Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer Course Dates 2018

efr_header_2017We are pleased to announce that the EFR Instructor Trainer course schedule for 2018 has now been announced.

The EFR Instructor Trainer course includes online learning followed by a live knowledge development and practical element, which will be conducted on the dates shown below. This training enables successful applicants to offer EFR Instructor courses, making it particularly beneficial to those working at Instructor Development Centres or those involved in the IDC process.

Bristol, UK 20 February 2018 Language: English
Barcelona, Spain 26 February 2018 Language: Spanish
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 10 March 2018 Language: Arabic
Johannesburg, South Africa 25 March 2018 Language: English
Peniche, Portugal 28 March 2018 Language: Portuguese
Athens, Greece 01 April 2018 Language: English
Sliema, Malta 17 April 2018 Language: English
Hurghada, Egypt 22 April 2018 Language: English
Warsaw, Poland 24 April 2018 Language: Polish
Oslo, Norway 06 May 2018 Language: Norwegian
Stockholm, Sweden 13 May 2018 Language: Scandinavian
Lanzarote, Spain 30 May 2018 Language: Spanish
Santa Margherita, Italy 17 June 2018 Language: Italian
Copenhagen, Denmark 17 June 2018 Language: English
Limassol, Cyprus 24 June 2018 Language: English
Eindhoven, Netherlands 24 June 2018 Language: English
Bristol, UK 10 September 2018 Language: English
Male, Maldives 22 September 2018 Language: English
St Raphael, France 29 September 2018 Language: French
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 13 October 2018 Language: Arabic
Dubai, UAE 25 October 2018 Language: English
Aguilas, Spain 26 October 2018 Language: Spanish
Lecco, Italy 03 November 2018 Language: Italian
Sliema, Malta 10 November 2018 Language: English

In order to apply for a space at one of these events you must meeting the following criteria:

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


  • Have conducted at least 5 separate EFR courses

You can apply for a space by completing and returning the EFR Instructor Trainer registration form –click here to download the form now: January to MayJune to December

Training Bulletin Live – Webinar Schedule 1Q2018

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.

1st Quarter:

31/01/18 English


01/02/18 Italian


05/02/18 French


06/02/18 Arabic


07/02/18 Spanish


08/02/18 Polish


12/02/18 Scandinavian


13/02/18 Portuguese


14/02/18 Russian


15/02/18 German


19/02/18 Dutch



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.

Workshop PADI/SUEX in partnership with DAN Research.

1° Training Workshop PADI/SUEX in partnership with DAN Research. by Fabio Figurella – Regional Manager and PADI Examiner.

The first PADI/SUEX Workshop was held in Santa Margherita Ligure on October 21-23 in collaboration with the DAN Research Team. The goal of the workshop was to train 12 Instructors selected by the PADI Course Directors and the Keys Men SUEX and to launch a new Distinctive Specialty: PADI SUEX ADV Diver which aims to create the basis for advanced training on the use of the DPV and in particular on the use of the SUEX DPV.

The course was realized in partnership with the DAN Research Team led by Massimo Pieri, European Research Area Supervisor of DAN Europe, which launched a specific study on the use of underwater vehicles in recreational and/or technical diving, testing for the first time the scientific research protocol during the workshop training dives.

SUEX S.r.l. Training Team was composed by Ivo Calabrese – SUEX Director of Marketing and Communications and SUEX Trainers: Marco Colman and Clemens Schutzenhofer. The heads of the company Alessandro Fenu and Marco Segatto participated actively in the meeting. The workshop program was very intense. The instructors took part to several sessions in the classroom, a technical workshop on DPV, 4 training dives, 2 of which dedicated to the scientific protocol by DAN Research Team.

The training dives were performed with the support of the Diving Center “Portofino Diving Group”  PADI 5 Stars IDC in Santa Margherita Ligure who sponsored the event.

The two final dives were made within the Portofino MPA authorization by the Director Giorgio Fanciulli, who authorized the activities as a means of “collecting medical scientific data aimed at learning good practices to increase scuba diving safety”.

PADI, SUEX, and DAN Research are committed to delivering a final report to the MPA on training standards, on the sound impact of DPVs, and on the results from the first medical-scientific data collection, in order to evaluate the possibility of promoting the use of DPVs in MPA to increase scuba diving safety.

