The New PADI Dive Shop Locator (Beta) is Live!


Getting people to learn scuba diving (and continue on after they’re certified) is a team effort, and PADI® is always looking for ways to make Members’ businesses stand out and shine. The Dive Shop Locator (DSL) was created more than a decade ago so new divers could find dive training they could trust.

With the newly redesigned and repackaged PADI.com, it was time for the DSL to get a refresh. As the new PADI DSL Beta is unveiled, PADI Members will see a host of exciting features – all with the goal of making sure their business keeps growing. Here’s a quick FAQ of what you can expect from the new PADI Dive Shop Locator.

What are the key features to the new DSL?

Check out the value and sheer number of these new features of the PADI DSL Beta.

  • Better User Experience – The user journey matches what users expect from a location-based search experience from sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Maps. This includes cleaner page layouts and information hierarchy, intuitive task flows and visual consistency.
  • Enhanced Map View – Adjustments to the way search looks at geography has improved the look and feel of the visual indicator dive shop flags to clearly indicate the type of dive center shown on the map (g. a PADI 5 Star).
  • Improved Filtering – New filters use more descriptive terminology and intuitive filter groupings.
  • Faster Loading Speed/Performance – The new PADI DSL is a quicker experience regardless of whether your area has high or low bandwidth.
  • More Detailed Dive Shop Pages – Each dive shop has a unique URL and page. This will allow the pages to be “deeplinked,” which helps marketing teams and members share the URL via email and on websites, and allows pages to be indexed by search engines like Google.
  • Better Mobile Experience – The new DSL is a fully mobile friendly and responsive experience.
  • Improved Search – Users will have the ability to search by almost any (reasonable) dive-related phrase to locate a dive shop or location.
  • More Clearly Delineated Ads – Sponsored ads are displayed within the search results list and map, making them more visible to end-users.
  • Filter by Freediving Centers –  Individual dive shop pages and filter menu includes the ability to filter by freediving centres.
  • Visibility for PADI 5 Star – Search results show all shops but, list 5 Star Dive Centres and Resorts more prominently.

What is a “Beta” and how will this work?

The Dive Shop Locator is an important tool that divers find and connect with dive centres and resorts. To fully understand how any new design affects this process, the PADI team will make both the current and new design available to users and allow them to switch between each experience and leave feedback. For the next two to three months, the team will monitor interact with each, adjusting each design as needed and sharing the learnings.

How long will the DSL Beta run?

The DSL Beta will initially run for eight to 12 weeks, but will be flexible so that enough data can be collected to make the DSL the best it can be.

Maximise Your Potential

Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Mark Wastall.

One of the beauties with the PADI System of diver education is how flexible it can be, how easily adapted it’s timeline is, how it can cater for a variety of diving styles, how much it has moved with the times and how much potential there is to keep divers learning.

This style of training means that we, as Instructors, have the ability to be able to add to our students experience and add to the revenue generated from the course. The latter should be great news if you own or run your own dive centre, if you are a freelance Instructor paid by the course or an independent Instructor looking to maximise earning potential.

It is very easy to become blinkered into only teaching the course that is in front of you. ‘The student has asked for a PADI Open Water Course, that’s what I’ll teach them’ is a mindset that a lot of Instructors develop. We can sometimes miss the glaring opportunities that we are presented with. How many times have you told an Open Water student that they cannot take a camera on the training dives as it’s ‘against standards’ but were you aware that you can, in fact, link the PADI Open Water Course with PADI Digital Underwater Photographer LVL1? The knowledge development can be done at any time during the course. The Level 1 Photo dive can be done in confined after confined dive 3 or in the open water as part of the tour potion of dive 4. With 1 more dive after the PADI Open Water Course and the student has Level 2. As simple as that, you have just earned 2 certifications from 1 student, extra revenue for yourself or your dive center and you now have a student who can happily and comfortably take photos underwater. This could also lead to retail potential on top if you are a centre that has the opportunity to sell equipment.

