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Well-known dive industry figures join RAID Organization

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RAID

Described by one major manufacturer as a “breathe of fresh air”, RAID’s Asia re-launch was a huge success with RAID coming online right across the globe. RAID has brought to the dive industry landscape the world’s most comprehensive online dive training system with a built in and very proactive quality assurance system to ensure educational excellence and diver safety.

RAID was the buzz of the show and one of the highlights that caught a few people by total surprise was the announcement that high profile dive industry personality Terry Cummins (formerly PADI) has joined similarly high profile past arch-rival, Col McKenzie (formerly of SSI) and other well-known divers on the RAID Team.

TC, as he is called by his friends, may be best known for establishing PADI in the South Pacific and as an executive on many dive industry related bodies. After a long and varied career with PADI, in late 2012 TC retired as an International Vice President and Director of Market Development Technical Diving Division for PADI Worldwide. TC has also been presented with several prestigious awards including those from Dive Australia, OZTeK and Oceanic. In 2013 he was awarded one of his country’s highest honours: Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for his contribution to sport, especially scuba diving.

With such a long history with another training agency and having been out of the industry for over a year, when asked for his reason for joining RAID, TC commented simply; “I missed the industry I have served for over 40 years and just wanted to come back”. TC went on to say: “I have experienced some really great advancements in diving; for instance, I was there when the world’s first modular scuba course was launched, revolutionising the industry in many ways. Similarly, the RAID system is an extraordinary new concept that can take the industry in a new and much needed direction”.

“RAID is not only a great choice for diver training, but as a business model for dive pros it is certainly the ‘breath of fresh air’ some are describing it as and others are looking for. What excites me about the RAID Team, is it is not about a plan to take on the world; we want to put an exciting new model out there for everyone to use and have some fun implementing. In a nutshell, RAID wants the whole world to “Dive the Planet”, to get back to what this industry should be about – diving.  But when it comes to any specific questions people might have about RAID business, let us make it very clear; RAID is not just another online training program. Put it this way; I remember when the major players of today were virtually unheard of. I also remember when the Amazon was a jungle and Kindle was something you used to start a fire. I saw what happened to Kodak when digital hit and so, in this fast paced world, it is clear technology drives everything and we believe RAID has that technology”.

Col McKenzie, of RAID’s South East Asia division, is extremely and openly very excited. “To be working with people like Terry and the other RAID executives means RAID has hit the ground with their re-launch with an extremely experienced and highly capable international team”.

Before the recent highly publicized restructure of SSI, Col was the ultimate driving force responsible for successfully taking SSI to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. A very capable administrator and financial controller, Col has been the President and Treasurer of Dive Queensland and an active participant in the marine tourism industry. He is currently the Executive Director of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators (Great Barrier Reef). He represents the marine tourism industry on different boards, forums and committees. Also the recipient of several dive industry awards, Col brings over 40 years of experience in the dive and travel industries to the RAID team.

Meanwhile, RAID International Director of Training, Paul Toomer, formerly International Director of Technical Training for SSI, is a force of nature in the diving world and his unique approach to training is legendary. Since he became a diving professional, Paul has reached the pinnacle of the world’s leading diver training agencies; teaching divers, instructors and instructor trainers.  When it comes to caves, wrecks and rebreathers, Paul has been there and done that, all over the world. An avid writer and presenter, his contributions include articles for various dive magazines and formal presentations at most of the training agency member events, DEMA, OZTek, EuroTek, TekCamp, the British Scuba Industry Trade Association, the London International Dive Show, Hollis/Oceanic Dealer Seminars and many more.

Paul said: “It is our plan to work with everyone; we have the view that we have no competitors and no enemies as such, just friends in the dive industry ultimately trying to achieve the same thing. The number one goal for us all must be market growth and for us at RAID that is via our programs, products, services and our technology platform. At the same time we want to help maintain the spirit of adventure to drive diving to new heights. We plan to break the mould on just about everything and those who want to join us will have fun while doing our courses and / or growing their business.”

Barry Coleman, founder of RAID, started diving in the late 70s and by the early 90s started rebreather diving. In 2001 Barry conceptualised the design of a recreational rebreather. Working closely with the design team at Poseidon, the Mk VI Discovery Rebreather was born and brought to market in 2007. To support the diver training required for Mk VI, Barry founded RAID the same year.

Since then Barry has continued to research remote learning models and pioneered the development of RAID E Training programs across the full range of recreational diving activities now offered. Barry is a sort after speaker at dive conventions and an advocate for the protection of sharks.

Barry said: “It’s great to see 7 years of hard work come alive at ADEX. My expertise is in developing technology and diver training programs. Now I am part of a global team that can show the world just what a great product this is. People are amazed when they see what this can do and now we have new partners, I can’t wait to show you what is coming down the pipeline in terms of technical advances with the system.

If you want a better understanding of what RAID can offer you, take a look at www.diveraid.com.

 

Source: www.divenewswire.com

Marine Life & Conservation

The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support

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With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.

The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.

Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.

The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.

While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”

There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.

This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.

Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.

Click here to sign the Big Shark Pledge

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Miscellaneous Blogs

Jeff chats to… Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Craig is a Key Grip and Lighting Director with 10,000s of hours of Set Experience.

In Craig’s own words:

I started my career when I was in my first year of college.  I always had that creative side of the brain that needed to be followed as a career.  I thought that would be in designing engineering pieces but wasn’t happy about the idea of an office cubicle and drafting table.

I accidentally found my way onto a big commercial job for a week and decided “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO”.   I made it my career after that. This is a quick list of recent and big projects in my 35 yrs of TV / Film / Photography.

Most Recently:

  • “Black Panther 2” – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Stranger Things” Season 4 – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Suicide Squad 2” – UW Gaffer / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • NASCAR / FOX Sports 1 – Network TV Lighting Director – 7 years / 700 races of Live BIG track TV shows
  • 10,000s of commercials / music videos / tv shows

I started diving when I was 18 years old with my OW and then AOW with PADI. I was diving with lots of friends in the late 80s and early 90s and then moved onto Kayaking. I got my daughter into diving when she turned 14 and have picked up where I left off.

I have approx 5000 dives now and spend most of my free time diving.

Here are my certs:

  • OW – AOW 1989
  • Adv Nitrox / Deco 2020
  • Cavern – Intro Cave 2021
  • CCR Tech – Fathom – 2021

You can find out more at www.craigwaller.com


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

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