DAN Asia-Pacific Safety Tip: In-Water Recompression

6 Sep
Written by John Lippmann Founder & Chairman DAN Asia-Pacific

In-water recompression (IWR) has been used in one form or another for many decades as a means of trying to eliminate symptoms of decompression sickness (DCS). Historically, it was predominantly used by diver fisherman in places where there was no access to recompression chambers or suitable medical care.


Protocols varied, but it often involved descending to depth (often 30-50 m) breathing air. The reality was that it was fraught with risk for both the diver and his buddies and there are many anecdotes of poor and sometimes tragic results.

In an effort to reduce the depth required for IWR, several organisations introduced IWR protocols which used oxygen, rather than air, as the breathing gas. Possibly the best known procedure was that introduced by Dr Carl Edmonds, of the Australian Navy School of Underwater Medicine.

The treatments involve the injured diver re-submerging to a specified depth (usually 6-9 m) for scheduled times breathing 100% oxygen. However, the breathing of oxygen can cause seizures at these pressures so, to mitigate the risk of drowning in the event of a seizure underwater, the diver is advised to wear a full face mask.  In the Edmond’s procedure, the diver is also tethered to a shotline marked in 1 metre increments to control the depth and later the ascent rate (which is 1m / 12 minutes).  There needs to be an underwater attendant with the diver and one on the boat. The sea and weather conditions need to be suitable and the diver needs to be wearing an appropriate wetsuit or drysuit to ensure that he/she doesn’t get cold during the several hours underwater. The treatment time ranges from about 2 to 3.5 hours.

With the emergence of technical diving, the breathing of high oxygen concentrations underwater has become commonplace; as has diving in more remote locations. The availability of rebreathers enables oxygen-breathing for extended periods. As a result, there are an ever-increasing number of anecdotal reports of divers with symptoms of DCS treating themselves using IWR on oxygen (IWOR). If done in a reasonable fashion, this is often successful. However, the reality is that it is often done in a relatively haphazard manner, increasing the risk of a problem.

Over recent months, DAN AP has received two concerning reports involving IWOR. The first involved a technical diver who was diving in Indonesia. He developed mild symptoms of DCS after diving and decided to do a shallow dive on his rebreather on a high PPO2 to try to resolve them. Although the symptoms receded for a while, they worsened again that evening. After searching the web he found some IWOR procedure on a chatline and dived again the next day, trying to treat his symptoms. Unfortunately, they became far worse and he further compounded them by flying home.

The second diver developed symptoms of decompression illness after diving from a ’liveaboard’ in the Philippines. He was unconscious for a short time. The dive crew called the DAN AP Diving Emergency Service (DES) hotline and was linked to an experienced diving doctor. The operator indicated that its protocol was to use IWOR and asked the doctor for advice. The doctor advised that the diver should NOT be put in the water due to his unstable condition and that he should remain on the boat and breathe oxygen for several hours while arrangements could be made for further management. The diver improved significantly with the oxygen first aid, but, despite this and against the medical advice, the dive operator insisted that the diver do IWOR. Had he become unconscious whilst underwater it could have ended in a fatality and the dive operator’s position would likely be indefensible given that they had acted contrary to expert medical advice.

It is not the role of a dive professional to make what is essentially a medical decision to perform IWOR on a client. Unless they are particularly well-informed, the client would not be in a position to assess the potential risks and balance them against the possible advantages. This is also true of the dive professional.

I believe that IWOR has its place in the management of DCS in remote places. However, it must be done using acceptable protocols, with appropriate equipment, in appropriate conditions and only on a diver who is conscious and stable. Expert diving medical advice should be sought and followed.

Dive operators and divers should not underestimate the effectiveness of properly delivered surface oxygen first aid. If given early, in high enough concentrations and for long enough (often 4-6 hours), oxygen first aid will often reduce or eliminate symptoms of DCI. It is essential that there is an adequate oxygen supply that will last until medical aid is available, or until a diving doctor advises that it can be ceased.

PADI Instructor Examinations for August, 2016

2 Sep

Congratulations to the many new PADI Instructors who completed their PADI Instructor Examinations in August.

01-02 – Bangkok, Thailand


02-03 – El Nido, Philippines


06-07 – Phuket, Thailand


06-07 – Melbourne, Australia


09-10 – Koh Tao, Thailand


13-14 – Cairns, Australia


13-14 – Hong Kong


13-14 – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia


14-15 – Sanya, China


16-17 – Gold Coast, Australia


16-17 – Perhentian Island, Malaysia


19-20 – Tioman, Malaysia


20-21 – Shenzhen/ Guangzhou, China


22-23 – Miri, Malaysia


24-25 – Gili Islands, Indonesia


25-26 – Semporna, Malaysia


27-28 – Sydney, Australia


27-28 – Bali, Indonesia


27-28 – Singapore


27-28 – Shanghai, China


27-28 – Uljin, South Korea


31-1 – Pattaya, Thailand


Announcing New PADI AmbassaDiver – Adam Stern

2 Sep

PADI AmbassaDivers are selected representatives who have excelled within the industry, inspiring others to start diving, keep diving or teach diving. They represent PADI values and help to grow the pool of divers, ocean advocates and explorers in the region and across the globe.

