Enrich Your Business!

 

Cross-selling is a pro-active sales process that aims to provide customers with a full understanding of the products available. It is crucial to every business, and a key aspect of the PADI educational system of diver training. You will see cross-selling all around you – from McDonalds staff asking “would you like fries with that?” to shoe shops selling socks and shoe polish. These are invariably high profit, easy additional sales that can be tagged on to an existing purchase by a customer.

Including cross-selling in your business is an important way to boost course numbers, profit and customer satisfaction.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to ensure that every single course you or your staff offer includes the option to add an Enriched Air Diver course to it. Quite simply, every time someone signs up to a program, ask them “would you like Nitrox with that?

Why Enriched Air?

We are all familiar with the many benefits of PADI Enriched Air Diver training for the customer, so the benefit to them is obvious.

For the dive centre Enriched Air is an excellent additional course too. Firstly, it is very easy to schedule – it can be conducted as a ‘dry’ course, which means organisation is simple. It is fully supported with student materials allowing for home learning – you can just add a couple of hours extra knowledge development and practical application time to your existing schedule.

This also means that your overheads are easy to anticipate, and therefore your profit on each student is straightforward to calculate.

Let’s do the maths….

If your dive centre teaches 120 entry level and con-ed core courses a year, and you can encourage 50% of these students to complete a PADI Enriched Air Diver course, you’ll generate an extra 60 certifications per annum.

At £80 profit per student, that’s an additional £4800 profit after all overheads are taken into account.

Take a look at your PADI Open Water Diver and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certifications last year, and review how much additional revenue you would make it 50% of them signed up to Enriched Air Diver. Use the Course Calculator to establish your profit per student, and how much you stand to make!

What now?

  • Login to the PADI Pros Site and then open the Course Calculator to plan your Enriched Air Diver course pricing.
  • Brief every staff member to make sure they understand how the course works, the benefits of Nitrox and to ensure they ask ““would you like Nitrox with that?
  • Take advantage of the special offers on Enriched Air Diver materials to further boost your profitability.
  • Use the Enriched Air Diver digital marketing materials to promote the course at every opportunity including:
    • Website references alongside all your core courses
    • Facebook posts
    • Direct emails to previous customers
  • Challenge your staff to see who can cross-sell the most Enriched Air Diver courses in a month

2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day Global Video Contest Official Rules

Eligibility: PADI’s Women’s Dive Day Global Video Contest (“Contest”) is open to PADI Individual Members worldwide who are 18 years of age or older, and to and PADI Dive Centers/Resorts worldwide (“Entrant”) who are hosting a PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 event (“Event”). Individual Members include PADI Divemasters, Assistant Instructors, Open Water Scuba Instructors, Specialty Instructors, Master Scuba Diver Trainers, IDC Staff Instructors, Master Instructors, Course Directors, Freediver Instructors, Advanced Freediver Instructors, Master Freediver Instructors and Freediver Instructor Trainers. Entrants must be current Members in good standing with no open quality assurance issues. Employees, officers, directors and family members of employees of PADI Worldwide Corp. and all related and affiliated companies (collectively referred to as “PADI”), globally, are not eligible for the Contest. Contest is void in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) of Australia and anywhere restricted or otherwise prohibited by law.

General Rules and Conditions: By entering the Contest, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules. The winning entries will be used in a video montage to promote PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019.

How to Enter: Entrants can submit video footage from the 2018 Women’s Dive Day Event hosted by PADI in July 2018 (“Contest Submission”). Entries can be submitted by email to: josh.shave@padi.com. Videos must be sent using a file sharing service such as We Transfer or Dropbox. Contest Submissions should contain underwater and/or topside video footage of Entrants showcasing their 2018 Women’s Dive Day event. Submission should include Entrant’s name, PADI Member Number and contact information.

