What is it really like to be an Examiner?

What’s it like to be a PADI Examiner? Guest blogger Adele Verdier-Ali shadows Maldives Regional Manager Matt Wenger as he conducts a two-day Instructor Examination at the Villa College Marine Faculty campus at Sun Island Resort & Spa Maldives to find out…

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Photo by Ahmed Shan

“Coffee,” croaks Matt as he finally joins me for breakfast at the sprawling beachside restaurant of Sun Island Resort & Spa, “I need coffee.”

Bleary eyed and less than his usual chipper self, Matt doesn’t look so good. I signal the waiter who hurries to pour him a cup. Having stayed up answering work emails until the small hours of the night, Matt explains, a zealous native bird calling in the dawn outside his window ensured that he was awake at four. It’s the first morning of the IE, and we both know it’s going to be a long day.

He takes a sip of his coffee, grimaces and pushes it away, “Ugh, I can’t drink that.”

It’s a bad start. And a grouchy examiner is not what the candidates need. Because while many Course Directors might joke that ‘IE’ really means ‘It’s Easy’, I was getting the feeling that this time (for Matt at least) it might just stand for ‘It’s Exhausting’

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No comments, photo by A. Verdier-Ali

No Rest for the Wicked

Having flown in the night before from Male’, the country’s chaotic capital, Matt had wasted no time. After a quick sit down with the head of the Villa College Marine Faculty Dean Shamaa ‘Anna’ Hameed and the Maldives’ only PADI Course Director Hussein ‘Sendi’ Rasheed to clarify the two-day itinerary, he’d jumped straight into the orientation. The candidates, six Maldivian guys, were initially nervous. As I sat at the back of the classroom at the beachside campus, the atmosphere was strained, no one spoke much, and the apprehension was palpable.

Over the next 45 minutes however, Matt achieved something impressive. Not only does he manage to put people at ease, to get people talking and asking questions but at the same time he somehow manages to keep people on their toes. His natural warmth made the candidates feel relaxed, but there was an undeniable boundary. This is PADI, he seemed to imply, and we don’t mess around.

 

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After the Orientation, photo by A. Verdier-Ali

Good coffee + good weather = good start

So back to our search for coffee. We head to the resort’s in-house dive centre in search of a more palatable caffeine fix. The walk to the centre, located at the end of a long wooden jetty at the edge of the island’s house reef, goes some way to raise Matt’s spirits. We spot several juvenile black tip reef sharks glide under the walkway, and the weather, at least, is being good to us. After several stormy weeks, the skies have cleared. The island stretches far into the distance and heaves with palm trees, bobbing above the shore. The lagoon that encircles it is completely flat; conditions are perfect.

“It doesn’t get much better than this, does it?” Matt remarks, as he pauses for a moment to take in the view.

Luckily, the dive centre has an espresso machine. As he sips his liquid breakfast, candidates bustle around him readying their gear.

“Right,” Matt says clapping his hands together, “let’s do this!”

Sun, Sea and Slates

With gear assembled, Matt leads a short briefing to explain what’s going to happen over the course of the morning. The candidates would first perform the Confined Water skills in the lagoon. Then head to the drop off for Open Water Teaching presentations and the Rescue Demonstration. Energy levels seem high but there’s not much talking. It’s go time.

I snorkel a short distance from the candidates and marvel at their efficiency. It’s clear that these guys belong in the water. I creep up to peer over Matt’s shoulder at his slates, hoping to see their scores. But instead there’s a series of letters. It’s a code which he explains in whispers. I realise that a lot of the candidates are getting straight 5s.

Every now and then, Matt turns around, nods his head and purses his lips and if to say “These guys are good!”.

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Sneak peek…… A. Verdier-Ali

 

The candidates’ English is fluent and confident and their briefings are simple and clear. They complete their tasks in swift succession and I’m surprised when it’s already time for them to head to the drop off for part two.

As I’m not in dive gear, I hang back and enjoy the reef. Two adult black tip reef sharks swim by, then a hawksbill turtle and a sting ray. Shoals of filter-feeding mackerel swerve and lunge by.

I head back to the jetty and await the candidates return. After quite some time, I can see them performing the rescue scenarios but it’s obvious that the energy has changed. They’re visibly tired and their adrenaline is no longer seeing them through. Shoulders sag as they exit the water and I worry that someone might have stuffed up.

