OSU Lecturer Shares Passion For Diving With Scuba Students
His official job title is lecturer, but Marty Bailey is much more than that. This hands-on Ohio State University instructor teaches Scuba diving; and he teaches it with passion. Itâs a Monday evening at Ohio Stateâs aquatics center. Baileyâs students line up in their Scuba gear along the side of the pool waiting to enter the water. They listen as Bailey outlines the dive plan. âWeâre going to start off with our giant stride,â? Bailey says. âDescend and equalize; weâll do our fin pivot for five minutes.â? Pretty easy so far but Bailey is about to make things more complicated. In one drill, the students will remove their masks, swim the length of the pool below the surface, put on another mask and clear it of water. Another drill simulates an out-of-air emergency. These drills are repeated week after week. They prepare the new divers for potential underwater emergencies. âGenerally itâs not one problem that causes the demise of a diver,â? Bailey says. âUsually you can handle one. Itâs when you have a second one and that compounds to being a third one, thatâs generally when you wind up with fatalities. And thatâs the whole point of the training is to learn how to handle problems.â? Even though heâs been diving for 32 years Bailey practices his skills regularly. One of his favorite dive locations is a flooded quarry near Lancaster called Lakeview. He dives it year âround no matter what the water temperature. Bailey has a remarkable 4,000 dives to his credit. Heâs happiest, says a dive buddy, when heâs in the water. âI go diving because I enjoy diving,â? Bailey says. âAnd the same thing when Iâm teaching; I figure if Iâm not enjoying this dive thereâs no way my students are enjoying this dive.â? More often than not, Bailey dives in quarries. But heâs also made some incredible forays. Heâs been inside the wreck of the Andrea Doria which is called the Mount Everest of Diving. He helped excavate portions of the U-85, a German submarine sunk during World War II. Heâs also an accomplished cave diver. And heâs dived in various parts of the world including New Zeeland, Bermuda, and Iceland. This summer heâs headed to Turkey. Bailey is aware of divingâs inherent risks. âIâve gone beyond my fingers and toes of people that I know who have died,â? Bailey says. A friend of Baileyâs died while on medication diving the Andrea Doria. âThe two medications combined together with the pressure of the depth he was at increased the sedative effect and basically he fell asleep during his dive and drowned,â? Bailey says. âIt was a sad day when that happened.â? Bailey has had his own close calls. Once he was diving a cave and became stuck in an opening. âMy buckle opened up on my weight belt and got wedged between two rocks and the yoke on my regulator â as I was struggling to get free I popped that into an area of the roof so I ... because I didnât know where I was stuck I didnât know what I needed to do. And all you can do then is wait and trust your buddies,â? Bailey says. Thatâs the benefit of having a dive buddy. The risks, though, donât discourage him. âI donât really think about the risk,â? Bailey says. âI guess I think about the reward. The reward for me is just being in the water and diving.â? Baileyâs enthusiasm for the sport is contagious. âItâs awesome,â? says Nick Martin, one of Baileyâs students. âI enjoy it quite a bit. Itâs a good experience, for sure.â? Martin adds, âHeâs a great teacher. He definitely knows what heâs doing and he definitely keeps it fun.â? A former student of Baileyâs, David Fleming, whoâs now one of his diving partners, puts it this way. âMarty is world-class,â? Fleming says. âIf youâre lucky enough to have Marty teach you Scuba diving, by the time youâre done, you will understand what it takes to be a Scuba diver and you will have the skill set to actually do it safely.â? âYes, I get paid to dive, and that means itâs work, but it never feels like work,â? Bailey says. âAnd when I dive, when anybody dives, you should be diving because you enjoy what youâre doing.â?