With just a quick look at the PADI Instructor Manual, General Standards and Procedures, you can see how our courses can be linked together and how students can easily earn credit towards the next level of their diving. With this knowledge, you can help increase your Con-Ed ratios. A great help if you are working towards PADI Master Instructor or PADI Course Director.

Another easy course to link with any of the core courses is PADI Enriched Air Diver Course. The theory can be combined during the PADI Open Water Course for example and goes hand in hand when explaining No Decompression Limits. The practical application exercise can be conducted at any time during the course, maybe at the pool during equipment setup. As an enriched air dive is not required, this course can be run with very little overheads but again is 2 certifications and extra revenue.

These extra dives can also count towards a student’s PADI Advanced Open Water Course if the knowledge reviews have been completed or again, why not combine an Enriched Air tank on a deep dive of the PADI Advanced Open Water.

It doesn’t need to stop there either, adding PADI O2 Provider to the PADI Rescue Course is another way to upsell a course with very little extra time or outlay. The training structure can be your friend. Look for the opportunities, maximise your potential.

For further advice please don’t hesitate to contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant on training-sales@padi.com.au.

June Tips from the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team

In 2018 the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management team continues to bring you tips from PADI staff in the field on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. This month we heard from PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Manager, Michelle Brunton.

“Taking simple, small actions can make the biggest difference in reducing risk.” Michelle Brunton

The ‘Be safe- Be seen’ type campaigns for cyclists combined with driver education and changes to driving laws has been effective in many areas at reducing the risk of cyclists being hit by traffic.

Surface Markey buoys Dive flags have been around a long time and are one of the most simple and cost effective ways to reduce risk of surface boat incidents, yet they are still not used in every location where there is boat traffic. Incidents in which boats hit a diver have tragic consequences and are devastating for everyone involved. We should have a zero tolerance for these incidents and do everything possible to reduce the risk.

The U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Centre reports that from 2005 to 2013 boat-propeller strikes caused 636 injuries and 38 deaths of people engaged in water activities (boating, water skiing, swimming, snorkelling, diving, tubing, etc.); 442 of these injuries and 29 of these deaths were caused by a person being struck by a vessel.

After reviewing several incidents in which boats have hit divers the following aspects became noticeable:

WHEN: Boats can hit divers before, during and after a dive. We assume that these boat propeller incidents happen at the end of the dive when the divers ascend to the surface. But often they occur on the surface before the dive on during the dive when divers unintentionally get close to the surface.

We should be ensuring the start of the dive is smooth in terms of the descent and that divers are not placed in situations where they drift away from the marked descent line or into areas of boat movement. We should use a well-marked and clearly visible descent line where possible.

We often stress the importance of divers deploying their SMBs at the end of the dive during the safety stop to mark their location. But at the start of dives a diver has an ear problem having difficulty descending, conducting a buoyancy check, or getting more weight from the boat or shore. These situations mean the diver is on the surface possibly away from the pre-arranged descent area and possibly at higher risk of not being seen by a boat driver.

SNORKELING: We tend to think of SMBs and Flags for the use of SCUBA Divers, but what about snorkelers. How do we mark the location of snorkelers in areas of boat traffic? Some locations now require the marking of snorkelers so they are easily seen both by other boats and by the dive operation surface watch staff. So let’s ask ourselves “Does our dive store or resort supply marking buoys or surface marking devices suitable for both snorkelers and divers?

DIVER BEHAVIOUR CAN PUT THE DIVER AT RISK: Some incidents occur as a result of diver skills and behaviour. What diver behaviours could make a difference?

