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ISSUE 13 ARCHIVE - ROB'S WORLD: HOW TO BE A VIGILANT(E) DIVER

From foreigners at airports to new spouses wielding life insurance documents, the dangers of diving come at the unvigilant with crappy little flying kicks, like a child that's just watched Bloodsport.

The bad news is this: You have failed. You failed the moment you woke up this morning. Sleep is for the invigilant. Unless you slept with one eye open, in which case you only half failed. Sadly, however, the very act of reading brings you back into the loving arms of total failurance once again. After completing this article, I can only advise that if you want to be safe, you never read again. What can be learnt from reading anyway? Nothing but facts, that's what, and if action is a superhero (it is), facts are naughty little supervillains with capes.
Nautilus Lifeline
Looker Anyway: diving. In order to be safe and to ensure the safety of those fortunate enough to be in your vicinity in, around, and when thinking of water, you will require the following Tools of Vigilance (TOVs): pen, clipboard, binoculars, obtrusive surveillance equipment, that thing they have on computers that lets you see what their credit card numbers are, and guns.

If you're planning to contravene the laws of God / Satan (delete all-powerful supernatural being as applicable) by travelling via the aether, remember that these days airport security will occasionally frown upon the carrying of firearms on a flight. However, if you imply darkly to the securitons that the safety of everyone on the flight might be at risk, they'll generally let you take a shotgun through as carry-on, providing it contains less than 100ml of fluid. Also, airline check-in staff can often be rude, unhelpful and wilfully stupid, but I don't think that's relevant to this article.
So, you're at your diving destination, I don't know, perhaps you're on a boat or something. Or land. I don't think you're in the air. And everyone is chatting away, setting up their dive gear, but you've already set yours up (three hours previously, behind a veil of secrecy made of impenetrable Kevlar) and rigged it with a complicated system of booby-traps to discourage tampering, so you can sit back and relax, right? Wrong. Too wrong. To be honest, it wasn't a very difficult test and if you perform like that again you will be sent home.

Whilst inspecting the equipment of your fellow divers to ensure it meets your expectations and is configured identically to your own, you will want to deposit any confiscated items in a secure location (the sea) and play both good and bad cop simultaneously during interrogation. After sufficient waterboarding has exposed all terrorists, you may have as little as a few minutes for cavity searches before diving commences, so you need to get everyone in an orderly queue and work quick.

The dive itself is where the disvigilant regularly fall foul of distractions such as fish or big bits of metal, but you'll want to keep as close an eye on suspicious types as possible. As these will often be the laggards at the back (what are they tampering with?) and the dive guide at the front (why are they pointing things out? What are they trying to distract you from?), you'll need to be in peak physical fitness or else in possession of a particularly high-powered Diver Propulsion Vehicle.

Any time spent in the water is time spent in an alien environment so, having seen Alien on the telly and nearly switching the lights off to prove you weren't frightened, you'll want to keep the bottom time down to a maximum of five minutes. Beware of dissidents in this regard: these people are a danger to themselves without knowing it, but a good way to encourage anybody to come to the surface is to get behind them and switch off their air. Or fire a harpoon into their midriff.

Once you've counted everyone out of the water afterwards, you'll need to check exactly how much air they all have left in their cylinders. Anyone with less than you is an ideal target for an object of gentle fun / bullying and anyone with more air is simply breaking the laws of physics and not to be trusted. Note them down on your clipboard.

In any group situation it's important that everyone sticks together and forms a team, unfortunately it is nevertheless common for factions to develop. As a result it's important for you to begin developing alliances at this time. The surveillance equipment in your TOVs will help toward this end and the shotgun should assist you in gaining access to vital food resources. When mixing with your fellow divers, be sure to laugh heartily at any diving anecdotes they might have to offer whilst secretly making a note of any indiscretions on your clipboard in order to report them to the correct authorities at a later date. Be sure to surreptitiously incept poisonous opinions in their minds with regard to other divers at the same time.
RescuEAN
You may be tempted to think, "mission accomplished", at the end of the diving trip, but this is an amateurish error worthy of a professionalish beating. From now on it is your duty to stalk each member of the dive trip and ensure they're not getting up to anything unpleasant or questionable. Then, and only then, can you relax.

Wrong again. You have failed; get out.
Denney Diving

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