Standard Safe Diving Practices for both Scuba Divers and Freedivers

If asked, would you know what the 10 points are on the Standard Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding form?

If we asked a newly certified PADI Open Water Diver or a PADI Freediver what they were, do you think they could answer?

Diving with a buddy is one the golden rules in both Scuba & Freediving which should NEVER be broken!
Diving with a buddy is one of the golden rules in both Scuba & Freediving which should NEVER be broken!

We are lucky to have access to these great forms however I strongly believe they could be better utilized.

We ask all training course students to sign the form at the beginning of each course which is great but are we also emphasizing these practices at the end of their training (prior to certification) to ensure they now fully understand those recommendations and head off planning to follow them?

Direct your students using the training logbook to the section at the end of the training area where the below form is included or when sending your newly certified students a congratulatory email thanking them for their custom or encouraging enrollment on the next PADI course add the form as an attachment with a reminder to ensure they familiarize themselves to the points and adhere to them.

Let’s have a look at what our students and professional PADI divers are agreeing to:

Standard Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding

1. Maintain good mental and physical fitness for diving. Avoid being under the influence of alcohol or dangerous drugs when diving. Keep proficient in diving skills, striving to increase them through continuing education and reviewing them in controlled conditions after a period of diving inactivity, and refer to my course materials to stay current and refresh myself on important information.

2. Be familiar with my dive sites. If not, obtain a formal diving orientation from a knowledgeable, local source. If diving conditions are worse than those in which I am experienced, postpone diving or select an alternate site with better conditions. Engage only in diving activities consistent with my training and experience. Do not engage in cave or technical diving unless specifically trained to do so.

3. Use complete, well-maintained, reliable equipment with which I am familiar; and inspect it for correct fit and function prior to each dive. Have a buoyancy control device, low-pressure buoyancy control inflation system, submersible pressure gauge and alternate air source and dive planning/monitoring device (dive computer, RDP/dive tables—whichever you are trained to use) when scuba diving. Deny use of my equipment to uncertified divers.

4. Listen carefully to dive briefings and directions and respect the advice of those supervising my diving activities. Recognize that additional training is recommended for participation in specialty diving activities, in other geographic areas and after periods of inactivity that exceed six months.

5. Adhere to the buddy system throughout every dive. Plan dives – including communications, procedures for reuniting in case of separation and emergency procedures – with my buddy.

6. Be proficient in dive planning (dive computer or dive table use). Make all dives no decompression dives and allow a margin of safety. Have a means to monitor depth and time underwater. Limit maximum depth to my level of training and experience. Ascend at a rate of not more than 18 metres/60 feet per minute. Be a SAFE diver – Slowly Ascend From Every dive. Make a safety stop as an added precaution, usually at 5 metres/15 feet for three minutes or longer.

7. Maintain proper buoyancy. Adjust weighting at the surface for neutral buoyancy with no air in my buoyancy control device. Maintain neutral buoyancy while underwater. Be buoyant for surface swimming and resting. Have weights clear for easy removal, and establish buoyancy when in distress while diving. Carry at least one surface signaling device (such as signal tube, whistle, mirror).

8. Breathe properly for diving. Never breath-hold or skip-breathe when breathing compressed air, and avoid excessive hyperventilation when breath-hold diving. Avoid overexertion while in and underwater and dive within my limitations.

9. Use a boat, float or other surface support station, whenever feasible.

10. Know and obey local dive laws and regulations, including fish and game and dive flag laws.




PADI Freediver Safe Diving Practices Statement of Understanding

1. Always freedive with a trained buddy and follow established freediving buddy practices. 14. Remove the snorkel from my mouth when I descend on a freedive.
2. Not participate in open water freediving after scuba diving on the same day. 15. Not exhale during the dive, except immediately before breaking the surface upon ascent so I can inhale sooner.
3. Equalize my ears and mask immediately as I descend, frequently and gently, before I feel discomfort. 16. Upon returning to the surface, exhale passively and gently. Inhale actively and more quickly. Do this at least three times.
4. Never continue descending without equalizing. If I can’t equalize, return to the surface. 17. Recover for at least three times the duration of my breathhold before starting another dive.
5. Never attempt a forceful and/or extended equalization. A forceful, extended equalization can cause serious, permanent injuries to ears and hearing. 18. When ascending from a dive to depth, have my buddy escort me for the final part of my ascent.
6. Descend with my lungs full. 19. Not start a descent until my buddy has completed recovery from a previous dive.
7. Freedive in good health. Never freedive with a cold or congestion. 20. Follow the one-up, one-down buddy system.
8. Even if I’m a scuba diver, not take a breath from scuba at depth while freediving. An exception may be an emergency, in which case the scuba diver should share air with me as we both make a scuba ascent. 21. Assess conditions before a freediving session and plan my session. It is ultimately me who decides whether to go freediving. I am responsible for my own safety, so only I can make the final decision to dive.
9. Use relaxation to extend breathhold time. Not use hyperventilation. 22. Avoid freediving in large and rough surf.
10. Increase breathhold durations gradually. Gain experience slowly. 23. Avoid contact with all organisms, but especially unfamiliar ones. Know the potentially hazardous ones for the area where I’m freediving.
11. After descending to depth, head up well within my limits. The deeper the dive, the sooner I should head up. 24. Get a local orientation to a new freediving location and/or join a group to help learn about conditions, organisms, hazards and local procedures.
12. Send a diver who blacked out underwater or who may have inhaled water at the surface to the hospital, even if apparently fully recovered. 25. Protect myself from the sun and stay hydrated.
13. For open water freediving, weight myself so that I float comfortably at the surface after exhaling.

