The benefits of Certified Assistants to create an enjoyable and safe dive!

On a day to day basis, there’s also little doubt that the efficient use of certified assistants during confined and open water training and experience programs can make diver training and supervision easier and more enjoyable for both participants and instructors. This is especially true for experience programs or entry-level courses when divers can’t be left unattended.

There are many fairly obvious reasons for using certified assistants, such as logistical assistance, improved responsiveness to emergencies, having “extra” sets of eyes and ears for improved in-water control, the ability to increase the number of student divers being supervised, and so on. For the most effective use of them, consider the following, from PADI’s Guide to Teaching:

  • Have enough assistants available and thoroughly brief them about their roles during the dive, including information on site facilities, so they can answer student diver questions. Make sure they know where to find and how to use emergency equipment – first-aid kit, oxygen unit, AED unit, telephone/radio, etc. They should also know where extra equipment is located.
  • Discuss how much assistance and guidance to give student divers before, during and after the dive. Go over the expected order of activities and where they should position themselves in the water.
  • To increase practice time, have certified assistants monitor additional student diver practice.

Don’t forget during the PADI Open Water Diver course, where an instructor’s direct supervision is required, exceptions are made for instructor indirect supervision in the following situations:

  • Certified assistants supervising student divers during surface swims to and from the entry-exit point and during navigational exercises, as well as when remaining with the class when the instructor conducts a skill such as an ascent or descent with a student or student team.
  • Certified assistants guiding student divers (at a ratio of 2:1) on Dives 2-4 when exploring the dive site.
  • Assistant Instructors evaluating dive flexible skills at the surface in open water and conducting air pressure checks underwater.

Besides providing an additional measure to increase control and the safety of divers in your care, and helping to prepare future PADI Instructors, using certified assistants during PADI training programs can increase your students’ enjoyment of the training/supervisory experience and make your own professional life easier.

It’s important to remember however that PADI Standards define a certified assistant as a “Teaching Status PADI Instructor, PADI Assistant Instructor or Active Status PADI Divemaster”. The use of any other divers as assistants would not qualify as “certified assistant” use under PADI Standards. Don’t forget to check your assistant’s credentials!

 

PADI eLearning brukergrensesnitt oppdatering

For å kunne gi PADI dykkere en elegant kundeopplevelse fra det øyeblikket de kjøper produktet til siste slutt er PADI i gang med en digital opprustning. PADI har alltid vært verdensledende på dykkerutdanning og har alltid vært svært dedikert til å ha de beste undervisningsmaterialer tilgjengelig på markedet, distribuert gjennom det globale nettverket av PADI dykkesentre og profesjonelle. PADI Medlemmer har alltid kunne tilby verdens mest ettertraktede dykkersertifikater og har alltid hjulpet mennesker til å utforske verden under vann på en trygg og sikker måte. Hva er nytt? Det er blitt betydelig lettere å starte eventyret som dykker.. PADI ruller i disse dager ut noen store oppdateringer i eLearning læringsmiljøet.

I dag sender PADI medlemmer en kode fra «online processing center» til elevene sine for å gi eleven tilgang til eLearning produkter. Eleven/brukeren får en epost med en link som gir tilgang til produktet og muligheten til å kommunisere via email på et språk av elevens valg. Alt dette blir som før.

Nå når eleven klikker på linken i eposten blir de sendt direkte til en frèsh og nylig oppdatert side der de kan opprette brukerkontoer og få tilgang til sine produkter (hvis eleven allerede har en konto, logger eleven enkelt inn via den og får tilgang til nye materialer.) Hastigheten og effektiviteten av innlogging har også blitt betydelig forbedret.

Det nye og forbedrede læringsmiljøet er strømlinjeformet og lett å navigere. Man finner en menyknapp på toppen av siden som enkelt lar eleven navigere rundt på siden. Herfra kan man også lett få tilgang til PADI.com (ved å klikke på PADI.com valget under toppmenyen). Det er lett å skifte språk i det nye brukergrensesnittet og skulle man trenge det finner man lett frem til hjelp funksjonen, her kan man finne telefon nummer for å ringe support hos PADI kontoret eller sende epost. Gjennom «forgot password» funksjonen kan tapt brukerinformasjon raskt gjenopprettes og eleven mottar en email for gjenoppretting av brukerkonto.
Informasjons ikoner på siden gir klar og tydelig informasjon og forenkler navigasjon rundt på siden. I dette smidige og enkle brukergrensesnittet er det vanskelig å bli forvirret.