All video file types will be accepted, however the following parameters are preferred:

  • Video Codec: 264
  • Frame rate: Preferably 29.97, but 24 and 25 are accepted as well.
  • Field Order: Progressive
  • Aspect: Square Pixels (1.0)
  • Size and bitrate:
    1280×720 for 720p  HD video, 5Mbs – 10Mbs bitrate
    1920×1080 for 1080p HD video, 10Mbs – 20Mbs bitrate
  • Sound codec:AAC
  • Sound sample rate: 48 kHz

Multiple entries will be accepted per Entrant. Entries may be submitted beginning 21 July 2018, 9:00am PST and all entries must be received by 21 August 2018, 11:59pm PST.

Contest Submission Judging Criteria: At the conclusion of the Contest Submission Period the judges (three PADI staff) will review all eligible entries received and select the Winners based on inspiration, quality of footage, originality and/or best overall depiction of the Event. Contest Submissions should be a video that showcases women in diving. All underwater environments are allowed (pool, freshwater, ocean). The primary objective is to promote women in diving and the PADI Women’s Dive Day 2019 event, but the footage can also show all participants in the 2018 event regardless of age or gender. PADI Safe Diving Practices and other recognized, conservative dive techniques and circumstances should be reflected in the footage. Footage that shows any touching or damaging of marine life will not be considered. Video should be under two minutes in length. High resolution photos (minimum 1000 pixels) and/or event description and quotes welcomed, but video must be submitted to be considered. Video submissions should be a minimum 1080p.

Entrants warrant that the Contest Submissions they submit to the Contest are their own videos and/or photos. Each entrant gives PADI and/or its designee the legal unlimited rights to use any Contest Submission Entrant submitted for this Contest, whether it is a winning entry or not, without photo and/or video credit. Entrant warrants that all information provided is accurate and that Entrant personally took the video and/or photo(s) submitted for this Contest or has written permission from the videographer/photographer to submit the video and/or photo(s) for this Contest, and that Entrant has the legal right to use any Entry submitted by Entrant for this Contest. PADI’s use of Entrant’s Contest Submission will not violate any third party rights. All Entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless PADI and its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this Contest, any Contest-related activities, and the acceptance and use, or misuse of any prize awarded hereunder. By entering a  Contest Submission each entrant  hereby grants PADI the non-exclusive royalty-free irrevocable rights, in its sole discretion, to use, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, sublicense, adapt, modify, create derivative works from and otherwise exploit the Contest Submission (in whole or in part) and to incorporate the Contest Submission in other works, in any and all markets and media, whether now known or hereafter developed, throughout the universe in perpetuity; these rights are granted to PADI whether or not the submission is a winning submission. Winner (“Winner”) will be required to sign and complete a Publicity Release & Affidavit of Eligibility and return it to PADI within 5 days of notification, otherwise the prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate Entrant. Winner gives PADI unlimited rights to use Winner’s name, picture, Contest Submission and likeness, globally, in advertising and publicity for this Contest, and for any other PADI use, without further compensation, where permitted by local law. Such use may include but is not limited to PADI YouTube Channel and related scuba YouTube Channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.padi.com and press releases. No substitution of prize is permitted. PADI’s decision and selection of the Winners shall be final.

Contest Prize and Approximate Retail Value (ARV): There will be a total of six Contest winners. Each Winning Entrant will win the following prizes:

1-year 2019 PADI Membership renewal for Winning Entrant’s 2019 membership level (ARV varies based on membership level*)

*Note: The 2019 Member Renewal value is subject to the actual 2019 PADI Membership Renewal Fee for the relevant Member level once set for the 2019 Membership year.

All federal, state/provincial/territorial, and local taxes, fees and surcharges and taxes (whether foreign or domestic, and including income, sales, and import taxes) on prizes are the sole responsibility of the Winner.

Winner Selection: Winners will be chosen by 31 August 2018. Winners will be notified within 10 days of selection via the email address that they entered the Contest through. PADI is not responsible for lost or misdirected mail or email. PADI’s decision and selection of the Winner shall be final.

PADI or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain errors, without liability, at PADI’s sole discretion.

