Pharaoh Dive Club 10 Years Party and Deptherapy fundraiser!

During Dive2017 show weekend, Pharaoh DC organized a great Birthday Bash to celebrate the 10 years anniversary!

A perfect occasion for PADI Regional Manager – Teo Brambilla to present the 10 years award as member of the PADI Retailer and Resorts Association delivered by PADI Territory Director –  Rich Somerset.

The idea behind the party was not only to celebrate the occurrence but also to strengthen the special partnership between Pharaoh DC and Deptherapy (Pharaoh Dive Club is a long-time supporter and the point of reference for Deptherapy in Egypt):

All the profits of the evening, where more than 200 people attended, went to this special UK based charity who uses scuba diving to rehabilitate veterans afflicted by both mental and physical disabilities!

Organized by Steve and Clare Rattle and hosted at Village Hotel, Solihull, Birmingham the party included a fantastic dinner, live music, entertainment, a silent auction and Deptherapy Awards Ceremony!

During the Award Ceremony, Headed by Richard Cullen – Founder & Chairman of Deptherapy and masterfully presented by PADI AmbassaDiver and Deptherapy Ambassador – Gary Green, several awards were presented:  PADI was incredibly proud and honored to receive the award for the Best Corporate Sponsor.

The Ceremony was something special and touching: it was truly inspiring to hear about Depthterapy’s students and members, about their journey after medical discharge, their battle with PTSD and their rebirth through scuba diving and Depthterapy!

Egypt at Dive2017 – Birmingham

The UK’s biggest event for Scuba Diving, DIVE Birmingham, took place from the 21st – 22nd October 2017. Located in a new hall, DIVE attracted visitors looking for dive holidays, scuba gear and training courses, as well as experienced and aspiring divers looking for industry updates.

This year as well, PADI’s management has decided to have some extra support from PADI’s Team Egypt represented by Pam Holt – Regional Training Consultant and Teo Brambilla – Regional Manager !

Pam and Teo not only offered support to those PADI stores  – based in Egypt – exhibiting, but also assisted visitors with practical tips on how to travel to Egypt, helped overcoming concerns about security in the country and liaised with the Egyptian Tourism Authority in promoting Egypt![Amr El Azabi – Director Egyptian Tourism Authority & Teo Brambilla – PADI Regional Manager]

There were six – Egyptian based – PADI stores exhibiting at Dive 2017   ….all ‘equipped’ with the renowned “PADI Show support pack” !

Here below their booths:

Blue Ocean – Abu DababCamel Dive Club – Sharm El SheikhEmperor Divers – Egypt Pharaoh Dive Club – El QuseirRed Sea Diving Safari – Marsa Shagra Sinai Dive Club – Sharm El Sheikh…. last but not least, our friends and Egypt’s supporters: Deptherapy !Such great turn out of PADI Diving Centers representing Egypt was of exceptional impact and definitely helped in keeping the flag flying high !!

PADI Freediver Training at Sinai Blues – Sharm El Sheikh

During the first week of September, PADI 5* Dive Resort –  Sinai Blues in Sharm El Sheikh has organized a PADI Freediver training for some of its staff.

With the aim to be able to offer – in the near future – PADI Freeidiving courses to their customers, Sinai Blues management has decided to team up not with an ‘ordinary’ instructor trainer but with the PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer Andrea Zuccari: the Italian multiple Freediving Record Holder who has recently set the NO Limits Italian Record at -185 mt !!

Back to the training….

Considering that, to become a PADI Freediver Instructor, a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor needs to become PADI Freediver and PADI Advanced Freediver (or hold a
qualifying certification from another organization), Andrea suggested the team to focus on the PADI Freediver Course first, gain some experience …and later on this year, progress to the PADI Advanced Freediver.

When PADI Regional Manager – Teo Brambilla was informed about ‘the plans’ he decided to jump at the chance and attend the course himself.

Here below, Teo’s quick summary of his experience.

