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Diving and Children: Moving into Open Water



PADI MSDT Maryse Dare continues her Scubaverse blog with part two about teaching children to dive…

So our younger divers have achieved their Master Seal Team. Where to now? One natural progression is the PADI Open Water course. By ensuring the children have mastered their skills early on, the Open Water becomes a great course to instruct. The children are starting the course with great buoyancy and confident with mask and reg skills.

We transition into Open Water gently; there is no discernible difference in the structure of the session: brief, dive, debrief. We include some dive time at the end to ensure the sessions are not focussed on skills, but rather the skills feed into the diving. We will cover a little of the theory to help break down some of the concepts.

And then it’s into Open Water! Depending on the time of year a dry suit might be required. We run the orientation after the confined dives but before the Open Water dives. For the Open Water dives the parents have always come along and stayed for the day. We run with only one child in the water at a time, so a ratio of two professionals to one diver. This allows us to have one person focussed on the diver, and one on navigation. Once the diver is completely comfortable then we take more divers into the water at the same time.

We always offer additional dives as part of our Open Water course, so we offer them for the Junior Open Water too. Where children have parents who dive we will offer them the opportunity to hop into the water too so they can dive with their children in a controlled environment before they dive elsewhere with different instructors or divemasters. It also gives us an opportunity to feedback a little about the expectations they should have when they dive in other locations and with other professionals.

Where someone dives with the same instructor for their entire training it can lead to an over reliance on that instructor so the post-qualification dives are important to ensure that doesn’t happen. Having a secure team of divemasters, or other instructors, can help with this as they can conduct the first dives that the children are completing as “proper” divers.

The Open Water course is perhaps the most important of all; get it right here and we’re sending out secure and safe divers who are able to self-reflect, risk assess and ensure they dive to protect and celebrate our underwater environment. By investing heavily into the Junior Open Water courses we are sending out Ambassadors into our community who can lead by example and further spread the love for diving.

Diver Profile

Matthew (pictured) is our first Youth Ocean Diver Ambassador (yes – we rearranged the words to give us a better acronym; he is a YODA!). He started with the PADI Seal Team and took to the water immediately so he continued and is now a Junior Open Water Diver. Matthew’s diving journey is continuing by supporting at pool sessions. He leads by example, demonstrating skills alongside the instructor.

The highlight of his course came when we were in Wraysbury. The tank was very low on air and we put it in for a fill. He was asked why we shouldn’t let tanks go so low and he gave a brilliant and accurate response. On a personal level this was when I realised the value of taking six months to complete the Open Water course; the learning was broad and deep. Add in Matthew’s brilliant buoyancy and I’m looking forward to his Dry Suit course this year (2018) followed by his Advanced Open Water!

You can follow Maryse and her Dive Club / School at and

PADI MSDT Maryse runs Ocean Diver, a dive club and school on the borders of South London and Surrey. After many years of warm water diving, she is now a committed UK diver and particularly enjoys introducing people to the delights of the UK! Find out more at

Dive Training Blogs

Jeff chats to… author, avid cave diver and professional adventurer Steve Lewis (Watch Video)



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to author, avid cave diver and professional adventurer Steve Lewis about life in general with a bit of diving as well!

Steve Lewis is also Director of Diver Training for RAID.

For more, visit Steve on Facebook at:

Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Dive Training Blogs

BSAC dives into the Red Sea with the launch of BSAC Egypt



BSAC has launched an exciting new licence agreement that will take BSAC diving and training in Egypt to a whole new level, with many more BSAC Diver Training Centres set to be created.

Following on from the success of BSAC’s longstanding license agreements with BSAC Japan, BSAC Korea and BSAC Thailand, BSAC Egypt will set the standard for BSAC diving and training in this key diving destination.

With the contract between BSAC and Blue Pearl Ltd (trading as BSAC Egypt) now formally signed, the new Hurghada-based licensee will welcome non-divers as well as all agency qualified divers to dive and train with one of the newly accredited BSAC Centres across Hurghada, Sharm, Dahab, Marsa Alam and Safaga.

Yasser Ragab, the new CEO of BSAC Egypt, who has worked in Red Sea diving for over 17 years, said he welcomed the opportunity to establish BSAC’s standards and training throughout the region. “The Red Sea is one of the wonders of the world and a bucket lister for all new and experienced divers. By working closely with BSAC, we want to grow the love of diving and this will enable us to issue diving qualifications in our own country.”

BSAC Egypt will work with both BSAC and Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Water Sports (CDWS) to help deliver high standards of diving and training across the region. Sixteen Red Sea diving instructors and two snorkelling instructors have already undergone training to become BSAC accredited instructors, with work now ongoing for more centres to gain their BSAC Centre status.

The longer-term vision for BSAC Egypt is to have 30% of all Red Sea centres accredited to BSAC as soon as possible.

In the meantime, BSAC is providing all the necessary instructor and centre development to support BSAC Egypt through its first few years. BSAC Egypt will translate the core diver training materials into German, French, Polish and Russian to support the training of divers from around the world.

This video was shot over one of the instructor crossover courses last year in preparation for launch in preparation for launching BSAC Egypt:

BSAC’s Business Development Officer, Adrian Collier, said the partnership would open up opportunities for BSAC, as well as its clubs and members. “One of the most popular diving destinations, Egypt offers a wealth of diving for all abilities and any BSAC member will be welcomed to dive or train with any of BSAC Egypt’s centres. We will also be working closely with BSAC Egypt to get more people into diving, potentially leading to new club members back in the UK.”

BSAC Chair Maria Harwood welcomed the new partnership with BSAC Egypt. “The Red Sea is one of the world’s most popular diving destinations,” Maria said. “We’re thrilled to be working towards introducing more holidaymakers from around the world to diving the BSAC way. To work with Yasser and the team at BSAC Egypt is an exciting opportunity for all involved.”

For more information about BSAC visit their website by clicking here.


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