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First Graduates of BSc in Diving Safety Management Celebrate Milestone

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BSc in diving

After six years of inception and three years since its official launch, the pioneering Bachelor of Science in Diving Safety Management proudly presented its inaugural graduates. This academic program, the first of its kind globally, is tailored to diving professionals, aiming to elevate standards in the diving industry. The curriculum focuses on diving safety, medical research, and the sustainable management of both economic and environmental aspects of diving operations.

On December 4th, approximately 300 students from the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) gathered at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, Malta, to celebrate their academic achievements. The diverse group of graduates, ranging from Foundation to Master’s Degree level, included the cohort of the Bachelor of Science in Diving Safety Management. The ceremony, a culmination of dedication and hard work, was attended by the Minister for Tourism, academic and administrative staff, graduates, and their proud guests. Distinguished guests, including Alessandro Marroni (DAN Europe CEO), Pierre Fenech (ITS CEO), and Clayton Bartolo (Minister for Tourism, Malta), delivered inspiring speeches, emphasizing the graduates’ pivotal roles in shaping the future of the diving industry.

This year’s graduation speech was delivered by Mr. Tickle, a graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Diving Safety Management with over thirty years of industry experience. Reflecting on his journey, Mr. Tickle shared the challenges faced during his studies, emphasizing the value of perseverance and adaptation. He encouraged students to approach the uncertainties of their futures with resilience and openness to change.

“Thanks to all those involved – organisers, partners, faculty, stakeholders,” declared Prof. Alessandro Marroni. “I started this journey six years ago with many hopes but also many uncertainties. It is particularly gratifying to witness how the science of diving safety has now gained academic dignity. Congratulations to the students, Audrey, Paul, Ray, and Tiit. Their dedication, passion, and commitment will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the future of diving safety.”

A unique programme

The BSc in Diving Safety Management is an academic program promoted by the International School of Diving Safety and Medicine (ISDSM), a joint effort of DAN Europe and ITS, in collaboration with Divers Alert Network, DAN Southern Africa, PADI and PDSA (Professional Diving Schools Association Malta), and under the supervision of the Malta Ministry for Tourism, Ministry for Education, and Ministry for Gozo. The Faculty includes the European Committee for Hyperbaric Medicine, the European College of Baromedicine, Università Politecnica delle Marche, University of Stellenbosch, and Northwest University. The programme was designed to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of diving safety, management, and scientific diving. Lectures are held at the beautiful ITS campus in Qala, Gozo, providing students with the unique advantage of enjoying fantastic diving opportunities at spectacular dive sites. The Maltese archipelago, with its dozens of highly organized dive centers and a vibrant diving community, offers a stimulating international working environment.

ISDM

ITS

www.daneurope.org

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Mamma Mia! Diving Skopelos (Part 1)

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If you have a dream of a sunny holiday spot with great diving, take a chance on Skopelos!

A small island in the Sporades of the Northern Aegean Sea, Skopelos is a quintessential Greek island, with warm mediterranean climate, friendly locals, delicious cuisine and clear turquoise blue waters. It is such a stunning location that many of the scenes from the movie “Mamma Mia!” were filmed on and around the island.

The diving here is excellent, with good visibility and warm summer water temperatures making for relaxed diving conditions with plenty to see.  Skopelos has something for everyone and is a perfect location if you are holidaying with non-divers, want a mix of diving and land based activities or simply to spend some time relaxing in the sun.  The island has a wealth of diversions: picture perfect beaches, a thriving and picturesque harbour town, great food, boat trips, and beautiful resorts with well-stocked pool bars and sun loungers for topping up the tan in style.  

Having read about the beautiful diving available Mike and I were excited to experience it for ourselves. During our stay we dived with Skopelos Dive Center at their West coast Panormos base. On arrival we were greeted by Lina and Tasos, who provided our equipment and briefed us on the day’s dive plan.  The first dive was to be at the Gallery and the second at Dasia Lift.  Eager to get in the water, we were soon kitted up and on the boat heading out to our first dive.

The island of Skopelos is blessed with some incredible topography.  We marveled at the views of nearby Dasia Island where the dive sites were located; the bright green pine forests covering white limestone and dolomite rocks along the coastline contrasted nicely with the clear azure waters below.  As we would find on our dives, the many sea caves along the shore made for great swimthroughs and caverns to explore on dives and the bright white rocks reflected the sunlight for beautifully lit and colourful seascapes in the shallows.

