The Wall: Chronicle of a Scuba Trial
Chapter 5

Trial, Day 2 - Tuesday

Kirkland calls in his first witness for the defense, a middle-aged guy wearing glasses and a dark blue suit, short, not thin but decidely not obese either.

"Please state your name and position."

"Dr. Lawrence Martin. I am Associate Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, here in Cleveland, and Chief of the Pulmonary Division at Mt. Sinai Hospital."

"You are a lung doctor, is that right?"

"Yes, pulmonary is the medical term for lung."

"Would you please explain to the jury what a lung doctor does?"

Martin tries hard to act respectful. He's been here before, and knows the worst kind of expert witness is the smug expert, one so sure of himself that he ends up alienating the jury. The fact is, the court room is so artificial and so alien -- compared, say, to ordinary conversation -- that the witness must be aware of every word and nuance. Martin knows to answer each question, no matter how silly or repetetive it may may seem, so that the jury is not offended nor overwhelmed with erudition. So he is confident but not arrogant, helpful but not condescending -- the best kind of witness.

"Basically, we take care of adult patients with lung diseases, like asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, conditions like that. I also work in the intensive care unit where we take care of the critically ill patients, on breathing machines."

"So you are familiar with the kinds of conditions that can befall divers, such as the bends, air embolism, nitrogen narcosis?"

"Oh, yes. Those are very uncommon conditions and rarely seen in routine clinical practice, but I have studied and am familiar with them."

"Dr. Martin, you have written a book on scuba diving, is that correct?"

"Yes, it's called Scuba Diving Explained: Questions and Answers on Physiology and Medical Aspects of Scuba Diving."

"And this is the book?" Kirkland holds up for the jury a deep-blue trade paperback with the title Scuba Diving Explained emblazoned in yellow across the top. Adjacent to the cover print is the outline of a female diver. He hands the book to Dr. Martin.


"And who is the intended audience for such a book?"

"Well, anyone who scuba dives, or plans to, and want's to learn more about the physiology and medical aspects. This is not a medical textbook; I wrote it for the general public, for anyone who has ever taken a basic certification course, or plans to."

"And it's published by?"

" Best Publishing Co. They're the largest publisher of diving books in the country."

"Dr. Martin, does your book have a chapter on nitrogen narcosis in it?"

"Yes, I cover nitrogen narcosis in one of the main sections."

"Doctor Martin, your book has references?"

"Yes, it does, it has references to both medical articles and popular periodicals like National Geographic. I have a chapter on the history of diving, and I include some interesting trivia about diving, and I reference all of that as well."

"What qualifies you to write such a book?"

"Well, I am a scuba diver and a pulmonary physician, so I have a lot of experience in the physiology that underlies much of this information. I also took a brief diving medicine course with DAN a few years ago, and got very interested in the medical aspects and all the physiology. There was nothing like it on the market for the layman, so I got interested and wrote the book."

"Are you board-certified in pulmonary medicine?"


"And do you operate a hyperbaric chamber?"

"No, not personally. There's really not much in the way of diving accidents in the Cleveland area. Only a few hospitals even have such chambers, and they're used almost exclusively for surgical patients, with bad wounds that don't heal. I'm not a surgeon, so I don't have any need to operate a chamber or even refer patients to one. The one in our hospital is used almost exclusively for surgical problems and is operated by the vascular surgery department."

"So you don't actually treat divers with the bends?"

"No. I do have divers referred to me with medical questions. But to my knowledge our chamber hasn't been used for any diving accidents, because they are so infrequent in our area."

"Who refers diving questions to you? I mean, if they're so uncommon around here, how do patients get to you?"

"Divers Alert Network, plus other physicians in the area. I've given a lot of talks on scuba diving."

"Divers Alert Network?"

"Yes. DAN, as they're called. It's the organization at Duke University that operates a referral service for divers all over the world. You can call them from anywhere. All divers know about DAN. If you're from the Cleveland area, and its a lung-related question, you will probably get referred to me. And I also get questions on my e-mail since my book is on the internet."

"So it's in print and on the internet?"


"Doctor Martin, are you a member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society?"

"Yes, I am."

"That's a scientific organization of physicians interested in diving medicine?"

"Yes, that's correct."

Clearly, Kirkland is bringing out everything he can about this medical witness, both to establish his credentials and to explain why he is not a hyperbaric specialist. That done, there is a sense in the courtroom that the lawyer should get on with his purpose already.

