Archive | November, 2012

Escape, Explore and Experience with ScubaEarth™

30 Nov

ScubaEarth™, your one-stop resource for everything scuba, is now open. Escape, explore and experience everything this all-inclusive site has to offer.

Share diving experiences on ScubaEarth and explore the interactive community for scuba divers and water enthusiasts alike. ScubaEarth offers more than 50,000 dive sites and 60 dive destinations to help you research your next vacation—and that’s just the beginning. You can also:

  • Log your dives
  • Show off your latest photos and videos
  • Join the dive crew of your favorite PADI dive shops
  • Find current weather and recent dive conditions
  • Use your gear locker to track when your gear is due to be serviced
  • Keep up with dive buddies and meet new dive buddies

Dive in and join today:

  • Go to www.ScubaEarth.com
  • Select your experience level and click Register
  • Enter your details and click Register

Log on at www.ScubaEarth.com to set up your profile today.

Project AWARE: Stronger Shark Finning Ban Endorsed by European Parliament

29 Nov

This article is courtesy of the Project AWARE Foundation. You can also see the full article here.

Conservation groups are celebrating last week’s European Parliament vote to close loopholes in the European Union ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea), the culmination of six years of campaigning and debate.

Members of the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the European Commission’s proposal to impose the best practice for finning ban enforcement: a prohibition on removing shark fins at sea. The measure faced formidable opposition from representatives of Spain and Portugal, Europe’s leaders in catch of oceanic sharks.

The EU banned finning in 2003, but the associated regulation includes loopholes that allow shark fins to be removed on board and landed separately from shark bodies, which hampers enforcement.

“We owe so much of our success to the tens of thousands of divers across Europe and beyond who voiced their concern for sharks,” said Suzanne Pleydell, Director for Project AWARE Foundation in Europe. “By demonstrating the economic benefits of sound shark stewardship, divers brought new EU Member States to the debate to support a stronger finning policy that reflects the values of the entire European Union, not just its shark fishing powers.”

Parliament’s final report now goes to the EU Council of Ministers and Commission as part of the process to finalize the regulation. Conservation groups stressed that finning bans alone are insufficient to save sharks.

The groups are turning their sights to the next big battleground for sharks: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) whose Parties meet in March to consider proposals to list commercially valuable, threatened shark species, including porbeagles, hammerheads, and oceanic whitetips.  Proponents for listing include the EU and U.S.

Shark Advocates International, Shark Trust, and Project AWARE are working as part of a new coalition with Wildlife Conservation Society, Humane Society International, and the German Elasmobranch Society to secure CITES protections for sharks and rays.

Thank you to all PADI Members and Dive Centres who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved.

A Day in the Life of a Divemaster

26 Nov

An interview with Denéa Buckingham
PADI Divemaster
Sydney Dive Academy
PADI 5 Star Dive Centres
Matraville NSW Australia

What is your current job at Sydney Dive Academy?
I completed my Divemaster certification in Boracay and I’ll be completely honest – I’m a chilly water wuss, so in the cooler months I handle the digital strategy and marketing for Sydney Dive Academy.

Describe a typical day in your working life
In the off season at Sydney Dive Academy I’ll be working on a number of projects involving social media, events coordination and marketing. Multitasking on the days I’m physically in the dive shop, I’ll fill tanks, assist Peter Cross and Jamie Illistom with courses, help fit our divers with rental gear and make sure everyone feels welcome when they come to our club.

A standard day in the water could mean guiding a dive club trip around Bare Island (Botany Bay) and pointing out the beautiful amount of marine life in the waters of Kamay National Park. I might be coordinating a group to meet for a dive trip to the HMAS Adelaide or down to dive with the seals at Wollongong. Other times I’ll be bringing up the Open Water pack – looking after a new diver who isn’t particularly confident.

My role is varied and there’s always something exciting to work on!

When did you start diving?
In 2009, for a holiday with an ex-boyfriend! He was already qualified so he made me complete my Open Water Diver course in the middle of winter in Sydney in order to go, the weather was hideous and I froze my tail off.  But 29 degree water in Sipadan and a subsequent adoration of diving were more than worth it.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
I did my Divemaster training from January to April 2012 with Calypso Diving on Boracay Island in the Philippines.