Our dive at the Gallery began on a sloping wall with multiple pinnacles, the first of which had a huge and completely beautiful Hypselodoris elegans nudibranch.  Following the wall deeper we came to a cavern filled with sponges, tunicates, corals and cardinal fish.  Working shallower and enjoying the light reflecting off the pale rocks and deep blue of the deeper water we came to the Gallery’s namesake passage at a very shallow 1.5 meters.  A tunnel in the rock created this wonderful feature, while light played through the shallows illuminating the benthic life as our group swam through.

All the dive sites in this area were a very short boat ride from the dock so travel times to and from the dives was a matter of minutes.  After a break back on land with a frappe from the resort bar, we headed out for the second dive at Dasia Lift. The wall here featured a cavern and tunnel swim through rising from 10m to 5m.  Once again my eye was caught by some nudibranchs (Hypseldoris coelestis and Flabellina affinis) as well as several large groupers lurking in the deeper waters.  Having enjoyed the wall at around 20m we worked our way up to 10m and to the entrance to the Lift where we stopped to appreciate a huge sea slug which posed graciously for a few photos. 

The Lift was a fun swim through with windows of light illuminating sponges and a rather grumpy looking scorpionfish.  Emerging at 5m the light in the shallows was nothing short of breathtaking.  The combination of sun streaming down on the white rocks and beautiful blue hue of the sea made the light dance, creating underwater rainbows.  All divers surfaced wishing the safety stop could lasted just a little longer.

That evening, having worked up an appetite diving, we had one of our best meals of the trip, the traditional specialty of giouvetsi; served beside the bobbing boats in the old port it was nothing short of stupendous.  Despite our discovery of a microbrewery taproom, it was an early night as the next day’s dive was to the famous Christoforos wreck!

As a destination, Skopelos really has everything you could ask for both for a diving holiday and a fun summer vacation.  Look for our next blog “Mamma Mia! Diving Skopelos (Part 2)” for details on our trip to the Christoforos wreck!

Thanks to:

Municipality of Skopelos (https://skopelos.com/

Skopelos Dive Center  (https://sporadesdiving.gr/)

Ionia Hotel (https://www.ioniahotel.gr/en)

Dolphin of Skopelos (https://dolphinofskopelos.com/)

Ta Kymata restaurant (@takymata)

The Muses restaurant (https://www.facebook.com/TheMussesMousses/)

Aktaiov resturant (https://skopelos.com/listings/aktaion-taverna/)

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Invitation from The Ocean Cleanup for San Francisco port call

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the ocean cleanup

6 years ago, The Ocean Cleanup set sail for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with one goal: to develop the technology to be able to relegate the patch to the history books. On 6 September 2024, The Ocean Cleanup fleet returns to San Francisco bringing with it System 03 to announce the next phase of the cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and to offer you a chance to view our cleanup system up-close and personal.
We look forward to seeing you there.

To confirm your presence, please RSVP to press@theoceancleanup.com

PROGRAM

Join The Ocean Cleanup as our two iconic ships and the extraction System 03 return to San Francisco, 6 years and over 100 extractions after we set sail, to create and validate the technology needed to rid the oceans of plastic.
Our founder and CEO, Boyan Slat, will announce the next steps for the cleanup of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Giving you a chance to view our cleanup system and the plastic extracted.
Hear important news on what’s next in the mission of The Ocean Cleanup as it seeks to make its mission of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic an achievable and realistic goal.
Interviews and vessel tours are available on request.

PRACTICALITIES 

Date: September 6, 2024
Press conference: 12 pm (noon)
Location: The Exploratorium (Google Maps)
Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green Street), San Francisco, CA
Parking: Visit The Exploratorium’s website for details.
RSVP: press@theoceancleanup.com
Video & photo material from several viewing spots around the bay

We look forward to seeing you there!

ABOUT THE OCEAN CLEANUP
The Ocean Cleanup is an international non-profit that develops and scales technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal through a dual strategy: intercepting in rivers to stop the flow and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup develops and deploys large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic is tracked and traced to certify claims of origin when recycling it into new products. To curb the tide via rivers, The Ocean Cleanup has developed Interceptor™ Solutions to halt and extract riverine plastic before it reaches the ocean. As of June 2024, the non-profit has collected over 12 million kilograms (26.4 million pounds) of plastic from aquatic ecosystems around the world. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs a broadly multi-disciplined team of approximately 140. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and opened its first regional office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2023.

Find out more about The Ocean Cleanup at www.theoceancleanup.com.

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