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Diving With Seaventures Dive Rig, Mabul Sipadan, Celebes Sea, Malaysia

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In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer


What is your name?

Pete Hamerton

What is the name of your business?

Seaventures Dive Rig

What is your role within the business?

Dive Team Manager

How long has the business operated for?

Since 1997

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I learnt to dive in 2003 and became an Instructor in 2009. I am currently a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, Tec Deep Instructor, TDI Advanced Trimix Diver and IANTD Full Cave Diver.

What is your favorite type of diving?

Other than teaching diving, I enjoy Caves, Deep Walls, Wrecks and Muck Diving.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Seaventures Dive Rig is the world’s first and only oil rig that has been re-purposed into a dive resort. We offer daily dive trips to Sipadan, regularly voted as one of the best dive locations in the world. And we offer daily diving at Mabul Island – macro-diving heaven! But it’s not just the diving that we love. The whole experience of living on a former oil rig is a one of a kind experience. Rooms are small but comfortable. There is an almost 360 degree view of the Celebes Sea with great sunrises and sunsets. We pride ourselves on having an extremely experienced, friendly, multi-lingual and safety-conscious dive team. Finally, we pride ourselves on providing superb customer service – both topside and underwater – and excellent food.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

The Rig’s house-reef is definitely a favourite if you love macros. Nudibranch, pygmy seahorse, frogfish, and the ornate ghost pipefish are just some that you will see under the Rig. Other than that we love Turtle Tomb and South Point. Both are famous dive sites at Sipadan. Turtle Tomb is a cave system that stretches for several hundred metres under Sipadan Island. It contains the perfectly preserved skeletons of about 20 dead Turtles and a dead Dolphin. We think they have found their way into the cave through a hole in the reef wall and were unable to find their way out. It’s an unforgettable dive and a really unique cave system.

South Point is an awesome wall dive on the South side of Sipadan Island. The wall starts at about 10m and stretches into the abyss – 600m below…! It’s great for recreational diving, Tec diving and Freediving (we are a PADI TecRec and Freediving centre). The wall is covered in vibrant soft and hard corals; we regularly see numerous Green and Hawksbill turtles and we regularly see different types of Sharks cruising past in the blue.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Recreational diving, Tec diving, Freediving, Rebreather diving, Wall diving, Macro diving, Drift diving and Night diving.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Working with people and being in the ocean. Whether that’s a PADI Open Water student learning neutral buoyancy for the first time, guiding an experienced cave diver into Turtle Tomb, mentoring an Instructor candidate about to take their Instructor Exam or working with a diverse, dedicated, talented and multi-lingual group of colleagues.

At Seaventures we’re fortunate to have an awesome dive team who, between them, have over a hundred years of diving experience. I’m constantly impressed by our dedicated and hard-working team who always strive to show our customers the best of Mabul and Sipadan Islands, prioritise safety and make their guests smile. We also have some great customers from all over the world – and it’s a real pleasure to watch their faces as they come on to the rig for the first time (all of the team who aren’t diving personally greet arriving customers).

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Ornate Ghost Pipefish. I love their shape, colours and get a real sense of satisfaction whenever I find one….because they’re quite hard to find!

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Absolutely. We’ve just become a PADI Freediver centre and are really excited to start offering Freediving courses, as well as guided freediving, for our guests. We’re the first dive centre in the area to offer freediving and one of the few to offer Tec and Cave diving for our customers.

In addition, we’ve just finished our first Ocean Conservation week. As a busy dive resort, we’re acutely aware of some of the threats facing the ocean. We always try and educate our students and guests on the importance of preserving the marine environment – but we also want to have a set period every year where we relentlessly focus on this. We’re not only working with our guests and local community to educate them about some of the threats facing the marine environment, and what they can do to help, but we’re also looking at our business practices. For example, this year, we have stopped providing our guests with plastic bottled water. Instead, we’re providing re-fillable glass bottles. It may seem like a small change, but if you scale that up, that’s a significant reduction in the amount of plastic that we’re generating every year.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