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Rescue Demonstrations, photo by A. Verdier-Ali

Another quick briefing. Matt gives short precise feedback to justify the lower scores, and there are a few, but overall everyone passes.

 

The Physics of Failing and Failing at Physics

It’s lunch and then the two theory exams. As the candidates sit in silence I take the opportunity to explore the campus surroundings. The building, which was purpose-built in 2006 to train local dive and water sports professionals, sits on the western shore of the island. As well as providing accommodation facilities for the students and teachers, it’s home to two classrooms and an office. The small beach outside is glorious and I snap a few pics of a heron in the shallows, wading amongst juvenile black tips and a cluster of sting rays.

The candidates exit the classroom. All have passed the Standard Exam but three have failed in physics in the Theory Exam. They’d have to resit in the morning.

This dampens the mood of the group who, I observe, function as fish out of the water as well as in it. They move as a shoal, with the whole group affected by the misfortune of an individual. And with that the first day draws to a close.

A Second Chance

It’s late by the time I wander down from my room the next day and join Anna and Sendi by the beach. Usually chatty, they’re sitting in silence. The guys were resitting their exams – another fail and they’d not pass the IE.

And then they appear, three silhouettes against the morning sun. Anna stands up, and the three young men all smile. They’d all passed this time and there is a collective sigh of relief. The Knowledge Development Teaching presentations go by without a glitch and as the candidates exit the classroom the campus rebounds with their whoops and hollers. It was over! As the candidates all dive into the sea it’s as though they are different people. Their reserve melts in the water and they are suddenly animated, laughing and jubilant. It’s only then that I realise just how focussed, just how tense they’d been over the last 24 hours.

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Sharing the good news with family and friends, photo by A. Verdier-Ali

Matt, I notice, stays on the beach, and watches from the distance. From what I can see, he is still in examiner mode, and feels his job isn’t over until he leaves the island. But he does not escape being raised on the candidates shoulders a little later after awarding them their completion certificates. The candidates’ joy is infectious, even emotional to see, especially as they call their parents to share the good news.

The main thing I learn from him is this:

The key to a good IE? Decent coffee.

 

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About the author: Adele Verdier-Ali is a freelance travel writer and content marketer who has been living in the Maldives for over six years. She’s a certified PADI rescue diver and when she’s not underwater, she writes about Maldivian culture and tourism. You can read more of her thoughts over on www.littlebirdjournal.com

 

My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope.

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Each year, you help bring one million people closer to the underwater world by issuing PADI certifications that present countless opportunities for fun and adventure.

But a certification card is much more than an all-access pass to Earth’s final frontier. To many, it’s also a badge of courage that has helped transform their lives in deep, meaningful ways. These authentic, inspirational stories of transformation shared at “My PADITM, My Ocean, My Hope” can inspire millions more around the world to start, keep or teach diving.

My PADI is how Leo Morales found salvation through diving when he lost his leg to cancer. My Ocean is how Andre Miller connected and inspired his community to protect their greatest natural resource through dive education. My Hope is Emily Krak’s dream that others will learn to respect and protect the ocean for future generations.

My PADI collects stories of the human experience where diving is the foundation for connection. It’s a conversation starter about a deeper purpose and shows that diving enables us to realize our best selves. When this happens, we are the happiest. When we are happiest, we are most able to find purpose and to help others find theirs.

Do your divers, friends and community members have stories such as these? Encourage them to share what My PADI, My Ocean, My Hope means to them and how diving transformed their lives. Watch the stories. Be inspired. Spark conversation.

Elite Instructor Interview: Chris Azab, PADI Course Director

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Chris Azab, a highly experienced PADI Course Director and Tec Deep/Trimix Instructor, has been diving “a long time” and was awarded the status of PADI Elite Instructor 2015 earlier this year, an award which recognises the achievements of PADI’s top performing instructors around the world. 

With an impressive 11,000+ dives in her logbook, Chris conducts Instructor Development Courses in the Netherlands and Egypt, teaching in her mother tongue of Dutch as well as English, German and Arabic.

PADI Regional Manager Teo Brambilla caught up with her to learn more about her achievements as a PADI Pro, and what being a PADI Elite Instructor means to her. 


chris-azab-studentsWhat inspired you to become a PADI Professional?

Ever since I started diving in 1998, I’ve loved the underwater world and its beautiful creatures. I wanted to show them to other people, so in 2001 I became a PADI Pro.