The course was spread over three days:

The theory part was easily handled with the great support of the PADI Freediver Touch …and an enjoyable and thorough review by Andrea.

First day we practiced relaxation/breathing techniques followed by a static apnea session in the swimming pool.

Second day we first did an Open Water Session focusing on Free Immersion, followed by a swimming pool session working on duck diving , dynamic apnea  and rescue skills.

Third Day we enjoyed Constant weight Freediving and Rescue skills in Open water!

At the end of the course, we were not only able to comfortably meet the performance requirements and perform:

  • one static apnea attempt of at least 90 seconds.
  • one dynamic apnea of at least 25 metres.
  • one constant weight freedive to at least 10 metres.

But most importantly: we now know how to correctly use buddy procedures to supervise a Freediver before, during and after a dive and/or an attempt.

Teo commented: “I enjoyed every single moment of the course! It was amazing to see how a proper breathing technique can help you relaxing and achieve goals I have always seen as unreachable …I will apply it not only to freediving but also to many other life situations. It was also great to be able to benefit of such an athlete’s knowledge and skills: Andrea is a really humble and easy going person, always ready to answer any question I/we had. I am practicing during my free time …and I am really looking forward to completing the PADI Advanced Freediver in November!”

If you are a PADI Instructor or a PADI Diving Center owner/manager based in Egypt and you wish to offer PADI Freediving courses to your customers, get in contact with PADI Regional Manager – Teo.Brambilla@padi.com: he may have some tips for you!

Shark Week at Camel Dive Club

This year Camel Dive Club in Sharm el Sheikh has supported Project AWARE Foundation campaign #SharkWeek2017 and celebrated Shark Week with several events dedicated to sharks’ awareness and protection.

In occasion of the Shark Week, Camel Dive thought about giving something back to the Red Sea by organizing the following:

Underwater Clean up – on all Camel Boats on Friday 28.07.17

Special Promotion for AWARE Shark Conservation Distinctive Specialty Course during Shark Week

A Sponsored Fin walk to Na’ama Jetty – where guests sponsored their guides to walk to the Jetty in a pair of Fins through a donation page set up by Project AWARE.A Sponsored Quiz at Camel Bar – Open to all dive centers and guests

…Special Guest at the QUIZ PARTY  – as representative of Project AWARE – PADI RM Teo Brambilla.

(Here below with Camel representative and organizer of the events Beth Sanders)

Thanks to Camel enthusiastic staff, passionate guests, Sharm diving community ….and a dedicated Project AWARE branded donation box, during the week week approximately 400 GBP were collected and donated to ProjectAWARE.

This is an excellent result paired with the several kilos of debris collected underwater and lots of fun that everybody had during this week.

On Behalf of Project AWARE and PADI, Thanks Camel Dive Club for your outstanding support !

In agreement with Project AWARE, it has been decided to keep active the donation page on Justgiving, so if you did not have the chance to make your donation yet – PLACE IT NOW at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cameldiveclub

PADI Women’s Dive Day in Egypt

On Behalf of PADI EMEA, I would like to THANK all PADI Dive Resorts and PADI Professionals in Egypt who participated in the 2017 PADI Women’s Dive Day.

Aim of the event is to convert a “male-dominated” diving industry into a more modern and up-to-date one, where women should make up half of all certifications!

Here some examples on how PADI Diving Resorts in Egypt helped in achieving the goal:

Blue Ocean                                                                                                                      Organized a ladies only day diving followed by an evening party with live music and fire show.

Circle Divers                                                                                                            Organized two ladies only dives from the shore with a special lunch break in a picturesque location followed by an evening BBQ at the diving center.Dive Point Red Sea                                          Divers United (Elite Diving)                     Organized a ladies full day diving                       Organized a “Safari dress up day!”              from the boat (with an intruder).                          The theme was 60’s flower power!            

Euro-Divers                                                                                                                   Organized two ladies only dives from the shore enriched by a welcome drink before the dives, special lunch break and cake party afterwards.