We are thrilled to announce new PADI AmbassaDiver, Adam Stern.

Adam, a PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer, is an accomplished freediver and the current Australian Free Immersion record holder with a depth of 88 metres.

PADI AmbassaDiver- Adam Stern

Although not Adam’s original intention when beginning to freedive, he has made a name for himself through competing successfully in various competitions around the world. He first started competing in 2013 in Dahab, Egypt and in 2015 won bronze in the Men’s Constant Weight division at the Vertical Blue competition in the Bahamas – the “Wimbledon of freediving.” The following year at Vertical Blue, Adam dove to 100m Constant Weight and broke the Australian Free Immersion record again pushing it to 88 metres.

“Teaching freediving, for me, is about exposing people to diving on one breath in a way that is comfortable, natural and without stress. It’s amazing what the human body can do and when I teach I am simply unlocking potential in my students that already exists. I think that sometimes people think that competition divers push themselves to the limit which is a general misconception because all my deep dives and relaxed, pleasurable and comfortable.”

Adam’s passion for teaching freediving comes via the promotion of dive safety, often operating free freediving safety seminars to help promote safe diving practices.

“I’m ecstatic to be accepted into the PADI AmbassaDiver program because it allows me to be at the forefront of the great contribution PADI is making to the freediving industry, the promotion of safe freediving practices and the expansion of freediving itself as a way to connect with and experience the aquatic world.”

Congratulations Adam, we look forward to working with you as a PADI AmbassaDiver!




PADI 50th Anniversary Contest Winners

31 Aug

This year marks PADI’s 50th anniversary. We’ve loved our time in the diving community and are proud to continue to serve PADI Members and divers as best we can. So to celebrate this milestone, we held a contest asking PADI Pros and divers alike to submit photos, videos, and stories to share their favourite moments in diving over the past 50 years. We were delighted to receive nearly 6,000 entries from all over the world and loved seeing the ocean through so many of your eyes.

After going through all the entries, we were finally able to make the difficult decision of picking our top three winners in each category. We’ll start with our first place winners.

Photo Category – ‘The Pit,’ by Tom St. George

48d1a26 The Pit

This photo, captured inside the famous Mexican cenote, is absolutely breathtaking. We love the silhouette of the diver against the unique backdrop of this freshwater pool. Tom’s photo has won him a GoPro HERO4 package!

Video Cetogory – ‘Perhentian Islands,’ by Alex Cheok

50th Story

Alex’s video showcases the Perhentian Islands so well that it convinced a few of us to add this to our future dive vacation bucket list – and we can’t get enough of that clown fish! Congratulations to Alex who has won an Aqua Lung CORE regulator.

Story Category – Leda Monsma

Leda’s determination and courage shown in becoming a PADI diver inspired us and brought smiles to our faces. We’re proud to be associated with such strong divers, and are excited to share this story with our community, which has won Leda a Suunto D4i Novo dive computer.

Congratulations to all our first place winners, and thank you for sharing your favourite diving moments with us. We also congratulate our second and third place finalists, whose  submissions we loved too.

Photo Category 

Second Place – ‘Photographing a Shark,’ by Brian Burnett

727b904 photographing a shark

Sharks are always a favourite – and this one wins Brian an awesome PADI swag bag.

Third Place – ‘Two Humpback Whales,’ by Sergio Nogueira Jr. 

#290d9c9 BW Whales

We can’t help but smile whenever we look at Sergio’s photo and as our third place recipient, he takes home Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

Video Finalists 

Second Place – ‘Turks and Caicos,’ by K Ian Wells

We can’t get enough of these videos that showcase an area so well. Congratulations Ian who has won a fantastic PADI swag bag.

Third Place – ‘Lembongan,’ by Kai Barlow

Winning Kai a copy of Vivid-Pix photo editing software, is his video showing off the spot where he did his Divemaster program.

Story Finalists

Second Place – Amy Kendall 

“My first night dive, at Redang Island, Malaysia, my dive instructor had forgotten to mention before the dive about the bioluminescence in the water. We went on quite an adventure, I spotted my first octopus crawling across the ocean floor and experienced how different the sea feels without sunlight. It had come to the end of the dive, we kneeled in a circle on the sandy surface and my dive instructor was waving her hand back and forth in front of her face, trying to ask us to do the same so that we could see the blue glowing light. It took us a little while to work out what she was doing, but when we did it was magical. I love that about diving – you don’t have to speak the same language and you can still communicate with a complete stranger. It might take a little while and you can look a little sill at times, but that’s all part of the fun. It really is a wonderful community to be part of, and I feel blessed every day to have had the opportunities I have had.”  – Amy Kendall

We can all relate to the feeling of being connected to other divers, regardless of the languages we speak. Amy has won a PADI swag bag for sharing her story.

