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Ocean First Education Goes Global Through Exclusive Deal with SSI



logoOcean First Education has announced a new partnership with Scuba Schools International (SSI) that will provide Ocean First Education curricula to divers and other marine science enthusiasts in some 3,000 SSI locations around the world.

SSI_DEMANine Ocean First Education courses will be featured to start—Sea Turtle Ecology, The Truth about Sharks, Marine Ecology, Indo-Pacific, Caribbean, and Red Sea Fish Identification, and Natural History of Indo-Pacific, Caribbean, and Red Sea Coral. The courses will be translated into multiple languages and featured on the SSI digital Education Management System.

“We are ecstatic about this partnership with Scuba Schools International,” said Ocean First Education founder Graham Casden. “Working together, we can reach millions of divers worldwide, many of whom have already demonstrated a genuine interest in the marine environment and are yearning to learn more. We’ve been dedicated to raising the level of science education within the dive industry for nine years and we couldn’t be happier that SSI shares this vision with us. Educating divers about the marine environment and helping them recognize the threats it faces today goes straight to the heart of what we do at Ocean First.”

Casden, who has about 1,000 dives under his belt, said the nine courses were chosen because the dive community loves turtles and sharks and most divers want to learn more about what they are seeing—particularly fish identification and building awareness around how corals develop.

The Ocean First Education courses will be listed on the SSI website as non-diving specialties, meaning that anyone can engage with the curricula — certified divers, casual snorkelers or anyone interested in learning about the marine environment, whether they dive or not.

“We are thrilled by this collaboration,” said Colin Davidson, director of product development for SSI. “Learning to dive safely and providing scuba diving certifications provides the passport to the marine environment, but all divers need to understand the world they are entering. Ocean First Education’s coursework provides precisely the kind of education that will enhance the dive experience.”  Davidson added that the courses should be available through the SSI system by early June.

For more information about Ocean First Education courses, visit

About Scuba Schools International

Since 1970, SSI has provided education materials, dive training and certification for divers, dive professionals, and dive centers and resorts around the world. With more than 30 international offices and training materials in over 30 languages, SSI certifications are globally available and accepted wherever you choose to dive. For more information, visit

About Ocean First Education

Founded in 2008 and based in Boulder, Colorado, Ocean First Education provides innovative and dynamic digital marine science curricula for K-12. Our team of educators, scientists, filmmakers, and explorers are committed to increasing awareness of marine environments and engaging students through interactive experiences. Ocean First Education is grounded in its mission to inspire our students, teachers and community to become stewards of the sea. For more information, visit


Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap



The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)



It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!


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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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