Etter eleven har logget inn har får han/hun muligheten til å endre eller bekrefte sin adresse. Så fort dette er gjort endrer logoen i øvre venstre hjørne seg fra PADI til PADI eLearning®, dette bekrefter at eleven er innlogget i eLearning læringsmiljøet hvor alle deres kurs er å finne (en my courses undertekst bekrefter dette).
Enkle rene paneler gjør det lett å identifisere hvert kurs. Brukere kan klikke på panelbildet eller boksen «View course» for å enkelt få tilgang til alt materiell tilknyttet elevens sertifiseringspakke. Alt innhold er tydelig listet og sømløst tilgjengelig med brukervennlige linker. En av de store forbedringene på denne plattformen nå er at man har kun ett sett med innloggingsinformasjon for å komme inn på eLearning siden.

I eLearning materialene kan elevene se alle komponentene i sertifiseringspakken deres. Nettbrett utgave, lavoppløst manual, eRDPML og eTraining Dive Log komplett med link til ScubaEarth hvor loggboken er forankret (dette istedenfor å måtte gå en omvei rundt å logge seg på ScubaEarth). Naturligvis vil komponentinnholdet variere med hvilket kurs eleven er registrert for.

Summa summarum er det nye brukergrensesnittet mye renere, mer organisert og brukervennlig. Meny knappen følger elevene uansett hvor de navigerer på sidene og er alltid lett tilgjengelig. Alt ble nettopp mye lettere for elever som bruker eLearning. I tiden fremover har vi mye mer i vente, forvent at det rulles ut flere funksjoner snart.

Tekniske krav

Nettbrett og mobil
• iOS nettbrett og telefon med operativsystem 9 (begrenset støtte) 10 og 11. Gjellende versjon og to foregående versjoner
• Android nettbrett og telefon med operativsystem Nougat og Oreo. Gjeldende versjon og to foregående versjoner

Desktop/Web Viewer
• Mac OSX 10.10 eller nyere med de to siste nettleserversjoner av Safari, Chrome, eller Firefox
• Windows 7 eller 8.x med de to siste nettleserversjonene av Chrome, Firefox, eller Internet Explorer 11 og senere
• Desktop Web Viewer støttes ikke på nettbrett og telefoner

 

 

Atualização do entorno PADI eLearning

Com a ideia de proporcionar aos mergulhadores PADI um percorrido excelente desde o ponto compra até a finalização do produto, PADI está numa missão de produtos digitais. PADI sempre foi líder mundial em formação em mergulho e sempre esteve comprometida em criar os melhores materiais de treinamento em mergulho do mundo e proporcioná-los á rede mundial de centros de mergulho, Resorts e Profissionais PADI. Os membros PADI sempre ofereceram as certificações de mergulho mais buscadas do mundo e sempre permitiram explorar o nosso planeta água de uma maneira confiada e competente. Então, quais são as novidades? Isto agora é mais fácil com as importantes atualizações do Entorno eLearning (ou eLearning Environment, como se batizou em inglês) que desenvolveu PADI.

Hoje, membros PADI enviam códigos desde o Online Processing Center aos seus alunos para permitir que ditos usuários acedam a produtos eLearning. Os usuários depois recebem um email com um link ao produto e uma opção para eleger comunicações por email nas suas línguas; nenhum destes passos mudou.

Mais, agora, quando os usuários clicam no link desse email, são dirigidos a uma página web recentemente desenhada onde criar contas para aceder aos seus produtos digitais (se já possuem uma conta, só têm que usar os dados de login para aceder aos seus novos materiais). A velocidade e eficiência do início de sessão e registro também melhoraram de maneira significante.