This Contest shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, United States of America, exclusive of its choice of laws principles. The California State courts of Orange County or the United States District Court for the Southern District of California shall have exclusive jurisdiction and venue over any dispute arising out of or relating to this Contest.

Chances of winning are dependent upon the number of entries received, and the opinion of judges regarding the judging criteria.

2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day Video Contest: Win a Free Membership Renewal

By Tara Bradley Connell

Share a video from your PADI Women’s Dive Day event this July 21, 2018, and you could win a free 2019 PADI Membership Renewal.

To help promote PADI’s Women’s Dive Day, the PADI marketing team is searching for videos that reflect what the day is all about – empowering women divers. Enter: the 2018 PADI Women’s Dive Day Global Video Contest.

The winning videos will be the featured in the 2019 event promotional video and the winning entrants will receive a free 2019 PADI Membership Renewal.

How it works:

  1. Register to host a PADI Women’s Dive Day event on July 21, 2018. Register here.
  2. Film your event, giving regards to PADI standards and safe marine life practices.
  3. Edit footage to no longer than two minutes in length/minimum 1080p.
  4. Submit entries to womendive@padi.com. Be sure to include the entrant’s name, PADI Member/Store number, and contact information.
  5. Send video via file-sharing services such as WeTransfer or Dropbox.
  6. Six winners will be notified via email.

Need some inspiration? Here’s a compilation of some of last year’s PADI Women’s Dive Day video submissions:

Click here to see Official Rules

Host a PADI Women’s Dive Day Event That Makes a Difference

For the fourth consecutive year, PADI® Women’s Dive Day will bring together thousands of divers of all ages and experience levels at hundreds of events around the world.

While the day primarily focuses on celebrating the shared adventure and passion for the ocean within the female dive community, it also serves as a platform to engage new and veteran divers with the PADI Pillars of Change. As the largest single day of organized diving, it provides a tremendous opportunity for the entire PADI community to have a positive effect on the ocean and the dive industry.

Here are just a few ways you can plan a PADI Women’s Dive Day event that makes a difference for the cause(s) you are most passionate about:

1 – Ocean Health
2 – Marine Animal Protection
  • Invite female marine animal experts to join your Women’s Dive Day event to provide your divers with information about local marine life and inspire them to protect it.
3 – People + Community
  • Use PADI Women’s Dive Day and the weeks leading up to it as an opportunity to spotlight women on your team (and others) who are having an impact on the local community – and the planet. Share their stories on your social channels, in your email communications and through other outlets. If you need ideas, PADI will be sharing a number of inspiring stories over the coming months. Read about some incredible PADI Women here. Tag your social stories with #padiwomen and #padi4change.
4 – Healing + Wellness

Participate in PADI Women’s Dive Day 2018 to strengthen and grow the female dive community, attract new women to the sports of scuba diving and freediving, and motivate existing female divers to get back in the water and continue their dive training. There is still time to change lives and host a PADI Women’s Dive Day event by registering your event on padi.com/women/hostanevent.

 

VIDEO CONTEST: Win a Free Membership Renewal

Looking for another reason to host a Women’s Dive Day event?
Enter the contest by sharing a video from your Women’s Dive Day event. Winners get featured in the 2019 event promotional video and a free 2019 PADI Membership Renewal.

More information about the contest

How You Can Help Sustainability and Eco Tourism in the Maldives

Eco tourism and sustainable tourism may be a hot topic in the travel industry at the moment but it has always been an integral part of our philosophy and part of our mission statement.

Secret Paradise tours are designed to allow our guests to experience the best from the paradise we call home, whilst ensuring that there is limited or no negative impact on the community or the environment.

We are committed to informing and demonstrating to our competitors, our team, our partners and ultimately our guests that we are committed to following social and environmental best practices.

At Secret Paradise we see this as an ongoing commitment in the development of sustainable tourism in the Maldives and pride ourselves that we were longlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015.

