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Can we go diving yet?

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By Mark Powell

After an unprecedented year, it finally looks like we are getting into the final phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Vaccines are starting to be rolled out and cases are starting to fall. In a number of areas, it is possible to anticipate lockdown restrictions being lifted, and as a result, people are getting ready to get back in the water. For some people, it has been a year, or even longer, since they have been diving. In many cases, this may be the longest time out of the water they have ever had to endure. Before you jump back in, there are a number of things to think about in order to ensure you can get back to diving safely.

Are you dive fit? If you have been out of the water for any length of time, there are a number of things to check

The first is to have an honest look at your fitness levels. If you were used to diving regularly, you may have taken your diving fitness for granted. Many people have used this period of lockdown to work on their fitness through walking, running, or other forms of socially distanced exercise. However, if lockdown has resulted in you putting on some weight or caused a reduction in your activity levels, it might be worth thinking of a gentle fitness plan to get back in shape. The last thing you want is to injure yourself by putting on your dive gear for the first time in several months or get into trouble if you cannot swim as well against a current as you could before the enforced dry season. Start to slowly build up your stamina and strength levels so that you can comfortably resume diving.

A note if you’ve had COVID-19 

If you are one of the millions of people who caught and then recovered from COVID-19, then you should ensure you are fit to dive. Your respiratory system can be affected by the coronavirus and it can have long term effects on your lungs and other systems that could impact on your ability to dive safely. The new UHMS 2020 Medical for screening divers undergoing training specifically covers COVID-19. If you have had COVID-19, then a doctor will need to confirm that you are fit to dive. It is likely that there will be a high demand for advice from diving doctors, so if you know you have had COVID-19, get in contact with your doctor as early as possible just in case an appointment may be necessary.

Mental Fitness 

In addition to physical fitness, we also need to consider mental fitness. Start reviewing your training material to refresh your knowledge. You can review physical course manuals, but also remember that if you did eLearning you can always go back and review the course content online. You can also work through various “what if” scenarios to deal with various hypothetical situations, including normal dives as well as emergency situations. This can be done alone, but works well as a group exercise with your dive buddies.

There is plenty of evidence that diving and being near water is beneficial for good mental wellbeing. I know many divers look forward to getting back in the water in order to get back to their “happy place”. Equally, it is perfectly normal for some people to feel nervous or apprehensive about their return dive. Making sure you are properly prepared, both physically and mentally, as well as checking all of your equipment is in full working order can reduce these concerns and ensure you are in the right frame of mind.

Your equipment 

If your equipment hasn’t been used for some time, then it is essential to take the time to ensure it is in working order. Cylinders may need to be tested or cleaned. Regulators will need to be serviced. Batteries will need to be charged or replaced and all of your other equipment will need to be checked. Make sure you allow plenty of time for this. There is likely to be a high level of demand for cylinder testing and regulator servicing in the next few months. If you wait until last minute, it is highly likely that your local dive shop won’t be able to get all of your equipment serviced. Even for equipment that doesn’t need to be serviced at your LDS, spend some time checking that it’s all working so that you have time to resolve any issues, rather than having to rush at the last minute or ever worse, lose a dive because your equipment isn’t working.

Skill levels fade if not used regularly and diving skills are no exception. Things that were slick and easy last year may feel awkward and clumsy now. Any diver, no matter what their level, should start their return to diving with a shallow shake down dive to ensure their kit is working and all of their skills are up to scratch. It’s a good idea to review all the skills that form part of your various diving qualifications and, starting from the basic qualification, make sure you can still perform each of the skills. Although a lot of things will come back quickly, it is always surprising to see how rusty divers are during that first dive after an extended time out of the water.


To find out more about International Training, visit www.tdisdi.com.

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

Dive Training Blogs

PADI launches new job board to meet growing demand for PADI Professionals

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As pockets around the world are reopening, there is a growing demand for PADI® Professionals in many key markets worldwide. To support its membership, PADI has launched a full revamp of the PADI Job Board to help dive centres and resorts build winning teams and connect dive professionals with exciting job opportunities. The new platform makes it easier than ever to search, find and connect the world’s best dive professionals with scuba jobs available at PADI Dive Centres and Resorts around the globe.

“For the first time since the pandemic began, new postings of job opportunities for PADI Pros on the PADI Job Board are coming in faster than they are being filled,” says Kristin Valette Wirth, Chief Brand and Membership Officer of PADI Worldwide. “This is a great sign of the industry bouncing back strong in several parts of the globe. Incredible dream job opportunities around the world for PADI Pros will continue to increase as customers flood back, requiring dive operators and resorts to increase recruitment and hiring in order to keep up. With this in mind, we’ve prioritised updating the job board platform to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of connecting PADI Pros with PADI Resorts and Dive Centres to succeed.”

Accessible via the PADI Pros’ Site, the new job board offers a host of features to help PADI Dive Centres and Resorts manage job postings and candidates, and help PADI Professionals search and apply for jobs. The job board is also supported by in-app translations, so PADI Members can choose from more than 20 languages to view and post within the application.