H2O Divers                                                                                                                        Organized a ladies only clean up dive followed by BBQ at night.

Idive Diving Centers                                                                                                    Organized a ladies only DSD Day.

Panorama Divers                                                                                                               Organized a ladies only full day diving garnished by delicious food on the boat and live entertainment. Here above, participants performing “Women Dive Day” underwater choreography!

Pharaoh Dive Club                                                                                                            Organized a ladies only reef/beach clean up as well as invited local Egyptian ladies to try snorkeling and/or diving.

Wonderful Dive                                                                                                      Organized (in cooperation with the hotel) several activities including: shore diving, DSDs, snorkeling trip and raffle.

This was a great day for everyone to help strengthen and grow the female dive community, attract new women to the sports of scuba diving and freediving, and motivate existing female divers to get back in the water and continue their dive training!

Deptherapy, diving rehabilitation in Egypt

As PADI Regional Manager in charge of Egypt, I had the privilege to become involved in Deptherapy’s largest ever and most successful programme yet.During mid-May, 12 wounded Veterans took part in the Deptherapy programme at Pharaoh Dive Club – The Roots Luxury Camp, which thanks to the owners (Steve and Clare) has become the point of reference for Deptherapy in Egypt. These armed forces veterans suffering from life-changing mental and/or physical injuries, enrolled onto different PADI courses: some were certified as Open Water Divers, some as Advanced Open Water, some others as Deep Specialty Divers and all became EANX divers.

Deptherapy is a UK based charity, using scuba diving to rehabilitate veterans afflicted by both mental and physical disabilities. Deptherapy aims through adaptive teaching to qualify such individuals wherever possible as PADI divers and able to dive anywhere in the world (with the only support of their dive buddy – without extra personnel needed).Veterans – wounded in service – also assisted in the training programme as Instructors and Divemasters. The teaching team included PADI Ambassadiver, Chris Middleton, who lost both legs in Afghanistan and has subsequently worked through the Deptherapy programme from Open Water to Divemaster and is now aiming to become a PADI Instructor. Dr Richard Cullen, founder and chairman of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education also ran a Deptherapy Education Instructor Training Course, where in status Divemasters and Instructors can become qualified in Adaptive Teaching for the physically and mentally challenged diver.As a spectator, I was lucky to attend sections of each course: I assisted Confined and Open water dives of Open Water students,  dived with the students on their PADI Advanced Open Water and Specialty courses, attended and practiced  the ‘adaptive training’ delivered by Richard!

 

…and I even managed to run a presentation on the PADI continuing education philosophy together with Chris Middleton.

The audience was inspired by our words and the majority of OWD completed the AOWD in the next days. Some of the newly certified divers are willing to progress even further, motivated not only by Chris but also by Andy Searle, a motivated diver who lost both legs during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, who is now working through his Divemaster Course.

 

It was an incredible experience to watch these ex-military personnel participate in their PADI courses, many diving for the first time and really enjoying it! Once in the water, it was truly awe-inspiring to see that the words “I can’t” don’t exist in Deptherapy.  Watching the injured Veterans repeating skills, working as a team, showing that there are no limitations, made me quickly understand why Deptherapy’s slogan is ‘Mission Possible!’

There are many ways to get involved with Deptherapy including training, fundraising, donating. They’re a charity and couldn’t continue their work without your help, so if you’d like to get involved please get in touch with Richard Cullen.

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit their website at www.deptherapy.co.uk.

[ Photo credits: Dmitry Knyazev ]

Andrea Zuccari and Freediving World join the PADI Freediving Family!

PADI is happy to announce the registration of the first PADI Freediving Center in Sharm El Sheikh, Freediving World Apnea Center!

We are also particularly proud to have the center’s owner Andrea Zuccari, multiple Freediving Record Holder and PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer on-board the PADI freediving family.

Let’s start with Freediving World Apnea Center

Freediving World meets PADI Freedivers needs at all levels all the way from beginner to instructor level. The center is equipped with a 25m swimming pool, platforms which are fitted with counterweight systems as well as several buoys/lines reaching different depths, a perfect set-up for freediving courses, group training sessions and workshops.