How do you think you’ve changed – personally and professionally – as you’ve moved up the ranks to become a PADI Elite Instructor?

Personally, I’ve changed my whole life! I was working for a banking and insurance company, and chose a different lifestyle. Since 2004 I have been working full time in the diving industry, making people happy. I’m always proud of what I’m doing; working as a professional teacher, thinking positively all of the time – that’s how I reached the PADI Elite Instructor status.

chris-azab-studentWhich PADI courses do you enjoy teaching the most, and why?

I love to teach new PADI Instructor candidates, that’s why I became a PADI Course Director – I see so many positive changes in people. Another favourite is the Tec Sidemount course, it’s great to do dives with more tanks on the side before moving on to further Tec courses.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your diving career?

Becoming a Silver PADI Course Director and PADI Tec Trimix Instructor. One day I hope to achieve Gold status, and then Platinum. Teaching people is my passion!

chris-azab3What does diving give you that nothing else does?

During diving, it’s the silence… and then after each dive I love the smile on each diver’s face. And that’s the same for teaching, as well – seeing that smile.

Did you have to overcome any fears, challenges or obstacles to get where you are now?

When I started my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, the Night Adventure Dive was mandatory, but I really didn’t want to do it. I reached two meters and quit the dive, but I still wanted to become an Advanced Open Water Diver… My PADI Instructor took me to Marseille, France, and let me try it again. I succeeded – not with pleasure, but I did it. The next night dive I booked was during a holiday in Egypt, and from that moment forgot my fears and I’ve found night diving great ever since.

chris-azab2Do you believe you change others’ lives through teaching scuba diving?

Absolutely. Students change from shy to confident, and I’ve had students suffering from depression turn into positive and active people. Some become PADI Instructors, quitting their jobs and travelling around the world. Some even started their own PADI Dive Center. I’ve given students the power to overcome any fear, I’ve given disabled students freedom, and helped people become positive. That’s why I want to do this job as long as I can – it’s amazing to change lives.

How does it feel to be recognised as one of PADI’s Elite Instructors in 2015?

It’s a result of hard work… being a real PADI Professional with quality teaching. I’m proud of it!

What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become Elite Instructors?

Follow your heart and your dream. You are your only limit.

And finally, what does “my PADI” mean to you?

“My PADI” is my way of living. It’s a lifestyle, supported and promoted by PADI and I’m proud to be a part of it. I want to follow this lifestyle as long as I can. It’s not always easy, but I’d still choose this life. It’s an adventure as well, so let’s go for it. I remember the words from my PADI Open Water Diver course a long time ago and they still count; meet people, go places and do things. So, for now, I’m on my way to Malta…


Find out more about the 2016 PADI Elite Instructor Award.

Find out more about Chris Azab via her website.

Breathless in the Maldives

Akim Adhari is one of the few people who has dived to over 100m. HOLDING HIS BREATHE! Let’s face it, a 100m dive is still a huge achievement on scuba, but doing it as a constant weight freedive is very rare!

akim1In fact Akim has been challenging himself to push his physical limits since he was just 6 years old when he started training in Judo and Juitsu. By the time he was 18 he had a 2nd Dan degree and headed to Thailand to train as a Thai boxer.

In 2009 Akim changed career to embrace his new love of freediving, becoming a Freediver Instructor and setting himself another challenge. He developed and shared training methods using the discipline and methods he had learnt over a lifetime of martial arts training. As well as achieving personal excellence, some of Akim’s students have done on to hold national and world records.

In 2011 he launched the world’s biggest freediving school, Blue Immersion, with his partner Jonas Samuelsson (now a PADI Territory Director!) and Good Time Adventures, Koh Tao and with the support and help of his friends Tim and Charlie Severino. Blue Immersion quickly became one of the leading centers for freediver training and has influence the industry worldwide.

Since then, as well as staying active as a competitor and instructor trainer, Akin founded a Freediver instructor development course and a freediving liveaboard in 2016 he has joined PADI and brought his experience to help PADI divers and members moving into and through the PADI Freediver courses. Akim has trained and certified over 250 Freediver instructors!

Recently Akim visited The Maldives and told us what an amazing experience it was both as a freediver and as a tourist:

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My experience in Maldives was unique,

I spent some times in Male the capital for a few days with friends originally from the region.

I was surprise to see that just 500 meters away from the capital we had 40 meters visibility and unlimited depth for training.

