It is total bullshit that the Huffington Post would publish C.J. Grace’s ‘story’ below without any commentary or fact checking. I’m certain that Divemasters throughout Hawaii strive to perform their duties with the utmost of integrity and professionalism. C.J. Grace in a posting on her website and then broadcast on Huffington Post claims that her Divemaster on a Manta Dive in Hawaii, groped her and also put her along with the other tourist divers in his charge, back into the water after a “75 minute dive”… “After a hot drink, all six of us diving tourists were back below with the divemaster, sitting at the bottom in a circle”.
Here’s some information on a Manta Dive in Hawaii… Dive is 20-80 feet in depth. http://www.scubadiving.com/manta-ray-night-dives-in-kona
Divemasters aren’t going to put their divers back into the water on the second tank of a two tank dive only “After a hot drink”.
On most dives, an one hour surface interval is standard. At this point a substantial percentage of nitrogen has been released and the impact on a second dive is not too great. If the first dive was deep and very near the NDL with a second dive also deep, Then it is not uncommon to wait two hours before your next dive.
C.J. Grace’s story does a terrible disservice to the SCUBA diving industry in Hawaii at the very least. Her story almost at worst, crucifies male Divemasters around the globe that help to keep their customers safe every day. Let alone negating the perceived validity of future sexual harassment announcements by women that are telling the truth.
C.J. Grace wrote, “I knew that I did not want to make a bad situation worse by going through the stress and hassle of making an official complaint. In the end I passed a report of what happened to someone who was very good friends with the owner of the dive outfit. My hope was that the groping divemaster would either be fired or be hauled over the coals enough to make him avoid a repeat performance. A more inexperienced and vulnerable person than I might have been traumatized by his behavior, perhaps never wanting to do scuba again. The incident made me understand viscerally why molested women keep silent.”
C.J. Grace, you absolutely should have gone through the “stress and hassle of making an official complaint” if your libel were all true. -Rather than as you wrote, passing a “report”, to someone “who was very good friends with the owner”. There’s never a need to subject any women to future potential sexual harassment or battery, EVER, full-stop. Besides the Huffington Post as they’ve re-broadcast your story without any commentary, does anybody really believe the BS you write on your website??? I call Bullshit.
Getting my breasts groped through 5 millimeters of rubber 50 feet under the ocean was not exactly what I had expected when I signed up for a 2-tank Manta Ray Dive in Hawaii. The divemaster’s actions made me feel as if I were a cow being milked. It took me a while to realize that there was actually sexual manhandling going on. Despite having done more than 50 dives, I was not the most adept Scuba diver in the world. I was also unused to the 5 mm wetsuit and different equipment. My buoyancy control was not too brilliant. The divemaster already had to drag down both me and my male friend after we ended up almost back at the surface. Thus I made a point of staying close to the divemaster. He held my hand uncomfortably tightly, but at least it gave me a front row view when he poked an octopus out of a hole so that we could see the creature scuttling away. Every so often the divemaster would press the buttons on my BCD (buoyancy control device) to add or subtract air. My dive buddy was an air hog and ran out of air while I still had plenty left. Normally I would have joined him on the rope from the boat to do the 3 minute safety stop before climbing back on the boat together, but the divemaster held on to me. The good thing: That was when I saw three manta rays. The bad thing: Once my male buddy was out of the way the groping began.
What kind of satisfaction would a man get trying to touch up a woman through a 5 mm wetsuit? Did he have a rubber fetish? So many parts of the body are inaccessible. There is no way you can get raped with all that gear on. Your face is covered by the mask and regulator. You can’t even talk to each other. It was almost as if I were in an off-color Benny Hill comedy skit: groping, innuendo and no dialogue. Should I have angrily pushed him away? It didn’t seem a good idea to get into an adversarial situation 50 feet under the sea when he was the expert and I was pretty much the novice. I wasn’t going to shove him backwards or knock the regulator out of his mouth. He could have done far worse to me if he had a mind to do it. I remembered a story I had read on the Daily Mail website about newlywed Gabe Watson being accused of killing his wife by turning off her air when they were diving off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Watson was convicted of manslaughter in Australia but acquitted of murder in the US.
Although I felt insulted by the groping divemaster’s inappropriate actions, there was an absurdity to the situation. Did he realize that I was old enough to be his mom? The groper paid scant attention to the other four divers under his charge. We were the last to ascend, after 75 minutes underwater, the longest dive I had ever done. Instead of leading me to the rope attached to the boat for a safety stop, he held me in his arms and circled me around in waltzing motions as if we were dancing together. Once back on the boat, I was tired out and in no mood to create a scene. After a hot drink, all six of us diving tourists were back below with the divemaster, sitting at the bottom in a circle, all of us armed with lights in the hope of attracting manta rays. The groper gave my dive buddy a boulder to hold to keep him on the sea bottom. I got a leg-over, literally. The divemaster draped his leg across mine. The mantas, obviously unimpressed with our light show, refused to show up. At the end of it all, I was so tired that all I wanted to do was get off the boat and go to sleep as soon as possible. I could barely keep my eyes open to drive back to my hotel. I just did not have the energy to complain about the groper and create a scene.
Over the next few days I wrestled with whether I should report the man or not. I knew that he would deny any wrongdoing. How could he not if otherwise he might lose his job? I could hear all his excuses:
“She got all sexual with me, claiming she couldn’t get her wetsuit on.” Yes, he had to get quite physical with me to get the damn thing on.
“I kept on adjusting the air in her BCD as she was terrible at controlling her buoyancy.” True, but he also kept on adjusting other parts of my body.
“I had to keep hold of her to stop her going up to the surface in an uncontrolled ascent.” Sadly, I did display plenty of diving ineptitude.
I knew that I did not want to make a bad situation worse by going through the stress and hassle of making an official complaint. In the end I passed a report of what happened to someone who was very good friends with the owner of the dive outfit. My hope was that the groping divemaster would either be fired or be hauled over the coals enough to make him avoid a repeat performance. A more inexperienced and vulnerable person than I might have been traumatized by his behavior, perhaps never wanting to do scuba again.
The incident made me understand viscerally why molested women keep silent.
Former BBC journalist C. J. Grace is the author of “Adulterer’s Wife: How to Thrive Whether You Stay or Not,” available on Amazon.com. She is currently writing her second book, “Hotel Chemo: Overcoming Breast Cancer and Infidelity.” Read C. J.’s blogs and hear her radio interviews on www.adultererswife.com.