The goal that, as PADI, we have been planning with SUEX for months, is an operational synergy between teaching, diving equipment production companies, and research institutions such as DAN Research, to implement high quality training, On one hand, it aims to create instruments of continuous education, and supervised experience, taking into account also good practices of proper use of the equipment itself. Additionally, it aims to increase diving safety and apply these experiences to preserve the environment in which we dive. I thank SUEX for giving us this opportunity, I thank DAN Research, who is always ready to support initiatives aimed at increasing safety practices in diving, I thank the MPA for authorizing the initiative, I thank the “Portofino Diving Group” for the support and the logistics, but above all I thank the 12 instructors who were the buddies of this exceptional training experience.

“This initiative marks a turning point in the field of diving as it brings together three fundamental aspects related to our much-loved Sport: Training, Science and Technology. It is the beginning of a journey together that will lead us to explore new boundaries in terms of safety, training and technological development.  My heartfelt thanks goes to PADI and DAN on behalf of the whole Suex Team for making the start of this new way of diving possible. “ This is the comment of Alessandro Fenu – SUEX executive.

“Putting together PADI, represented by Fabio Figurella, DAN, which does not need presentations, and SUEX, has created a synergy that I personally had hoped for some time. Going underwater with the maximum safety possible, with the right method and with the right equipment has always been my dream. As a designer this is one of the greatest satisfactions for me. The event of Santa Margherita has concentrated so much preparation and professionalism and thanks to the collaboration of many people, has obtained very important results. We are at a turning point, a new way of conceiving diving. Safety first of all, we must never forget that we go underwater mainly for fun and for this purpose we must never expose ourselves to potential dangers. Excellent technology and first-class training make this possible today. I thank all the participants and the organizers who have made this wonderful first occasion possible. What a wonderful opportunity. A new era has now begun”. Commented Marco Segatto SUEX technical manager.

Great professionalism on the part of the SUEX training team: “After many years of field work in the diving world both as a trainer and as a diver, I believe that this initiative born from a dream shared with Fabio Figurella, has become a reality. During the high-level training days, as a result of the preparation of the candidates, several times as trainers we had to “raise the bar” to cover the educational situations that were gradually being created … I think this is the beginning of a new way of conceiving diving, aimed at the development and the creation of high security systems. It will now be possible to continue on this new roadmap where the novelties for both the educational and explorative world will be many and will spread worldwide. I wish it thank all the participants and the complete availability of PADI-SUEX and DAN. Without them all this would have remained only a dream. I’m honored to be part of this project that certainly is good for SCUBA diving “. Ivo Calabrese – Director of Marketing and Communications at SUEX.

“The SUEX adventure has begun almost twenty years ago. Initially as a personal challenge, which then turned into a big commitment both in work and in responsibility. The main task is to provide the diving equipment with suitable means to make it easier, fun and above all safe for men to move around in an environment that is certainly not natural for him. These have been four days of intense training, in which the excellent level of all participants certainly contributed to the success of the event. Honestly this is just the beginning, we must continue on this path to offer the highest level of teaching”. Continues Marco Colman Team SUEX Trainer.

And below, in alphabetical order, are the participants to the workshop who became Instructors of the specialty PADI SUEX ADV Diver:

STEFANO BUSCA – PADI Course Director – Trimix Trainer. “Extraordinary event, during which training, research and mutual exchange of common experiences were perfectly integrated. Teaching was supported by the presence of teachers with a wide range of diving experience in extreme environments which made our training precious!”

ALESSANDRO DI MASE – PADI Course Director – Tec Deep Trainer. “A great training experience with a group of professionals of the highest level, masterfully organized and conducted. Suex vehicles are products that combine absolute quality with simplicity and clean design. Thanks to Fabio, Ivo, and Marco, to PADI, SUEX and DAN for the opportunity “.

PAOLO MICARELLI – PADI Course Director – Trimix Trainer. “Every new training opportunity is fundamental. Doing so thanks to the collaboration of PADI, SUEX and DAN has given us the opportunity to live a wonderful experience from a human, technical and scientific point of view. I had fun, I learned and I hopefully I improved. Unique experience that I would repeat tomorrow “.

