from 3 reviews
PADI Dive Boat
15th October 2012 by mulhollandmatt
Captain John is no longer qualified to certify
Visit Date: August 2012
I have been diving for over 5 years. I was diving with him while he was certifying a class. After reporting the following things, he is no longer certified with PADI (put in diver number 40957 at http://www.padi.com/scuba/prochek/Default.aspx):
1) Diving in a restricted area. There were plenty of signs that said the bacteria content was too high too swim. He disregarded my comments that it wasn't a place to go diving.
2) Poorly maintained equipment. My secondary was filled with sand and he would not give me a new one. When we got into the water, I found that my primary had a leak which allowed water to get into my mouth with every breath. I had to leave the group to change it out.
3) Did not meet certification requirements. The maximum depth that the class went was only 12 feet according to the dive watch. Most of the 3 dives were actually in water we could stand up in. PADI requires 4 dives, and the class only did 3.
4) Agressive behavior. His jokes were inappropriate, saying things like "I'm not gay but I'm willing to learn" way too many times. For a course instruction, he was rude in responding to questions, making anti-women comments when a female in the group asked a legitimate question.
I can assure you that I'm not someone that typically complains. If you would like other evidence of this behavior, please google his name and find legitimate reviews. I really doubt that his testimonials are accurate.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
23rd December 2009 by bloomy
So rude I can't imagine giving them any business.
Visit Date: December 2009
There are better places to spend your money.
When looking for a shop that offered a discover scuba session several stores in the Tampa area were very helpful. Even those that did not offer this service called to offer alternatives.
John L. Russell 3 sent an email with a link to his web site. A very poorly designed site with circular references and a calendar of events that wasn't descriptive enough to be helpful. When I pointed the difficulty of his site he responded with a link to "web sites for dummies" and "how to teach your child to read a calendar".
I wouldn't want to be a customer of this guy if a disagreement ever came up regarding the products & services he offered.
It's my assumption that the reason he responded so rudely is because he was offended by my opinion of the website he almost certainly designed himself.
Please take your business elsewhere.
Management Response from Scuba Tampa:
We have never done business with this person.
Further Management Response from Captain John L. Russell of Scuba Tampa directed at Scubadviser:
The older I get, the less I suffer fools gladly-- Kathleen Turner What fool takes advice from someone they do not know? What fool would publish the words of people they do not know about people they do not know? What fool is in that kind of business? Then elect themselves as Judge/Adviser? You. Nothing at your website indicates you have a professional scuba diving background. I imagine you more suited to 'cab driving' than 'scuba diving'. Why does a 'cab driver' get into the 'scuba diver-adviser-website business' and not be a dive industry professional? Perhaps to scam for free dive travel or to punish someone for a bad vacation? There are more fools in every congregation than intelligent people. There are wolves that feed on the congregation. You. The Dive Industry in the United States is well supervised and protected by many Dive Training Associations and the legitimate dive industry. The dive industry does not need the opinions of cab driving fools like... You. Capt. John does not suffer fools gladly, Sunsation Dive Charters ~ Scuba Tampa/Scuba Orlando ><(((*> Captain John L. Russell 3 MDEA Instructor Evaluator/Course Director 2098 PADI MSDT 40957 Resort # 21143 SDI/TDI 11794 Resort # 1002301 Site Sunsation Divers ~ Site Tampa Dive Certifications ~ Resume Testimonials ~ Detective Agency (813)-966-6525
3rd July 2009 by dwelch24
Rude, obnoxious and insulting
Visit Date: May 2009
I strongly recommend against any female taking dive lessons or going on a dive charter with Captain John. During my Open Water Diver lessons, Captain John was extremely rude and insulting. He made several insulting, sexist comments to me in front of the entire group of students. My equipment did not fit properly so I was having difficulty staying planted on the bottom during the mask clearing exercise and he kept commenting that my problem was that many women don't know their ass from their knee. When I filed a complaint against him and requested a refund, he first responded by saying that my complaint was frivolous and false. After providing supporting statements to demonstrate that my complaint was neither frivolous nor false, Captain John responded by sending me emails accusing me of slander, libel, and extortion. I guess I missed the memo when requesting a refund constitutes extortion.
Bottom line, do yourself a favor and avoid Captain John and SunSation Dive Charters.
This dive class consisted of eight students, four women and four men. Three dive instructors, one woman and two men, including myself, were always present. The woman dive instructor taught the entire class and certified seven of the students as Open Water Divers, including the reviewer. At no time does our dive course include slanderous or gender-related remarks. The reviewer participated in the class side by side with her boyfriend. She signed an exit agreement that states: Student agrees that the entire academic, confined and open water requirements for this diver course have been successfully fulfilled by the student and that student fully understands the questions on quizzes and exams missed. As indicated by the signature below, the student is mentally and physically prepared to engage in diving activities without the direct supervision of an instructor, provided area and conditions approximate those in which the diver was trained. In addition, the student recognizes the need for additional training in order to dive under any other circumstances and after periods of diving inactivity.