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Camel Dive Club & Hotel goes plastic straw FREE

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Camel Dive Club & Hotel have been pioneering eco-friendly ideas in Sharm el Sheikh for a number of years thanks to their owner, Mr. Hesham Gabr who cares greatly about environmental issues in the local area.

This revolutionary move, which was driven by the amount of non-biodegradable plastic straws that were found during the companies regular underwater clean ups, caused research to begin into reducing plastic straw use at all Camel Dive Club & Hotel Food & Beverage outlets (Camel Bar, Pomodoro restaurants and Vanilla Café). During this deep research, Camel Dive Club realized that their outlets had used 32,150 plastic straws in 2017. In the words of owner Mr. Gabr, “This has to stop”.

The fact that there are no reusable or biodegradable straw suppliers in Egypt limited Camel in their choice of alternative. Their final decision was to only provide stainless steel straws on request by the guest or for drinks that maybe tricky to drink without a straw, for example milkshakes or certain cocktails.

The small boutique hotel for divers, located in the heart of Na’ama Bay, also features solar panels on the roof that provide energy to heat their swimming pool that was designed especially for scuba training.

Another unique feature in Sharm el Sheikh, is that all the rooms feature double glazed windows as opposed to the standard single glazed. This helps maintain a low noise level but more importantly when we are discussing the environment, it helps to maintain an even temperature in the rooms, therefore making air-conditioning units in every room more energy efficient.

The attached dive centre, Camel Dive Club noticed that another major contributor to underwater debris was the electrical tape that had been used to indicate whether the scuba cylinders were full or not. Camel Dive Club decided to remedy this issue by using pieces of plastic hose; by tying them to the tanks, these original looking caps are a reusable and reliable method for marking the cylinders and reducing the amount of debris that ends up ultimately in the Red Sea.

The waste noticed in the surrounding Sinai desert, mainly caused by one-time use water bottles inspired the Camel Tribe Boat. Designed purposefully with divers and the environment in mind, she not only features solar panels to charge onboard electronics but also features a reusable water bottle system. Guests on board are provided with one bottle of water and a water bottle cover with a number (made from up cycled wetsuits). Guests are then encouraged to drink as much as possible to stay hydrated in the beautiful sunshine of Sharm el Sheikh and once their bottle is empty, to refill it from the chilled water cooler on the dive deck.

To celebrate this innovative outcome of reusable straws in Sharm el Sheikh and Egypt as a whole, Camel Bar will be hosting an event on World Oceans Day, June 82018.

The evening will start at 6pm in Camel Bar as part of the regular Divers’ Night. The evening will start at 6pm and guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a Quiz (in aid of Project AWARE), FREE PEANUTS with every drink, FREE Finger food buffet and Happy Hour from 6pm – 8pm.

Camel Dive Club & Hotel hope to see you there.

Hate Plastic Straws? Love Camel!

For more information about Camel Dive Club and Hotel, visit their website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Breaking News: Captain charged in Conception boat fire tragedy

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According to reports in the international press today, it has been announced that the Captain of the dive boat Conception, which was completely destroyed by fire last year, resulting in the tragic loss of 34 passengers and crew, has been charged with 34 counts of seaman’s manslaughter. 

The Captain Jerry Nehl Boylan was among five crew members to escape the blaze on board Conception, a dive boat operated by Truth Aquatics, which took place in the early hours of 2 September 2019 whilst the boat was moored offshore, close to Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California.

The BBC reports that Mr Boylan has not publicly commented on the charges, and is expected to surrender to the authorities at a later date. According to the BBC, each charge of seaman’s manslaughter carries up to 10 years in federal prison.

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Crossover to NAUI for FREE!

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As a boost to help the diving industry, NAUI are still offering a FREE Instructor cross-over course together with five free certifications to all Instructors. This can include Open Water, Advance, Rescue, Nitrox and various other specialities and can be mixed and matched so all five do not necessarily need to be for the same certification.

NAUI have also frozen the membership fees for 2021 for instructors crossing over or restarting.

NAUI’s Southern UK Rep Simon Lodge says: “Throughout this year, the diving industry has severely suffered so as a result, to help kickstart the diving industry NAUI will not be charging membership fees 2020/2021 to any new instructors.” 

Founded in 1960, NAUI Worldwide is one of the scuba industry’s largest not-for-profit agencies whose purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world’s underwater environments. As a pioneer in diving education, NAUI has developed many of the programs and concepts accepted throughout the diving industry. NAUI: A Higher Standard!

For more details please contact Simon Lodge (Southern UK Rep) on simon@europe.naui.org or Craig Warner (Northern UK Rep) on cwarner@europe.naui.org.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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