FILIPPO MOLINA – PADI Course Director – Tec Deep Trainer. “High level training that has enriched my skills. A combination of PADI, Suex, DAN and Course Director that guarantees quality and development in the territory. But since diving is mostly fun, what better way to have fun than with a Suex DPV !? Proud to be able to offer PADI/ Suex training! “.

FABIO PORTELLA – PADI Trimix Instructor. “PADI-SUEX-DAN: excellence and quality! The right way to interpret a modern, comfortable and safe Diving “.


RAUL PUZZI VAN WEEZENBEEK – PADI Course Director – Trimix Trainer. “I really enjoyed the course, especially the part on the functioning of the DPV SUEX. We could improve our skills through video support. I’m interested in continuing my DPV SUEX training. “

EDOARDO SBARAINI – PADI Trimix Instructor. “A very interesting and formative experience. The PADI/Suex/DAN team is very well prepared and available to satisfy any technical or non-technical curiosity. The course is well structured and provides basic training in using the machine in line with the procedures and standards of modern technical diving “.

RICCARDO TOGNINI – PADI Course Director – Trimix Trainer. “I attended the DPV Padi Suex course from 21 to 23 October. I was very happy, we were followed by a valid Trainer, Marco Colman and excellent collaborators, both theoretically and practically. A stimulating course, intense and very exciting, I’m glad that there will be a following one. So I am grateful to those who made this course possible; Padi, Suex, Dan “.

MATTEO VARENNA – PADI Tec Deep Instructor. “A wonderful experience and an important first step towards teaching with a higher added value. Of course it is not enough to change prerequisites and evaluation criteria, first of all a change of vision by the current base of instructors and above all course managers. There is really a need to develop an ethics of professionalism in one’s training, before offering training to students. And this is not taught in the courses “.

MARIO VECCHIONI – PADI Course Director – Tec Deep Trainer. “The PADI SUEX DAN event was a weekend with colleagues and friends, in a top level technical and human environment, discussing wonderful tools, explorations and business opportunities, having fun and reinforcing mutual friendship and respect. Surely one of the most successful events of the three partners and one of the greatest achievements of PADI R.M. Fabio Figurella “.

LUCA ZANZOTTO – PADI Tec Deep Instructor. “I really enjoyed being able to compare myself with high-level figures from the national scene and the professionalism/ organization shown in creating and developing this project. Proud to be part of it “.

To conclude, this was a truly exciting experience, which marks, as we read in the various comments, a first step towards a safer, more sustainable way of diving, but above all an increase in the quality of training, to satisfy market demands in terms of excellence in training.  As PADI we do not think that this is a point of arrival, but simply a starting point from which to start a new path creating a new ethics of trainers, who must take into account that to be top-level trainers you must make a lot of experience and a lot of top-level training. This is the only way to really be a reference point and a “role model” for our students.

So thank you all for the work done to date and for contributing to the growth of diving in general.



Be a Better Person

Written by John Kinsella

The PADI® Adaptive Techniques Specialty program really just makes a good thing better. It builds on the foundational traits of inclusiveness and adaptability, common to all PADI Instructors, Assistant Instructors and Divemasters. The course has detailed insights into considerations and techniques that apply specifically when training and guiding divers with disabilities and generally when working with any diver.


The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty helps PADI Pros become more aware and mindful of individual considerations when introducing people with disabilities to diving. It covers adaptive techniques that apply while supervising and training divers with disabilities in PADI courses and programs. It teaches how to properly counsel and direct student divers, based on their abilities, toward certification, experience programs or toward a disabilities-dedicated diving organization for limited certification options.

“I believe this course will get PADI Members thinking outside the box when it comes to skills and get them looking at different ways to teach skills,” says Fraser Bathgate, Advisor Adaptive Techniques for PADI Worldwide. “Teaching divers with disabilities is a very enabling and rewarding experience and it will help open up a new client base to divemasters, instructors, dive centers and resorts. It kickstarts a new way for PADI Members to fulfill more people’s dreams.”

The Adaptive Techniques Specialty course helps PADI Pros learn additional techniques to motivate and encourage not just divers with mental or physical challenges, but also all divers. There’s also an associated subcourse, PADI Adaptive Support Diver, which helps interested divers, from Open Water Diver on up, learn how to be better buddies to divers with physical or mental challenges.


