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Well-known dive industry figures join RAID Organization




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



Marine Life & Conservation

Ghost Fishing UK land the prize catch at the Fishing News Awards



The charity Ghost Fishing UK was stunned to win the Sustainability Award.

The winners were selected by a panel of industry judges and the award recognises innovation and achievement in improving sustainability and environmental responsibility within the UK or Irish fishing industries in 2021.

Nominees must have demonstrated a unique and innovative response to an environmental sustainability issue within the UK or Irish industry, demonstrating that the project has gone above and beyond standard practice, and provided evidence of its impact. The judges look particularly for projects that have influenced a significant change in behaviour and/or that have inspired broader awareness and/or engagement.

Ghost Fishing UK originated in 2015, training voluntary scuba divers to survey and recover lost fishing gear, with the aim to either return it to the fishing industry or recycle it. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and has gone from strength to strength, only last year winning the Best Plastic Campaign at the Plastic Free Awards.

Now, the charity has also been recognised at seemingly the opposite end of the spectrum. This is a unique achievement as trustee Christine Grosart explains;

We have always held the belief that working with the fishing industry is far more productive than being against it, in terms of achieving our goals to reduce and remove lost fishing gear.

The positive response to our fisheries reporting system that we received from both the fishing industry and the marine environment sector, was evidence that working together delivers results.

The feedback we got from the awards evening and the two-day Scottish Skipper Expo where we had an exhibit the following day, was that the fishing industry despises lost fishing gear as much as we do and the fishers here are very rarely at fault. It is costly to them to lose gear and they will make every effort to get it back, but sometimes they can’t. That is where we come in, to try to help. Everyone wins, most of all the environment. You can’t ask for much more.”

Following the awards, Ghost Fishing UK held an exhibit at the Scottish Skipper expo at the new P&J Live exhibition centre in Aberdeen.

This gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet so many people in the fishing industry, all of whom were highly supportive of our work and wanted to help us in any way they could. This has opened so many opportunities for the charity and our wish list which has been on the slow burner for the last 7 years, was exceeded in just 3 days. We came away from the events exhausted, elated, humbled, grateful and most of all, excited.”

Trustee and Operations Officer, Fred Nunn, is in charge of the diving logistics such as arranging boats and organising the divers, who the charity trains in house, to give up their free time to volunteer.

He drove from Cornwall to attend the awards and the exhibition: “What a crazy and amazing few days up in Scotland! It was awesome to meet such a variety of different people throughout the industry, who are all looking at different ways of improving the sustainability and reduction of the environmental impact of the fishing industry.

It was exciting to have so many people from the fishing industry approaching us to find out more about what we do, but also what they could offer. Fishermen came to us with reports and offers of help, using their vessels and other exhibitors tried to find ways that their product or service could assist in our mission.”

  • Ghost Fishing UK uses hard boat charters from Cornwall to Scotland for the diving projects, paying it forward to the diving community.
  • The charity relies on reports of lost fishing gear from the diving and fishing community and to date has received well over 200 reports, culminating on over 150 survey and ghost gear recovery dives, amounting to over 1000 individual dives and diver hours by the volunteer team members.
  • You can find more information at
  • If you are a fisher who knows of any lost fishing gear, you can report it to the charity here:
  • The charity is heading to Shetland for a week-long project in the summer of 2023. If you would like to support this project, please contact them at:

Chair of Ghost Fishing UK and professional technical diving instructor Dr Richard Walker was immensely proud of the team’s achievements;

I’ve been a scuba diver since 1991 and have met thousands of divers in that time. I’d be hard pushed to think of one of them that wasn’t concerned about conservation of our marine environment. To be recognised by the fishing industry for our efforts in sustainability is a huge honour for us, and has encouraged our team to work even harder to find, survey and remove lost fishing gear from the seas. The fact that the fishing industry recognises our efforts, and appreciates our stance as a group that wants to work alongside them is one of the highlights of our charity’s history, and we look forward to building the relationship further.

To find out more about Ghost Fishing UK visit their website here.

All images: Ghost Fishing UK

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Marine Life & Conservation

Komodo National Park found to be Manta Hotspot



Through a collaborative effort between citizen divers, scientists from the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF), and Murdoch University, a new study reports a large number of manta rays in the waters of Komodo National Park, Indonesian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suggesting the area may hold the key to regional recovery of the threatened species.

Reef mantas (Mobula alfredi), which grow up to 5m, tend to reside and feed in shallow, coastal habitats. They also visit ‘cleaning stations’ on coral reefs to have parasites, or dead skin picked off by small fish. Courtship ‘trains’ are also observed adjacent to cleaning stations. In Komodo National Park, manta rays are present year-round, challenging the famous Komodo dragon as the most sought-after megafauna for visitors.

Scientists teamed up with the dive operator community to source identification photographs of manta rays visiting the parks’ waters and submit them to – a crowdsourced online database for mantas and other rays. Most of the photographs came from just four locations from over 20 commonly visited by tourism boats.

I was amazed by how receptive the local dive community was in helping collect much-needed data on these threatened animals,” said lead author Dr. Elitza Germanov. “With their support, we were able to identify over 1,000 individual manta rays from over 4,000 photographs.

People love manta rays—they are one of the most iconic animals in our oceans. The rise of the number of people engaging in SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and the advent of affordable underwater cameras meant that photos and videos taken by the public during their holidays could be used to quickly and affordably scale data collection,” said MMF co-founder and study co-author Dr. Andrea Marshall.

The photographs’ accompanying time and location data is used to construct sighting histories of individual manta rays, which can then be analyzed with statistical movement models. These models predict the likelihood that manta rays are inhabiting or traveling in between specific sites. The study’s results showed that some manta rays moved around the park and others as far as the Nusa Penida MPA (>450 km to the west), but overall, manta rays showed individual preferences for specific sites within the Park.

I found it very interesting how some manta rays appear to prefer spending their time in some sites more than others, even when sites are 5 km apart, which are short distances for manta rays,” said Dr. Elitza Germanov. “This means that manta rays which prefer sites where fishing activities continue to occur or that are more popular with tourism will endure greater impacts.”

Fishing activities have been prohibited in many coastal areas within Komodo NP since 1984, offering some protection to manta rays prior to the 2014 nationwide protection. However, due to illegal fishing activity and manta ray movements into heavily fished waters, manta rays continue to face a number of threats from fisheries. About 5% of Komodo’s manta rays have permanent injuries that are likely the result of encounters with fishing gear.

The popularity of tourism to these sites grew by 34% during the course of the study. An increase in human activity can negatively impact manta rays and their habitats. In 2019, the Komodo National Park Authority introduced limits on the number of boats and people that visit one of the most famous manta sites.

This study shows that the places where tourists commonly observe manta rays are important for the animals to feed, clean, and mate. This means that the Komodo National Park should create measures to limit the disturbance at these sites,” said Mr. Ande Kefi, an employee of the Komodo National Park involved with this study. “I hope that this study will encourage tourism operators to understand the need for the regulations already imposed and increase compliance.”

Despite Indonesia’s history with intensive manta ray fisheries, Komodo National Park still retains large manta ray aggregations that with careful ongoing management and threat reduction will benefit regional manta ray populations. The study highlights that marine protected areas that are large enough to host important manta ray habitats are a beneficial tool for manta ray conservation.

For more information about MMF visit their website here.

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email

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