Project AWARE: FINtastic Trio Swim Around Koh Tao in 7 Hours 56 Minutes!

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.

Project AWARE Finathon 31.7.13How far could you swim for sharks? The Master Divers FINtastic trio swam 22.5km around Koh Tao in 7 hours 56 minutes!

Sensational swimmer Gene completed the first leg of the relay (3.6km) in 1 hour 15 minutes! A huge congratulations to Finathon Swimming Champs extraordinaire Wilco, Ayesha and Gene.

An around-the-island snorkel boat followed the swimmers giving people the chance to snorkel, cheer the swimmers on and look for sharks at sites where they are known to frequent.

The swimmers were welcomed back to the island to celebrate at the Finathon Finish Line Party featuring fire twirlers, fabulous prizes and great friends who helped raise an amazing $2,260 through raffles and auctions. Coupled with online sponsorship this record breaking challenge places Master Divers in first place at the top of the Finathon Team Leaderboard.

Project AWARE Finathon 2 31.7.13Besides training for the big swim Ayesha also gave weekly shark conservation talks to educate people about why sharks need our protection. And Gene received some fabulous well wishes from the students at the school she teaches at in South Korea. It’s amazing to see our Finathon champions inspiring support in all corners of the globe.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who supported our Master Divers champions

Read the full story here.

Thank you to all PADI Members and Dive Centres who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved. 

Extraordinary PADI Open Water Student Certified in South Lombok, Indonesia

By TOM BOXLER – PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Hollis 1 smlAs a PADI Instructor, new challenges occur on a fairly regular basis, especially when based in semi-remote locations or while teaching in countries where English is not their native language.  What I was about to do was to be one of the biggest challenges of my professional dive career, teaching a local Indonesian to dive who was both hearing and speech impaired.

A PADI Instructor at the Dive Zone in South Lombok, I had just returned for my third season, working under the direction of George More, Manager and owner the PADI Five Star Instructor Development Resort on the island of Lombok, directly east of Bali.  When people think of Lombok and diving, usually the Northern Gili Islands come to mind, but there is a group of islands in the south called the Southern Gili’s, which the Dive Zone calls home.  Offering two types of diving, gentle and relaxed on the northern side, where photographers and macro lovers thrive, and on the southern side – facing south there is Belongas Bay and ‘The Magnet’, one of the few areas in the world where divers can sometimes see the Hammer Head shark.

Hollis 2My new student was to be a local Indonesian named Hollis, whose only experience of diving had been several Discover Scuba Dives in which he had performed well and taken a liking to diving.  Hollis came from a family of 12 in East Java. Due to family hardships and his challenges, Hollis did not receive the proper attention he needed.  This is where ex-patriot, Jantine comes into the story, without her help in translation and financial sponsorship, none of this would have been possible.

My idea was to get Hollis into the water as soon as possible to assess his underwater abilities. He had watched the Open Water Diver video at least 3 times already, almost memorising each exercise so when we performed Confined Water Dive One, he had it mentally choreographed.

Underwater, Hollis paid great attention to my signals describing what skill I wanted him to perform next and he never took his eyes off me.  Above water, translator Jantine would be with us ‘waist deep’ giving the final communication to Hollis using both sign language and speaking Bahasa Indonesia, which Hollis would lip read.  Hollis and I would then descend and from there, my hand signals would be sufficient.

I can still visualize in this case that some skills were just too complex to simply explain above water, such as the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA) and the ‘free flow regulator’.  Such skills were easier demonstrated in waist deep water then performed a bit deeper.

Hollis 4Underwater, things went well.  Hollis was like a fish and performed the skills without any hesitation.  My only concern which I explained to Jantine, was that Hollis would have to be particularly careful in the future regarding his inability to hear sound – so important for when it comes to listening for boats on the surface, as well as his dive guide trying to get his attention. I instructed him that by staying in constant visual contact and by staying close enough to make physical contact with his dive buddy or guide, there would be no reason to worry.

The final exam day came, but not until we had some long afternoons under the Indonesian sun explaining the RDP, safety stops and demonstrating the opening of coke cans and squeezing water bottles to show the effects of pressure.