The course looks at techniques that will help PADI Pros build confidence in their divers through a holistic approach that focuses on improving self-image, building trust, setting goals, managing stress and having fun while solving problems. It emphasizes bringing the diver personally into the solution and looks at specific equipment adaptations and helpful confined and open water considerations.

Confined water workshops let dive pros demonstrate and practice skills to assist divers with disabilities, both in training and nontraining situations. They build confidence before the open water workshops, where dive pros apply the skills learned with an emphasis on assisting divers in/out of water, trim and comfort in the first workshop, and through scenario-based skills practice in the second.


But the real value of the PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty is that it’s the distilled essence of the skills, experience and goodwill of an international advisory team that has collectively brought diving to thousands of people with disabilities and witnessed first-hand the powerful and often life changing results. Now that experience and good will is ready to spread. Find out how you can help – contact your Regional Training Consultant for more information.

Chinese PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Manual Erratum

PADI Dry Bag

Please take note of the important information below. This will also be announced in the next Training Bulletin. 

Correction: Advanced Open Water Diver Course, Deep Dive – Page 77, Chinese Version #70139SC and #70139C

Please note that there is an error in both the Simplified and Traditional Chinese Versions of the Advanced Open Water Diver Course Student Manual, in the Deep Dive section on Page 77. The translated, printed versions state incorrectly that if you have to ascend following a computer failure you should “make a three-minute (or longer) safety stop at 18 metres/60 feet”. The correct depth for this stop is 5 metres/15 feet. 

Here is the correction for the printed student manual in Simplified Chinese: 

在水深 5 米/15 英尺处(或电脑表说明书指示的深度)做 3 分钟(或更久)的安全停留。 

And in Traditional Chinese: 

在水深 5 公尺/15 英呎處(或電腦錶說明書指 示的深度)做 3 分鐘(或更久)的安全停留。 

Please take note of this for your Chinese-speaking student divers. The manual will be corrected upon reprint. 

Should you have any questions, please contact training.emea@padi.com.

4th Quarter 2017 Edition of The Undersea Journal Now Available Via PADI Library App


Every quarter The Undersea Journal is filled with stories and articles that help you stay informed and inspired as a PADI Professional. In addition to choosing a printed magazine there are several digital reading options for this useful publication:

1. Using the PADI Library App (Apple App Store | Play):

  • From your mobile device, open your Library in your PADI Library App, download and view.
  • On your computer, select Certification Paks from the Log In tab at the top of padi.com. From there you’ll be able to view the magazine in the Online Manuals portal.

2. Via the Zinio app on your computer or mobile device.

3. As a PDF on the PADI Pros’ Site. Log on to the Pros’ Site and click on the References tab. You can download the entire magazine or choose to download it in sections.

Currently, the 2017 editions are available to all renewed PADI Members. Each quarter, the latest edition of the publication will be added to the PADI Library.

If you’re a digital subscriber, you’ll continue to receive an email notification that your publication is available for viewing on Zinio. If you’ve opted for the printed version, it will continue to be delivered to your mailing address.

Maldives plastic recycling on a local islands

Gili Lankanfushi conserves our limited resources and cleans up our islands to help preserve our future.

Following the success of plastic recycling on Gili Lankanfushi we took the leap and expanded our project. On November 2nd Gili Lankanfushi visited Himmafushi, a local island and a big producer of plastic waste due to their plastic water bottle factory. With the assistance of the local NGO Parley, who are spearheading plastic recycling in the Maldives our aim was to implement a plastic recycling project at the school and expand this throughout the island. Together with Parley, the teachers and local council members in attendance Gili Lankanfushi conducted a 30 minute presentation including two activities which all the children participated in. The presentation was well received and the council were positive regarding expanding recycling to all areas of the island. After the school visit 50 staff from Gili Lankanfushi conducted an island plastic clean to demonstrate how easy it is to recycle plastic and what types of plastic can be recycled. A huge amount of plastic was collected and on seeing this the Himmafushi local community has also become inspired to recycle their plastic waste. Gili Lankanfushi will remain in close contact with Himmafushi and offer support and guidance when needed.

Launching plastic recycling on the local island Himmafushi

Launching plastic recycling on the local island Himmafushi


Giving presentation on plastic recycling to local school children and the council

Giving presentation on plastic recycling to local school children and the council

 Throughout August 2017 on Gili Lankanfushi 280 hosts attended the sustainability training. Host mentally regarding plastic pollution, water, electricity and food waste has now changed for the better. In addition to Gili Lankanfushi’s plastic presentation Maai Rasheed from Parley visited and conducted a presentation about plastic recycling. Hosts can now be seen regularly recycling their plastic and helping with island cleans – for example the recent Himmafushi clean.

The results of Himmafushi plastic clean up

The results of Himmafushi plastic clean up

 Following the training activities aimed at increasing host water and electricity use awareness, hosts now know how to reduce wasting these resources through enhanced understanding of water and electricity requirements of common activities. They were given top energy and water saving tips, for example using the fan over the AC, turning off electrical appliances, washing full loads in the washing machine at a low temperature – 20°C, air drying clothing, turning off lights, having shorter showers, only using a small amount of water when cleaning, turning the tap off when brushing teeth, shaving and soaping up. You can make these changes too!

Raising awareness about excessive water waste

Raising awareness about excessive water waste

 Over the coming months plastic recycling, food waste, electricity and water use will be monitored. In the near future we will host a no bin day in the canteen which will teach hosts about portion and waste control. We have already observed a decrease in water use – before training the average host would use 200L of water per day – this is now reduced to 160L. We are confident that hosts will continue to reduce the waste of resources and participate in plastic recycling.

PADI’s guest blogger Clare Baranowski introduces herself:

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


Interview: PADI Course Director Zoona Naseem

Zoona Naseem is only the second Maldivian to have attained the rank of PADI Course Director, and the country’s first female to do so. She is the owner of Moodhu Bulhaa Dive Centre in Villingili Island, just 10 minutes away from the capital, and is passionate about getting young people diving. Here she shares her PADI journey, discusses what it’s like to be at the top of a male-dominated industry, and advises instructors on the best way to become a CD.

 What inspired you to become a PADI Pro?

I spent the first few years of my life in a small island in Noonu Atoll in the north of the Maldives, so I was always in the ocean as a child. I learnt how to swim at the same time I learnt how to walk. When I did my first dive at 17, honestly, I found it so easy that I thought to myself ‘Why isn’t everyone doing this? And why are there no female instructors?’ I think I knew after that first dive that I was going to become a PADI Pro.

How do you think you’ve changed as you’ve moved up the ranks to become a PADI Course Director?

I did my IDC when I was 18, straight after leaving school, so I’ve been a PADI Pro for my entire adult life. One of my first jobs was at a resort called Sun Island Resort & Spa and the dive centre was one of the busiest in the country at that time. It was like a dive factory! I got to teach every day and I really developed my skills as a teacher. Of course, later I learnt managerial skills as a dive centre manager but it’s my teaching skills that I am continually improving as I move up the ranks.

What will it mean to the Maldives to have its first female Course Director?

In the Maldives, there are still very few women working in the tourism industry, and I feel that this is down to a lot of lingering misconceptions about resorts amongst Maldivians. But in reality, resorts are fantastic places to work for women. You get exposed to so many different cultures, you save everything you earn and there are lots of opportunities for travel and training. So I think that with a female PADI Course Director working in the country, I can show people what a fantastic industry we are a part of, and what you can achieve as a PADI instructor. My greatest hope is that more women will follow my example, and I have set a personal goal to have two female Maldivian instructors working in my dive centre.

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

Becoming a Course Director. It was a long journey to get here, and I didn’t really even believe it was possible until recently. Nobody ever told me that this was an option for me! So it definitely feels like a big achievement. And my other greatest achievement, the thing that gives me great happiness, is seeing so many of my students now owning their own dive centres. They are leaders in the Maldivian dive industry, and I’m extremely proud of them.

What does diving give you that nothing else does?

On a personal level, when I’m diving, I get a sense of peace and happiness that I can’t find out of the water. There’s nothing in the world like diving. But as a diver, I also have the chance to be an advocate for our environment, to be a marine ambassador, and that’s a privilege.

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

When I was working for Banyan Tree International, I was managing five dive centres, plus five water sports centres – so it was a real challenge. And at first, managing all those male employees proved a little tricky. They found it hard to accept a local female as their leader, but I didn’t give up! With a little patience and perseverance, the team soon saw that I knew what I was doing.

Do you believe PADI instructors change others’ lives through diving?

For sure! When you take someone underwater for the first time, they will always remember you. One of my strongest memories was of taking a blind student diving. He simply wanted to experience how it felt to be underwater; to be weightless. We have the chance to create amazing experiences for people, and to educate them about our fragile underwater ecosystems.

Describe in a few sentences how you would convince a non-diver to learn to dive?

Well in the Maldives, it’s pretty easy to convince people, because the best of this country is underwater. There’s not a boring second when you’re diving, and it’s extremely safe. Actually, being underwater is much safer than walking in the busy roads of our capital city!

PADI Course Director Zoona Naseem

What does “Be Best. Be PADI” mean to you?

 It’s simple. PADI is the best diving organisation in the world; there is no comparison. PADI changes lives!

What would you say to other PADI Instructors hoping to become PADI Course Directors?

 I would always encourage instructors to keep moving ahead, and to explore opportunities to increase their training, knowledge and experience. I tell everyone that becoming a PADI Course Director is an option open to them, you just have to work towards it.

What did you enjoy most about completing the PADI Course Director training?

The trainers were without doubt the best part of the course. Their presentations were so entertaining and creative that I honestly never lost focus. And just getting the chance to meet these incredible divers from all over the world and to work on group assignments with them was so enjoyable.

And lastly, what’s your favourite dive site in the Maldives?

Oh, that’s a hard question but I think I’ve got to say Embudu Express, which is a channel that we often visit with our dive centre. There can be dozens of sharks, huge schools of eagle rays, and abundant fish life. But every dive is different, and it depends on how you dive!


Coral fluorescence at Gili Lankanfushi

Are corals a shining beacon at night? Corals are not just a wonder to observe during the day, at night they glow. This isn’t just for our viewing benefit; it plays a vital role in the long term survival of coral.

Fluorescence of Porites cylindrica

Fluorescence of Porites cylindrica

Due to the richness of life they create, corals are often described as the rainforests of the ocean. Their structural complexity supports one of the world’s most productive ecosystems providing ecological diversity and outstanding beauty. The coral animal (polyp) co-habitats its calcium carbonate skeleton with photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae. These algae harness energy from solar radiation and provide the polyp with 95% of its food. Coral is therefore limited to the habitat range of the algae, which in turn is limited by the penetration of the suns ray into the ocean; both the intensity and spectral diversity of light dramatically decreases with increasing depth. Although the blue/green portion of sunlight reaches depths of around 200m the algae requires the higher light levels found in the upper 30m of the ocean. Corals are therefore limited to the upper portion of the ocean; aptly named the sunlight ocean. 

Spectral diversity of white light (sunlight) and the depth that the light waves penetrate. Image credit tohttpksuweb.kennesaw.edu


The corals exposure to high light levels is crucial for its survival, but this is not without consequence. The high light intensity that corals are subjected to everyday can damage coral and zooxanthellae – similar to our skin and sunburn. Shallow water corals have a solution to this: fluorescence. The coral contains special pigments (green fluorescent pigments (GFP) and non-fluorescent chromoproteins (CP) which act as sunblock. The fluorescent pigments are in particularly high concentrations and contribute to the beautiful rainbows of colours which can be observed on the reef. When the coral is subjected to high sun exposure the pigment concentration increases, hence limiting the damage experienced by the algae when under stress from sunlight. The pigments are also involved in growth related activities, including repair. Injured coral will produce colourful patches concentrating these pigments around their injury site which prevents further cell damage. Some corals have been found to distribute fluorescent pigments around their tentacles and mouth to attract prey.


We are able to observe the fluorescent pigments when corals are illuminated at specific wavelengths (generally blue light). In high pigment concentrations corals can become shining beacons at night. Light is absorbed by the pigments and then re-emitted. During this process some energy is lost resulting in a different colour being observed – generally green. During our blue light night snorkel it is possible to see corals glowing on the house reef at Gili Lankanfushi.

Fluorescence of Porites cylindrica


It is now widely accepted that fluorescent pigments aid in sun protection, so why do corals below 30m still have these pigments? In shallow reefs generally only green fluorescence is observed, whereas in the mesophotic zone (between 30 – 100m) corals shine green, orange, yellow and red. Fluorescent pigments are energetically costly to create, therefore the pigments must have a biological purpose, or else they would not exist at this depth. A study carried out by the University of Southampton found that deeper corals produce fluorescence without light exposure, which suggests that these corals are not producing pigments for sun protection. It is suspected that the corals are producing pigments to transform short light wavelengths received into longer wavelengths to enhance algae photosynthesis, thus producing more food for the polyp. It has also been suggested that it may link to behavior of reef fish, although more studies are required. Next time you are night diving take a look. Harnessing these fluorescent pigments could pose significant advances for medical, commercial and ecological purposes.

Many Acropora species also have fluorescent pigments. Credits to: Reef Works


Marine biologists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at San Diego have suggested that monitoring fluorescence could be an easy and less invasive way to monitor reef health. Scientists measured the fluorescence levels after corals were exposed to cold and heat stress. The levels were reduced when exposed to both stresses, although coral subjected to cold stress adapted and fluorescence levels returned to normal. Corals subjected to heat stress lost their algae and starved. Therefore, if high fluorescence levels are observed it suggests that the reef has a healthy coral population. Additionally there are many medical benefits that can be gained through the understanding and utilization of coral fluorescence. 


There are promising applications for biomedical imaging, for example pigments can be used to tag certain cells e.g. cancer cells which can then be easily viewed under the microscope. The fluorescent pigments also have the potential to be used in sun screen. Fish feeding on coral benefit from the fluorescent pigments which suggests that the pigments move up the tropic levels (food chain). Senior lecturer from King’s College London and project leader of coral sunscreen research, Paul Long and his team have suggested that if the transportation pathway up the food chain is identified it may be possible to use this to protect our skin against UV rays in the form of a tablet. This could a break-through in terms of reef safe sun screen.


Next time you are night snorkelling shine a blue light on the corals and view this natural wonder yourself! 

PADI’s guest blogger Emma Bell introduces herself:

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


Recognizing Acute Lung Conditions

Written by DAN Staff

Acute lung conditions are some of the most dramatic and life-threatening injuries found in the diving environment. As a dive professional, you need to be able to quickly recognize and react to them. Acute pulmonary conditions require prompt care because they can have serious and long-lasting effects. Here are some of the most common lung conditions faced by divers:

Immersion Pulmonary Edema (IPE)

IPE is one of several lung conditions that could affect divers who are or were recently submerged. Common symptoms of IPE are chest pain, frothy pink sputum and difficult or labored breathing.

A form of pulmonary edema, IPE is an accumulation of fluid in the lungs caused in part by immersion in water. IPE occurs when the opposing pressures of fluid surrounding the lungs are out of equilibrium and excess fluid builds up in the pulmonary tissues. Immersion in water can increase the fluid pressure in the capillaries surrounding the lungs, and this pressure differential can be exacerbated by a number of risk factors, leading to an increased risk of edema. By addressing common risk factors such as overhydration, overexertion and hypertension, as well as obesity, divers can reduce the risk of IPE occurring.

Pulmonary Overinflation Syndrome

This condition is typically the result of air expanding during ascent either trapped in a segment of the lungs or due to breathhold. Overinflation can result in a lung barotrauma, which may manifest in a pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema or an arterial gas embolism. You know that lung overexpansion risk can be reduced by ensuring student divers are medically fit to dive, know how to maintain an open airway and avoid rapid ascents.


Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

PE is another dangerous pulmonary condition that can occur unrelated to diving but may mimic a dive injury. It involves the blockage of blood flow in pulmonary system vessels by fat or blood clots. Pulmonary embolisms typically result in a significant drop in blood pressure and cardiac output. Common symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are chest pain, distension of the neck veins, an altered level of consciousness or fainting. If a diver shows any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Acute PE often results in noticeable symptoms, but the slow onset of chronic PE may go unnoticed. Risk factors include recent surgery, heart disease, obesity, smoking and hypertension.

All cases of suspected pulmonary injury should receive a thorough medical evaluation due to of the risk of after-accident complications. For more information on lung health and diving, visit: DAN.org/Health