much, but it is my hands that I worry about. Because of the precise work that I do, it is hard for me to wear gloves. My suit keeps my body warm, but after a while, I start to lose feeling in my hands. Fortunately, I have never had hypothermia and I’d like to keep in that way. I have been doing this work for a while, but today (Dec 17) may just be the coldest day that I have ever been in the water.
“Even with the cold weather, I love what I do and am still surprised that they pay me to do it. After all of this time, I have still never been diving for fun, it has always been in pools in all kinds of weather. I would love to go diving for vacation sometime and check out the reefs, but it has never come about. At this point, scuba diving has kind of lost its novelty. It is a job to me, and I am not sure how much I would enjoy doing it in Mexico or any of those other tropical places.”