O novo entorno é claro e ordenado. Tem uma barra de menu na parte superior, o que facilita as coisas para o usuário. É fácil aceder a PADI.com (ao clicar no logotipo ou no ícone PADI.com na barra de menu). É fácil mudar de idiomas. Tem uma opção de ajuda onde os usuários podem encontrar um número para ligar (ou clicar para enviar um email diretamente) para a o escritório PADI correspondente. Também está disponível a popular opção de senha esquecida, com a que os usuários podem inserir o seu email e receber um link para reestabelecer as suas senhas. Ícones informativos proporcionam informação adicional se for necessário. É uma interface limpa e simples com a que é difícil confundir-se.

Uma vez que o usuário acede à sua conta, tem a opção de confirmar ou mudar o email. Agora, o ícone da parte superior esquerda muda de PADI a PADI eLearning®, confirmando que se está no Entorno eLearning, onde se encontram todos os seus cursos (baixo um subtítulo chamado My Courses). Um painel simples e claro identifica cada curso. Os usuários podem clicar no painel ou em View Courses para ter acesso a tudo no seus certifications paks. Todo este conteúdo está claramente identificado e é facilmente acessível, com links fáceis de usar e uma das melhores mudanças; existe só um login para aceder ao entorno eLearning.

Nos seus materiais eLearning, os usuários podem ver todos os componentes dos seus
certifications paks: o produto para tablets, o manual de baixa resolução, o eRDPML e o eTraining Dive Log completo com um link direto a ScubaEarth onde registrar mergulhos (em vez de ter que fazer login outra vez em ScubaEarth). Obviamente, os componentes variam com o curso.

Em resumo, o entorno é muito mais claro e organizado. A barra de menu segue ao usuário onde quer que vá para que sempre tenha essas opções. As coisas ficaram muito mais fáceis para os eLearners. Tem muito mais por vir, regularmente.

A letra pequena/requerimentos técnicos

Tablet e dispositivos móveis
• Tablets iOS e telefones operando os sistemas 9 (suporte limitado), 10 e 11. A versão atual e as duas anteriores.
• Tablets Android e telefones operando os sistemas Nougat e Oreo. A versão atual e as duas anteriores.

Desktop/Web Viewer
• Mac OSX 10.10 ou mais atual com as duas versões mais atuais de Safari, Chrome ou Firefox.
• Windows 7 ou 8.x com as duas versões mais atuais de Chrome, Firefox ou Internet Explorer 11 ou superior.
• Desktop Web Viewer não está suportado em tablets e telefones.

PADI eLearning ympäristön päivitys

Pyrkiessään tarjoamaan PADI sukeltajille tyylikkään asiakasmatkan ostotilanteesta tuotteen läpikäyntiin, PADI on digitaalisten tuotteiden missiolla. PADI on aina ollut sukelluskoulutuksessa maailmanluokan edelläkävijä ja on aina omistautunut luomaan maailman parhaita sukelluskoulutusmateriaaleja ja toimittamaan niitä kansäinväliselle verkostolle PADI Dive Centereitä, Resortteja ja PADI ammattilaisia. PADI jäsenet ovat aina tarjonneet maailman halutuimpia sukellusluokituksia ja ovat aina mahdollistaneet ihmisten tutustua vesiplaneettaamme luottavaisesti ja pätevästi. Joten, mikä on uutta? Tämä on vain tullut huomattavasti helpommaksi. PADI julkaisee joitakin merkittäviä päivityksiä (uudelleen nimettyyn) eLearning ympäristöön.

Tänään, PADI jäsenet lähettävät koodin online-käsittelykeskuksesta oppilailleen, jotta näillä käyttäjillä on pääsy eLearning tuotteisiin. Käyttäjät saavat sitten sähköpostissa linkin tuotteeseen ja mahdollisuuden valita yhteydenpidon sähköpostit haluamallaan kielellä. Mikään näistä vaiheista ei ole muuttunut.

Mutta nyt, kun käyttäjät klikkaavat sähköpostissa olevaa linkkiä, heidät viedään juuri uudistetulle sivulle, jossa he luovat tilin digitaalisten tuotteidensa käyttöön. (Jos heillä on jo tili, he yksinkertaisesti kirjautuvat ja pääsevät käyttämään uusia materiaalejaan.) Kirjautumisprosessin nopeus ja tehokkuus ovat myös parantuneet huomattavasti.

Uusi ympäristö on puhdas ja selkeä. Yläreunassa on valikkopalkki, jonka avulla käyttäjän on mukavaa ja yksinkertaista navigoida. PADI.com sivustolle on helppo pääsy. (Joko klikkaamalla logoa tai PADI.com nimikettä valikkopalkissa.) Kieltä on helppo vaihtaa. Help optiossa on puhelinnumero, johon käyttäjät voivat soittaa (tai klikata linkkiä ja lähettää sähköpostia suoraan) PADI toimistoon, joka palvelee heitä. Siellä on myös aina suosittu unohtunut salasana -optio johon käyttäjät voivat kirjoittaa tilinsä sähköpostiosoitteen ja saada linkin asettaakseen salasanansa uudelleen. Tieto-kuvakkeet tarjoavat lisätietoja, jos käyttäjät tarvitsevat sitä. Se on puhdas, yksinkertainen käyttöliittymä, ja siinä on vaikea mennä sekaisin.

Kun käyttäjät kirjautuvat, heillä on mahdollisuus vahvistaa tai muuttaa osoitettaan. Nyt kuvake ylhäällä vasemmalla vaihtuu PADI:sta PADI eLearning®:ksi, vahvistaen käyttäjien olevan eLearning ympäristössä, missä kaikki heidän kurssinsa ovat. (Kurssini alaotsikko vahvistaa tämän). Yksinkertainen, puhdas paneeli yksilöi jokaisen kurssin. Käyttäjät voivat joko klikata paneelin kuvaketta tai Katso Kursseja -laatikkoa päästäkseen kaikkeen heidän luokituspaketissaan. Kaikki sisältö on selkeästi listattu ja niihin on saumaton pääsy käyttäjäystävällisillä linkeillä. Yksi suurista parannuksista on nyt yksi ainoa kirjautuminen eLearning ympäristöön.

eLearning materiaaleissaan, käyttäjät voivat nähdä kaikki luokituspakettiensa osat: tabletti tuote, matalaresoluutioinen manuaali, eRDPML ja eTraining Dive Log täydellisenä linkkeineen suoraan ScubaEarth:iin missä loki on (sen sijaan, että täytyisi taas kirjautua ScubaEarth:iin). Luonnollisesti osat vaihtelevat kurssin mukaan.

Tärkeintä on, että se on paljon puhtaampi ja selkeämpi käyttäjäympäristö. Valikkopalkki seuraa käyttäjiä mihin he menevätkään, joten heillä on aina samat vaihtoehdot. Asiat helpottuvat eOppilaille. Varastossa on paljon enemmän odottamassa uusien ominaisuuksien julkaisemista säännöllisesti.

Pienellä painettu/Tekniset ominaisuudet

Tabletti ja mobiililaitteet
• iOS tabletti ja puhelimen OS 9 (rajoitettu tuki) 10 and 11. Nykyinen versio ja kaksi aiempaa versiota
• Android tabletti ja puhelimen OS Nougat ja Oreo. Nykyinen versio ja kaksi aiempaa versiota

Desktop/Web Viewer
• Mac OSX 10.10 tai uudempi jossa Safarin, Chromen tai Firefoxin kaksi viimeisintä selainversiota
• Windows 7 tai 8.x jossa Chromen tai Firefoxin kaksi viimeisintä selainversiota tai Internet Explorer 11 tai uudempi
• Desktop Web Viewer ei ole tuettu tableteissa ja puhelimissa

PADI Power!

Are you getting the most from your PADI marketing power?

The PADI logo is the most distinctive and powerful logo in the diving industry. Recognised as a sign of quality diver training and service, divers around the planet proudly state that they have ‘got my PADI’.