Third Place – Danielle Downe

“Finding my mom’s diving gear and old dive log from the 1980’s. She died in 2007 at age 44 from breast cancer, several years before I got into diving. We didn’t talk about her dives before she dies, but she was an adventurer with a crazy spirit and I can only imagine her her stories. It’s neat to see her old notes, marvel at the change in scuba gear and also know that I get to enjoy the same sport my mom did many years prior!”

Danielle’s story of connecting with her mother through diving is so touching. She has won Vivid-Pix photo editing software.

Once again, huge congratulations to all of our prize winners and thank you to everyone that got involved by sharing their favourite diving memory.

Position Vacant: Quality Management Consultant at PADI Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 Aug

We have an opening for a Quality Management Consultant to join our expert Quality Management team located at PADI EMEA in Bristol, United Kingdom.

The Quality Management consultant will be the primary contact for quality management issues for PADI members, ensuring that PADI Members understand the importance of using PADI’s educational system and are aware of their responsibility to adhere to PADI standards.

The role will involve interacting with members and non-members with regard to quality management issues and reporting incidents, developing and delivering risk and quality management programmes, and maintaining PADI’s member recognition programmes.

Position Requirements:

  • Experienced PADI IDC Staff Instructor or higher (Course Director preferred)
  • Educated to A level standard or equivalent (degree level preferred)
  • Fluent English and at least one other central European language is essential. French would be especially desirable and any other additional European languages would be an advantage.
  • Highly analytical, with excellent communications skills, organisational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to read and interpret complex documents such as incident reports, legislative reports, subpoenas and legal pleadings.
  • Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees.
  • Ability to understand, organize, and prepare statistical analysis of complex, sensitive and confidential information.

This role is based at the PADI EMEA office in Bristol, United Kingdom; therefore, the successful applicant must have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom.

To apply for this position, please send your CV and covering letter to: Rachel Landregan, Human Resources, rachel.landregan@padi.com.

For an informal discussion or questions regarding this position, please contact Fiona Fishburne, Quality Management, fiona.fishburne@padi.com.

Application closing date: 12 September 2016

PADI Women’s Dive Day in Asia Pacific

24 Aug

Last month divers all over the globe celebrated the second ever annual PADI Women’s Dive Day. On July 16, over 700 PADI Women’s Dive Day events took place in 77 countries. Men, women, boys and girls donned their fins with one goal in mind; to celebrate the contributions that women have made to the sport that we all love.

In Asia Pacific alone, 286 PADI Women’s Dive Day events took place, from the Philippines to Fiji and Indonesia to India. Events ranged from DSD experiences and courses to BBQs and high teas.

Erin, PADI Asia Pacific, states “I hope that through events like PADI Women’s Dive Day we can influence more female’s to meet and fall in love with our underwater world. There is a discrepancy between the numbers of female and male divers globally. This day, hopefully, will help in a small way to close that gap. More divers means more interest, love and care for our oceans. That can never be a bad thing, especially at a time when our oceans desperately need our support”.

One event where the spirit of the day was clearly embodied was at Lumba Lumba Diving Centre in Indonesia, where all the dive centre’s admin staff and hotel housekeeping staff were invited to see what diving is all about by going on a Discover Scuba Dive. Tari, receptionist at Lumba Lumba Diving Centre felt that this day gave her the opportunity to see why tourists flock to Indonesia’s waters; “Seeing divers every day made me very curious about diving. I’m so happy I could see it for myself. So many fish, coral and colours! It was really nice for me and my colleagues to discover some of our country’s treasures. We also laughed a lot. One of my dreams is to become a dive guide.”

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Lumba Lumba Diving Centre, Indonesia 

This event was only 1 of 286 in Asia Pacific and 700 world-wide that were held to celebrate women in diving as well as encourage more women to become future divers. We hope all involved in PADI Women’s Dive Day had a fantastic day.

Interested in hosting a PADI Women’s Dive Day event on July 15 2017? It’s easy! Send us an email and we will be able to help you with any questions you may have.

Get in quick! To reserve a PADI Women’s Dive Day marketing pack for 2017 ensure you register your interest early!

Take a look at some of the amazing PADI Women’s Dive Day events that took place this year in Asia Pacific:

Rainbow Divers - Vietnam 1

Rainbow Divers, Vietnam

Udive - Malaysia 4

Udive, Malaysia

Davy Jones' Locker - 2

Davey Jones’ Locker, Thailand

Performance Diver - New Zealand 2

Performance Diver, New Zealand

Affiliation Links for Your Website Now Available in More Languages

23 Aug

Add links to your website and automatically affiliate Touch or eLearning students with your store so you generate revenue around the clock. Use the link below and plug in your store number along with the corresponding course ID.

Affiliation links are now available for Open Water Diver Touch in these additional languages: Spanish, Polish, Korean, German, French, Italian, Arabic, Dutch, Japanese and Portuguese.

For Touch, Certification Paks and eLearning use:

For ReActivate use:

Here’s the full list of available affiliation links: