Are You Covered?

With litigation constantly on the rise, comprehensive liability protection is critical for today’s dive professionals.

Maintaining current liability insurance is not only good risk management, but it is also required in many (although not all) areas in order to remain in Teaching status. Although many members feel that liability insurance is only really necessary in the United States and maybe Canada, in recent years we have seen that this is not the case. These days, dive litigation is a truly global issue, with dive-related lawsuits being filed not only in the United States, but in many other locations.  Even in countries where civil litigation isn’t all that frequent, coroners’ inquests often are. Defending one’s self or business in a coroner’s inquest involving a diving death or serious injury can be an extremely expensive proposition without insurance.

Dive professionals need professional liability insurance to cover them for claims resulting from accidents while training divers and snorkelers, supervising and guiding dive excursions, or even assisting an instructor during a training course. In addition, those providing the equipment for their student divers and course participants also need equipment liability coverage, because professional liability coverage alone will not defend accidents in which the equipment provided was alleged to be the cause.

Dive operations should also maintain general liability insurance, covering accidents resulting from products sold, rentals and repairs, air fills, slips-and-falls and so on. In some areas, stores/resorts may purchase group professional policies that insure the store and all the store’s associated professional staff for teaching and supervisory liability.

Given the increasing frequency and global reach of scuba-diving lawsuits, it’s recommended that every PADI Member obtain the information necessary to make wise insurance decisions. Having insurance coverage when a dive accident occurs can make the difference between being properly defended or being financially ruined even when, as is usually the case, you have done nothing wrong. You can still be sued, and you still need to be defended. In today’s world, every active dive professional and dive operator can benefit from dive insurance.

Sign up for the PADI endorsed V Insurance Professional Indemnity Policy today.

Paddle against Plastic

On Global Recycling Day, Sunday 18th March 2018, a team of our best watermen and women from Gili Lankanfushi completed a 14km Stand Up Paddle to raise awareness about the overuse of single-use plastic. During the endurance event, the team collected all floating litter they encountered along the three-hour paddle. The majority of the haul was plastic, so our message is clear: If we can SUP 14km around our island; you can give up using single-use plastic in 2018.

At Gili Lankanfushi, we encounter a large amount of ocean plastic arriving with the tide every day. Some arrives with the current from distant countries, but a lot appears from neighboring islands and the capital Male. Despite Gili’s No Plastic Policy and the plastic recycling program we have in place with Parley, we still face a tidal wave of plastic over the year. Our team wanted to tackle this problem head on.

The event began at day break as we hit the water at 7:15am stocked up with high energy food, water and cameras. The conditions were extremely favourable with low wind, little swell and high cloud cover. The first quarter of our paddle took us against the current, so it was slow going but this allowed us to collect as much floating plastic as possible. We found the majority of marine litter in the corners of Himmafushi Harbour so we set about collecting as much as we could carry. Those working at the harbor watched us approach and a few men jumped into action and helped us collect plastic from the water. They gave us a few extra bags when we ran low. These positive reactions made our hard work feel extremely valuable.

As we turned the corner behind Himmafushi Island, we had the wind and current with us, so we completed almost six kilometres in just over an hour. Being out on the open ocean and looking down to see the fish and coral beneath our feet was a real highlight. The final paddle back to Gili was the hardest, but we were met with the smiling faces of the rest of our team.


The entire experience was a great example of perseverance and team work. It was a great success and we were able to recycle a lot of litter, yet the overwhelming feeling was that we need to do even more next time. In just three hours we collected 200 items which included 90 plastic bottles, 20 bottle tops and 5 plastic bags and this was just the plastic we happened to paddle close to; a lot has been waterlogged or broken down and is found just below the surface or on the ocean floor.
The seven-man paddling crew was made up of Beau, Tropicsurf Manager and SUP surf champion; Naseef, Ocean Paradise Dive Instructor and marine mammal magnet; Emma, Assistant Marine Biologist and official team photographer; Tula, Head of Security and pretty much the toughest guy I know; Ibrahim, Ocean Paradise Boat Captain and life saver; Clare, Marine Biologist and event organiser and Jinah, Hotelier journalist and newly inspired sustainability supporter.

Despite the obvious challenges of reducing ocean plastic, we have seen such positive reactions to our war on plastic at Gili Lankanfushi. After visiting in November 2017, the inspirational Merle Campbell kindly shared:

“For many years now, I have daily walked the beach and never picked up any litter. Since visiting Gili Lankanfushi Maldives and listening about the importance of keeping plastics out of the waterways, I now walk the beach solely for the purpose of collecting rubbish to contribute to saving our sea life.”
We hope our Paddle against Plastic will inspire others to reduce their plastic dependence by taking small steps to reduce plastic use at home or at work. If we all participate, there will be a huge reduction in the amount of plastic that enters our oceans. Well done to Gili’s Paddle Against Plastic Team and Happy Global Recycling Day to Everyone.