  • Using SMBs every dive – every time
  • Use a hand held float on dives with lots of boat traffic and/or drift dives
  • Training and practicing effective safe entry and descent skills
  • Being aware of boat traffic before the dive, at the safety stop and during ascent
  • Navigation skills – getting back to the planned exit point
  • Buoyancy skills – reducing the likelihood of unplanned surfacing during a dive
  • Know the weights you require – or if you are not sure get in the water and do buoyancy checks so that you can comfortably descend
  • Manage gas consumption – keep fit, plan the dive well in terms of depth, current and bottom time to avoid unplanned ascents due to low air situations

BOAT DRIVING BEHAVIOUR CAN PUT THE DIVER AT RISK: This one might be a bit more complex and requires some good leadership and teamwork between dive stores. Can we get together the operators in the area to talk about the management of boats at our dive sites? Can we come up with a local ‘good practice’ guideline for boat operators that will enhance safety? It might include:

  • Radio communications protocols during drop offs and pick ups
  • Establishing safe lanes where divers tend to surface
  • Agreements that all operators will use a dive flag when dives are in water
  • Agreements to reduce speeds around diving areas to even lower than local law requirements
  • Ensuring Dive professionals and other crew are vigilant on watch and letting the skipper know about DSMBs in the water and divers (especially on larger boats where the skipper cannot see everything)
  • Staggering dive entries between operators so that each boat has time to get in and out of the entry area safely

It is in all of our best interests to reduce the risk of boating incidents. Consider the whole picture and look for ways to reduce this risk:

The timing
The snorkeler
The diver behaviour
The boat behaviour

PADI Instructor Examinations for May, 2018

04 May | Wellington, New Zealand

05 May | Hong Kong

09 May | Amed, Indonesia

11 May | Komodo, Indonesia

11 May | Taipei, Taiwan

12 May | Auckland, New Zealand

12 May | Bali, Indonesia

12 May | Singapore

15 May | Gili Islands, Indonesia

16 May | Cebu, Philippines

16 May | Pattaya, Thailand

19 May | Phuket, Thailand

19 May | Shanghai, China

22 May | Koh Tao, Thailand

22 May | Perhentian Island, Malaysia

22 May | Puerto Galera, Philippines

24 May | Dumaguete, Philippines

26 May | Christchurch, New Zealand

27 May | Anilao, Philippines

28 May | Lembongan, Indonesia

May Tips from the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team

In 2018 the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management team continues to bring you tips from PADI staff in the field on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. This month we heard from PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Consultant and Qualified Barrister, Rebecca Wastall.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

“In today’s changing world I don’t think we can ignore the importance of insurance. Make sure you are protected as a dive professional. We live in litigious times and comprehensive cover should be at the top of your agenda.” Rebecca Wastall

Rebecca Wastall, PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Consultant

Insurance, a topic no one likes discussing! It’s something that most don’t want to buy but feel they are forced into purchasing. Insurance seems to dominate everything we do, from driving a vehicle to travel to sporting activities. We can’t move without someone saying “you need insurance for that”. Depending on where you are based in Asia Pacific depends entirely on whether it is or isn’t compulsory to have insurance in the diving industry too. As it stands any member that goes to work as a dive professional in Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia and New Caledonia are required by law to have insurance. This is regardless of your country of origin or how long you intend to stay.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that so many diving professional decide not to purchase insurance when it’s not compulsory for the great majority and can therefore be ignored? Absolutely not. A few years ago litigation was unheard of in places like Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Unfortunately today’s world is bringing new challenges and those that thought “it’s not required so I won’t invest” are unfortunately on occasion regretting their decisions.

In the last six months there have been several cases of negligence where court proceedings have been issued in the Asia Pacific Region. In most of the cases the allegations are vehemently denied. Most of these stores did not have insurance and now have to fight their way through the court system either unaided or by paying privately. With legal bills in excess of $100k, companies are struggling to find the fees to fight. All of these new cases are in countries not normally associated with issuing legal proceedings.

People it seems, be it through media attention, advertisements of lawyers or otherwise, are becoming familiar with bringing compensation claims. Looking for fault, regardless of whether it can or can’t be justified. People are becoming aware they can bring a civil law suit anywhere in the world providing they apply the legal principles laid down by the country where the incident took place. With the introduction of the “no win no fee” system people are thinking there is nothing to lose. Anyone can bring a claim. You need to ask yourself are you in a position to defend it?

