At the request of Florida Sea Base General Manager Captain Paul Beal, and with the gracious approval of Mr. Richard Bourlon, Committee Advisor, and Mr. William Hurst, Committee Chair, I was allowed to attend the BSA Health and Safety Support Committee meeting yesterday afternoon at the Marriott Hotel north of D/FW Airport. My assignment was to have the Florida Sea Base policy on diabetes and scuba diving (as explained in part D of the BSA Annual Health and Medical form) included in the BSA Scuba Policy in the Guide to Safe Scouting. The change in language was agreed upon several months ago but the verbiage has not been changed in the GSS on-line. The policy is:
Persons with diabetes who are 18 years of age or older who wish to scuba dive should be assessed by a physician familiar with both hyperbaric issues related to diabetes and medications used for the control and treatment of diabetes. Persons 18 years old or older who are determined to be candidates for scuba diving must submit four hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) tests, each with HbA1c values less than 7, taken within the previous 12 months. Any test within the past 12 months with an HbA1c value greater than 7 disqualifies a person from scuba diving as part of a BSA activity.
Persons less than 18 years of age with Type 1 diabetes will not be allowed to scuba dive. Persons under the age of 18 who control their diabetes with exercise and diet (no medications) and can provide three sequential hemoglobin tests with HbA1c values less than 6 may be approved to scuba dive.
The wording will remain as written on the medical form and will be changed in the Guide to Safe Scouting very soon. Mr. Phillip Moore, BSA Risk Management, is the keeper of the GSS and personally assured me that the change would be made.
Other tid-bits included some discussion on the Welding Merit Badge which will be released very soon, the Newer, new Tour and Activity plan should be live on-line in April, and the 2012 BSA Aquatics Workshop will be held near Little Rock, Arkansas 31 October – 04 November. The Florida Sea Base was the first choice, but the base will be closed this fall while the Galley and Thomas Building are remodeled.
The Florida Keys continue to receive copious amounts of rain from the tropical low pressure system designated Invest 90L. Captain Rich Beliveau said he hasn’t been able to post any information because the rain has knocked out the internet access at the base. (This is not uncommon.)
Stay warm and dry!
Capt. Steve Willis
Professional Scuba Bum™
At La Hacienda