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 were the first-ever recipients of PADI’s Medal of Valor. This high distinction was 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 represented this distinguished group and accepted 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.

Welcome to our newest PADI Dive Centres and Resorts in Indonesia & Timor-Leste.

It has been a busy year so far in Indonesia and Timor-Leste and despite a few hiccups from mother nature, the industry here is moving forward in leaps and bounds! The high season has kicked in and the diving is sensational.

With consistent certification growth for more than 10 years in a row, the market continues to expand and many are investing into dive businesses across the country.

The great thing about this area of the world is that in some ways it is still an untapped market. For those with a passion for the ocean, a smart business sense and a love for the people and country, the opportunities are endless.

With the strength of the PADI brand behind them, the benefits of membership and the local support on the ground, the below members have chosen PADI as their preferred training organisation so far in 2018:

PADI Dive operations who have joined in 2018:

Our loyal PADI Dive Operations below also deserve a big congratulations for achieving the next level of PADI Membership and have recently upgraded to 5 Star or IDC status Dive Operations:

If you would like to stand out from the crowd and add more to your business there are many additional Dive Centre and Resort awards and ratings available such as becoming a PADI Freediver  or TecRec Centre along with applying for the Green Star Award and becoming 100% AWARE

Once again congratulations to all of the above stores and thank you, to not only them but to all our valued PADI Members who continually support PADI to ensure a healthy and growing industry.

For more information on various business levels of PADI Membership, it’s benefits and how to get started please visit PADI.com or contact your PADI Regional Manager.

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PADI Wins TAUCHEN Award Again for 2018

For the 20th consecutive year, PADI has been awarded the prestigious TAUCHEN Award for Best Diver Training Organisation. The TAUCHEN Awards are often referred to as the ‘Oscars of the Dive Industry’ and each year the highly popular German diving magazine, which focuses on dive travel, equipment and industry news, invites its readers to vote for their preferences in 17 different industry categories. PADI has been the unwavering favourite diver training organisation, taking home the coveted bronze dolphin statuette for the Best Diver Training Organisation every year, since the award’s inception.

This award is a tribute to the excellence of PADI Members around the world and the quality training they deliver every day.

This year the awards were presented on 25th January, 2018, in conjunction with the BOOT Trade Show in Düsseldorf, Germany.

“I’d like to dedicate this award to PADI Members throughout the globe and thank them for their continued support of, and loyalty to, the PADI organisation. Thank you also for your expert diver training, contribution to diver safety and outreach to the diving community. Together we are the way the world learns to dive.”

– Mark Spiers, Vice President of Training, Sales and Field Services for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

2017 PADI Elite Instructor Award Reminder

Where has the year gone? With only a couple of weeks left in 2017, the days remaining for you to achieve your 2017 PADI Elite Instructor Award are getting fewer.

What is the Elite Instructor Award?

The Elite Instructor Award distinguishes PADI Professionals by highlighting their experience as PADI Members and gives a means to promote the elite status to student divers, potential students, prospective employers and others.

Top certifying PADI Instructors receive the Elite Instructor Award for issuing 50, 100, 150, 200 or more than 300 certifications in 2017. They’ll also receive an acknowledgement letter and recognition certificate (signed by PADI President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Drew Richardson), a decal to add to their instructor card, and an e-badge to use on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages.

For more information, including qualifying certifications, visit the PADI Elite Instructor Award page on the PADI Pros Site.

To see your current certifications count, view your Students Count Report.

We will be announcing the award recipients in early 2018.

Happy teaching!

PADI Asia Pacific