Archive | March, 2017

Want to Get Involved in PADI Women’s Dive Day 2017?

31 Mar

In 2016, men and women from all over the world took part in more than 700 PADI® Women’s Dive Day events in 77 different countries. New and expert divers came together, gearing up for everything from high tea on the high seas to shark dives and underwater clean-ups.

Let’s do it again, only bigger on 15 July 2017. More new divers and more ambassadors for the underwater world.

Start planning your PADI Women’s Dive Day event to promote your business and strengthen both the local and global dive community. By hosting an event, we can help encourage more women, men and families to take up diving, continue on their diving journey or become a PADI Pro, as well as strengthen our community of regular divers.

Previous PADI Women’s Dive Day events have ranged from PADI courses, fun dives, Project AWARE Dive Against Debris, BBQs and more!

Need inspiration? Check out the PADI Women’s Dive Day page. There are also marketing materials available on the PADI Pros’ Site for download in five different languages.

Have Questions? Please contact Marketing Consultant, Erin Leach for Women’s Dive Day or Women in Diving campaign assistance.

Finding a Solution to Waste in Moalboal

21 Mar

The increasing number of tourists is something that we love to see. More tourists often means more people to introduce to the underwater world. Unfortunately, it also means more waste. So we, who celebrate the increasing tourists, see it as our responsibility to be a driving force in finding a solution to the waste increase.

Sadly, tourism is merely part of the problem. Key to this issue is the way in which waste is handled. Indiscriminate dumping of trash is evident in town – a highly visible blight on our beautiful town.

Inspired by other successful projects in diving communities, such as Eco Koh Tao (headed up by Jennifer Dowling), Savedra Dive Center in Moalboal have partnered with local schools to encourage students to take action and clean up their community.

The series of events kicked off with a presentation at Basdiot Elementary School about community pride and the need to defend our environment. This was followed by a town and reef cleanup.Instructors Maribeth and Jaime shared their concerns for the community they grew up in and where they will live and raise families. It was uplifting to see students react to photos and videos from other tourist destinations that have fallen victim to similar problems.

Two of Savedra Dive Center’s latest IDC graduates and Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Instructors, Francois Burg and Mat Severance, spoke about the benefits international tourism can bring to towns like Moalboal and how waste problems can have a direct impact on this tourism.

Unfortunately, it’s common to see people throw their trash on the floor here in Moalboal. We wanted to give this action a name that kids could have some fun with and that would hopefully correct some negative behaviours. With this in mind, we look to a successful campaign in the UK – Don’t be a litterbug!

It seems to have stuck! We’ve heard it being used around town already and hopefully it continues and has the desired effect. Lots of signs like the one pictured  will be posted around the school and town to remind them.

We also ran a competition so that the clean up didn’t become just a one-off but to encourage divers to act as ambassadors for our reefs.

Everyone who visits knows Moalboal is a diving town, unfortunately many of those who grew up and live here never get to experience a dive, we’re delighted to help change that. The Cleanup went far better than we could have expected, in just a few hours 13 teams spread out across town and managed to bring home over 917 Kilograms of plastics and glass, an incredible effort! Diving teams organised by Savedra Dive Center, Moalboal Local Government and BBTO managed to pull around 200 KG from the water and beaches!

It was a great effort from the entire community and we hope to see even more success in the future.

Follow Savedra’s blog for more news from this and other projects.

ADEX Singapore, 7-9 April 2017

16 Mar

Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) Singapore will take place from Friday 7th April to Sunday 9th April 2017 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre in Halls 401-404.

ADEX is the longest running and the largest dive expo in Asia, celebrating its 22nd year in 2017. A must-attend event for anyone interested or involved in the world of diving. The event has seen a continuous increase in visitors over the past few years, with ADEX 2016 attracting over 57,793 visitors over three days.

This year ADEX will introduce “ADEX + WaterPlay360”. Attendees can expect a whole new experience where you can find everything related to not only diving, but WATER SPORTS as a whole! Think about surfing, wakeboarding, canoeing, yachting, boating, rafting, sailing, jet skiing etc… the list just goes on!

If you’re interested in exhibiting, contact your PADI Regional Manager for more information.

For more information on ADEX 2017 visit www.adex.asia

You can view the full list of Dive Shows & Events PADI will be participating in 2017 here.

Don’t Self Diagnose: Seek proper diving medical advice

13 Mar

 

Written by DAN Asia-Pacific

“It was during the extended surface interval that my symptoms commenced with chest pain that felt like muscle strain. Upon lying down I felt nauseous, the chest pain intensified, and then severe itching of my chest and stomach began. Red welts appeared and spread over my torso.

I spoke to the Divemaster and suggested I should breathe O₂ but the Divemaster said the rash was an allergic reaction and I didn’t need it.

Over the coming hours the rash became dark red and very painful, so I sought advice from the Captain, who was also a Divemaster. Again I suggested breathing O₂, but he was also positive there was no need given it was more likely to be an allergic reaction.”