A special thank you to everyone who assisted us in the Paddle Against Plastic! Thanks to Ocean Paradise for the boat, equipment and crew, the culinary department for the amazing food, the Sales and Marketing department for sharing our work and getting up early to see us off, the gardening team for recycling our plastic, Shifzan for the awesome photos, and the Gili Lankanfushi Management team for their amazing support!

 

PADI’s guest blogger Clare Baranowski introduces herself:

I am a marine zoologist from the UK who has worked throughout the tropics researching mega fauna and reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. I have experience monitoring and restoring coral and surveying manta, turtle and dolphin populations. I began my career as a science communicator before moving into research and management roles, this is why I incorporate outreach and education into every project I work on and I hope to continue this at Gili Lankanfushi

Help Divers Avoid Injuries

Written by DAN Staff

In the Northern Hemisphere spring is a great time to maintain both equipment and skills in preparation for warmer weather and a busy dive season. As many divers make sure their gear is ready to get in the water, you can help them make sure they’re ready, too. By familiarizing yourself with the most common causes of diving accidents, you can offer tips for effective skills practice.

What causes the most accidents?

Accident analysis data has shown that there are five leading causes of preventable dive accidents and injuries:

  1. Uncontrolled ascents
  2. Ear and equalization problems
  3. Poor air management
  4. Diving beyond personal limits
  5. Failure to adequately plan and perform dives

At least one of these factors is present in the vast majority of reported incidents.

How can you help divers avoid incidents?

A great way to minimize problems is to get divers to practice foundational dive skills. Encourage your students and customers to consider which of their skills need improvement and suggest ways for them to practice these skills. Ascents, buoyancy control, ear equalization and emergency weight release at the surface can all be practiced in the pool. Divers can work on air management and dive planning by calculating their air consumption and planning practice dives with you or an experienced buddy.

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What else can you do?

Some dive accidents are caused by unexpected equipment problems. Make sure divers know how to maintain, store and care for their gear. Also suggest they practice responding to different gear failures – regulator malfunction or stuck BCD inflators – by reviewing air sharing skills, freeflow regulator breathing and disconnecting their low pressure inflators underwater. Although not common issues, divers should feel comfortable responding to such events before they get in the water.

For more information about safe diving practices or preventing dive accidents, visit DAN.org.

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Training Bulletin Live – Webinar Schedule 2Q2018

Please find below the dates for the next round of Training Bulletin Live Webinars:

As always, we will be discussing the latest standards changes, providing background information on the updates and insight into how these can be integrated into your training. We will also be reviewing new products and providing business and marketing advice.

2nd Quarter 2018:

24/04/18 English

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7839064196215400195

25/04/18 French

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7603107901475808771

26/04/18 Italian

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1567667576097658114

01/05/18 Dutch

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2106645976039839233

02/05/18 Arabic

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3571879361440354818

03/05/18 Polish

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6347696520440875010

07/05/18 Scandinavian

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7929177971619022594

08/05/18 Spanish

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/886614679682627587

09/05/18 Portuguese

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4978906799319278850

16/05/18 Russian

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2943718472887247362

16/05/18 German

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4462673994655468033

If you have any questions regarding the webinar you can email training.emea@padi.com. We look forward to speaking to you during the webinar.

Quality Management Tips from the Field

Quality Management Tips from the Field

Throughout 2018, we’d like to share 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 Territory Director, Rich Somerset:

“We are blessed with a career that puts us in contact with the ocean – and the ocean demands our respect. Treat her with respect and she will give you a lifetime of adventures, but underestimate her at your peril. Remember: be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.”

The ocean is a truly awe-inspiring environment, and as divers we experience its benefits every time we enter the water. But as Rich says – the ocean also demands our respect.

All dive professionals should know their limits and will endeavour to stay well within them. This means having an even-handed grasp on the abilities of your students too. Use your judgement when assessing factors such as water conditions, ability of participants, your and your assistant’s personal limitations, and ratios etc.

Ask yourself questions such as:

  • “Am I familiar with this dive site?”
  • “Can I expect bad visibility or perhaps strong currents?”
  • “Can I provide adequate assistance to all divers in the group?”

