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.

GDPR – New Privacy Regulations in the Old World

GDPR – New Privacy Regulations in the Old World

You have likely heard that the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is here. But do you know what it is, what it means and who it applies to? Here’s an overview.

What is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The GDPR legislation replaces the 1995 Data Protection Directive and was designed to unify data protection laws across the European Union while providing greater data control and protection for European Union citizens.

Why was it brought into force?

Today’s world revolves around data and it is dramatically different from the world in which the 1995 directive was developed. Many of the original provisions are valid and remain, but the increasing number of privacy and data breaches have made it imperative to update this policy for a number reasons – including the need to protect European Union citizens.

How is GDPR different from the 1995 Data Protection Directive?

Who does it apply to?

  • GDPR primarily applies to businesses established in the European Union but it also applies to businesses based outside European Union that offer goods or services to European Union residents or collect data about European Union residents (Article 2 – Material Scope and Article 3 – Territorial Scope)

What does compliance mean?

  • Because of the complexity of this legislation, full compliance requirements will vary. Please seek information from an appropriately qualified source such as your professional or legal counsel.

When does compliance enforcement begin?

  • 25 May 2018

In there a grace period?

  • The European Parliament approved GDPR in April 2016 and if was officially published in May 2016. There is no grace period.

Where can I go for more information?

Sources:

Disclaimer

The materials in this post do not constitute legal advice and others and are provided for general information purposes only. It is recommended that you contact your general or legal counsel.

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.

5 Ways to Make Your Exhibition a Success at a Dive Expo

Exhibiting at a dive trade show can be a beneficial investment for your business, however it is imperative that if you do decide to make the investment, you need to make it worthwhile.

Here are 5 ways to make your exhibit a success.

Develop an objective for the show. For example:

  • Build awareness for your brand.
  • Build a database to allow you to contact them after the show.
  • Sell your products and services at the show.

Attract people to your stand and build a crowd

  • Have great signage that makes an impact.
  • Have images or products positioned to get attendees to come in and have a closer look, allowing you to start a conversation.
  • Use a PA system to announce what you’re promoting at your booth.
  • Don’t just sit behind a desk, get out and actively engage with visitors or passers-by.

Have a call to action – a reason to sign up or purchase now

  • This could be a limited release product, such as ‘limited quantities’ or ‘limited style’ of product.
  • Put a time limit on the special so they have to choose right away (or in the next few weeks if you can get their contact details).

Create a database

  • Use this to contact attendees after the show with a reminder about your products and services. To obtain a large database people need a good reason to give you their contact details.
  • You could do this via a contest, for example: ‘Enter the draw and you could win’. After the show you could give out your major prizes then contact everyone else with the notification and another call to action. Ensure you have the legalities organised before running a contest through your business.

Staffing

  • Have well briefed and quality staff on the stand. Make sure they know the products, services and are happy and smiling.

What else could you consider?

  • Can you collaborate with another operator to save on costs?
  • Are there one or more operators that you can work with that will complement your exhibit?
  • If possible, ask to position your exhibit in a busy area next to complementing services or large exhibits that will also attract large audiences.

Damian Jones
PADI Regional Manager

New Year Tips from the PADI Asia Pacific Quality Management Team

As PADI Members we all want diver training and certified diver activities to be comfortable and safe.

Part of the joy of teaching people to dive and leading certified divers is knowing that we have helped our customer to be more confident and competent in the water. In 2018 we will be bringing you tips from the field from PADI Members on how to maintain and improve safety in your professional diving activities. We will also share some insights from the QM team about common incidents and lessons to learn as well as common QM issues that we see in our work.

This month tips from the QM team: Run PADI courses as they are intended and described in the PADI Instructor manual and Guide to Teaching.

Vanessa – Quality Management Coordinator.

“Use a line on your CESA. Sounds like common sense but we do see cases of instructors deciding to run the CESA skill in their own way without a line

Don’t shift skills, remove skills or modify skills.

Doing this can increase the risk for both your student and yourself.

For your student it is about physical risk. The way the CESA is described in both the PADI Instructor manual and the PADI Guide to Teaching has been developed and tested and undergone industry scrutiny. Many thousands of CESA’s are conducted this way every year without incident. Why would you modify what has proven to be successful and safe?

For yourself it is about both your physical risk and legal risk. If you can’t stop someone when you need to on a CESA and something goes wrong such as a fast ascent or a rescue situation then you yourself may face physical risk.

Secondly it is about your legal risk. Ask yourself this question “If an accident happened during this course how would I defend myself in court when I have changed the course?”

Donny – Quality Management consultant

“Waterskills assessments are crucial steps in the Open Water Diver training process. Skipping these assessments is like allowing someone to jump out of a plane without checking they know how to deploy the parachute.

