Be a Better Person

Written by John Kinsella

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty program really just makes a good thing better. It builds on the foundational traits of inclusiveness and adaptability, common to all PADI Instructors, Assistant Instructors and Divemasters. It has detailed insights into considerations and techniques that apply specifically when training and guiding divers with disabilities and generally when working with any diver.

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty helps PADI Pros become more aware and mindful of individual considerations when introducing people with disabilities to diving. It covers adaptive techniques that apply while supervising and training divers with disabilities in PADI courses and programs. It teaches how to properly counsel and direct student divers, based on their abilities, toward certification, experience programs, or toward a disabilities-dedicated diving organisation for limited certification options.

I believe this course will get PADI Members thinking outside the box when it comes to skills and get them looking at different ways to teach skills” says Fraser Bathgate, Advisor Adaptive Techniques PADI Worldwide. “Teaching divers with disabilities is a very enabling and rewarding experience and it will help open up a new client base to divemasters, instructors, dive centres and resorts. It kick starts a new way for PADI Members to fulfill more people’s dreams.”

The Adaptive Techniques Specialty course helps PADI Pros learn additional techniques to motivate and encourage not just divers with mental or physical challenges, but all divers. There’s also an associated subcourse, the PADI Adaptive Support Diver, which helps interested divers, from Open Water Diver on up, learn how to be better buddies to divers with physical or mental challenges.

The course looks at techniques that will help PADI Pros build confidence in their divers through a holistic approach that focuses on improving self image, building trust, setting goals, managing stress and having fun while solving problems. It emphasizes bringing the diver personally into the solution and looks at specific equipment adaptations and helpful confined and open water considerations.

Confined water workshops let dive pros demonstrate and practice skills to assist divers with disabilities, both in training and non-training situations. They build confidence before the open water workshops where dive pros apply the skills learned with an emphasis on assisting divers in/out of water, trim and comfort in the first workshop, and through scenario-based skills practice in the second.

But the real value of the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty must be that, in some small way, it’s the distilled essence of the skill, experience and goodwill of an international advisory team who has collectively brought diving to thousands of people with disabilities and witnessed first hand the powerful and often life changing results. Now that experience and good will is ready to spread. Find out how you can help by contacting your PADI Regional Manager.

“My Sidemount Experience” by PADI Regional Manager, Neil Richards

Written by PADI Regional Manager for East Thailand, Neil Richards.

When was the last time you did something for the first time? Stepping outside of your comfort zone, and trying new things, is the best way to grow.

Most of my friends in the diving industry (and myself included) started out as young travellers looking for new experiences and adventures. Maybe you did the same.

Do you remember when you made that decision to pack your ruck sack and go? With your new bag on your back stuffed with first aid kits, shoes for all occasions and a bar of soap, off you set not really knowing what to expect.

The excitement you felt getting on an overnight train in a completely different country. The new tastes, sounds and smells, experiencing a complete ‘culture shock’. You arrive at the jetty after a long journey to take your first look at the island you will be calling home for the next few months. It was such a change from your normal, comfortable life. However, after some time, the excitement of being in new territory subsided and life started to get comfortable again, some of the excitement was not there anymore. You still loved your new life, but something was missing.

I had a similar feeling when I started diving. Trying something completely new and out of my comfort zone was exciting and challenging. It was so awesome I decided that going home was no longer an option and I went on to become a PADI Instructor. 13 years later, after thousands of dives and a myriad of experience, I started to feel the itch to try something new. I wanted to get back that excitement that I had when I first started diving – I needed a new challenge. So I decided to take the PADI Sidemount course.

I have always had a desire to become a technical diver. This yearning came after some awe inspiring dives in the cenote caves in Mexico. They were some of the most amazing and adventurous dives I have ever experienced. I noticed two other divers had two of their tanks beside them instead of on their backs. They continued into the cave system and were soon out of sight. I became really curious and wanted to follow them but with a single cylinder on my back, and no specialised training, of course this was not an option. I later learned that this configuration is known as “Sidemount”.

The last few years for me have been very busy so only recently did I manage to get the time and opportunity to take my PADI Sidemount Specialty course. Even with all my years of experience, I felt completely out of my comfort zone and I was having a diving culture shock. It felt like the first time I went travelling again. Everything was new and unfamiliar. I had to start thinking about buoyancy again. I was unaccustomed to the trim and equipment configuration. Equipment set up was completely different. As for the in water skills, I almost felt like a complete beginner. Taking cylinders off and pushing them ahead of me whilst I tried to stay streamlined and neutrally buoyant must have looked almost comical, however after a bit of practice it became much easier. It was one of the most challenging and exciting courses I have taken.