For our first day of training we just went 10 minutes out of the harbor and performed an 85 meters CWT dive, I was so excited to discover a real new place for training deep freediving with such excellent conditions and being that close to a capital means that, in case of an emergency, any care that would be needed can easily be given.

As well as finding the ideal environment for freediving, Akim was also overwhelmed with the culture and warmth of the Maldivians:

In the Maldives I can really say I was able to relax and had a comfortable time. The food was great -it’s very similar to the Indian cuisine and the locals will make you feel home. There was no hassle, which you can find in some tourist destinations, and I think the kindness and hospitality of the people is in general part of the culture.

He went on to tell us about some of the things he saw while visiting:

A few days later me and my Maldivian friend and student Valho went to an island called Ukhulas. In only a few days we had the opportunity to see dolphins, sharks, manta, all kind of fish and the reef was in perfectly good condition.

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And how the set up made it easy to freedive:

I did some deep dives there from 90 meters to 97 meters using the boat kindly provided by Island Vista Inn which is a local guest house that provides high standard room that have been restorated for a very decent price. If you wish to travel as a backpacker and not have to go through resorts you can easily find guest house now in the Maldives.

I finished my voyage in the Maldives with the conclusion that it was one of my best trips over 12 years of traveling around Asia.

I will definitely come back to organize more training and free diving courses 3 to 4 times a year  I believe the Maldives should be as popular a free diving destination as it is for scuba diving.

In September 2016, Akim will be back in the Maldives conducting a training camp and PADI instructor course, should you be interested in participation please contact PADI Regional Manager matt.wenger@padi.com

 

5 Tips for Pros: How to Maintain Your Scuba Gear Properly

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As a PADI Professional, your scuba gear is exposed to heavy use – much more than the average recreational diver. Three or five dives a day teaching students or guiding certified divers will quickly leave their mark, and you’ll notice your diving equipment ageing much quicker than usual.

Of course, you can help to counteract this wear and tear with proper maintenance of your dive equipment, allowing you to get the best results from your gear despite the high strain.

Above all you shouldn’t forget that you always have a role model function as a PADI Pro, and your scuba gear in particular should always be exemplary: clean, well maintained and fully functional. This way you show your students and other divers that you’re a conscientious diving professional, and demonstrate the importance of well-maintained diving gear.

Here are 5 tips on properly caring for your scuba equipment:

#1 – Rinse your diving equipment thoroughly after every dive

It doesn’t matter if you’re diving in fresh or salt water; clean your scuba gear with clean water after every dive. This will help to remove dirt and other contaminants like micro-organisms or stinging particles from coral or jellyfish. It also helps to prevent the unwanted formation of salt crystal build-up after open water dives in the ocean.

#2 – Dry your diving equipment after every dive

neoprene-careSure, it can difficult as a PADI Pro to do this if you use your diving equipment multiple times during the day. But in between your dives, try to dry out your gear as well as you can. When dive gear is kept damp (especially when stored), bacteria or fungi can quickly develop and spread, which not only damages your diving equipment but can also trigger infections and irritations to your skin.

To dry your scuba gear hang it up outside, ideally in a dry and breezy place but not directly in blazing sunshine. Sunlight can cause faster ageing of materials and can make neoprene and rubber parts brittle.

scuba-equipment#3 – Check any moving parts regularly for dirt and defects

At least once a day, you should make sure that all moving parts on your diving equipment (such as buckles on your BCD, inflator buttons, regulator purge buttons etc.) are clean and working properly. That way you’ll be reassured that there are no dirt, sand or salt crystals stuck in your diving gear that might cause a malfunction during a dive.

#4 – Deep-clean and maintain your diving equipment on a regular basis

In addition to rinsing your kit with clean fresh water after each dive, you should also wash your gear thoroughly at least once a week with a special cleaner designed for dive equipment. This applies not only for neoprene suits, but also for your BCD.

scuba-gear#5 – Store your diving equipment properly

Between dives – and especially if you’re taking some time away from teaching – you should ensure that your gear is stored properly to avoid damage and deformation of the material. Make sure it’s completely dry before packing it away (see #2), don’t stand your fins on the blade-end (as they’ll bend out of shape), and ensure the glass in your diving mask is protected from being scratched.

In addition to these 5 tips, you should always be very careful when carrying and using your diving equipment. Strong impact can easily damage your gear, especially the small components in your BCD and regulator.