…and now, let’s talk about Andrea


  • 3 Italian National Records in Variable Weight (VWT) and No Limit (NLT)
  • 10 Swiss National Records in CWT, CNF and FIM
  • 2 No-Limits Tandem Word Records
  • In 2014 Andrea becomes the deepest man in the world using a Freediving Mask with 175m in No Limits

 

 

Andrea is currently training to reach the “no packing” target in “TheDeepDiveProject”. Stay tuned and follow Andrea on Social Media for the latest news and information about “TheDeepDiveProject”.

Records:

2007                                                                                                                                      51m: Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF) – Swiss Record

2008                                                                                                                                      71m: Free Immersion (FIM) – Swiss Record
71m: Constant Weight (CWT) – Swiss Record

2009
55m:
Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF) – Swiss Record
75m: Free Immersion (FIM) – Swiss Record
77m: Constant Weight (CWT) – Swiss Record
120m: No Limit (NLT) – Swiss Record

2011
125m:
No Limit (NLT) Tandem with Anna Von Boetticher  –  World Record

2012                                                                                                                                      131m: No Limit (NLT) – Swiss Record

2013
126m:
No Limit (NLT) Tandem with con Stavrow Kastrinakis – World Record
135m: Variable Weight (VWT) – Italian Record
155m: No Limit (NLT) – Italian Record

2014
175m:
No Limit (NLT) – Italian Record (second deepest man in the world)

 

 

Egyptian Divers of the future at Red Sea Diving Safari – Marsa Shagra !

In February 2017, Red Sea Diving Safari had a visit from 55 students and staff from the New Cairo British International School (NCBIS) in Marsa Shagra.

For students at the NCBIS, the last week in February means ‘challenge week’, where students get to choose from a variety of trips and experiences. With some students opting for skiing and others choosing Bali, these kids all opted to stay much closer to home in Marsa Alam.

In recent years, Red Sea Diving Safari has seen a sharp increase in the number of Egyptians taking up scuba diving and, more importantly, getting PADI certified. In 2015, 35% of entry level certified divers in Marsa Shagra were Egyptian, while in 2016 the number increased to 57%. So far in 2017, Egyptians have made up a quarter of Shagra’s entry level certified divers vs. 16% for the same period in 2016. The past few years have seen internal tourism to Marsa Alam boom due to increased internal marketing for the Red Sea as a destination as well as issues with currency exchange rates, which have made it expensive to travel abroad.

The students from NCBIS ranged from 11-18 years old with 36 students totally new to diving and starting their PADI journey with the Open Water Course, or Junior Open Water Course. The rest of the group opted for either the PADI Advanced Open Water Course or Enriched Air Diver course to continue their diving education. Students were divided into groups: Turtles, Dolphins, Nudibranches, Stingrays, Remoras, Clownfish, Octopus, Seahorses and Sharks, and then the fun began!

On the first day, students went through the process of getting their equipment. For some this was the first time they had tried on a mask or seen a BCD! Then it was off to Shagra’s restaurant for a group session to watch the PADI Open Water Course DVD.

All the students were immediately taken in by this new adventure and learning curve, whether it was something their parents had signed them up and sent them away for, or it was something they had heard about and dreamed of learning one day. They practiced assembling and dissembling equipment until it was second-nature and tackled the PADI Open Water Course skills one by one. Advanced Students opted for adventure dives including Fish Identification and Peak Performance Buoyancy alongside their compulsory Navigation and Deep dives.

Groups were coordinated to carry out different parts of the course to make sure each group had space to learn and do activities in an unrushed, constructive but fun learning environment. For the confined water activities, the different groups were divided between the local swimming pool and Marsa Shagra’s shallow sandy-bottomed bay, which is ideal for training.