As a PADI dive centre, a key benefit of your membership is the right to utilise the power of the PADI brand to bring more custom to your dive centre – here are some suggestions on how to make sure you are doing this effectively:

  1. Use your PADI Dive Centre Marketing kit to its full effect. Every renewed PADI dive centre receives a physical marketing tool kit which includes flags, banner and other marketing collateral completely free of charge. Maldivian dive centres can get their tool kits through MA Services, the official PADI material distributor in the Maldives. If you have not yet received your pack, make sure you contact them directly to arrange collection.
  2. Use your digital resources – make sure your website shows the PADI logo – you can download a range of logos by logging into the PADI Pro Site and clicking the following link: https://www2.padi.com/mypadi/templates/cb-login.aspx?id=2782
  3. Also make sure you are using the latest images and text to boost your website’s impact! All dive centres in the Maldives have been sent an email providing them with a digital marketing tool kit that includes pictures, videos and text for you to use on social media and websites. If you have not accessed this yet, contact matt.wenger@padi.com for more information

If you want more information on how to effectively boost your marketing, and drive more custom to your centre, join us at a PADI Business Academy! Next event is scheduled in September in Male.

 

 

A New Home for PADI in the Maldives!

We are delighted to officially announce that PADI has a new home in Male’!

Last month, MA Services, the official PADI distributor in the Maldives, opened a spacious new retail outlet on Male’ Square, the latest shopping and dining destination in the capital.

As part of the move, the PADI store also relocated and is now open during regular shopping hours, welcoming divers and shoppers until 10pm.

Although we know that many of you have already visited the new store, which is just off Majeedhee Magu, we invite all of you who haven’t popped in yet to drop by and say hello! With our extended opening hours, we hope that many more of you will now have the opportunity to do so.

Alongside all PADI merchandise and services, the store will be home to a wide range of products stocked by MA Services. As the official distributor of PADI, Bauer Kompressoren, Scubapro, UWATEC, Hatz and Analox, the store is a one-stop-shop for all your diving needs and will offer customers a more streamlined approach to placing orders and purchasing new equipment.

The MA Services service centre remains in the same location and will continue to provide all the same facilities as previously.

We look forward to welcoming you soon!

PADI

 

From Doomed Voyager to Victorious Wreckage

The story beneath one of the most famous dive sites in the Maldives

Part One

When Mohamed Saeed first stepped aboard MV Victory as the Chief Electrical Officer, little could he have known that it would be his first and final voyage on the doomed cargo ship.

“I was one of the last to be rescued,” he revealed, thirty-seven years after the freighter sank off the coast of airport island Hulhule to become the most famous shipwreck in the Maldives.

A diver during an excursion to the wreck of MV Victory. PHOTO MOHAMED SEENEEN

An error in judgement

It was the night of February 13, 1981, with clear skies under a bright waxing moon. Victory had just returned from Singapore, carrying general cargo from cement and iron to timber and cooking oil. Recalling the events of the fateful night, Saeed said he had not expected Victory to enter the capital’s harbour until the following morning, as it was illegal to enter Gaadhoo Kolu, Male’s main cargo route, after dark.

“What happened was that, on the night we left Male for Singapore, we saw a larger ship entering Gaadhoo Kolu,” narrated Saeed. “So our captain figured he could do it too.”

The wreck of MV Victory off the coast of Hulhule. PHOTO – MOHAMED SEENEEN

Saeed was surprised when the Chief Engineer ordered him, the Second Engineer and Third Engineer to be on standby for docking that night itself. Despite his misgivings, he took up his duty as the Chief Electrician while Victory entered Gaadhoo Kolu, making her way to Male’s commercial port.

“The popular belief is that Victory ran aground Male’s reef, but that’s not true,” said Saeed, explaining that they had seen the shallows clearly in the moonlight and kept their distance from the capital’s shore.

Once the freighter came upon the island of Fonadhoo, which lies between the capital city and Hulhule in the cargo route, she was steered around to enter the channel between Fonadhoo and Hulhule, since the Male-Fonadhoo channel is prohibited for freighters and tankers,

Here the freighter’s fate was sealed: a misjudgement by the helmsman coupled by the vessel’s near-ancient hydraulic steering system failed in swinging her around and, at approximately 10:00 p.m. on a particularly unlucky Friday the February 13th, MV Victory hit Hulhule’s house reef.