"Dr. Martin, you've had a chance to review the case before us."

"Yes, I have."

"What exactly have you reviewed?

"Well, I reviewed the coroner's report from Grand Cayman, the various newspaper articles, and the depositions of all the people who were deposed, including Ocean Realm's divemaster Ms. Marvich, Dr. Bergofsky, Mr. Morgan, and others. I also went back and did some library research on nitrogen narcosis to refresh my own knowledge about the subject."

"Dr. Martin, have you interviewed any of the people involved yourself?"

"No, I have not."

"OK, and from this review that you did, do you have an your opinion as to what caused the sinking of Ms. Knowlton on July 15, 1996?"

"Yes, I do."

"And what is that opinion."

"My opinion is that she consciously wanted to sink to impossible depths and was determined not to survive."

"OBJECTION! Dr. Martin has no basis for that assertion! It is pure speculation and way out of line!"

"Your honor---" Kirkland responds, but he is abruptly cut off by a high pitched voice from the gallery.

"Liar! My daughter did not want to kill herself! That's just not true!" Jennie's mother, sobbing uncontrollably, falls toward the floor. She is caught by Mr. Knowlton half way down, as the bailiff rushes over to help. A doctor is called for but the only doctor in the courtroom is . . . the witness! Reflexively, Martin stands to rush to her aid, then looks at the judge, who for the moment seems perplexed. Court protocol demands he stay put. Common sense dictates that he help.

"Go on, please attend to her," says the judge, and in a louder voice, "Bailiff, summon help."

Dr. Martin goes to the bench where the Knowltons were seated. She is now on the floor. He kneels down to take her pulse. The jury can't see what is happening, nor can the judge. The other Knowltons (husband and older sister) are hovering over the physician and unintended patient. It is an odd scene.

Evidently Mrs. Knowlton has only fainted, as there is no move to initiate CPR. In another minute a nurse and paramedic enter the room and Dr. Martin stands aside. Then the three of them lift Mrs. Knowlton onto the bench seat, and she begins to come around. Dr. Martin tells the paramedic that her pulse is OK, and that she has evidently fainted. The paramedic lifts his walkie talkie and asks for a stretcher. There is an infirmary on the second floor and she will be taken there.

"This court is adjourned until 1 p.m. May I speak with the lawyers please?" The jurors file out of the room and for the next seven minutes the lawyers and the judge confer in private.

* * *

"All rise." The judge enters, sits down and the jury is led in. As the last juror takes her seat the judge speaks to them all.

"Regarding what happened this morning, the witness has a right, indeed an obligation, to give his honest opinions. What happened to Mrs. Knowlton should have no bearing on your interpretation of those opinions. In any case, I am happy to report that the courthouse physician states Mrs. Knowlton should be fine. She has been sent home but may return to this court at any time. We are going to continue with this trial.

"Dr. Martin you make take a seat. Please remember that you are still under oath."

Kirkland rises to address the witness.

"Dr. Martin, you stated this morning that you thought Jennie Knowlton wanted to get away from the group and sink deeper, and therefore not survive this dive. Is that your opinion?"


"And is today the first time you've ever stated that opinion on direct questioning?"

"No, I stated it in my deposition last year."

"Who took your deposition?"

"Mr. Pearson, plaintiff's counsel."

"He came to your office for that deposition, is that correct?"


"And I was there as well?"


"So this opinion has been known to the plaintiff's counsel for almost a year?"


"Do you know if plaintiff's counsel shared that opinion with the Knowlton family?"

"No, I do not."

"Just so this is made clear, your deposition was typed up?"

"Yes, just like all depositions."

"And you had a copy?"


"And I had a copy, and Mr. Pearson, who asked for your deposition, also had a copy."

"Yes, I assume so."

"OK. On what do you base your opinion, Dr. Martin?"

"Well, her physical behavior on this dive was completely atypical for nitrogen narcosis. Someone who is properly weighted just wouldn't sink straight down at the speed she was reported to be sinking, something like a hundred feet in less than a minute, especially if they became totally unconscious. In fact she might just as well have floated if she was properly weighted."


"Yes, by that I mean not gone up or down, just sort of hovered in place, or maybe go down or up only a few feet, but certainly not sink rapidly. So the speed with which she reportedly sank was just not something you would see in a diver who has merely become slightly confused from nitrogen narcosis.