With all things considered, you as the dive professional have the ultimate responsibility for making the final decision as to whether to dive. If something goes wrong, the question likely to be asked is– “Should the divers have been in the water at that time, in that environment, in those conditions, with their experience?” In these instances, you, as the professional, may well be asked to defend your decision to dive.

Rich couldn’t be more right when he says “be prudent in your decision making, put your students’ safety above your ego and – if in doubt – stay out.”

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is an annual worldwide movement to encourage individuals, communities, and businesses to conserve our resources. Celebrating it is a symbol of our commitment to our planet.

At Gili we celebrated Earth Hour on March 24th with the rest of the world, we hosted a Coral Conservation themed day with multiple events leading into each other. For each event, all guests and hosts were invited to attend and take part.

Our first event was a coral workshop hosted for Marine Biologists and enthusiasts. In attendance were three participants from our local island Himmafushi who have a keen interest in protecting their reef and inspiring locals. Additionally, Marine Biologists from Four Seasons Resort, Bandos Resort, Atoll Marine Centre and Hurawalhi Resort attended. Jinah, a journalist from Hotelier Maldives covered our event celebrations.

Our coral lines project launched in 2014 and currently has 190+ lines, each containing around 50 coral fragments. The aim of the project is to rehabilitate our degraded house reef through direct transplantation of mature corals and through indirect coral spawning from the nursery. The project was the first low-tech and high efficiency coral recovery project that involves rope in the Maldives.
Due to the optimal location and care that goes into the project we had 68% survival after the El Nino event and the crown of thorn starfish outbreak. Due to the success of our project, many Marine Biologists are interested in learning more as they want to launch their own projects or further their current projects in other locations. This is why we invited them to join us in celebration of Earth Hour.

 

We felt that hosting a coral conservation themed day would create a platform for a discussion on possible project improvements and new project ideas. Overtime the coral line nursery will contain heat tolerant coral species, fragmenting these species and planting lines could lead to natural spawning of more heat tolerant species which will increase survival rate in future warming events. This will lead to the creation of more healthy reefs decreasing the pressure of predation, providing a healthier habitat, refuge and nurseries for marine organisms like turtles, juvenile fish and other fish species as well as conserving a key ecological ecosystem.
On the day the visiting Marine Biologists arrived at 14:00pm and a land based presentation was carried out, topics included an in depth overview of the project, project creation, management, challenges and future plans. This was followed by a practical demonstration of making a coral line, monitoring the lines and general maintenance including cleaning and removal of invasive species. To view the coral line made by the Marine Biologists click here. To conclude there was a group discussion on possible project improvements and a question and answer session.

 

Following the success of the coral workshop together with guests, Marine Biologists and hosts we designed and created a coral shape in the sand on Library Beach. In celebration of the official Earth Hour which is between 20:30 – 21:30 we turned off none essential lights and filled the coral shape with sustainably sourced candles – coconuts and used cooking oil. During the official event our coral shape was beautifully illuminated by flickering candle lights and guests, Marine Biologists and hosts were able to enjoy this display whilst attending our Earth Hour cocktail evening.

 

To conclude our Earth Hour celebrations we hosted the documentary Chasing Coral in our Jungle cinema and Host Village. Chasing coral is a fantastic documentary about a group of divers, photographers and scientists who set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. They found that coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate and documented their discoveries and explained them in a way that is accessible to everyone.
Overall the event was a huge success with all participants learning something new and being inspired to help conserve our resources. We hope that you will join us in celebrating Earth Hour next year!

PADI’s guest blogger Emma Bell introduces herself:

I am a marine biologist and scuba diver from England. I have had the privilege of working in Greece, Seychelles and Maldives. I have worked in an aquaculture research centre where I focused on hormonal manipulation of a pelagic fish species. In addition, I have experience with coral restoration projects including frames and ropes; habitat restoration – crown of thorns, drupella and invasive plant species removal; educational activities and social media updates including blogs. I have also monitored population dynamics of bird, turtle, shark and cetacean species to aid in their conservation. I started my career working in the Maldives and I have done a round trip via Greece, England and Seychelles, I hope to increase my skills set and knowledge further whilst I am at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives.

Expand into Instructor Training

EFRIT

Helping new EFR instructor candidates to gain instructor level knowledge and skill and then pass that on through positive coaching to their own students is the role of the EFR Instructor Trainer. As an EFRIT your own skills will also be polished as you role model instructor level teaching. You’ll also consider opportunities outside your normal market as you guide instructors considering work in a wide range of environments.

