Project AWARE: Finathon Champion Andrew Barrett is swimming to end finning today!

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.

Andrew Barrett Finathon Champion Philippines

Finathon Champion Andrew Barrett is swimming to end finning today. He’s raised a FINtastic $900 and is set to swim 7.5km. Show our Calypso Team swimmers your support! Good Luck.

A love of eating pies and protecting sharks has inspired one scuba diver to make a pledge he may regret! If his fundraising target is met he’ll swim 1,500 metres. But for every $10 over the target PADI Master Instructor, Andrew Barrett will swim an extra 100 metres.  This puts Andrew’s Finathon™ challenge firmly in the hands of his friends. The more dollars people donate the more he’ll have to swim so please give generously to protect sharks.

Andrew brings a sense of humour to his fundraising appeal: “Luckily there are no shark fins or shark products in mince pies!  I’m an enormous fan of both sharks and mince pies. Unfortunately the mince pies have expanded my waistline and the Finathon™ is a great way for me to hopefully burn off some of the excess calories and save sharks at the same time. The competition with in Calypso Diving is strong and within my competitive nature there can only be two winners- the SHARKS and ME!”

Good Luck to all the Calypso swimmers on 29 May 2013. Support sharks and donate to the Calypso team or join the Finathon™ and get swimming to end finning.

Jon Piepkorn (Subsurface Fiji) Exceeding Expectations

In the Undersea Journal 2nd Quarter 2013, John Piepkorn from Subsurface Fiji was recognised for his outstanding teaching and managerial skills. Here’s what Ursula Scheid (OWSI) had to say:

Jon Piepkorn [IDC staff Instructor]

I’ve had the pleasure of working at Subsurface Fiji with Jon M. Piepkorn over the last few months and I want to let PADI know about the exceptional experience I’ve had learning from him. Having come right out of my Instructor Exam at the end of February 2012, I was very nervous about my new job! I knew I needed experience, guidance and loads of support. Well, Jon met my expectations and exceeded them. I am just beginning to know that I know what I am doing. Jon has a wealth of life and diving experience which he applies to his managerial role here at Subsurface. Jon’s style is hands-on, energetic, tough but fair with a great laugh. He is straightforward in his teachings and never misses a beat regarding safety whether it be students, staff, courses, boat, dive sites, equipment or logistics! He is available, reliable and open for discussion and has never left me wondering about my decisions or abilities. He is clear in his responses and his reasoning and always makes me consider future options and alternatives. I have learned much from him, and I wanted to acknowledge him as an outstanding PADI Instructor, manager and person. – Ursula Scheid

To read the full version of the Undersea Journal 2nd Quarter, 2013, please click here.

ScubaEarth Site Milestones and Enhancements

ScubaEarthAs you already know or have experienced, having an active presence on ScubaEarth yields many benefits for PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, including the ability to help you increase your business.

Since its launch, ScubaEarth has seen many milestones, including more than 2,100,000+ page views. This means users are highly active and engaged on the site. And, since all pages are branded with the PADI dive shop the diver is affiliated with, this provides retailers and resorts with a huge branding presence.

ScubaEarth has also had more than 1,400,000 total minutes spent on the site by users since launch. What does this mean? The average user is spending a high amount of time on ScubaEarth, exploring the various site features. Based on the average page views, site users have high levels of community awareness, which presents an excellent opportunity for PADI Members to engage with and convert these divers.

To help keep site users engaged within the site and make it easier for consumers to find the “scuba snacks” they seek out within this community, the PADI organisation is continually adding new updates and improvements to ScubaEarth. Recent enhancements and refinements include:

Home page redesign – ScubaEarth’s homepage has been redesigned to include an embedded video communicating the value and benefits of ScubaEarth to consumers. This redesign has increased the page load time and aims to help increase conversion.

Advanced search option – This allows site users to easily search and connect with divers and PADI dive shops. The advanced search also includes the ability for users to narrow a search for a specific country, state or province. Site users can find the ‘Advanced Search’ link below the normal search function.

Logging dives
– Logging a dive on ScubaEarth is now faster with improvements to the logging process. If you are looking to log a dive even faster, make sure you hit the ‘finish’ button once you have selected the dive site and completed the five compulsory fields of: date, depth, temperature, visibility and bottom time. This option lets you easily log your dives in under a minute.

Logging in via social media networks
– ScubaEarth users can now log in using their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn login info. First you must create an account on (divers) or, if you are a PADI Pro, sign in via the link on the Pro’s Site.

Remember, once you have registered for ScubaEarth via the PADI Pros’ Site, you can easily log into ScubaEarth each day via This will ensure you are logged into ScubaEarth instantly.

After account set up is complete, you can link your ScubaEarth account with your preferred social media site. From the ScubaEarth homepage, click either the Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn icon. After logging in using, for example your Gmail credentials, you will be prompted to link your ScubaEarth account. From that point forward, you can sign in using your selected social media login and password.

Why PADI Standards are Important to PADI Members

All training programs share some fundamental concepts that need to be regularly considered by not only the training provider but also those conducting the training under the auspices of the training provider.

Educational Validity

A primary concept of any training program is the educational validity of that program.  It stands to reason that the educational validity of an activity that has inherent risks needs to be carefully considered, tested and documented to ensure that it adequately addresses those risks and provides a system of training that mitigates those risks as much as reasonably possible.