A battle in vain

“It wasn’t caused by equipment failure,” said Saeed stoutly. “The Chief Engineer and I checked; it was a steering fault.”

Their first cause of action after the collision was to try and save the ship. She was steered urgently back out of Gaadhoo Kolu while Saeed and the three engineers below deck tried to pump out water from the double-bottomed tank.

It was a futile attempt. The hull was breached a level above the cargo storage and there was no stopping the water flow. The sinking of the freighter was guaranteed.

A diver during an excursion to the wreck of MV Victory. PHOTO – MOHAMED SEENEEN

With Victory already beginning to keel, it soon dawned on everyone aboard – 30 crew members and seven passengers – that they would be left to the mercy of the waves if she remained in open water. Saeed and a handful of other seamen quickly sought the captain, urging to take Victory back through the cargo route.

“If we’d sunk outside Gaadhoo Kolu, we would’ve been done for. The ocean currents there are very strong.”

Options exhausted, the captain gave the dreaded order: scuttle the ship.

Engines at maximum power and keeling more than 12 degrees to the side, Victory reentered the cargo route where under the captain’s orders, she was deliberately run aground.

The bereft crew

News of the wreckage spread swiftly across the capital despite the late hour. Representatives of authorities gathered at Male’s shore while the military were dispatched to evacuate the people aboard the sinking ship.

Inside the wreck of MV Victory off the coast of Hulhule. PHOTO – MOHAMED SEENEEN

“We were the last to be rescued,” said Saeed, referring to himself and the three engineers. While the passengers and the rest of the crew were on deck and promptly evacuated, the four had remained below, still working fruitlessly to pump out water.

When the four finally emerged, it was to an empty deck. Fortunately, rescue soldiers soon returned for them, while work was underway to tow Victory away from the reef to be floated.

While there were no casualties in the incident, several of the mostly-foreign crew were left bereft afterwards, losing nearly all their worldly possessions on the freighter.

With nothing but the clothes on their backs, the dismayed seafarers had watched MV Victory, with all of her lights still blazing, sink below the waves in the early hours of February 14.

Please visit next week for Part Two of MV Victory’s journey from above to below water

PADI’s guest blogger  Fathmath Shaahunaz  introduces herself:

Fathmath Shaahunaz is a long-established shinnichi currently writing as senior Journalist at The Edition. A self described ‘english nerd’, she also harbours a deep appreciation for ocean and all things magical.  The Edition brings readers the most comprehensive news coverage throughout the Maldives delivering the latest in breaking news and updates covering defining moments in politics, business, sports, travel, entertainment and lifestyle across the country and the region. 

www.edition.mv

 

PADI Approved Youth Training Centre

Last year, PADI brought out the PADI Approved Youth Training Centre recognition for PADI Dive Centres in the UK. Whilst all PADI Professionals will have received training on how to teach children and young adults during their Instructor Development course, reaching out to engage with this market in the UK may require you to incorporate various measures to help safeguard the welfare of children in your care.

There is huge potential for your diving business when you reach out and engage with schools and youth groups. If you are able to establish an ongoing relationship with a school, you can gain a potential guaranteed annual income by repeating training for the next year group. There are opportunities for running an ongoing dive club just in their school pool, or for running UK and overseas dive trips where the children may complete core training as well as specialities.

Benefits of working with school groups:

• New students intake every year
• Opportunity for improved course margins with some schools having their own swimming pools
• Opportunities to branch out and offer courses for family members
• Opportunities for school staff professional development
• Opportunities to offer EFR courses for the school
• Potential opportunities for overseas scuba trips
• Benefit to the school by enhancing students education and cross-curricular links

The PADI Approved Youth Training Centre scheme is one which is designed to provide you with the knowledge surrounding safeguarding measures which may be requested by various schools and youth groups which you are planning on working with. Gaining this recognition from PADI gives you access to additional resources which you can use to help promote and build your school and youth group diving business.