 PADI Open Water Diver students must be able to complete the 200m swim with no swim aids or 300m snorkel with mask fins and snorkel comfortably. They also need to complete a 10 minute swim/ tread. These are non-negotiable – they must be conducted and the instructor needs to feel a confidence that their student has a level of water comfort to enable them to manage themselves on the surface comfortably.

The PADI system of diver training is a well-established internationally recognised programme of diver education. The components and sequencing has been carefully considered and tested by the best educators in the industry. The system of training mitigates the inherent risks of diving as much as reasonably possible. The standards themselves become part of your defence if things go wrong. If you have not followed those standards then that part of your defence is reduced or lost.

From the Quality Management team at PADI Asia Pacific have a successful and safe year in diving for 2018.

Michelle Brunton, PADI Course Director and Manager of PADI Asia Pacific Quality and Risk Management.

Preventing and Managing Middle-Ear Barotrauma

By the Divers Alert Network www.danap.org

It’s the most common diving injury, affecting more than half of all divers at some point. So how do you prevent and manage middle-ear barotrauma (MEBT)?

Firstly, what is MEBT?

Middle-ear barotrauma is the accumulation of fluid and blood in the middle ear or rupture of the eardrum as a consequence of failed equalisation of pressure in the air space of the middle ear during diving or flying.

Mechanisms

The air pressure in the tympanic cavity­ — air-filled space in the middle ear — must be equalised with the pressure of the surrounding environment. The Eustachian tube connects the throat with the tympanic cavity and provides passage for gas when pressure equalisation is needed. This equalisation normally occurs with little or no effort. Various manoeuvres, such as swallowing or yawning, can facilitate the process.

An obstruction in the Eustachian tube can lead to an inability to achieve equalisation particularly during a descent when the pressure changes fast. If the pressure in the tympanic cavity is lower than the pressure of the surrounding tissue, this imbalance results in a relative vacuum in the middle ear space. It causes tissue to swell, the eardrum to bulge inward, leakage of fluid and bleeding of ruptured vessels. At a certain point an active attempt to equalise will be futile, and a forceful Valsalva manoeuvre may actually injure the inner ear. Eventually, the eardrum may rupture; this is likely to bring relief from the pain associated with MEBT, but it is an outcome to be avoided if possible.

Factors that can contribute to the development of MEBT include the common cold, allergies or inflammation — conditions that can cause swelling and may block the Eustachian tubes. Poor equalisation techniques or a too rapid descent may also contribute to development of MEBT.

Manifestations

Divers who cannot equalise middle-ear pressure during descent will first feel discomfort in their ears (clogged ears, stuffed ears) that may progress to severe pain. Further descent only intensifies the ear pain, which is soon followed by serous fluid build-up and bleeding in the middle ear. With further descent, the eardrum may rupture, providing pain relief; this rupture may cause vertigo, hearing loss and exposure to infection.

Management

While diving: When feeling ear discomfort during descent, you should stop descending and attempt equalisation. If needed, ascend a few feet to enable equalisation. If equalisation cannot be achieved, you should safely end the dive.

First aid: When feeling fullness in one’s ears after diving, abstain from further diving. Use a nasal decongestant spray or drops. This will reduce the swelling of nasal mucosa and Eustachian tube mucosa, which may help to open the Eustachian tube and drain the fluid from the middle ear. Do not put any drops in your ear.

Treatment: Seek a physician evaluation if fluid or blood discharge from the ear canal is present or if ear pain and fullness lasts more than a few hours. If vertigo and dizziness are present, which may be a symptom of inner-ear barotrauma, you should seek an urgent evaluation. Severe vertigo and nausea after diving require emergency medical care.

Fitness to Dive

Return to diving may be considered if a physician determines that the injury is healed and the Eustachian tube is functional.

Prevention

– Do not dive with congestion or cold.
– Descend slowly. If unable to equalise after a few attempts, safely end the dive to avoid significant injury that may prevent you from diving the rest of the week.

How to Access Your Store Report Card

At this time of year we often look back over the previous year and analyse both the wins and the losses.

In the dive business there are many areas we can look at within our businesses and many tools available for use.

Certification trends, including demographics like age, gender and home country/State or city of your students are just a few statistics which are available for you to use (you can obtain these from your PADI Regional Manager) which may assist in deciding where you are best to spend your precious marketing dollars.

There are also many reports available to you via your PADI Pro Account. Simply follow the link below to see these reports:

https://www2.padi.com/mypadi/pros/toolbox/irra/global/report-card/

Report Card

Under this area you can track how your store is performing against the Country and Region your operation is a part of. This provides a breakdown of your own certification growth and conversion rates as seen in the example below:

You can also see where you are spending your time:

And how you are tracking against the State/Province, Country, Region and PADI Office:

With all this data available at your fingertips it becomes easier for your business to dig deeper into your statistics. With this information you should be able to formulate a more targeted plan for 2018 for marketing and increase specific areas or grow a particular market.

For further information touch base with your Regional Manager and visit your store PADI Pro Account today.