PADI’s Equipment Specialist Touch is a great tool to help refresh your memory on maintenance techniques, even as a PADI Professional. It’s also a valuable teaching aid to use with your students to help them learn the importance of caring for their scuba equipment.


christian_huboThis article was written by guest blogger, Christian Hubo. A PADI diving instructor, Christian has enjoyed over 4,000 dives whilst travelling around the world. Above the surface, he’s hiked thousands of kilometers across the natural world. Christian is a freelance web and media designer, underwater photographer, social media and marketing consultant and freelance author. His magazine articles and blog, Feel4Nature, inspires people to follow an independent, individual and eco-conscious lifestyle.

CALLING OUT ALL PADI PROS!

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The search continues!

We have received such amazing PADI AmbassaDiver applications so far and would like to thank all of you who have sent us your story! We don’t want to say too much just yet, but we have started our shortlisting process.

So don’t let this extraordinary opportunity pass you by! You have until 1st MAY 2016 to submit your application.

As a PADI AmbassaDiver, you will be representing all that PADI stands for. A passion for the ocean, safe diving and a constant desire for new adventures. You will be introduced as an AmbassaDiver on the official PADI Blog where we will highlight your projects and your story. We will keep up with your adventures and the way you influence the diving community all year around. You will also receive exclusive PADI AmbassaDiver merchandise.

Not sure where to start? Download the application form here, then send it back to ambassadiver@padi.co.uk with a short paragraph introducing yourself.

Feel free to add any photos, videos, or links you think we should look at.* You can read tips on how to make your application stand out HERE.

Want more information about the PADI AmbassaDiver Program? Click here!

*Applicants for the PADI AmbassaDiver program should be able to show a strong social media following and/or significant contributions to scuba diving or related areas.

Free Diver course in Sweden

Patrik H2O Lund

Patrik H2O Lund

H2O Lund, Sweden, is one of the first PADI fridykker Centers established throughout the world. They have already run tow free diving courses and instructor Patrik is very excited about the program.

Here are the first impressions of the course written by Patrick:

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I have been fortunate enough to be able to teach the new PADI Freediver Course, the entry-level course in PADIs new Freediver-program. After completed two courses I must say it’s just great.

The student material, PADI Freediver Touch, is a truly professional product. It delivers the information in an active and fun way and students are excited to complete the knowledge development part. Freediver Touch covers all three programs, Freediver, Advanced Freediver and Master Freediver and all of my students so far have been studying the material from the other courses as well. The response to the product is fantastic.

To divide the Freediver program into three different courses makes a lot of sense to me. This means that the entry-level course is accessible to all people interested in freediving and the performance requirements is, with practice, obtainable. The Advanced Freediver Course and Master Freediver raise the bar considerable, and I think it’s really good. This means that the program also includes those divers wanting a new challenge and are ready to take there diving to the next level.

The prerequisites to be able to teach these levels are also high. I see this as a great challenge to advance my own skills and I’m really enthusiastic to attend more courses myself and practice with my freediver friends.

Diving in Sweden is for sure an all year around activity thanks to drysuits, dry gloves and other proper equipment. However, freediving needs to be in a wetsuit and to be honest, there is “a few” months a year where teaching the Freediver-program in open water is just too cold. This is where the Basic Freediver course comes in. The Basic Freediver course covers the knowledge development and confined water part of the Freediver course making it ideal to teach during the winter. When summer is back again the divers have the possibility to complete the open water sessions earning the PADI Freediver rating.

My students all come from different backgrounds. So far I have trained staff from the dive centre, scuba divers, non-divers, young and old. This program has something for everyone. The bookings are great and I will have a busy and fun year ahead of me teaching freediving.

Patrik Jeppsson

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What is a PADI AmbassaDiver?

AmbassaDiver_Hor_Logo_RedBlk - CopyLast week we launched our search for our PADI AmbassaDiver! We are looking for PADI Pros and Divers who really make a difference and have a story to tell. But what does it all mean?

As a PADI AmbassaDiver, you will be representing all that PADI stands for. A passion for the ocean, safe diving and a constant desire for new adventures. You will be introduced as an AmbassaDiver on the official PADI blog where we will highlight your projects and your story. We will keep up with your adventures and the way you influence the diving community all year. You will also receive exclusive PADI AmbassaDiver merchandise.