As it happens, this incident on a liveaboard in Malaysia is not an unusual scenario. Finally a call was made to DAN AP, and it was confirmed that the diver had a skin bend with some additional neurological symptoms that had gone unnoticed. She was advised to breathe O₂ until the boat returned to port the following day. Fortunately, the diver’s symptoms improved greatly with oxygen first aid and only one recompression treatment was required. The situation could have been much worse: It is inappropriate and unwise for dive professionals to withhold oxygen.

Comment by DAN Asia-Pacific’s John Lippmann

It is important for dive professionals not to try to diagnose whether a diver in their care has suffered a significant diving injury. Unless medically-qualified and trained or adequately orientated in diving medicine, most dive professionals simply don’t have the expertise and experience to diagnose a medical problem.

There are a variety of first aid-related courses available through diver training agencies as well as general first aid training organisations, and DAN. Although these are valuable for all divers and essential for dive professionals, they are focussed on the provision of first-line care, which is by definition first aid.

That is why, unless the problem is very minor and it is blatantly obvious what the issue is, it is important to contact a diving medical specialist for advice for any medical problems that have developed during or after scuba diving.

You might wonder why advice from a diving doctor is usually preferred. The diving environment exposes a diver to a variety of physical and physiological changes as a result of increased pressure, the effects of immersion, breathing compressed gas, and certain other factors. Most medical training includes little or no education on diving medicine and, as a result, many doctors have little idea of the impact of these changes, especially in divers with certain pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, heart disease, among others).

By calling the DAN Diving Emergency Hotline (available 24/7, 365 days a year) you will speak to a diving medical specialist who will give advice on the appropriate first aid and appropriate follow-up assessment and treatment. The injured diver or caller doesn’t need to be a DAN member to get advice – it is available to anyone for free. The difference with a DAN Member, is that DAN will become involved in the management of the situation, and costs will be covered within the limits of their Membership and optional Dive Injury (Treatment) coverage.

It is certainly wise for dive professionals to use this service to help achieve the best outcome for divers in their care. It also transfers the decision-making from the dive professional to the doctor, removing the opportunity for the dive professional to make a bad decision and reducing potential liability. 

Calls to the hotline are toll-free within Australia by dialling 1800-088200. The hotline can be reached from outside Australia by dialling +61-8-8212 9242.

In the event of a diving accident or illness, seek proper medical advice.

www.danap.org

PADI Instructor Examinations for February, 2017

9 Mar

Congratulations to the many new PADI Instructors who completed their PADI Instructor Examinations in February, 2017.

4-5 – Sydney, Australia

4-5 – Cairns, Australia

6-7 – Koh Lanta, Thailand

7-8 – Gold Coast, Australia

10-11 – Perth, Australia

11-12 – Moalboal, Philippines

14-15 – Bohol, Philippines

15-16 – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

17-18 – Moalboal, Philippines

18-19 – Phuket, Thailand

18-19 – Semporna, Malaysia

18-19 – Jeju Island, South Korea

18-19 – Papeete, French Polynesia

20-21 – Malapascua, Philippines

21-22 – Koh Tao, Thailand

22-23 – Manado, Indonesia

28-01 – Lembongan, Indonesia

Interview with PADI Course Director Thien Do

6 Mar

mabul_2014

PADI Course Director Thien Do, has been instrumental in the growth of diving in non-traditional areas of Southeast Asia (Cambodia in 2008, Andamans Islands India 2009, Mabul Island, Borneo 2010 and a few others). We spoke to him about how he came to play this role and his own scuba diving experiences.

How (and why) did you start diving? 

I love to chase adventure, and as I had done quite a lot on land already (skiing, mountain biking, mountain trekking, white-water rafting & sky diving) it seemed natural that diving would come next. It was an opportunity to go below the ocean surface.

I learned to dive in Kata Beach, Phuket, Thailand during my backpacking trip around the world over 16 years ago – let’s just say, I haven’t left Kata Beach since! My first experience had me hooked – the walk-in dive site, my first breath, the reef – like a nursery – full of juvenile marine life.

What was it like working towards becoming a PADI Course Director?

Seven months after becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, I was working full time as an IDC Staff Instructor at Dive Asia CDC, with one of the PADI legends – the late Course Director Bjorn Tackman. In those early years (it was Summer 2002) Bjorn and Dive Asia CDC conducted 12 – 14 Instructor Development Courses (IDC) per year and trained more than 100 new instructors annually. I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to gain experience under Bjorn’s direction. I learnt to adapt to other cultures and different learning styles and honed my teaching skills. With  Bjorn’s guidance, I gained a better understanding for the business of the IDC.

What do you enjoy most about being a PADI Course Director?

The most enjoyable part of being a Course Director for me is witnessing my former IDC candidates succeeding in their journeys. I have appreciated every opportunity I’ve had to influence the leaders of the diving industry. After 14 years of being directly involved in training instructors, I still get excited before every IDC!