PADI Risk Management Seminar in Koh Tao 2018

Have you considered how you would pay for legal proceedings if you were to be sued as a company, as an individual or both? Do you have that contingency? Do you understand that as a company you could be liable for anything your instructors do under employment or when using freelancers. Vicarious liability is strict in nature and if an incident takes place and falls within the remit of diving it is likely the claimant will sue the store as well as the individual as the store is more likely to be solvent and able to pay.

Obviously we don’t want our members to be placed in this position. Check and double check your paperwork, keep your training up to date and be cautious when people complain of ailments that could be associated with many different conditions. Always treat the worst case scenario. This is safe and best practice. What you need to ask yourself however, is, is this enough? Has our liability culture struck a new level, a level we would be foolish to ignore?
In the scheme of a business expense, for an individual or company, insuring yourself or your dive centre is not expensive in nature. Yes, it is an extra cost but it is good to at least explore the benefits it could give you. There are many insurance companies available to give you Liability Insurance. PADI works closely with our approved partner V Insurance as we feel it gives good cover in many areas. It has been specifically designed for PADI Asia Pacific Members. It provides both Public and Product Liability, Professional Indemnity, assistance in criminal prosecutions, coronial inquests, workplace health and safety defence costs as well as crisis and media management. For exact cover and figures please go to padiinsurance.com.au for more details.

In terms of how much you will be paying out, well it may be less than you think. For a few hundred dollars you are getting a comprehensive insurance support package.

If you would like further information and would like to speak with the V insurance specialist team on:

1300 945 547 (Toll Free Australia Only) or (+61 2) 8599 8660
Email: padi@vinsurancegroup.com
Web: www.padiinsurance.com.au

If you have any concerns about incidents or potential liability problems occurring please feel free to call or email the Quality Management Department on +61 2945542841 or by email at qa@padi.com.au.

PADI Instructor Examinations for April, 2018

04 Apr | Mabul, Malaysia

04 Apr | Whitianga, New Zealand

05 Apr | Koh Lanta, Thailand

06 Apr | Komodo, Indonesia

06 Apr | Neil Island, Andamans, India

07 Apr | Bali, Indonesia

07 Apr | Cairns, Australia

09 Apr | Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

10 Apr | Gili Islands, Indonesia

14 Apr | Sanya, China

sanya

14 Apr | Semporna, Malaysia

15 Apr | Moalboal, Philippines

17 Apr | Malapascua, Philippines

21 Apr | Jakarta, Indonesia

21 Apr | Phuket, Thailand

21 Apr | Shenzhen, China

21 Apr | Sydney, Australia

21 Apr | Tioman Island, Malaysia

24 Apr | Koh Tao, Thailand

24 Apr | Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

26 Apr | Dunedin, New Zealand

28 Apr | Jeju Island, South Korea

28 Apr | Melbourne, Australia

How Diving Affects Your Health and Circulatory System

By the Divers Alert Network Medical Team www.danap.org

Scuba diving exposes you to many effects, including immersion, cold, hyperbaric gases, elevated breathing pressure, exercise and stress, as well as a post dive risk of gas bubbles circulating in your blood. Your heart’s capacity to support an elevated blood output decreases with age and with disease. Having a healthy heart is of the utmost importance to your safety while scuba diving as well as to your ability to exercise generally and your life span.

In this article, we explore how the various aspects of diving affect your heart and cardiovascular system.

Effects of Immersion

Immersion in water near the temperature of the human body exposes your body to a pressure gradient, which shifts blood from the vessels in your legs to those in your chest cavity. This increases the volume of blood within your chest by up to 24 ounces (700 milliliters).

Your heart thus takes in an additional 6 to 8 ounces (180 to 240 milliliters) of blood, resulting in an enlargement of all four chambers, an increase in pressure in your right atrium, a more than 30-percent increase in cardiac output and a slight increase in your overall blood pressure.

Baroreceptors (sensors that perceive a change in blood pressure) within your body’s major vessels react to all these changes by decreasing the activity of your sympathetic nervous system, which governs what’s popularly called the “fight-or-flight” response. As a result, your heart rate declines and the concentration in your plasma of norepinephrine, a hormone of the sympathetic nervous system drops; in response to the drop in norepinephrine, your kidneys excrete more sodium, and your urine production increases.