Ensuring all divers understand the importance of these safe diving practices could well reduce the number of diving incidents which should result in more divers entering this fantastic sport. Apart from the safety aspect its always more fun to dive with a buddy. Encourage your divers to be the best buddy they can be by agreeing to never break the safety rules as they head off to independently dive.

For further information on risk management check out the PADI Pro site’s webinars or speak to your Regional Manager.

Brisbane Dive Against Debris™ with Totally Wild Film Crew

Written by PADI Regional Manager, Hans Ullrich.

As divers we all know the importance of healthy reefs and that is why I always enjoy jumping in the ocean when one of my dive centers has organized a clean-up.

I recently had the pleasure of having Hannah Pragnell-Raasch from Project AWARE visit Brisbane to see key supporters of Project AWARE and to assist with the Dive Against Debris™ surveys with Go Dive Brisbane. I picked up Hannah from Brisbane airport on Friday morning and went straight to Brisbane Dive Academy to see Mick Wheatley. Brisbane Dive Academy is a 100% AWARE Partner – kindly making a monthly donation to Project AWARE so that  each of Brisbane Dive Academy’s students receives the limited edition Project AWARE certification card. Hannah also met up with Jess Scionti, one of the Brisbane Dive Academy’s PADI Instructors and avid Project AWARE supporter.

brisbane dive academy - jess and hannah

We then headed to see Shona and Pete at Devocean Dive on the Gold Coast. Shona and Pete organize regular clean-ups and do a great job in the Gold Coast Seaway. Hannah explained the importance of submitting their data online through Dive Against Debris so that their great efforts are not lost and contribute to long term change, which ultimately will help us return to an ocean free of debris.

Hannah then had the opportunity to catch up with Jon Doughty – PADI Instructor and a 100% AWARE Partner before traveling across the border to see PADI Course Director Pete Comerford of Tweed Seasports, having a good chat about what Pete’s doing with Project AWARE and his divers.

devocean dive and hanna

We drove to Manly (Brisbane) were we stayed overnight so we only had to walk 100 meters to the Go Dive boat. We met at 6.00am and Mark and the crew were already in full swing setting up the boat for the 2 Dive Against Debris survey dives. There were 16 divers signed up and we had Totally Wild from Channel 10 on board as well. Mark Robertson, owner of Go Dive Brisbane organized the dives well on social media and we were ready to roll. After all divers were present, Hannah conducted a Dive Against Debris briefing and shortly after the boat and safety briefing, we departed at 7.00am to Tangalooma. We got into our buddy pairs, armed with clean up bags and conducted out first dive. The visibility was awesome and there was a lot of marine life on the site, Hannah and I were lucky enough to come across a sea turtle at the end of the dive. Back on the boat, Hannah and Steffen took charge of logging all the debris using the Dive Against Debris Data Card and we enjoyed great weather, gummy worms and chocolate chip cookies. Besides lots of fishing line and hooks, we also had a spear, anchor and a working underwater light.

After a good dive brief we went on our way to dive number two, navigating our way around some of the wrecks. Lots and lots of fishing line and sinkers were stuck on the wrecks and even a big fishing rod and reel was laying in the sand. Hannah removed the fishing line from the rod but we left the rod and reel as it was encrusted in marine life. Back on board the divers had brought up a lot more debris this time including several anchors, lots of bottles and a plate. Fishing line, hooks and sinkers were the dominant items removed and reported. Once again the debris was recorded and when we got back to Manly, it was disposed of responsibly.

Participating in Dive Against Debris surveys empowers divers to contribute to short term change through the immediate removal of harmful debris but, through submitting the data online to Project AWARE, you are contributing to lasting, long term change. The data collected through Dive Against Debris is critical in providing policymakers with quantitative evidence about the marine debris the lurks beneath the surface – an issue that has been previously disregarded as out of sight, out of mind. Project AWARE works closely with Partners, sharing the divers’ voice and the underwater perspective of this messy problem. Divers play an absolutely essential role in addressing the underwater marine debris issue – we are the only ones with the skills to go underwater and collect this information.

It was a great day out on the reef and I like to thank not only Mark and the Go Dive crew for their support of Project AWARE and keeping the ocean clean, but also all the participants that were on the boat participating in Dive Against Debris surveys on Easter weekend.

PADI Asia Pacific is seeking a Sales Supervisor

We have a fantastic opportunity for a Sales Support Supervisor to lead our internal Sales Support team on a daily basis.
Ideally, you will have a minimum PADI Divemaster rating (Instructor preferred); A proven track record in Sales; Team leader or supervisory experience and know how to manage people and mentor a team.