Legally Defendable

The system of training must provide clear documentation that the training was not only conducted in accordance to the training standards, but also contains the appropriate documentation that identifies the student diver was clearly aware of the inherent risks involved and chose to accept those risks.  Documents such as:

  1. Documentation that the actual training was an approved training program.  (WRSTC recognition, Government recognition, industry recognition, etc.)
  2. Documentation that the individual training provider was qualified to conduct that training. (PADI certification)
  3. Documentation that identifies that the training was conducted in accordance with the organizations training standards (Student Record Files)
  4. Documentation that the participant was aware of and assumed the risks inherent to the activity. (Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk)
  5. Documentation that the participant was medically fit to take part in the activity. (WRSTC Medical Declaration)

If we miss out on even one of the above five components, the student diver is subject to an increased incident of risk, both to injury and/or death.  It is also increases the members’ exposure (both individual member and dive centre) to the quality management process and to litigation.

From time to time, we receive comments from members who believe that PADI Standards are inflexible and ask why PADI Standards cannot be revised or altered to fit unusual circumstances that occasionally occur while conducting PADI courses.

To illustrate these concepts, it is worthwhile to use actual incident scenarios that we have dealt with in the past.

Please review the two scenarios by visiting the PADI Pros site. Go to Training Essentials > Regulations to find this information.

AWARE Shark Conservation Course: Absolute Hit!

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.

DiveWorld Brisbane AWARE 17.5.13‘Did you know that Grey Nurse shark pups eat each other in the mother’s womb and only the strongest survive?’ This is one of many facts about sharks discovered by divers on the Dive World Brisbane Specialty course .

Dive World launched their AWARE Shark Conservation Distinctive Specialty with nine candidates signed up for the theory and seven diving. The course started at Dive World in Brisbane where Specialty Instructor Ray Crampton presented a mix of videos, biologists presentations and the theory.

The course took divers to Sea World on the Gold Coast for a dive in the Reef Tank with over 50 sharks, including leopard shark, tawny nurse sharks, black tip reef sharks, white tip reef sharks and other bottom dwelling sharks such as grey carpet and epaulette sharks.  From this tank you can also see into the Shark lagoon where the large whaler sharks live.

On second and final day, the group headed out to Shark Alley, Flat Rock at North Stradbroke Island to look for sharks. The group was overwhelmed with some of the divers seeing a Whale Shark, plenty of Wobbegong and Tawny Sharks. Some of the divers also saw a Leopard Shark.

“The AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty was an absolute hit,” said Ray Crampton.   “All candidates loved the experience and have stories to tell about how they can help educate their friends and family about shark conservation. Thank you Project AWARE for providing the content and platform for a great course. We already have three candidates signed up for the next one.”

Interested in teaching the AWARE Shark Conservation Course grab all the resources from the Shark Action Kit.

Want to do more? Join the Finathon™! The clock’s ticking for vanishing shark species. This July, Project AWARE is looking for 100 Finathon™ champions to join the race to protect them. If you’re FINatical about sharks, join the Finathon today and fundraise for their protection.

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. 

7 New Wonders of the Underwater World Contest

7 Wonders Blog Image 16.5.13
PADI has launched an exciting consumer contest to name the “7 New Wonders of the Underwater World” on the PADI Facebook page.

Submissions will be gathered during the initial stage of the contest until the 29th May 2013, and a shortlist of finalists will then be chosen. A public vote will then take place from the 31st May 2013 until the 24th June 2013. The 7 New Wonders of the Underwater World will then be announced on the 3rd July 2013. There are some great consumer prizes to be won for entrants! Full details and the official rules can be viewed on the PADI Facebook page.

How can you get involved as a PADI Professional or PADI Dive Shop?

Simply help promote and share the contest with all your friends, fans and divers via the PADI Facebook Page or this mobile friendly link;

Importantly, you can also help promote entries from your own divers or entries that are within your region!

So spread the word to ensure your region is represented as part of the 7 New Wonders of the Underwater World Contest!


Project AWARE: Are You FINatical About Sharks? Get Swimming to End Finning

This article is courtesy of Project AWARE.

Divedown-Below-Finathon-(13)The clock’s ticking for vanishing shark species. Project AWARE is looking for 100 Finathon™ champions to join the race to protect them. If you’re FINatical about sharks, join the Finathon™ today and fundraise for their protection. How many people can you get swimming to end finning?

What’s the Finathon™? Like a swimathon, fun run, cycle race or marathon – the Finathon™ is a great way to bring your community together, raise awareness and funds to support this unique cause. You can help Project AWARE:

  • Fight to stop finning
  • Insist on full protections for Critically Endangered sharks
  • Negotiate stronger policies to ensure a brighter future for all sharks

Why sharks? Shark fishing is largely unregulated and finning kills thousands of sharks every day. Project AWARE has recently secured unprecedented trade protections for 8 of the world’s most vulnerable sharks and rays. But additional measures are needed to ensure shark survival.

Sharks will not survive by chance. They’ll survive because divers demand it. This July, we’re doing something. We’re swimming to end finning. The time has come to get FINatical about sharks.  So grab your dive buddies, create your team and dive in!

Create Your Online Fundraising Page:

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.