PADI Awards Medal of Valor to Thailand Cave Rescuers Who Represent Diving’s Finest Hour

Leadership and rescue divers instrumental in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand earlier this year will be the first-ever recipients of PADI’s Medal of Valor. This high distinction will be awarded to Rick Stanton, John Volanthen, Dr. Richard Harris, Dr. Craig Challen, Jason Mallinson, Chris Jewell and Jim Warny. The courage, strength, honor and dignity displayed during the rescue operation propelled the PADI organization to create the medal to formally recognize their contributions to one of diving’s greatest moments in history. Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson will represent this distinguished group and accept the PADI Medal of Valor at the PADI® Social on 13 November during DEMA Show 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

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In June and July 2018, the world watched as top cave divers and other experts from around the globe converged in Thailand to find and save the “Wild Boars” soccer team, which had become trapped deep inside the Tham Luang cave system. For 18 days, the international effort involved more than 1,000 men and women, who combined their collective talents for the extraordinary recovery of the team.

“It was an awe-inspiring example of humanity at its best, focused on a single noble purpose,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “This complex rescue operation demonstrated action and focus propelled by the unshakeable conviction that those boys would not die on diving’s watch. Rick Stanton, Jason Mallinson and everyone who was part of this effort faced and accepted the difficulties, dangers and risks inherent in the rescue. On behalf of the entire PADI family, it is an honor to recognize these heroes and extend our immense gratitude for representing diving’s finest hour.”

 

Rick Stanton and John Volanthen were a driving force in the Thai cave rescue operation. The pair was the first to discover the soccer team, which had been trapped in the flooded cave for nine days at the time they were found. Together, with Mallinson and Jewell, the divers led the dive rescue and carried the boys out of the cave to safety. Both Stanton and Volanthen are regarded as two of Britain’s foremost cave divers, with more than 35 years’ experience in extreme cave dives and rescues, having led a number of high-profile rescue attempts in the past.

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Dr. Richard “Harry” Harris played a critical role in the rescue, administering sedatives to the boys to facilitate their extraction under extreme and complex conditions. Working in anesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia, Harris has expertise in cave diving, wilderness medicine and remote area health. Dr. Craig Challen, an Australian cave explorer, early adopter of closed-circuit mixed-gas rebreathers and avid wreck diver, dived alongside Harris facilitating the successful execution of the rescue.

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Jason Mallinson and Chris Jewell were integral to the mission, taking food to the those trapped and working alongside Stanton and Volanthen to carry the boys out through the flooded sections of cave. Mallinson is an exploration and rescue cave diver with 30 years in the field. His achievements have led him to set distance and depth records in caves all over the world. He has assisted in multiple rescues and is a member of the United Kingdom’s international cave-dive rescue team. Jewell is a UK-based exploratory cave diver with more than 12 years’ experience leading cave diving. Belgian cave diver Jim Warny, who currently resides in Ireland, was instrumental in the coach’s extraction.

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“Their daring mission is a wonderful opportunity to show the world what the diving community is made of, and what can be accomplished through a combination of proper training, trust, courage, passion and perseverance,” says Richardson.

Industry stakeholders and PADI Members are invited to stand together to thank these heroic divers. Join PADI in honoring these men at the PADI Social on Tuesday, 13 November 2018, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

All are invited for a special meet and greet with Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson at the DEMA Show in the PADI booth (booth 1524) on Wednesday, 14 November from 5:00-6:00 pm. Please join PADI in celebrating these heroes and thanking them for their courage and honor.

The Early Days in Nusa Lembongan…and 20 years on!

Reaching a 20th birthday is worth celebrating! World Diving Lembongan recently celebrated their 20th anniversary of PADI Resort and Retail Association membership and owner John his 25th! Below is a bit about their journey.

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About 22 years ago, a young British couple made their way to a then unknown island, Nusa Lembongan, off the coast of Bali. There they found pristine beaches with crystal clear water, friendly people who welcomed them to their island and their homes, and an amazing underwater world full of stunning corals with spectacular fish.  This adventurous couple wanted to dive but there was no one on the island offering this facility.  This lack of provision however sowed the seed of an idea on that visit. That idea flourished, changing the face of tourism on Nusa Lembongan all those years ago.

