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.”

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.

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.

Diving with Hazardous Marine Life

Written by DAN staff

Diving, swimming and even just going to the beach offers the opportunity to observe marine animals in their natural environment. Unfortunately, inappropriate or unintentional interactions with some marine life can lead to serious injuries. The good news is that most injuries are largely preventable with some forethought, knowledge and awareness. However, accidents do happen and each year a number of divers sustain marine life injuries. Below are best practices for dealing with some of the most common marine life injuries:

Urchins

Sea urchins are echinoderms, a phylum of marine animals shared with starfish, sand dollars and sea cucumbers. They are omnivorous, eating algae and decomposing animal matter, and have tubular feet that allow movement. Many urchins are covered in sharp, hollow spines that can easily puncture the skin and break off, and may penetrate a diver’s boots and wetsuit.

Urchin

Injuries caused by sea urchins are generally puncture wounds associated with redness and swelling. Pain and severity of the injury ranges from mild to severe, depending on the location of the injury and the compromised tissue, and life-threatening complications do occur but are extremely rare.

Divers can prevent sea urchin injuries by avoiding contact with good buoyancy control and being cautious of areas where sea urchins may exist, such as the rocky entry points while shore diving.

Treatment for sea urchin wounds is symptomatic and dependent on the type and location of injury. Application of heat to the area for 30 to 90 minutes may help. Sea urchin spines are very fragile, so any attempt to remove superficial spines should be done with caution. Wash the area first without forceful scrubbing to avoid causing additional damage if there are still spines embedded in the skin. Apply antibiotic ointment and seek medical evaluation to address any embedded spines or infection risk.

Stingrays

Stingrays are frequently considered dangerous, largely without cause. Stingrays are shy and peaceful fish that do not present a threat to divers unless stepped on or deliberately threatened. Stingrays can vary in size from less than 30 centimetres/one foot to greater than two metres/six feet in breadth, and reside in nearly every ocean.

From DAN_stingrays_iStock_000019476594_WEB

The majority of injuries occur in shallow waters where divers or swimmers accidently step on or come in contact with stingrays. Injuries from stingrays are rarely fatal but can be painful. They result from contact with a serrated barb at the end of a stingray’s tail, which has two venomous glands at its base. The barb can easily cut through wetsuit material and cause lacerations or puncture wounds. Deep lacerations can reach large arteries. If a barb breaks off in a wound, it may require surgical care. Wounds are prone to infections.

Injury treatment varies based on the type and location of the injury. Clean the wound thoroughly, control bleeding and immediately seek medical attention. Due to the nature of the stingray venom and the risk of serious infections, seek professional help for stingray wounds.

For more information on first aid and safe diving practices, visit DAN.org/Health

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PADI Divemasters, Lend your Voice to Marine Conservation!

Dive against Debris

PADI Divemasters have the power to be the world’s most passionate advocates for marine conservation. With your unique underwater access and dive skills, you are a powerful movement – one that can seek out action and mobilise change for the better! So, with that in mind, here are 5 tips how you can lend your voice to promote marine conservation efforts.

 

  1. As a mentor to divers the focus of your dives should be on the education and understanding of local marine life you are hoping to see. PADI Divemasters supervise both training and non-training related activities by planning, organising and directing dives. You can use these attributes to empower divers to become ocean stewards in several ways, such as:

 

  1. You can partake in the development of environmental education and awareness programs! As a PADI Divemaster you can teach the Coral Reef Conservation and Project AWARE Specialist course on completion of the following: 1) the “Learning, Instruction and the PADI System” presentation from the Assistant Instructor Course. 2) a PADI Speciality Instructor Course taught by a qualified PADI Speciality Instructor Trainer. Make sure you ask your students to choose a Project AWARE version of their PADI certification card to support a clean and healthy ocean!

 

  1. Strengthen your ongoing commitment to global marine conservation activities by working for, or continuing your dive education with, a 100% AWARE partner. Across the world, PADI dive centres have committed to ocean protection through the 100% AWARE partnership. 100% AWARE partners support a healthy ocean by making a donation to Project AWARE on behalf of each student that they certify. Visit the 100% AWARE Dive Partner Map to locate a 100% AWARE dive centre or instructor.

 

  1. Inspire year-round action to remove, report and prevent underwater debris by organising Dive against Debris clean up actions. Check out the Dive Against Debris Event Organizer Kit to download helpful tools to recruit and organise your volunteers. The data collected helps influence policies and drive change needed to stop trash from reaching the ocean in the first place. Don’t forget to encourage your volunteers to upload their findings on the Dive Against Debris™ Interactive Map to further highlight the quantity and type of marine debris littering our seas.

 

  1. Spread the word about the importance of ocean conservation! One person can make a difference, but think how much greater an impact you’ll have if you recruit fellow divers to the cause!

So, what are you waiting for? Lend your support and your voice by becoming an active advocate for ocean conservation!

Expand into Instructor Training

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 Techniques

Written by John Kinsella

It’s five thirty on a Costa Rican morning and Georgia King is talking to me about the PADI® Adaptive Techniques Specialty. It’s quiet, she says, before the rest of the family wakes. I can almost hear the tropical dawn chorus. Georgia is a PADI Platinum Course Director in Costa Rica and her time is precious, but she’s absolutely committed to helping people with disabilities benefit from diving and happy to share her wisdom. Georgia was an advisor during course development and has extensive experience and expertise. In fact, before we finish, Georgia has made another significant time and energy commitment: She’s decided to run an adaptive techniques workshop for PADI Women’s Dive Day.

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Georgia’s commitment is such that since the program launched she has run two Adaptive Techniques Specialty courses right after two IDCs. It was a natural fit. “I think it’s fantastic to be able to incorporate the training with the IDC,” she says quietly. “It makes sense to integrate it naturally with the various course elements. New instructors coming out of the IDC are super excited because we’ve been talking about it. It inspires them to take that next step.”

I ask what she’d say to PADI Pros with no prior experience, who may never have thought of taking or teaching the Adaptive Techniques Specialty.

“Get involved,” she advises, pointing out that one of the major benefits, even if you are not immediately going out and teaching people with disabilities, is that it will open your mind to various teaching techniques and ways to approach all PADI programs. This can completely change the way you teach. “It really does open your eyes to a whole world of possibilities,” Georgia says. “Even in something as simple as demonstrating a skill in the skill circuit, you really just think differently. You are not set in one way of doing something. A lot of people think, ‘You have to do it this way.’ You know? You don’t.”

Georgia feels that a lot of people may be apprehensive about getting involved and offers this encouragement: “It’s kind of like the EFR® program when people worry about helping others. They don’t think they’ll be able to manage it. But everybody who has done the Adaptive Techniques Specialty is absolutely blown away and amazed by it. There’s more to it than people realize. Sure, it’s helping someone in a wheelchair, but that’s just a tiny part of it. The program talks about the attitudes, and how you treat people.”

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And the confidence that insight brings opens up the most significant benefit of the Adaptive Techniques Specialty: It’s so rewarding for everyone. “Just giving people the opportunity, that’s one of the biggest things,” Georgia believes. “In any teaching there’s opportunity for reward, but sometimes I find more so with this. I shed tears after my first Discover Scuba® Diving experience with a guy who was born without legs. It completely amazed him how he felt underwater. He came up and just cried. I was so overwhelmed. It’s an amazing thing.”