Working through the skills, the students gradually became more and more comfortable underwater, with the help of Shagra’s dedicated instructors. While the Open Water students worked through their open water dives on the house reef, the Advanced Open Water students went to dive Marsa Egla, a local shore dive site, and explored the outer parts of Marsa Shagra’s vast house reef by zodiac.

By night, other activities were on offer, including a campfire on the beach and a guided Astro Tour at the Bawadi Bedouin café to learn about the night sky and take advantage of the unpolluted, clear skies of the Southern Red Sea.

On one evening, a team from HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Agency) visited to conduct a workshop with the students, talking about their valuable activities in the region, including their new Red Sea Defender educational vessel. They then collected plankton from Marsa Shagra’s bay and examined their findings under the microscopes, giving them an insight into the science behind what they were seeing underwater and the importance of protecting the fragile environment.

On the final day students celebrated all their hard work and certifications with a trip into the desert close to Marsa Shagra, with sunset camel ride and traditional Bedouin dinner.

By the end of the week, it’s fair to say that students, teachers and the team at Marsa Shagra were exhausted but thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone, many new divers were born and buzzing about what adventures their PADI certification will take them on in their future.

On behalf of PADI, congratulations to NCBIS students and staff! 

…. and special thanks Red Sea Diving Safari’s Team : keep up the good work!

www.redsea-divingsafari.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Course Director in Egypt – Wael Elshahat

IMG_6012<< I started diving in 1998  …I always dreamed to dive, especially after seeing some underwater videos; therefore, as soon as I had a chance I did my PADI Open Water Course!

In 1999, I finished my university and started working as an accountant in a big diving company in Sharm el Sheikh / Red Sea; this gave me the opportunity to keep on diving and, at the same time, continue my education …until I became Divemaster and consequently PADI Instructor in 2002.

I love teaching and the feelings you have when you share your knowledge and experience to help others to become good divers and love scuba diving!

My ambition, as PADI Course Director, is to teach candidates how to be good Instructors and sustain them during their career so that they can become not only great ambassadors but also role models as PADI professionals >>.

Congratulations to Wael for successfully completing his CDTC !

New PADI Divemasters within the Al Mezena tribe in Dahab

PADI is proud to welcome Eid, Eid, Haggag and Salim to the PADI family!

a

…Everything started back in 2013 when Karim El Hemeidy – owner at Daniela Diving in Dahab – decided to start an Environmental Conservation and Awareness Project in Dahab.

2013

April 2013 – the project starts!

Part of this project included the PADI ‘zero to hero program’:

The idea was to help the local community, specifically a team of Bedouins from the Al Mezena tribe, to get into the diving industry and slowly progress from Open Water Diver all the way up to Divemaster.

This project, personally conducted by Karim himself and sponsored by PADI, Codex (the local PADI redistributor), Dr Heinkal from The Hyperbaric Medical Center Dahab had some clear objectives:

  • Give the participants the opportunity to find a job within the diving industry
  • Have the participants becoming mentors for other youngsters within their tribe
  • Have the participants becoming role models in terms of marine protection and awareness within the local community

PADI Regional Manager – Teo Brambilla – had the privilege to follow the progression of the students during these years and eventually award them during a party that has been organized at Daniela Diving!

bGoing back to 2013 an excited Karim stated:

<<The attendees are motivated and even if it will be hard work we are looking forward to the challenge. The aim of this project is to bring the awareness of the susceptibility of the marine life, the ecosystem and the need to uphold and respect the local and international laws. Diving will be a form of integration into this environment with the opportunity to adapt and to be ambassadors for the protection of marine life>>

cHere his words at the end of this journey:

<<It was a very long but successful journey. It was for me a great and rewarding experience: being able to help their dream come true, is something fantastic. I believe the more we involve locals in our industry the more they will be concerned with its protection, this will help to protect the marine life, so fragile specially in our area>>

Well done Karim, congratulations and keep up the good work!

Eid, Eid, Haggag and Salim, from all of us at PADI: congratulations on your Divemaster credentials and all the best in furthering your career within the diving industry!