The PADI Job Board has long served as one of the most visited pages on the Pros’ Site, with the launch of the new job board exceeding more than 31,000 unique views during the first two weeks of launch. Some of the new technologies and features aimed at further empowering PADI Pros, Resorts and Dive Centres are:

  • Manageability – PADI Retail and Resort members can more readily and flexibly post, edit, update and otherwise administer their job listings.
  • Resume posting – PADI Pros can post full resumes, making it easier for individual members and operators to find the best skillset matches that create winning teams.
  • Searchability – The job board is no longer simply a list. Pros and shops can search based on criteria without wading through irrelevant entries that don’t line up with what’s wanted or needed.
  • Direct connection – The job board allows direct connection so that operators can contact prospective hires for initial follow up.
  • Multilingual – Automated translation technology allows users to post and view listings in their language preference, reducing language barriers.
  • Notifications – Employers and candidates can enable notifications to be alerted of new applicants, job posts, invitations to apply for a job or interview, among others, so they never miss an opportunity.

“The PADI Job Board is a powerful gateway for employment opportunity throughout our membership infrastructure and provides the most global employment opportunities in the dive industry,” says Valette Wirth. “We expect the increase in job opportunities to continue to grow as travel rebounds. We will continue to prioritise supporting our PADI Members with the challenges they face during their recovery.”

For full access to the new job board, PADI Members can log in to the PADI Pros’ Site and click on the Job Board link on the dashboard.

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Dive Training Blogs

PADI Women’s Dive Day 2021 highlights important role inclusivity plays in creating balance between humanity and ocean

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PADI®, the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organisation, is celebrating with divers from around the globe tomorrow for the seventh annual PADI Women’s Dive Day on Saturday, July 17.

With the overwhelming support of the dive community over the last six years, PADI Women’s Dive Day has grown into a worldwide celebration of shared adventure, passion and ocean advocacy. The annual event is dedicated to fostering a global community that encourages divers of all genders, ages, races, backgrounds and abilities to safely and confidently explore and protect the underwater world. Year after year, Women’s Dive Day activities have addressed ties between diversity, inclusion and environmentalism – with this year’s events scaled accordingly for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“PADI Women’s Dive Day is an opportunity for divers everywhere to unite as a community with the common goal of creating balance between humanity and ocean,” says Kristin Valette Wirth, Chief Brand and Membership Officer of PADI Worldwide. “PADI has a wonderfully diverse and inclusive community of members and divers in 186 countries around the world.  We celebrate this diversity, as it is embedded in the ethos of our organisation. We take pride in the progress we’ve made to increase diversity, accessibility, and inclusion in our sport and constantly challenge ourselves to do more.”

Since its inception in 2015, the event has contributed to the significant growth in the number of female divers and subsequently, PADI Torchbearers™ who have shared and inspired passion for ocean conservation. The dive community is teeming with female divers who are marking remarkable contributions for improved ocean health and connecting their communities to local waters. Throughout the month of July, PADI is spotlighting the stories and perspectives of incredible #PADIWOMEN around the world who are leading change by example and opening doors for countless others to experience the ocean firsthand, including Zandile Ndhlovu, a PADI Freediver Instructor™ from Johannesburg, South Africa, who founded the Black Mermaid Foundation to make the oceans more inclusive.

“Together as a global dive community we can save our oceans,” says Ndhlovu. “Once people get to experience the ocean, it changes everything around how they’ve always looked at it. It begins to also feel like home, a place that they will always protect. And that is why it is important that there is always diverse representation in the ocean.”

Other notable women include Xochitl Clare, a PADI AmbassaDiver™ and marine biologist from California, United States, researching the effects of climate change on fisheries species; Cody Unser, a PADI AmbassaDiver who is working  to introduce more people with disabilities to diving and promote the sport’s therapeutic benefits; and 13-year-old Julia Aveline Rabenjoro a PADI Junior Advanced Open Water Diver in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

“Learning to dive really transformed my life because it introduced me to a whole new intricate world that makes me feel at peace and it taught me how much we really depend on our ocean,” says Aveline Rabenjoro. “My greatest hope for the next generation of female divers is for them to grow in numbers and never doubt the difference they can make no matter where they come from or who they are. Together as a global diving community, we can further this by sharing our passion and love for diving with others who haven’t yet been lucky enough to explore beneath the surface.”

Divers and non-divers alike can connect with the motivating stories of PADI women and learn how they can join the community by visiting padi.com/women. They can find PADI Women’s Dive Day events in their area or participate virtually through social media conversations utilising the #PADIWOMEN hashtag.

Year-round, people worldwide can access PADI’s recently launched Conservation Activities Locator to find local events in their community. From joining an underwater lake cleanup in Connecticut to taking part in a week-long conservation workshop in Belize, ocean enthusiasts have a variety of experiences to choose from on Women’s Dive Day and beyond.

To learn more about how you can participate in PADI Women’s Dive Day, contact your local PADI Dive Center or Resort, or visit www.padi.com/women. For information about learning to dive, visit www.padi.com/education/learn-to-dive

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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