The smile on his face was priceless as he was now officially a PADI Open Water Diver.

We all face challenges on a daily basis, but this goes to show by putting your mind to it, almost anything is possible.

Congratulations Hollis!

New Benefits Available For Discover Scuba Diving® Participants through ScubaEarth™

dsd-partipants-guide-coverThe new Discover Scuba Diving® Participant Guide (product no. 72200) gives Discover Scuba Diving participants a range of new benefits. The guide includes a special code that unlocks these benefits, including a commemorative Discover Scuba Diving eCard, access to the PADI Open Water Diver Online Preview, 90-day trial access to PADI Diving Society and 90-day trial access to ScubaEarth Premium. The ScubaEarth Premium benefit includes access to any PADI eCards as well as the new Dive Dashboard – an interactive panel of slates where ScubaEarth users can track dive sites, marine species, buddies and dive destinations in real time.

ScubaEarth Premium is an opportunity for interested potential divers to integrate themselves into the dive community. PADI Members using ScubaEarth have an opportunity to engage—and convert—Discover Scuba Diving participants. For example, when users log on to ScubaEarth, they can join your Dive Crew, check out what gear you recommend, keep up with your store’s announcements (including your events or specials), look at your photos and follow anything you post on ScubaEarth. This gives them a direct connection with your dive center’s activities. If you haven’t logged on to or been active on ScubaEarth lately, take the time to do so now.

Remember: Access to ScubaEarth Premium is just one of the benefits available through the new Discover Scuba Diving Participant Guide. For more information, contact your PADI Regional Manager. To order the new Discover Scuba Diving Participant Guide, contact your PADI Sales Consultant or order from the online shopping cart using product number 72200.

4 Simple and Easy Ways to Build Your ScubaEarth Dive Crew!

ScubaEarthSquare300x300Short on time but looking to make sure you are benefiting from ScubaEarth? Check out these four simple ways to grow your ScubaEarth dive crew!

1. Email your database.

One of the most overlooked resources that achieves instant results is email marketing. This low cost channel is a great way to easily reach customers. You can let them know how they can log dives, explore dives site online, share pictures, and most importantly stay connected with you online through ScubaEarth. A simple email to your database encouraging them to sign up to ScubaEarth and select you as their primary store ensures that you benefiting from this exciting new online community.

2. Share socially.

Scuba diving pictures, videos and logged dives are hot property on social sites. People want to share what they are passionate about with their family and friends online. You can benefit from this by ensuring you are logging dives, sharing pictures from courses and keeping your divers updated with new dates and events. They can then easily share this information out and place diving in front of their family and friends with the press of a button.

3. Sign up your divers.

Student divers are always looking to further their knowledge on all things scuba. When conducting courses, it’s a great opportunity to sit down with your students and register them for ScubaEarth. You can ensure that they choose you as their primary store and help log their first dive. They can even select you as a dive buddy and also tag your dive shop into the dive. Logging a dive can take less than a minute.

4. Promote your ScubaEarth presence.

Whether it be online or through traditional marketing, make sure you are promoting your ScubaEarth presence to your divers and potential divers. To cover online mediums make sure you have icons and links from your website, blogs, emails and enewsletter. Also ensure that you promote ScubaEarth via offline marketing including on your brochures, posters, banners, and signage.

ScubaEarth will soon hit 50,000+ users. Ensure you are benefiting from ScubaEarth as much as possible by implementing these simple recommendations above.

For more information contact your PADI Regional Marketing.

Ocean Player Dive Inc. from Mactan, Cebu – a triple achievement

PADI Asia Pacific would like to acknowledge and congratulate OCEAN PLAYER DIVE INC. in Mactan, Cebu for a series of 3 major goals reached within this year of 2013.

This is a brilliant testament to what planning and hard work can lead to – in other words making an Action Plan and setting Goals for the business. On the PADI Business Academy (PBA) these topics are naturally covered as well.


1) In June 2013 Owner Jong-Moon Lee attended the PBA, even though he had already proven himself successful in the dive industry, but there is always more to learn. At the PBA Jong-Moon Lee received the very prestigious PADI Business award for OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO DIVER ACQUISITION & RETENTION for 2012.