The PADI Sidemount Specialty is not just for divers wanting to explore the more technical side of diving. It has become increasingly popular with recreational divers, some of whom find the configuration of having cylinders on the sides instead of on the back, more comfortable and easier to access.

Sidemount has now opened up a whole new avenue into diving I didn’t know existed. Be it technical or recreational, or whether experienced or new to diving, the PADI Sidemount Specialty is definitely for those who love a new adventure.

New PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty

PADI® Professionals have a long and successful history of adapting training to meet individual needs. This includes accepting people with physical and mental challenges into courses and creatively finding techniques that allow them to master skills and meet course performance requirements.

The new PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course is designed to build on that foundation by broadening awareness and further exploring adaptive techniques. This specialty course is unique in that it’s designed for PADI Divemasters or Master Freedivers and higher.

The course consists of one knowledge development session that introduces the concept of holistic teaching and explores equipment and logistical considerations. It also includes a workshop that helps you look at dive centre accessibility from the perspective of people with various disabilities.

There are two confined water workshops that focus on transfers, entries, exits, assists and communication, along with demonstrating, adapting and practicing skills based on a student diver’s abilities and limitations. The two open water workshops focus on evaluating accessibility, organizing and pacing dives, and adapting skills to the open water environment.

When training people with physical and mental challenges, you learn to focus on what they can do rather than on what they can’t. You don’t have to take this specialty to work with divers with disabilities, but the knowledge and skills you gain can help you adapt course content to accommodate virtually any student diver. This specialty course will expand your ability to be student-centered and prescriptive in approach when adapting scuba or freediving techniques.

Adaptive Techniques Specialty Course Goals

To help PADI Pros:

  • Become more aware and mindful of individual considerations when introducing people with disabilities to diving or freediving.
  • Learn new adaptive techniques to use while supervising and training divers/freedivers with disabilities in PADI courses and programs.
  • Properly counsel and direct student divers, based on their abilities, toward PADI certification, PADI experience programs or toward a disabilities-dedicated diving organization.
  • Explore additional ways to motivate and encourage student divers with mental and/or physical challenges.

PADI Adaptive Support Diver

The subset course, PADI Adaptive Support Diver, is for divers who want to learn how to best support dive buddies who have a physical or mental disability. The course consists of the same knowledge development session as the full specialty, but only requires completion of one confined water workshop and one open water workshop. The prerequisites are PADI Open Water Diver or PADI Freediver™ (or higher), EFR®Primary and Secondary Care course completion within 24 months and to be at least 15 years old. Completion of the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy is recommended beforehand to give the diver firsthand awareness of proper trim.

Because the PADI Adaptive Support Diver course is a standardized specialty, divers can credit an Adventure Dive toward Advanced Open Water Diver certification, and can also credit the specialty toward PADI Master Scuba Diver™.

Becoming an Adaptive Techniques Specialty Instructor

To be authorized to teach the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course and subcourse, PADI Instructors and PADI Freediver Instructors have the usual two application paths:

  1. Complete a PADI Specialty Instructor Training Course with a PADI Course Director, or PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer who is authorized as a PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Instructor Trainer.
  2. Apply directly to your PADI Regional Headquarters with proof of additional experience and training.

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty Instructor Guide is used to support the course. Although the guide primarily addresses scuba diving, PADI Freediver Instructors who are Adaptive Techniques Specialty Instructors will find the guide inclusive of freedivers, with reminder notes about cross-referencing the PADI Freediver Program Instructor Guide.

The course launched at the 2017 DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida, USA, and is currently only available in English. For more information, contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant or go to the PADI Pros’ Site under Training Essentials for further resources about training divers with disabilities.

Applications Closing Soon: PADI x Women Divers Hall of Fame Scholarships

At PADI we’re big supporters of Women in Diving – the trailblazers, explorers, and fearless females that have made and continue to make incredible contributions to the sport. As an organisation, we aim to encourage, empower and educate women who either want to start diving or who want to be part of a community passionate about the underwater world.

This year, we’ve partnered with the Women Divers Hall of Fame to offer PADI Training Grants. The PADI training scholarships are open to women worldwide, and applicants have until October 31, 2017 midnight U.S Eastern Standard Time to submit their applications. Applicants will be notified of award status by February 1, 2018.  Only online submissions will be accepted and no exceptions will be made for late submissions.