Effects of Cold

Water has high thermal conductivity — that is, your body loses more heat when you’re immersed in water than when you’re in dry air. You’ll feel more comfortable at a given air temperature than when you’re immersed in water of the same temperature. And when your body loses heat, that intensifies the narrowing of your peripheral blood vessels (a condition known as “peripheral vasoconstriction”). This in turn sends more blood to your heart, which increases the filling pressure on the right side of your heart and makes it pump more blood. Constriction of the body’s small arteries also increases the resistance to blood flowing through the periphery of your body, which raises your blood pressure, meaning your heart has to exert itself more to maintain an adequate flow of blood throughout your body.

Effects of Pressure

Breathing air under increased pressure, as you do when scuba diving, also affects your heart and circulatory system. Increased levels of oxygen cause vasoconstriction, increase your blood pressure and reduce your heart rate and heart output. And increased levels of carbon dioxide — which may accumulate in the body when you exercise during a dive, due to reduced pulmonary ventilation caused by dense gases — can increase the flow of blood through your brain, which can speed up oxygen toxicity if you’re breathing a hyperoxic gas mix (one with an elevated level of oxygen).

Effects of Exercise

Diving can be very physically demanding, but recreational divers have the option of choosing diving conditions and activities that typically do not require a lot of exertion. Nevertheless, any dive places some metabolic energy demands on your body. For example, slow, leisurely swimming on the surface represents a moderate-intensity activity, while swimming with fins on the surface requires up to 40 percent less energy than barefoot swimming. But the addition of scuba equipment increases drag on the swimmer and thus the energy cost of swimming. A 1996 paper in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that wearing just one scuba tank may increase a diver’s energy consumption by 25 percent over regular surface swimming at the same speed and that using a drysuit may result in another 25 percent increase in energy consumption.

Most dives at neutral buoyancy and with no current require only short intervals of intermittent swimming at a slow pace and thus represent low- to moderate-intensity exercise. Exercise intensity is measured by a value known as metabolic equivalent (MET), with 1 MET representing the amount of energy consumed when at rest. It is suggested that divers be able to sustain exercise at 6 METs for a period of 20 to 30 minutes. Since people can sustain only about 50 percent of their peak exercise capacity for a protracted period, it is recommended that divers be able to pass an exercise stress test at 12 METs.

Effects of Stress

Your autonomic nervous system (ANS) — the largely involuntary system that regulates internal functions such as your heart rate, respiratory rate and digestion — is affected by diving, too. Among the components of the ANS are the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems; while the sympathetic system governs your body’s “fight-or-flight” response, the parasympathetic system governs resting functions and helps your body conserve energy. In healthy individuals, diving generally increases parasympathetic effects, preserving the heart rate and a measure known as heart rate variability. A dive that is perceived as stressful, however, pushes the ANS in the other direction, meaning sympathetic effects prevail — resulting in an increase in the heart rate, a decline in heart rate variability and an increase in the risk of arrhythmia.

Serious Adverse Effects

Most of the effects that diving has on your heart and circulatory system fall within your body’s capacity to adapt, but sometimes serious adverse reactions can occur. A reaction known as bradyarrhythmia (a very slow and irregular heartbeat) can cause sudden death upon a diver’s entry into the water, especially in individuals with a pre-existing rhythm anomaly. Conversely, tachyarrhythmia (a very rapid and irregular heartbeat) can also cause sudden death, especially in divers with structural or ischemic heart disease. And overexertion or the effects of stress may strain the heart and result in acute manifestations of previously undiagnosed ischemic heart disease.

Breath-hold diving can have particularly serious adverse cardiac effects; these effects occur in quick succession in a response known as the “diving reflex.” Its most significant elements include bradycardia (a slowing of the heart rate); the peripheral vasoconstriction reaction described above; and progressive hypoxia (or lack of an adequate supply of oxygen). To avoid bursting a lung, scuba divers must not hold their breath during ascent.