You will be a part of all the new product releases, engage with the PADI news, and be invited to talk at events such as PADI member updates or PADI Go pro night. You will be a brand advocate of PADI through social platforms, events and relevant engagements and will be expected to use said social platforms to bring brand awareness as AmbassaDivers are passionate about diving, exploration and adventure, and sharing their love of the sport and the ocean planet is one of their greatest joys.

PADI AmbassaDivers are leaders in the dive industry or local communities and will be elected based on their abilities to influence, engage and inspire others to start and keep diving.

Through passion and dedication, PADI Brand Ambassadors are changing the world of diving or changing the world through diving.

Application Procedures:

Applicants for the PADI AmbassaDiver program should be certified by PADI and able to show a strong social media following and/or significant contributions to scuba diving or related areas.

Download the application here and send an email to ambassadiver@padi.co.uk telling us why we should choose you!

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Congratulations to PADI’s Top Certifying Instructors in 2015

Go_Pro_CAY07_1136_TS_KingWorld_LGTop certifying PADI Instructors will soon be receiving their Elite Instructor Award. This award celebrates the achievements of PADI Instructors who issued 50, 100, 150, 200 or 300+ certifications during 2015.

The Elite Instructor Award distinguishes PADI professionals by highlighting their experience as PADI Members and gives them the means to promote their elite status to student divers, potential students, prospective employers and others. Elite Instructor Award recipients receive an acknowledgement letter and recognition certificate (both signed by PADI President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Drew Richardson), a decal to add to their instructor cards, and an e-badge they may use on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages. Elite award instructors may authorize PADI Dive Centres or Resorts with which they associate to display their Elite Instructor Award on the business’ digital site as well.

Check out the 2015 Global Elite Instructor Recipient List to see who earned an award for their 2015 certifications. Listed PADI Instructors can go to the “My Account” tab on this site to download their 2015 Elite Instructor e-badge, and should also be able to see their e-badge on their PADI Pro Chek results page.

Visit the PADI Elite Instructor information page to read about the program.

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My PADI. My Ocean. My Hope.

drew_richardsonFor five decades, PADI has changed lives and led the dive community. At first, only divers knew who PADI® was. Then, PADI became recognized by the general public. What’s happened in the last few years is even more remarkable.

PADI has become synonymous with scuba diving. Customers don’t just ask to go diving– as reported by Rod Punshon of Pro Dive Cairns, the world’s first dive center to issue 100,000 certifications, “Consumers are saying, ‘I want my PADI.’”

Incredible. Where did this brand recognition come from? Yes, the PADI Regional Headquarters use public relations, the internet and advertising to continuously recruit new divers (more than one billion impressions in 2015) and send them to you and your fellow PADI Members. But in our 50 years, together we have issued more than 24 million PADI certifications to divers who leverage these impressions with word-of-mouth about the unequalled quality of PADI programs and the unmatched professionalism of the PADI Instructors, Assistant Instructors, Divemasters, Dive Centers and Resorts who conduct them. Thanks in part to this force multiplier, the PADI family introduces about one million people to diving annually.

That’s almost two every minute. Because of “I want my PADI,” you live an extraordinary life introducing people to the diving lifestyle. It’s a privilege, and a responsibility because there’s more to it than the business aspect of creating capable, confident divers. It’s about instilling a passion and love for the underwater world into millions of underwater explorers and adventurers. It’s about making the ocean personal – my ocean. That’s “my ocean,” as in “stop dumping eight million tons of plastic daily into my ocean.” As in, “Stop killing 10,000 sharks every hour in my ocean.” As in, “Heal the 500 human caused dead zones in my ocean.”

The oceans are under siege, but thousands of divers have stepped out as their staunchest defenders. This is what we do. We help and defend, because we can, and because we care.

My ocean’s – your ocean’s – survival demands that the PADI tribe moves conservation to the forefront as we engage divers and the world. It depends on all of us – your actions and mine – uniting divers into a global force pushing against ocean dumping, mangrove destruction, shark finning, overfishing and the host of other threats. Together, we can preserve and protect our oceans for the future while we explore and enjoy it.

Thanks to PADI’s recognition, size and reach, there’s no group better positioned to do this (and if we don’t, who will?). United, we’re poised to rise up and lead another 25 million PADI Divers who will lend their voices, votes and vigour to caring for the ocean. With their words-of-mouth, they will help us raise up yet another 25 million to do the same, and so on.

This is where I get my hope. Together, the PADI family can do this, and we will.

By Drew Richardson, CEO, PADI