There are two training grants available:

PADI 4 Change

One training grant valued at $2,500 will be awarded to a deserving woman diver (18 years of age or older) who wishes to further her dive education through PADI scuba leadership diving programs (Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, Instructor). PADI is committed to mobilizing divers to be a force for good and agent for change.  Applicants that are passionate about making a positive impact in any of the following PADI Four Pillars will be considered: Ocean Health, Marine Animal Protection, People and Community, and Healing and Wellness. $1000 will be awarded for tuition, and PADI will provide the required training materials valued up to $1500. When the recipient completes an approved PADI diving leadership course/program, the training facility will send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training facility, and not to the recipient. The PADI training facility will contact PADI for subject materials. Sponsored by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

PADI Young Explorer Dive Training Grant for Young Women. 

A$1,000 training grant (up to $500 for training and up to $500 for dive equipment) will be awarded to a deserving young woman, ages 13-17, who wishes to begin or continue her dive education through a PADI scuba certification course. Applicants with a passion for ocean exploration or conservation will be considered. Up to $500 may be used for dive training, and up to $500 may be used for dive equipment. The recipient must complete an approved PADI diving course/program at a PADI training facility located closest to the home of the recipient. The training/equipment facility will send the invoice to WDHOF; funds are paid directly to the training/equipment facility, and not to the recipient. Sponsored by PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

Interested? Here’s how to apply. 

  • Applicants can apply online by completing the online application form.
  • Please read the scholarship/grant descriptions, requirements, applicant qualifications, and application instructions very carefully, and refer to the specific requirements as you complete your application. Full descriptions and requirements of the grants are detailed here.
  • All applications require two letters of recommendation that must be submitted directly by the recommender, and not by the applicant. It is your responsibility to ensure that the letters of recommendation are submitted by the deadline.
  • You may only apply for one scholarship or training grant per year, however, if you are not selected for the scholarship or training grant for which you applied, and you are qualified for another scholarship/training grant, you may be considered for another award.
  • Incomplete and/or late applications (including letters of recommendation) will not be accepted for further consideration. If you have questions after you’ve carefully read the online application instructions, please email: wdhofgrants@gmail.com.

For a complete list of training grants and scholarships available through the Women Divers Hall of Fame, please visit here.

About the Women Divers Hall of Fame

The Women Divers Hall of Fame ™ (WDHOF) is a 501(c) nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring and raising awareness of the contributions of outstanding women divers. WDHOF provides educational, mentorship, financial, and career opportunities to the diving community throughout the world. Each year, WDHOF awards scholarships and training grants that provide financial and educational support to individuals of all ages, particularly those who are preparing for professional careers that involve diving.

Scholarships are offered in marine conservation, marine biology, underwater archaeology, education (marine or freshwater), dive instructor education, and dive medicine. They are intended to support independent research and/or internship programs. They do not support living expenses or student loans. Scholarships are paid or awarded directly to the recipient. Training grants provide funding for diving and related underwater training and, for some awards, scuba equipment (but only after dive training has been completed). For training conducted in the U.S., funds are paid directly to the training facility and/or the equipment vendor upon WDHOF’s receipt of an invoice; they are NOT paid directly to the grantee. For training that is not conducted in the U.S., the awardee will be reimbursed after she/he completes the training.

Don’t Self Diagnose: Seek proper diving medical advice

 

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

Congratulations, 2016 PADI Elite Instructor Award Recipients

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.

PADI Webinar: Negligence, Standards and the Dive Instructor

logoPlease join PADI Asia Pacific for our Webinar – ‘Negligence, Standards and the Dive Instructor,’ on Thursday 16th February, 2016 6PM – 7PM AEDT 

During this live presentation you will get to see the how the concepts of negligence effect our work as professional divers plus you can test your knowledge with a series of fun and interactive poll questions. We will discuss the principles of criminal and civil negligence, and how these principles apply to the PADI quality management system

How to join the webinar

  1. Click the link you were emailed to join the webinar at 6PM AEDT on Thursday 16th Feb.
    AND
  2. Choose one of the following audio options
    If you wish to use your computers audio you will automatically be connected using your computer’s microphone and speakers (VoIP) when the webinar begins.A headset is recommended.
    OR
    If you prefer to use your phone, please select ‘Use Telephone’ after joining the webinar and call in using the numbers below.
    Australia: +61 3 8644 7030
    Access Code: 765-401-521
    Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar
    Calling from another country? 

If you have any questions, please e-mail Michelle Brunton at michelle.brunton@padi.com.au