How did you feel when you became a PADI Divemaster?
I was absolutely thrilled because I’d grown and changed as a person as well as a diver.

What highlights do you recall from your DM course?
Calypso are working on an exciting new resort on one of the islands neighboring Boracay. I was lucky enough to go with Rene Buob (our Course Director) and Andy Barrett (my Instructor) to explore new dive sites around the island.

Andy Barrett and I orchestrated the release of two little Bamboo Reef sharks from a neighbouring Chinese restaurant. We also negotiated with the restaurant to remove all shark dishes and shark meat from the menu. A very decent crowd assembled to watch us release the sharks (who we’d nicknamed ‘Ni’ and ‘Hao’) off the beach near the dive shop. You can read my full article about it on Project AWARE’s website

I could go on and on – there were so many highlights. I recommend the PADI Divemaster training course to anyone who wants to discover a new depth in themselves; it is an experience that means so much more than just a certification card.

Where have you worked as a PADI Pro?
With Sydney Dive Academy here in Australia but who knows where it will take me!

What is one of your favorite memories in your diving career?
In March 2012, the Boracay Association of Scuba Schools (BASS) sunk a Yakolev Yak 40 aeroplane as a new dive site. I was well into my Divemaster training at that time so I jumped on board for all the activities surrounding the sinking. I took video of the 70-odd people that physically pushed the jet across the tarmac and into the water to be towed to the dive site. Then I helped video the actual sinking and I was the first one to create a dive site map of the wreck.

My last dive in Boracay was guiding my friend and PADI Course Director, Sue Gibbins around the wreck, the ownership and pride I felt in being qualified to lead her around something I’d had so much to do with was fantastic.

What words of advice would you give to new dive professionals?
‘You get out what you put in.’ If you’re not prepared to bring the best you have to every dive you won’t have as much fun or feel as rewarded as you can if you give 150% every time you get the chance.

We’re incredibly lucky to have earned our way into the world of Professional Diving, now the fun is in continuing to deserve it!

You can also find this article in the November edition of Surface Interval

EFR® Materials Update

21 Nov

The full range of the bright and shiny newly revised EFR materials are now available in Asia Pacific! All products have been updated to reflect the latest changes resulting from the 2010 ILCOR Guidelines and include new techniques for helping your participants learn the current emergency protocols.

Revised Primary Care and Secondary Care course Instructor and Participant materials* are now available in English, Japanese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

Further translations to follow.

 

 

Revised CPR&AED course Instructor and Participant materials* are now available in English and Japanese.

Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Italian expected to become available early 2013.

Further translations to follow.

 

 

Revised Care for Children course Instructor and Participant materials* are now available in English and Japanese.

Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish expected to become available early 2013.

Further translations to follow.

 

 

 

NEW! – Digital EFR Instructor Manual (72010) is now available in English. It contains the PDF version Instructor Guides for all three EFR courses: Primary and Secondary Care, CPR & AED and Care for Children.

The paper version EFR Instructor Manual (70149) is also available in English – it comes in a binder with of all three individual EFR Instructor Guides.

 

 

Revised EFR Instructor Trainer materials* are now available in English and Japanese.

Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish to follow early 2013. Further translations to follow.

70988 is the digital version disc with EFR Instructor Course Lesson Guides, EFR Instructor Trainer Guide and all three individual EFR Instructor Guides.

70093 is the binder with paper version EFR Instructor Trainer Guide only.

71850 is the EFR Instructor Course Exam.

* Please refer to your EFR Instructor or Trainer Manual for materials required for participants, instructors and Trainers.

Contact your regional Sales Consultant to order any revised materials you may be missing as it’s important you now have and use the full range of newly revised materials during all EFR courses you teach (see next article).

To keep up-to-date on new EFR/PADI course materials as they roll out, log onto to your local PADI Blog: OceaniaSouth East AsiaEast AsiaSouth Korea and enter your email address.

Don’t forget – you can order anytime from the online shopping cart – log onto the PADI Pros’ Site and click shop online.

Required Implementation Date: 1 January 2013

Required implementation date for all revised EFR materials (English) is no later than 1 January 2013. For other languages – implement as soon as materials become available.