The PADI Approved Youth Training Centre recognition is a free application for all PADI Dive Centres which are 100% PADI, who can confirm that they have the relevant policies and checks in place to safeguard children according to Child Protection rules in the UK.

PADI Approved Youth Training Centre information pack version 2.2 contains all the key information relevant for training children in the UK. For more information on this contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant – Emily Petley-Jones (emily.petley-jones@padi.com) or PADI Regional Manager – Matt Clements (Matt.Clements@padi.com) or  Emma Hewitt (emma.hewitt@padi.com)

 

Dive site topography in Lhaviyani Atoll – Part 1

The underwater topography of the Maldives is dramatic, varied and perfect for exploring. Scuba divers visiting the Lhaviyani Atoll in particular have a huge variety of reef formations awaiting them on the dive sites – the first glimpses of which can even be spotted from the seaplane window. In this, the first of a three part series, the underwater islands of giris and thilas are explored.

What is a giri?

Giris are shallow underwater islands with a top reefs lying at around 5 meters and appearing as blueish-green spots when viewed from the seaplane window. Typically found inside the atoll, they are perfect for beginner divers and macro lovers.

One of Hurawalhi’s favourite giris is Maa Giri. It means Flower Island and it is usually described as ‘fish soup’. On the front of the giri are thousands of lunar fusiliers catching food in the gentle currents that flow around the dive site. Once the divers descend a little deeper they can explore small overhangs and crevices where nurse sharks are sleeping or moray eels are getting cleaned. All around the giri are schools of yellow snappers, humpback snappers, and sweetlips. Occasionally, at the right time of the year, there is a glittering swarm of glass fish that divers can swim into the middle of – this is an enchanting experience that will be remembered for a very long time. Along the walls there are macro creatures like the mantis shrimp, whip coral shrimp and nudibranchs.

Picture by Ray van Eeden

On Tinga Giri, close to Hurawalhi, there is currently a large red frogfish that can often be seen fishing with the lure, which comes out from the top of its head.

What is a thila?

A thila is a deeper underwater island usually starting around 12-14 meters. Two of the Hurawalhi team’s favourite and most fascinating thilas are Anemone Thila and Fushivaru Thila.

Picture by Ray van Eeden

Anemone Thila gets its name from the incredible amount of anemones that have made themselves at home there. It is a very small thila and can be dived all they way round its circumference 2-3 times in one dive. This site is great for underwater photography and experimenting with macro photography. The most spectacular part of the dive is towards the end when divers arrive at the shallowest part of the thila and see the clownfish swimming above all the anemones along with bright blue and pink damselfish. For a good part of the year this site is also completely covered in ‘baitfish’ – so many that visibility can be reduced to 1-2 m with the fish parting to make way for the passing divers.

Picture by Ray van Eeden

Fushivaru Thila is a manta cleaning station and from November to January divers can witness the spectacular sight of the majestic mantas as they cruise in and hover over the station as small cleaner wrasse come and cleanse them of parasites. When the mantas are elsewhere, Fushivaru Thila is just as beautiful with huge schools of snappers and hunting grey reef sharks, nurse sharks sleeping under coral blocks, and large stingrays on the sand.

Picture by Ray van Eeden

There are many underwater island dive sites in Lhaviyani Atoll waiting to be explored. In Part 2 of the Dive Site Topography series all will be revealed about the differences between East and West sides of the Atoll.

 

PADI’s guest blogger Paige Bennett introduces herself:

I am an American Scuba diving instructor who has been living in the Maldives for the past 2 ½ years. I have been travelling and working for the past 6 years and have been to Koh Tao Thailand, Playa del Carmen Mexico, Marsa Alam Egypt and have now settled in the Lhaviyani Atoll working with Prodivers Diving center. I love the abundance of textures and patterns in the ocean and am very interested in underwater macro photography. I also have been involved with several conservation/restoration projects such as ReefCI in Belize, Eco Koh Tao in Thailand, and the coral transplantation project for the 5.8 undersea Restaurant on Hurawalhi Island Resort.

 

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.