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.
Indo siren destroyed by fire
Indo Siren, a vessel from the Master Liveaboards Fleet, has been destroyed by a fire this morning. Thankfully, all guests and crew members are safe.
Master Liveaboards have released the following statement:
During our current cruise in Raja Ampat, on the morning of 30th November, a fire broke
out on Indo Siren. At the current time we are still assessing the events around the incident,
and will be working with authorities, so cannot currently comment further.
All guests and staff departed the boat, without further incident. They are now with our
ground crew who have organised accommodations while we assist with all their other
needs going forwards.
We are currently evaluating the issues created by the fire on upcoming trips. Guests who
are likely to be affected by enforced cancellations or changes will be contacted in due time
when plans are finalised.
We are incredibly grateful that this incident was not more serious and that everyone who
was onboard, both crew and guests, are safe and well.
The healing powers of adaptive diving
PADI highlights how scuba diving helps enrich and heal lives
This International Disabilities Day (3rd December) PADI is reminding the world of the healing aspects that the ocean (or any body of water) can provide and how important it is for helping those with physical or mental challenges improve their wellbeing. From simply being within close proximity of it or diving beneath the salty surface for an underwater adventure, the ocean has the power to heal.
Regardless of your age, ability, or even limitations, the ocean can benefit us physically, emotionally and even spiritually. This is why PADI is on a mission to make those benefits accessible to all, with their Adaptive Techniques Diving Course in the hope that all of humanity can experience the full transformational power of the ocean.
While many are more familiar with traditional therapies, diving, mermaiding or freediving, has changed the lives of those around the world by connecting with the water and enabled them to conquer mental or physical perceived limitations.
The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course is unique in that it’s a pro-level specialty designed to educate and empower PADI Professionals who wish to make scuba and freediver training more accessible.
Through classroom, confined water and open water workshops, dive professionals further cultivate their ability to be student-centered and prescriptive in approach when adapting techniques to meet diver needs. This hands-on training increases awareness of differing abilities and explores adaptive teaching techniques to apply when training divers with physical and mental challenges. PADI Pros learn to adapt course content to accommodate virtually any student diver.
PADI Members Helping those with Disabilities
This International Disabilities Day PADI highlights a shining example of a member who is championing teaching those with disabilities how to dive.
DiveHeart Empowers Individuals Worldwide Through Adaptive Scuba Programmes
DiveHeart, a PADI Dive Centre founded by PADI Scuba Instructor Jim Elliott in 2001, continues to revolutionise the world of adaptive scuba. Using zero gravity and adaptive scuba, DiveHeart aims to instil confidence, foster independence, and elevate self-esteem among individuals facing physical and cognitive challenges.
DiveHeart has established Adaptive Scuba programmes across North America and the Caribbean and reaches global destinations including Malaysia, Australia, China, Israel, and the UK. Through a combination of donations, grants, and strategic partnerships, DiveHeart ensures inclusivity by providing services to children, veterans, individuals with ALS, autism, and others, irrespective of their abilities or financial means.
A significant milestone in DiveHeart’s journey was the hosting of the inaugural Adaptive Scuba Symposium in 2009, held at the prestigious Our World Underwater event in the Midwest. This pioneering symposium attracted a diverse array of experts, including researchers, physicians, professors, therapists, adaptive dive professionals, and participants from across the globe. The event delved into the current state and the future of adaptive scuba, scuba therapy, the adaptive scuba market, the latest in adaptive scuba training techniques and the latest in scuba therapy research.
At the forefront of adaptive scuba initiatives, DiveHeart offers specialised training courses for certified scuba divers to become adaptive dive buddies. Every diver with a disability is paired with two dive buddies to form a cohesive dive team, ensuring a safe and empowering experience.
DiveHeart further hosts regular pool diving programmes catering to divers of all skill levels nationwide and organises immersive week-long adaptive diving trips to ocean locations like Cozumel, Roatán, and others at least three times annually.
Jim Elliot, the Founder and President of DiveHeart, a scuba diving instructor since 1997, recognised the transformative potential of adaptive diving for individuals with physical disabilities. Witnessing firsthand the holistic benefits encompassing physical fitness, emotional well-being, and mental health, Elliot embarked on a mission to make scuba diving accessible and empowering for all.
DiveHeart remains committed to breaking barriers and creating opportunities for individuals facing challenges, enabling them to explore the vast wonders of the underwater world while unlocking their true potential. For more information on DiveHeart and its impactful initiatives, visit www.diveheart.org
People Who Have Healed from Diving
For people with disabilities—whether they use a wheelchair, have a sight impairment or a neurological condition like cerebral palsy—scuba diving can be a fun activity that offers freedom and mobility in the weightlessness of the water. PADI’s Adaptive Support Diver specialty is a course designed to teach friends and family adaptive techniques for diving with a buddy who has a disability. Many students take the course to support a particular person in their life, and the instructor can work with them on the specific skills they require.
Ryan Chen: Diving to Heal the Mind, Body and Spirit
Ryan is a PADI Open Water Scuba Diver who was in a tragic accident as a teenager that left him paralysed. He found healing and clarity through scuba diving with his dive buddy Kent Yoshimura – so much so that during one scuba diving trip he and Kent ended up creating their current company Neuro Gum – a collection of functional gum and mints that help you get energised, calm or focused that has now led him to be named on Forbes 30 under 30.
“Scuba diving was one of the ways I learned that I can do anything, I just have to do it differently,” Chen says, “Scuba diving is one of those things that can change your whole framework. There’s no cooler feeling than taking that first breath underwater. All of a sudden you have this superpower, to breathe underwater and explore.”
Scuba diving continues to be his physical and mental therapy he continually seeks out amidst his busy entrepreneurial life. Now, with Neuro a national success and leading wellness brand in the United States, Chen has kept up his diving, and remained close to PADI as an organisation. Neuro even has a collaboration with PADI’s coral reef restoration project coming up—a special pack of Neuro, with proceeds going to PADI’s non-profit foundation.
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