This role is based at the Asia Pacific Regional Head office located in Frenchs Forest, Sydney, Australia.

You must have appropriate citizenship, residency or visa to work in Australia.

View job description and requirements.

To apply:

Please send your CV to:

Alison Vasek
Human Resources Manager

Applications close: Friday, 25th March 2016


PADI Asia Pacific
Unit 3, 4 Skyline Place
Phone: + 61 2 9454 2888
Fax: + 61 2 9454 2999

What Does ‘My PADI’ Mean to You?



What does My PADI mean to you?

Your PADI empowers you with confidence to be a better diver and a better person. It lets you learn more about yourself and what you are capable of achieving.

Your PADI is your passport to adventure. It lets you access the ocean planet and swim with the magical marine life that inhabits our seas.

Your PADI lets you experience new worlds and inspire others to do the same so that we can all partner together to protect what we love.


We want to hear your My PADI story

Tell us in 500-700 words what PADI means to you and you could be featured in the new My PADI global marketing campaign to inspire more people to start, keep or teach diving. Please incorporate answers to the following questions in your reply.

  • Describe your inspiration to become a PADI diver.
  • How has PADI changed your life or career?
  • What does PADI mean to you?
  • Complete this sentence. “My PADI is…”
  • How would you describe scuba diving in one word or sentence to a non-diver?

Please send 500-700 words and two photos maximum (one must be a topside photo or headshot) to


“To me ‘My PADI’ means adventure, exploration, education, and conservation. The underwater world is a true wonder. There is so much still to be explored and PADI aids in nurturing that curiosity.” – PADI diver Emily Krak

Congratulations to the 2015 PADI Elite Instructor Award Recipients

PADI Elite Instrcutors 2015

Top certifying PADI Instructors will be receiving their awards for issuing 50, 100, 150, 200 or more than 300 certifications in 2015. This award celebrates the achievements of PADI Instructors who issued 50, 100, 150, 200 or 300+ certifications during 2015.

The Elite Instructor Award distinguishes PADI professionals by highlighting their experience as PADI Members and gives them the means to promote their elite status to student divers, potential students, prospective employers and others. Elite Instructor Award recipients receive an acknowledgement letter and recognition certificate (both signed by PADI President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Drew Richardson), a decal to add to their instructor cards, and an e-badge they may use on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages. Elite award instructors may authorize PADI Dive Centers or Resorts with which they associate to display their Elite Instructor Award on the business’ digital site as well.

Check out the 2015 Global Elite Instructor Recipient List to see who earned an award for their 2015 certifications. Listed PADI Instructors can go to the “My Account” tab on this site to download their 2015 Elite Instructor e-badge, and should also be able to see their e-badge on their PADI Pro Chek results page.

Danny Dwyer, Vice President at PADI Asia Pacific, said “The Elite Instructor Award is a prestigious designation for PADI Instructors. Now these PADI Professionals can share their achievement with others by displaying their recognition decals and badges including on their instructor cards, websites and social media channels.”

Visit the PADI Elite Instructor information page to read about the 2016 program.

Update on PADI Members in Fiji

PADI Logo You may be aware that Cyclone Winston recently made landfall in Fiji and we’d like to pass on some positive news in these difficult times from PADI Members in various locations around Fiji.

Firstly, no serious injuries of PADI Professionals and other staff from PADI Dive Centres & Resorts in Fiji have been reported. Communications are returning with PADI Asia Pacific being able to phone most PADI Dive Centres & Resorts directly and email traffic has now resumed for the majority of PADI Members. PADI Asia Pacific is supporting PADI Members who have been impacted by the cyclone.

Across Fiji, certain islands have been impacted more than others. Even on these islands, PADI Dive Centres and Resorts have been impacted differently. Fiji Tourism is providing updates through various communication channels.

The challenge for PADI Members in Fiji is the return of business and we encourage all PADI Members to support our colleagues in Fiji by considering a trip to this beautiful diving location well known for its friendly people and incredible diving. The majority of PADI Dive Centres & Resorts are open for business and urgently need inbound tourists to support the local communities’ recovery.

Visit the PADI Dive Store Locator for a full listing of PADI Dive Centres & Resorts in Fiji.

The Fijian people were hit hard across the country and we encourage all PADI Members to consider donating to one of the NGOs that are in country including UNICEF and the Red Cross.

Thank you for any assistance you can provide in the recovery of this popular diving destination.

PADI Instructor Examinations – February 2016

Congratulations to all the new PADI Instructors from February 2016.

Below are some photos from the PADI Instructor Examinations held throughout Asia Pacific.

1-2 February – Malapascua, Philippines


4-5 February – Bohol, Philippines


6-7 February – Cairns, Australia


13-14 February – Phuket, Thailand


16-17 February – Koh Tao, Thailand


20-21 February – Papeete, French Polynesia


21-22 February – Semporna, Malaysia


24-25 February – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia


27-28 February – Semporna, Malaysia


27-28 February – Singapore