If you would like to be an EFR Instructor Trainer you will need to:

  • Be an EFR Primary / Secondary Care Instructor
  • Be an EFR Care For Children Instructor
  • Have registered at least 25 EFR students

OR

  • Have conducted at least 5 separate EFR courses

And successfully complete an EFR Instructor Trainer Course. For dates and locations of these courses please click here.

Adaptive Teaching Techniques Instructor Course – Dubai

At the beginning of March 2018 and concurrently with the Dubai International Boat Show, PADI has organized the first PADI Adaptive Teaching Techniques Instructor Course in EMEA Territory.

This course is designed for PADI Pros who want to become more aware of some considerations when working with people who have physical or mental challenges.  Techniques can apply during PADI DSD, Open Water Diver or Continuing Education course; or when supervising certified divers with disabilities on a fun dive!

Under the guidance of PADI RM Teo Brambilla and PADI Advisor Adaptive Techniques Fraser Bathgate, the course was organized over two days and included knowledge development presentations, Dive Center Accessibility Workshop, Challenge Course, confined and open water workshops.

Read here below some testimonials of the attendees:

Ammar Hassan: <<PADI prove that nothing can stop anyone from getting in the water and dive, in fact, everyone can do it  no matter what its location, gender or disability.
The biggest learning I got from PADI Adaptive Teaching Techniques Instructor Course is concentrate on things that disability does not prevent you from doing well, and no one is disabled in spirit , and it was well proved during Adaptive Teaching Techniques Instructor Course in Dubai>>.

M. Basheer: <<It was a great experience with loads of useful information and hints. In the course we learned skills as first-hand experience to feel how do disabled students feel so, we learned skills explanation and performance being blind folded to know how a blind student would feel like. We also used a wheel chair and web gloves. Trainers were very careful that every candidate would play the role of a disabled student and instructor in each case.I learned a lot of useful things not only for my career but also for my real life.It’s an add on to my CV. Many thanks to the trainers and colleague candidates that turned that experience great>>.

Steven Kittrell: <<Great course that helps to open your heart, eyes, and mind. Look forward to utilizing the ideas presented here to help disabled veterans open the doors to a new and gratifying life adventure>>.

Kathleen Russell: <<Thank you for the great course! We learned allot of very informative techniques and the workshop. Big thanks to the PADI EMEA team, Fraser Bathgate and all the amazing instructors and Course Directors and organizers who made this course a huge success >>.

Ammar Alwesaf: <<The things I had gained during Dubai’s course are not enough to be written within this email. We had such a great company from different part of the world. Also the course expanded our techniques of teaching in a way to adapt the course to students needs. I strongly look forward to establish a society to rehab the disabled disappointed persons to explore their powers and potentials>>.

Peter Mainka: <<I was really amazed what you can do if you were in a situation to handle candidates with determination. It was really a great experience to get to know what you should be concerned about and how to handle the different problems that may occur.It was really helping a lot to put us in real-time simulated situations to think about what to do and how to create solutions. I have learned a lot during this course specially by the response of my “disabled Buddy” and the extensive debriefings from the instructors.This course made me more confident and less hesitating to train students with disabilities. As well as I think I will be able to give this experience on to other Instructors / Dive-masters in future.Thank you for this really great practical and theoretical course and experience>>.

Responders in Action

Emergency First Response would like to congratulate Samra Abd El Wahab (PADI OWSI and EFR Instructor # 372290) for providing much needed assistance when called upon.

Samra was on the way home from a Halloween party in the early morning of the 01.11.2017. She entered a subway station in Munich and at the platform she saw a group of young women (about 20 years old) screaming, and one girl was lying on the floor. Samra approached them and saw that the girl on the floor had white foam around her mouth and was already quite blueish in her face. She directed her friends to call the ambulance and to notify the police station in the subway about the situation. At the same time she checked the airways and found that the girl was not breathing. She started CPR and Rescue breathing for about 2-3 minutes until the girl started breathing again. The girl regained consciousness, and Samra stayed with her, keeping her calm until the ambulance arrived.

Well done, Samra!

Emergency First Response Manuals Go Digital

Emergency First Response Manuals Go Digital

The first EFR digital student manuals are planned for release during 2018.

With more and more people using their tablets, phones and computers the option for online and offline digital study materials is increasingly popular and in demand.

The manuals will be accessed through the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platform which offers a great online and offline experience. It also offers the ability to search for key words so that a learner can quickly find information to review or jump back to a specific topic or course content. Updates are almost seemless and each time the user logs in the most current content is available.

With such an exciting prospect we can hardly wait! Watch out for further information and announcements later in the year.