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Mark and Shirley, that brave young couple, stayed on the island for nearly eight years, training and employing all local staff as divemasters and boat captains.  They developed World Diving Lembongan and it became a flourishing, successful dive centre.  John Chapman & Sue Beebe took over in 2005 and said that this was “when the hard work had already been done”!

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Since 2005, tourism has grown exponentially on Nusa Lembongan.  There are now dozens of guesthouses, one or two bijou boutique hotels, bars, spas, private villas, restaurants serving a variety of meals from a simple dish of freshly caught fish to a culinary experience of haute cuisine, and at the last count, over thirty dive centres!

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As more and more divers have discovered how spectacular the underwater world here is, more centres have opened to provide for this ever increasing number of visitors.  John and Sue count their blessings daily- “witnessing a world class underwater environment, working with fantastic local staff, enjoying the fascinating ceremonies, and experiencing being part of the World Diving and Pondok Baruna family, we know how truly fortunate we are.  Despite all the progress on the island, the underlying strength of the island’s culture is still there, maintaining it as a magical island where we can all, indeed, feel privileged to witness this wonderful paradise”.

Highlights from the 20th birthday party celebration can be seen here

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It’s loyal  PADI members like these that contribute to the success not only of PADI, but of the entire diving industry! Congratulations once again on the success of World Diving Lembongan and for reaching your 20th anniversary as a valued PADI Dive Centre and John for reaching your 25th! We look forward to seeing the business continue long into the future!

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To find out more about the benefits of becoming a PADI Dive Centre or Resort please visit PADI.com. To view more photos from the previous 20 years of World Diving Lembongan, click here.

Save On Your 2019 PADI Membership with Auto Renewal

We appreciate you choosing PADI as your diver training organisation throughout 2018 and the hard work you’ve done maintaining your PADI Professional Membership.

2019 PADI Professional Membership Renewal starts this month and below is an easy way to save the most on your PADI Membership.

The best option with the lowest renewal rate is to make sure you are signed up for Automatic Membership Renewal on the PADI Pros’ Site before the 15th November 2018.

You can find this feature on the My Account page or by clicking the button located on the homepage. If you are already enrolled, log on and make sure your credit card information including expiry date is still current. You should have received an email if you are currently not signed up or your credit card details have expired.

There will also be other options later this year for PADI Professional Membership Renewal including Online Membership Renewal as well as the traditional Paper Membership Renewal however to save time and money consider signing up for Automatic Membership Renewal today.

Visit the PADI Pros’ Site to sign up for Automatic Membership Renewal.

AWARE Week Successes and Stories

Article by Tara Bradley

As AWARE Week wrapped up on 23 September, the amount of dive operators, instructors, and dive communities that participated in events throughout the world was impressive. From Project AWARE Specialty courses, to neighborhood barbecues to Dive Against Debris® events collecting over 22,000 pounds of trash, here’s how our fellow dive operators helped make AWARE Week a success.

United Arab Emirates: Divers Down UAE

Divers Down UAE collected over 110 pounds of marine debris during their Dive Against Debris event. As a way of creating shark awareness, they also conducted an AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course for 14 of their PADI divers.

Thailand: Crystal Dive Koh Tao

The team at Crystal Dive Koh Tao spent the week conducting Dive Against Debris and AWARE Shark Conservation specialties. To finish off the event, they celebrated with a free barbecue night for all of the participants.

Curacao: Blue Bay on Curacao

A group of volunteers came together in Curacao for a beach clean-up at Hole 6. In addition to the two full boats of divers and snorkelers, participants signed up for the PADI Invasive Lion Fish Specialty Course to assist in catching the invasive species.

Australia: Dive Centre Manly

The group at Dive Centre Manly gathered 30 people for their “Blue Backyard Cleanup.” The majority of the items retrieved were plastic wrappers, single-use coffee cups, straws, cutlery, Styrofoam, and hundreds of unidentifiable pieces of plastic. As an added reward, the nearby Hawkesbury Brewing Co. gave the participants a very well-deserved free beer.

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Spain: Balky Sub

In Spain, Balky Sub’s group were on one of the area’s cleaner dive sites and still recovered more than 11 pounds of plastic in one day – mostly consisting of plastic bottles and bags. And since every day is AWARE Week for this team, they make an effort to pick up trash from the ocean and beach on a daily basis.