Project AWARE: Celebrate Australia’s New Marine Reserves

19 Nov

This article is courtesy of  the Project AWARE Foundation. You can also see the full article here

Time to celebrate! On the 16th of November 2012 in Australia, the largest network of marine parks in the world was officially declared and is now legally in place.

Over the last few years your submissions made the Australian Government aware of the broad support for ocean protection amongst the global dive community – well done!

Join us in thanking the Australian Government for this landmark decision to protect our unique marine wildlife and places.

The new reserves protect some of Australia’s marine treasures including the Coral Sea, the jewel in Australia’s marine crown. With pristine corals and swarming sharks, the Coral Sea is a dream destination for divers everywhere. Also protected are unique environments in SW Australia, where blue whales come to feed and 90% of marine life is found no where else on earth.

Covering an area almost one-third the size of Australia the new reserves are a big step forward for ocean protection, but we have an opportunity to make them even better. Very soon we will tell you more about this opportunity and how you can help make the reserves the best they can be.

But for now let’s celebrate the creation of the world’s largest network of marine reserves! Highly protected marine reserves enable threatened species like sharks, rays and turtles to recover. Read more about Marine Parks and Sharks.

Thank you to all PADI Members and Dive Centres who support Project AWARE. Please look out for more alerts from Project AWARE on how you can get involved. 

The First Finathon™ in Malaysia – What A FINtastic Event

14 Nov

Project AWARE’s FINatical about Dive Downbelow who reached the finish line and raised AUD $5,000 for sharks.  Everyone completed the 1km open sea swim and enjoyed the day so much they’re asking: “When’s the next Finathon?”

This was a great healthy fun way to raise awareness and funding for a hugely important cause. We’re amazed at the support shown by all participants and cannot thank them enough”

The Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Directors, Richard and Joanne are passionate about sharks and jumped on board straight away to host the first Finathon™ in Sabah. Downbelow funded the entire day so all money raised will go directly to Project AWARE.

Along the route they stationed 3 boats, 3 kayaks and 6 Instructors with life rings to monitor the participants.  An illegal fishing net and 34kg of marine debris discovered on route was removed later that day by Downbelow staff.

If you’re planning your first Finathon™ and have dive courses scheduled involve everyone in your big event.  Dive Downbelow IDC candidates swam the course and received credit for their ongoing program as did three PADI Open Water course participants.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved for being FINatical enough to join the challenge and help give sharks a brighter future.

Special Congratulations To Kinabula International School (KIS) Diving and Conservation Club for their speedy swim times and super fundraising.  KIS was the highest fundraising team to enter event, raising a staggering RM3500! As an added bonus, Cassandra Davis finished in 1st place with a time of 21 minutes closely followed by Andre Leong with a time of 21:32. Teacher, Gareth Pearson finished 3rd with a time of 24 minutes and Georgia O’Donnell in Year 7 produced a fantastic time of 29:15.

PADI Member Renewals: Free Project AWARE manta mask strap with your AU$25 donation

7 Nov

Manta rays, a species close to the heart of every diver, are at risk of extinction. The time is now. If you are a renewing PADI Member (Divemaster, Instructor and above), then you can make an urgent donation with your PADI Member Renewal to protect mantas globally.

All gifts of AU$25 or more received during PADI Member Renewals receive a new Project AWARE manta mask strap. There’s 4 ways for PADI Members to make a gift:

1)      You can choose to donate when you set up your Automatic Renewal

2)      If your Auto Renewal is already set up simply email your PADI Team to add the donation for you memdep@padi.com.au

3)      Choose the donate option when you complete your renewal online

4)      Complete the PADI Member Renewal 2013 Form which includes info about the special offer.

FACTYour support has already helped Project AWARE and our conservation partners succeed in safeguarding the globally threatened giant manta ray and its key habitats under the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

FACT: Manta ray catch has nearly quadrupled in seven years according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 

Project AWARE relies on you – the PADI Member – to help raise critical funds and take action for ocean protection. We’re working at every turn to ensure that mantas will not disappear on our watch.

New for 2013! The Project AWARE Manta Ray Card

Don’t forget to replace your PADI Certification Card with Project AWARE’s new Manta Ray Card. Show your student divers you’re mad about manta rays in 2013.