"Second, there is no reason for her to have any significant nitrogen narcosis at a depth of what was reportedly only about 60-70 feet. That would be unheard of, unless someone was drunk entering the water, and there was no evidence of that. You don't even begin to see effects of nitrogen narcosis until about 100 feet or so in most people, and it's usually really minimal. So the diagnosis of nitrogen narcosis is in doubt right off the bat, and even if it occurred, it would not account for her rapid descent. It simply makes no sense, at least to me."

"Anything else?"

"Well, quite frankly, nothing about this case makes sense, except one explanation: that she consciously wanted to get away from the group, and to descend. In my opinion any certified diver who consciously breaks away from a group at 70 feet and rapidly and purposely descends to 200 feet is trying to kill himself or else is incredibly foolish. So that's how I arrived at my opinion."

"You did not know Ms. Knowlton?"


"You have never met the Knowltons, father and mother?"

"No, I never saw either one until this morning. I am sorry about what happened to Mrs. Knowlton. I certainly never intended that."

"Doctor, we have heard expert testimony to the effect that Ms. Knowlton did succumb from nitrogen narcosis. How do you reconcile that testimony with your own opinions?"

"Well, I have read the deposition testimony of Mr. Morgan and Dr. Bergofsky, and I strongly disagree with them. I believe they are taking everything out of context to make an unsupported diagnosis. I just don't believe she would have sunk so deep so quickly if she was suffering only from slight nitrogen narcosis. And I certainly don't believe she could have had anything more than the slightest case of nitrogen narcosis at a depth of 60-70 feet. In my opinion this whole idea of nitrogen narcosis as an explanation is just not tenable."

"Thank you. No further questions."

Pearson stands. There is a noticeable smirk on his face.

"Dr. Martin, I am Chester Pearson and as you've already testified, we have met before."


"Now, you stated that you don't treat divers, but you do answer medical questions about diving if called, is that correct?"

"Yes. My main interest is asthma and diving, and I get called about that quite frequently."

"Do you ever get called about nitrogen narcosis?"

"Well, no, people who might have had nitrogen narcosis are fine when they get to the surface."

"So you don't have any personal experience in treating nitrogen narcosis?"

"Well, no, there is no treatment."

"Have you ever been involved in an autopsy of a diver?"

"No, I am not a pathologist."

"Have you ever been involved in any formal inquiry into the death of a diver?"

"No, we don't have many deaths from diving in this area, but to answer your question, no."

"Are you aware of the Northeast Ohio Scuba Rescue Teams, professionals on call that go out to remove drowned divers out of quarries and lakes in Northeast Ohio?"

"Well, I've read about them. I know that there are one or two scuba diving deaths a year in the quarries around here. Usually divers who are inebriated."

"Are you a medical member of any of those rescue teams, the Cuyahoga, Lake County, Summit County teams?"

"No, I am not. But I'm also not aware that any practicing physician is a member of those teams."

"Have you ever been asked to consult with any of those teams?"


"Have you ever been consulted by any official agency at any time to give an opinion on why a diver drowned or had a fatal accident?"

"No, I haven't."

"And you don't do any work with a hyperbaric chamber?"

"No, that's not correct. I work with a hyperbaric chamber on a limited basis, but I don't run the chamber, I'm not in charge of the program."

"Who is?"

"A vascular surgeon in our hospital."

"Well, what kind of patients do you work with?"

"I am occasionally consulted on patients receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning, or who have surgical and pulmonary problems and are receiving hyperbaric treatments. And I am occasionally asked to interpret blood oxygen levels in chamber patients. So I am familiar with hyperbaric chambers but it is not my main focus. And as I said, we don't see diving accidents in Cleveland, at least not at our hospital."

"I understand. But there are experts in this country who do run a hyperbaric facility, who do treat diver injuries, who do have first hand medical experience in the bends and other diver injuries, are there not?"

"Yes, of course there are, but they are few and far between."

"But you're not one of them, are you?"

"By them, you mean someone who specializes in diver-related injuries?"



"Then tell me doctor, how in heaven's name can you come before this court today and opine on the death of a beautiful young woman who disappeared while scuba diving off Grand Cayman Island? What experience do you --"

"OBJECTION! Mr. Pearson is badgering the witness."

"Sustained. Mr. Pearson, please ask one question at a time, and give the doctor a chance to answer."

"Have you ever done any diving except what is called recreational diving?"

"You mean am I a professional diver?"

"Well, were you in the military?"


"Did you do any diving in the military?"

"No. I was in the Air Force."

"Do you do any scientific or professional diving?"

"No, that's not the kind of job I have."

"OK. This book of yours displayed by Mr. Kirkland, it is based on what?"

"I'm sorry. What do you mean based on what?"

"What experience?"

"Well, my experience as a pulmonary physician, scuba diver, lecturer on scuba diving. I try to explain diving medicine and physiology to the lay public."

"And how many copies have you sold?"

"I actually have no idea at this point."

"Doctor, please turn to the first page in your section on nitrogen narcosis and, if you would, read us the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs."

Hearing no objection, Dr. Martin opens his book and reads:


Nitrogen narcosis, also called "rapture of the deep" and "the martini effect," results from a direct toxic effect of high nitrogen pressure on nerve conduction. It is an alcohol-like effect, a feeling often compared to drinking a martini on an empty stomach: slightly giddy, woozy, a little off balance.

Nitrogen narcosis is a highly variable sensation but always depth-related. Some divers experience no narcotic effect at depths up to 130 feet, whereas others feel some effect at around 80 feet. One thing is certain: once begun, the narcotic effect increases with increasing depth. Each additional 50 feet depth is said to feel like having another martini. The diver may feel and act totally drunk. Underwater, of course, this sensation can be deadly. Divers suffering nitrogen narcosis have been observed taking the regulator out of their mouth and handing it to a fish!

"So in your book, in your own writing, you state that there is an alcohol like effect, that it can occur at 80 feet, that it increases with increasing depth, that the diver may feel totally drunk, and that 'Underwater, of course, this sensation can be deadly.' Am I quoting you correctly?"

"Yes, that's correct."

"So, pardon me doctor. I am confused. What I just quoted back to you, if I am not mistaken, is the opposite of your testimony in answer to Mr. Kirkland's questions!"

"Not at all. May I explain?"

"Please do."

"At great depth, say more than 150 feet, nitrogen narcosis can be deadly, there's no doubt about it. But feeling a little woozy at 70 or 80 feet is not the same thing as becoming totally unresponsive and sinking a hundred feet in less than a minute. Also, there was other aspect to this case that I have neglected to mention that supports my opinion."

"What is that."

"Everyone on the dive who was interviewed stated that they saw bubbles coming out of her regulator [breathing device] as she descended. That meant that she was breathing on the way down, that she had not drowned, that her lungs were not water logged, and that she was still in control."

"Doctor Martin, did you not write, in your own book, that nitrogen narcosis can be deadly?"

"Yes, I did."

"Did you not write that it is like being drunk at depth?"

"Yes I did."

"And is it not true that you have no experience with hyperbaric chambers, or indeed anything to do with actually hands on treating dive accident victims, is that correct?"


"Doctor, is there anything in your background, apart from what you have testified to about your interest in physiology and recreational diving, that qualifies you to give any opinion on this case?"



"I believe I have stated my qualifications."

"But you would defer to someone, I assume, who supervises a hyperbaric program, who frequently treats divers, would you not?"

"What do you mean by defer to?"

"On the issue of diving accidents, would you defer to someone who is considered a hyperbaric specialist, who routinely does treat divers, who has been in the Navy as a diving physician?"

"I'm sorry, do you mean in this case, or in treating a specific injured diver coming for help?"

"Well, let's look at both. The specific injured diver coming for help."

"Yes, I would want that diver treated by someone who has specific expertise in that area."

"So in that regard you would defer to the hyperbaric specialist?"

"Yes. Refer and defer if such a person was readily available."

"OK. In this particular case."

"Absolutely not."

"Why not?"

"Because we both start on an equal footing in this case. Neither myself nor this hypothetical diving specialist you refer to had a chance to see the patient. We would each have the exact same information, and in this case I believe I can review the available information as well as your hypothetical specialist."

"Even though you haven't managed diving injuries in a hyperbaric chamber?"

"Yes. This case has nothing to do with treating a patient in a hyperbaric chamber. All one needs is knowledge of diving physiology and the medical literature on scuba diving, and a detailed and objective look at the available information. You need to study the information available. You don't need to operate a chamber to figure this case out."

"So you don't agree with Dr. Bergofsky, who worked as physician for the Navy Seals, who runs an active hyperbaric chamber program, and who has years of experience in the field treating diving injuries?"

"No, I do not."

"Thank you. No further questions."

Kirkland rises to do his redirect.

"Dr. Martin, Mr. Pearson had you quote two paragraphs from your book. The very next paragraph, what is that about?"

Martin looks at the page. "It is a brief quote from Jacques Cousteau's book The Silent World, about his experiences with nitrogen narcosis."

"OK, would you please read that passage?"

Martin begins:

I am personally quite receptive to nitrogen - -

"OBJECTION." Pearson is on his feet, incensed. "Your honor, he is quoting from another diver's book and this is hearsay."

At this, the judge motions Martin to give him the book and point out the paragraph in question. While Judge Whittaker peruses the page Kirkland responds:

"Dr. Martin quotes Cousteau and it has already been testified that he was a world authority, indeed he practically invented modern scuba. Furthermore the passage in question is fully referenced. Finally, your honor, Dr. Cousteau is deceased and could not possibly testify in this court."

"The judge reads the paragraph, then:

"Sustained. Quoting another author's work in this court is hearsay and inadmissable."

"Dr. Martin, you have read, in your research, people's accounts of nitrogen narcosis?

"Yes, I have."

"People like Cousteau?"


"Dr. Martin, in your investigations were you able to learn about the actual depths to which Cousteau and his colleagues dove to experience nitrogen narcosis?"

"Yes, it was well over ---."

OBJECTION! Again, his answer can only be hearsay."

"Sustained. Mr. Kirkland, please confine your questions to what is actually Dr. Martin's own experiences or his own work, not to what is printed elsewhere."

"Yes, your honor. Dr. Martin, would you please read the first sentence in the middle of the next page, where it starts 'Every year.'"

Martin reads:

"Every year there are diving deaths attributed to nitrogen narcosis, mainly among divers who exceed recreational depth limits."

"Exceed recreational depth limits, is that what you wrote?"

"Yes, that's correct."

"And what is the recreational depth limit?"

"One hundred and thirty feet."

"So at depths of 60-70-80 feet, you would not expect effects of nitrogen narcosis?"

"Certainly none that would lead to death or rapid sinking."

"Thank you. No further questions."

* * *

There is a half hour break. Afterwards Kirkland brings in his next and final witness for the day, a scuba instructor from the Cleveland area. Kirkland's medical expert has raised doubt about the certainty of nitrogen narcosis and now he needs an expert to attack the negligence issue.

"Please state your name and what you do."

"Scott Harrison. I am a scuba instructor and part owner of Great Lakes Scuba here in Cleveland." He is about the same age as Morgan, but unlike his southern counterpart Harrison wears a dark suit and light blue shirt. He has wavy hair and a boyish face, with a mid-winter pallor common in the region.

"You run a scuba shop?"

"Yes. And we provide scuba instruction."

"How is that done in Cleveland in the winter?"

"We use a local Y pool, and if the divers want they can complete their open water training in the Caribbean or Florida, or in the summer time we take them to one of the northeast Ohio quarries."

"So you basically operate year round?"

"Oh, yes. Throughout the midwest it's a 12-month a year business. And we also lead tours to the Caribbean during the winter. We go November and again in February to the Caribbean, or Mexico or Central America. They're pretty popular with local divers."

"How long have you been in this business?"

"Twelve years."

"Do you also train divers at the divemaster level?"

"Yes, we train about half a dozen divemasters a year. That's in addition to the large number of people who take the basic scuba certification course with us."

"Now Mr. Harrison you've had a chance to review the file records on Ms. Jennie Knowlton?"

"Yes, I have."

"I am going to ask you some specific questions, that deal with operation of your business, OK?"


"In your divemaster training courses, what exactly do you tell divemasters about continuous observation of divers in their charge?"

"OBJECTION! Without specific written or video materials the witness's testimony is hearsay."


"Well, I understand Mr. Pearson's objection. But in fact there are no hard and fast rules. Divemasters are considered professionals, and they must use common sense in dealing with each dive. To say to the divemaster, 'You must never take your eyes off the divers," or 'You must count heads every 15 seconds,' that would be absurd. We train them to be responsible people in charge of a dive, to look out for hazards, to be able to rescue a diver when necessary. In fact a pre-requisite for divemaster training is a course on Stress and Rescue Diving."

"So in this case, Mr. Harrison, did the divemaster deviate from any standard that you have taught, or of which you are aware?"

"You mean the divermaster in the Jennie Knowlton case?"


"Not at all. This was a guided dive, and everyone was appropriately buddied up. She was showing creature life to the divers and could not expect to do that and count heads continuously. Furthermore, the deceased had a buddy, who should have been aware of where his partner was at any given moment. Finally, the speed with which Ms. Knowlton left the group suggests to me it was on purpose."

"Now we have heard testimony that there were too many divers for one divemaster to handle. What would you say about that?"

"Well, there is no set standard. Certainly two divemasters would be better than one, but not for the reasons that have been stated. Having a second divemaster available on the boat is always a good idea if one divemaster gets sick, then at least there is the other one to lead the dive. Or, if during the actual dive someone feels sick and has to go back to the boat, the second divemaster can take them back. So it's like a backup, but not because the dive is too dangerous without it. Having one or two divemasters on a wall dive should not be the deciding factor over whether someone dies or not."

"Is it below accepted standards to send down nine divers with a solo divemaster on a wall dive?"

"OBJECTION. Mr. Harrison has not testified to accepted standards."


"In your opinion, is it acceptable to send down nine divers with a single divemaster?

"Yes. In calm conditions as these were, with certified divers, as these were."

"Mr. Harrison, imagine if this was a divemaster in your employ. What action would you take if a diver with your outfit disappeared under these circumstances, and the divemaster responsible worked for you?"

"You mean what would I do to that divemaster?"


"I don't know. I would be upset, I'm sure. But I think the circumstances would indicate that it was a bit of bad luck for the divemaster. Real bad luck. If that person was otherwise competent, I would do nothing. I certainly wouldn't fire her or anything. In my opinion what happened was a rare and bizarre occurrence, and I don't see how I could blame the divemaster. In fact it's my understanding that the divemaster was not charged with any offense by the Cayman authorities. I don't know if she's still working for Ocean Realm, though."

"So you don't see this as an example of divemaster negligence?"

"No, I do not."

"Mr. Harrison, in your review, did you find anything negligent about the way Ocean Realm International conducted this particular dive?"

"No, I did not. I was able to review their dive manifesto that you sent, and all the divers had been properly logged on and all had current certification cards, including Ms. Knowlton, so I didn't find anything amiss."

"And again, just so we're clear, having only one divemaster on that dive did not, in your opinion, constitute an act of negligence?"

"Definitely not."

"Thank you. No further questions."

Pearson rises, waving his pencil.

"Mr. Harrison, have you been paid for your testimony today?"

Pearson's first question catches everyone a little off guard. A few jurors widen their palpebral fissures at the question.

"I'm sorry, have I been paid to come here today?"

"Yes, that was my question."

"Well, no."

"Will you be paid?"

"Well, yes. There is a fee involved."

"So no, you haven't been paid, yes, you will be paid? Is that correct?"


"And what is that fee, please?"

"OBJECTION. Your honor, all expert witnesses are entitled to submit a bill for their time, including Mr. Pearson's out of town witnesses. Including Mr. Morgan, I might add. Mr. Pearson is mis-leading the jury into thinking Mr. Harrison is somehow unique in this regard."

"Overruled. You may answer the question."

"One hundred dollars an hour."

"That includes reviewing materials, coming to this court, travel time?"


"And what do you estimate will be your total bill when you are finished with this case, Mr. Harrison?"

"I'm not exactly sure. I estimate about $1500."

"Mr. Pearson, have you ever worked in Grand Cayman Island?"


"Have you ever led a wall dive off Grand Cayman Island?"

"No. If I've never worked there I couldn't lead a wall dive there."

"Well, you could have done it with members of your tour. Your winter tours have gone to Grand Cayman, I assume?"

"Yes, I'm sorry. We've been there, but I didn't lead the dives. Any guided dives would be handled by the outfit we dove with. You can't lead a dive unless you are thoroughly familiar with the territory."

"Then please tell the jury how you feel so certain that one divemaster on a 10-person dive is an acceptable standard on that particular wall?"

"I'm sorry, I believe there were nine divers plus the divemaster."

"OK, nine divers."

"I have led many other dives, including places where visibility is a lot worse. In my experience if you have good visibility, good conditions, one divemaster is sufficient. It's a matter of experience."

"But you yourself don't have any experience leading divers on that Cayman wall, is that correct?"

"That's true."

"Thank you. No further questions."

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