2) Jong-Moon Lee had been accepted to the CDTC program in the Dominican Republic July, 2013 and he did a great job and is now a new PADI Course Director. Fantastic achievement! Everyone who have tried just to get into this program, knows how much dedication and hard work it takes.


3) A few days ago here in July everything came together and OCEAN PLAYER DIVE INC. was upgraded to PADI 5 star IDC Resort and PADI wishes you all the best with your future Instructor Development programs.

PADI Asia Pacific is very happy to assist other PADI members, should there be a need to make and Action Plan and setting Goals For Growth. Just contact the Regional Manager in your area.

PADI Members Attend EVE Seminars in Australia and New Zealand

EVE 12.7.13A total of 60 PADI Members representing 41 dive stores attended EVE workshops held in Sydney, Auckland, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane from 24th June to 5th July, 2013.   They joined EVE program creators for the hands-on workshops which highlighted key tools to help increase sales and save time, using the latest version – EVE 5.8.

EVE – Electronic Virtual Employee, developed by ISSYS – is the complete business management system, designed exclusively for the management of PADI dive centres and resorts.

Presented by Ian Sykes, Director of ISSYS, the one day program included the following topics:

  • Driving Equipment Sales
  • Inquiries/Auto Email Agent Workshop
  • Data mining
  • Using EVE 5.8 With PIC Online
  • Service Module
  • Delivering Promotional Messages
  • Converting Rentals to Sales
  • Reporting and Analysis Tools
  • Increasing Travel Sales

EVE (2) 12.7.13The program also covered the new marketing tools available in 5.8; all designed to increase business from new and existing customers alike.

“The focus of the EVE seminars was simple,” explains Ian Sykes, “increasing diver retention to help improve sales in the store.  Every PADI store owner and manager who attended left with a series of short, practical steps to implement in their operation that were designed to do just that.”

Among the attendees were non-users, new users and long term users of EVE – the overwhelming feeling was that the seminars were hugely beneficial and will help their operations to improve in many areas, particularly entry level and con-ed certifications.

“It’s always a delight to get in front of store owners and help them maximise EVE’s potential. Their commitment of time and staff to the process is hugely appreciated by the PADI / EVE team and we’re sure the program will benefit the stores in their marketing, sales and online presence in the coming months.”

As the Sydney workshop drew to a close, Cherie Dodd – PADI Instructor from Let’s Go Adventures in Nelson Bay, NSW commented,

“Out of the water and into the shop, I was a novice using EVE – learning bits and pieces as needed. The EVE 1-day seminar held at PADI’s HQ helped to build my understanding of the program and confidence in how to use its many features. Fellow attendees ranged from people who had never used EVE through to business owners that had been using for years, yet we all worked well together and learned from each other as well as the two patient and passionate trainers.  I look forward to attending a future seminar after having time to put what I have learned so far into practice.”

“After using EVE for years as a customer database I now have the tools to take full advantage of what EVE can offer our business,” says Claire Murphy, PADI Course Director and Training Manager at Dive & Ski HQ, Wellington, NZ following the Auckland Seminar.

 “Our ability to utilise EVE and contact customers with service reminders, upcoming trips and course information is invaluable. The ongoing support from ISSYS as I implement these new systems has been fantastic”

EVE (3) 12.7.13Tristan Coombes, PADI Divemaster from Batavia Coast Diving Academy, who flew 400kms from Geraldton in Western Australia to attend the Perth Seminar, had this to say: “Really enjoyed the workshop last week, learned a lot about communication with emails especially utilising the PADI templates that are sent out. Thanks for setting it up, it was worth the trip down.”

PADI would like to congratulate Members who attended the EVE seminars on their positive approach to running their business using today’s latest technology.

Attendees left saying how beneficial the seminar was, how much they are looking forward to practising what they were shown and how they will be committing more time to teaching staff about EVE’s potential.

For further information on EVE, email to:  visit the ISSYS website at  or contact your PADI Regional Manager.