Philippines: Dive Funatics

Before they conducted their monthly Dive Against Debris event on 22 September, Dive Funatics, located in the Philippines held a peak performance buoyancy clinic to ensure all of their divers had a chance to polish up their buoyancy. To thank their divers, participants received a T-shirt in addition to a bracelet made of upcycled debris collected from their August Dive Against Debris event.

Jordan: Deep Blue Dive Center

Deep Blue Dive Center teamed up with the Tala Bay Resort team by hosting a Dive Against Debris at Tala Bay marina on 12 September. The result: The crew cleaned up over 140 pounds of waste in 20 bags. But they didn’t stop there. The following week, a group of 15 divers conducted another clean-up.

Bonaire: Dive Friends Bonaire

From 15-21 September, Dive Friends Bonaire organized a range of activities to fight ocean pollution. With seven locations and five house reefs on-island, the group worked to promote conservation with Dive Against Debris dives on every house reef.

Florida: Rainbow Reef Divers

Since Rainbow Reef divers host a Dive Against Debris event every month, they were quick to jump into action for AWARE Week. In September, their boat removed and recorded over 2,000 pounds of marine debris.

AWARE Week may be over, but there are countless ways to keep your local community involved all year long. Here’s How to Make Every Week AWARE Week.

PADI Specialty of the Quarter – Quarter 4 (October- December 2018)

Would you like to increase specialty certs this quarter?

The popular Specialty of the Quarter campaign has been crafted to do just this. With easy to adopt marketing tools be sure to grow interest in continuing education today!

Quarter 4, 2018 will be focusing on:

With two PADI Specialties on offer, you have the flexibly to promote what best suits your dive shop. PADI Asia Pacific will also be promoting these specialty courses throughout the quarter to consumers.

3 easy steps to get you started:

  1. Download marketing toolkit
  2. Print speciality posters and flyers
  3. Bundle with core courses

Bundling is a great way to add-value and provide a convenient way to introduce divers to PADI Specialty courses. Specialty courses offer the perfect opportunity to widen the knowledge of your students, better understand their interests as divers, and make sure they come back to do more courses. You can also tie this in with the free PADI MSD Application available in the Asia Pacific region.

Start your campaign today!

To help you promote the PADI Specialty of the Quarter you can download free digital marketing materials in English, Korean, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese which includes web banners, headers and more.

DOWNLOAD MARKETING TOOLS

Questions?

Contact your PADI Regional Manager, Regional Training Consultant or the PADI Asia Pacific marketing team on marketing@padi.com.au.

Expand into Instructor Training

Are you an experienced EFR Instructor? Would you like to help new instructor candidates become EFR professionals? Training other professionals is a demanding but rewarding job.

Helping new EFR instructor candidates to gain instructor level knowledge and skill and then pass that on through positive coaching to their own students is the role of the EFR Instructor Trainer. As an EFRIT your own skills will also be polished as you role model instructor level teaching. You’ll also consider opportunities outside your normal market as you guide instructors considering work in a wide range of environments.

If you would like to be an EFR Instructor Trainer you will need to:

  • Be a current, authorised EFR Primary / Secondary Care Instructor
  • Be an EFR Care For Children Instructor
  • Have registered at least 25 EFR students, or
  • Have conducted at least 5 separate EFR courses

AND

  • Successfully complete an EFR Instructor Trainer Course

For dates and locations of these courses CLICK HERE. Please note that additional locations are added throughout the year so if you don’t see one that is convenient for you, contact our Instructor Development team to see if one can be scheduled (bearing in mind each course is subject to a minimum number of participants).

Emergency First Response Manuals Go Digital

The first EFR digital student manuals are planned for release during 2018. With more and more people using their tablets, phones and computers the option for online and offline digital study materials is increasingly popular and in demand.

The manuals will be accessed through the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platform which offers a great online and offline experience across various platforms. It also offers the ability to search for key words so that a learner can quickly find information to review or jump back to a specific topic or course content. Updates are almost seamless and each time the user logs in the most current content is available.

Watch out for further information and announcements with exact launch date.