It’s not a quite a problem but more of a challenge. Our Rig is located 45 minutes away from the nearest town (although we’re only minutes away from Mabul Island and only twenty minutes from Sipadan) so everything has to be transported in by boat. As such, we try and anticipate guest’s needs by having a well-stocked shop on the rig. In addition, because we are located literally above the water, every decision we make to use, install or build something has to consider the environmental impact that will have.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

The team at Seaventures has over a hundred years of diving experience between them. We have seen many changes in that time. A few that we are especially conscious of:

  • A much greater focus and urgency on the threats facing the ocean, and, with the support of partners like Project AWARE, a means to address some of these.
  • Increased popularity of Freediving and Tec (both of which we offer). Including the recreational rebreather market.
  • Especially in South-East Asia and Australia, there has been a massive increase in the number of Chinese divers. This is great, and has significantly changed the market across every aspect of the business.

Markets evolve for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. Working in the dive industry, we have the ability to both shape and respond to some of those changes. We’ve seen a huge increase in the volume of divers and the speed at which we can get people into the water. That’s great. But we also need to make sure that students, from the very beginning, are learning and mastering good buoyancy skills and safety habits. This should be an integral part of their diving habits and is crucial for environmental and safety reasons.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Well, we dive every day at Sipadan and Mabul islands. They are both world-renowned dive locations that never fail to impress guests. And we are the world’s first oil rig that has been re-purposed as a dive resort. But on top of that, we strive to offer three things without fail: un-compromising safety standards; excellent standards of service and experience topside and underwater; and, like any business, sales.

On the last point, we take the time to listen to where customers are in their diving career and match the appropriate diving course or experience to them. If that’s a PADI DSD or a guided cave dive, we can offer it. We offer a wide range of diving courses and experiences, have an experienced and multi-lingual team, and have the benefit of a huge variety of diving options (Caves, Deep, Macro, Walls, Drift etc.)– so we don’t just blindly push the next course on to customers – we work out where they are and want to go with their diving, and try and help them get there.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business? 

If you would like to know more about scuba diving and living on a former oil rig, email us at info@seaventuresdive.com or visit our website at www.seaventuresdive.com. We are also reachable at +6088 251 669 if you wish to speak to us.

You can also follow us on our social media pages for updates at:

https://www.facebook.com/seaventures
https://plus.google.com/107344633898864939260
https://instagram.com/seaventuresdiverig
https://twitter.com/Seaventures

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!

This torch delivers 1200 lumens of light powered by an ion rechargeable battery. There are 4 levels of brightness with burn times between 2-20 hours. Battery charge level is indicated via coloured lights around the on/off button. The beam angle is 10°. The anodised aluminium alloy housing sealed by double ‘O’ rings with a max operating depth of 100m. SRP £125.00 which includes torch, charging cradle and battery.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported via the Marine Conservation Society that the UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act is the first legislation of its kind in nearly how many years?

Is it:

  • A) 60
  • B) 50
  • C) 40

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch November 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 06/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Northern Diver Christmas Sale starts TODAY!

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This year Northern Diver’s Christmas offers are starting on Black Friday and running until midnight on New Year’s Eve! 

There are some great deals to be had across the site – www.ndiver.com – from discounted Drysuits and Coltri compressors to 15% off their entire Lighting Section!

And if you can’t find the perfect present for the diver in your life, they have a choice of Gift Cards on offer. They are even giving you £25 extra when you purchase a £100 voucher!

The offers don’t stop there – there is FREE shipping on all orders over £100 and even a FREE gift with every online purchase.

Every purchase will get you entered into a great prize draw to win one of their new Electracore 3.0mm Rechargeable Heated Vests!

And should you find that you need to return any of your purchases, Northern Diver understand that Christmas may be a little different for everyone this year and you may not get to see every one over Christmas, so they have extended their Returns Period to the end of January 2021. (Valid for purchases made from Black Friday to end of December 2020).

Some unmissable offers to look out for are the Varilux Zoom, part of the Varilux Black & Gold Range, with its variable beam width; and Northern Diver’s 4mm compressed Neoprene Drysuit, the Voyager, which is on offer for an incredible £475!

For more information visit the Northern Diver website by clicking here.

Photo credit: Joe Duffy

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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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