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What opportunities have opened up to you by being a PADI Course Director?

In the PADI Divemaster manual they talk about 5 E’s – Experience, Education, Equipment, Entertainment & Environment. I’ve been lucky enough to tick off all of these! I relish the chance to encourage each instructor candidate to become an ocean ambassador by adding as much information about conservation as they can every course they teach.

Tell us about growing Instructor Development in markets that were not traditionally catering to training Instructors.

First and foremost the programs run must be for the candidate and must evolve around the IDC Centre, not the Course Director. The PADI Instructor Development process is all about the location, the IDC facilities, the type of students learning to dive and the candidates living in these remote locations.

Secondly, in order to grow PADI Intructor Development in regions like this, we have to look outside the typical pool of candidates found in popular markets. Along with the challenge of local languages, we must plan for the cost of training and other financial challenges each local Divemaster will face. Unlike developed nations, growing local dive instructors in these regions will take time. Dive centres need to assist potential candidates in financial planning and must allow time for them to become financially ready.

Finally, as a Course Director working in non-traditional dive locations, business plans must be flexible and financially feasible for the dive centres, without any unplanned burden on the potential candidates or the centres hosting he IDC. Ultimately, the business plan needs to be sustainable and stable where nether dive centres nor candidate incur financial losses.

What’s your general advice for others around the world looking to grow diving in markets like this?

Patience is the most important thing. It takes 2-3 years for a non-traditional IDC market to mature, and even longer for it to truly succeed.

Lofty ambition in this type of market can sometimes harm it’s growth, so put your ego aside. Sit and listen to your potential candidates and the local pro team, then plan from there.

Each location will likely have its own challenges, so if you’re not flexible, you’re program won’t be sustainable.

Lastly, step away from the camera. Remember: It’s not about your, it’s all about your local candidates’ perseverance, dedication and success. Let their achievement be recognised.

khaolak_classroom_orientation
Tell us about your favourite dive sites and marine encounters in Thailand and Vietnam.

Thailand’s west coast meets the Indian Ocean and on the east coast is the Pacific and there are great diving opportunities in both! It’s been great to see marine parks receive more attention in recent years and I hope more protection will become the norm in the future. There is something for everyone there! Muck diving off Kata Reef is one of my favourite experiences. Or meeting the gentle giants – whale sharks and manta rays at Hin Daeng, Muang or Koh Bon. There’s also many opportunities to support NGO expeditions like Shark Guardian, Manta Trust and Megafauna Foundation.

Vietnam on the other hand, is still in the developing process. From 2014 the country has experienced more local growth rather than outside dive tourism. There are now three local dive clubs in Ho Chi Minh City, catering to Saigonese (Vietnamese living in Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City). Nha Trang and Hoi An are the traditional locations where divers frequent, with Phu Quoc and Con Dao Islands also being great dive sites but needing a flight to visit. Vietnam is different to Thailand in that it is ideal for shallow sites, macros and coral gardens.

What are your plans for 2017?
  • We are looking to put more spotlights and expose the conservation programs at all of Scuba Junkie 5 Star locations, where PADI pro candidates gain hands on with turtles conservation, Sharks Sanctuary project, beach and dive site clean-up, Reef Watch and more.
  • With Khaolak Scuba Adventures, we want for Khao Lak to be more than just a high season (Nov-April) only location for diving. We are looking to expand to a three per year IDC programs for this location.
  • Continue to support Barefoot Scuba in sustaining Havelock Island, Andamans, India as one of the best options for Indian candidates to become PADI Divemasters and Instructors.
  • Finally, I need to give more time to Rumblefish Adventure IDC programs in Phuket, as not to forget to keep learning, changing and competing in one of the world more matured IDC markets.

Congratulations, 2016 PADI Elite Instructor Award Recipients

6 Mar

Elite Instructor 2016

Top certifying PADI Instructors will be receiving their Elite Instructor Award for issuing 50, 100, 150, 200 or more than 300 certifications in 2016. The Elite Instructor Award distinguishes PADI professionals by highlighting their experience as PADI Members and gives them the means to promote their elite status to student divers, potential students, prospective employers and others.

Elite Instructor Award recipients receive an acknowledgement letter and recognition certificate (both signed by PADI President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Drew Richardson), a decal to add to their instructor cards, and an e-badge they may use on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages. Elite award instructors may authorize PADI Dive Centres or Resorts with which they associate to display their Elite Instructor Award on the business’ digital site as well.

Check out the 2016 Global Elite Instructor Recipient List to see who earned an award for their 2016 certifications. Listed PADI Instructors can go to the “My Account” tab on this site to download their 2016 Elite Instructor e-badge, and should also be able to see their e-badge on their PADI Pro Chek results page.

Visit the PADI Elite Instructor information page to read about the 2017 program.