The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part during your holiday but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

Reusing towels and saving electricity in your guest house

It is seen all over the world in small and large hotels, businesses trying to reduce their carbon foot print and the Maldives is no different. Re-use your towels in your guest bedroom rather than having them refreshed each day. Turn off your air conditioning when you leave your room. Make sure all the lights are switched off. All small actions that will provide long term positive results to the environment for you and future generations.

Plastic in the Ocean

The Maldives, like many countries has experienced a real challenge in recent years with plastic bottles, straws and plastic bags washing up on the beaches. Local Island residents are making huge efforts to work together with many islands organising regular beach clean ups. Education and awareness regarding littering and how to reduce the use of plastic in daily life has also started to be introduced led by NGOs and dive centres in particular. But as a tourist you can also help. Bring a re-useable bottle with you and re-fill your water bottles where possible. Take your own bags with you when you go shopping and refuse plastic bags every time you leave a shop. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home and consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can.

For more details on local initiatives check out http://www.savethebeachmaldives.org

Buy Local

By staying in local island guest houses you are contributing to the local economy and increasing local employment. Local island guest houses in the Maldives are usually run by local island families where everyone is instrumental in the day to day running of the guest house. As a guest you benefit from meeting these local families and learning about their cultures and traditions; take it from us nothing beats Maldivian hospitality.

Buying local and eating local means that you are contributing to the local economy just like when you stay in the guest houses. Buying locally made souvenirs and eating local produce means that local farmers and small businesses benefit.Don’t be afraid to ask where produce or souvenirs have originated as there unfortunately is still a lot of imported souvenirs on offer.

Leave no traces of your visit behind

Many people say ‘I am just one person how can I make a difference to the environment on my own?’ But all you need to do is take responsibility for yourself and the people you are travelling with. Don’t leave litter on the beaches or around the islands. Don’t throw garbage over board when on the boats travelling around the islands. Lead by example and pick up rubbish and dispose in the nearest waste receptacle. Every small effort like this will have a positive effect on the future of our environment.

Leave the ocean as you found it

As tempting as it is to take a piece of beautiful coral home or chase after the sea turtles, mantas or whale sharks and touch them – you are destroying the oceans natural habitat by doing these things. Maldives turtles and Whale sharks are endangered species and need protection. Feel free to view the beautiful underwater world of the Maldives but leave it where it is. The ocean life is wild and we want it to remain that way. The Maldives is one of the many countries affected by coral bleaching due to rising temperatures in the sea and global warming. Campaigns run by Save the Beach and local island guest houses like Eco Dive Club in Maafushi are working hard to rebuild these areas by planting coral nurseries and researching the effects of global warming.

Respect local culture and dress codes

The Maldives is an Islamic country and tourists should respect cultural differences not try to change them, we are after all only guests in someone’s home. Dress respectably away from beaches, ask permission (and ladies cover your head) if you are visiting religious places. Note local dress codes and follow them. There is so much culture in the Maldives and the local island people love to share their traditions and culture with tourists so ask, learn and enjoy.

Want to help more?

Volunteer/beach clean up

Many local islands are running initiatives like volunteer beach clean ups on a regular basis. Ask your Secret Paradise guide or guesthouse owner if there is one scheduled during your stay, it’s a great way to meet the local community and you are contributing to environmental clean ups.

How about learning more about the local communities and initiatives?

Secret Paradise Maldives and Sun sHADe Volunteers provide opportunities for responsible and meaningful working holidays in one of the most beautiful places in the world. More details about this program can be viewed here: https://secretparadise.mv/product/volunteer-local

Remember together we can make a difference #letusguideyou

You can also view our full Responsible Tourism Policy here

https://secretparadise.mv/responsible-tourism-policy

 

From Doomed Voyager to Victorious Wreckage

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

Part Two

The skeletal beauty

“Victory sank on the captain’s second voyage to the Maldives,” said Saeed. “On his first journey, the captain miscalculated the distance to Male and ended up all the way in Vaavu Atoll. Then on his second journey…” he trailed off with a wry laugh.

Though Victory met a watery death on the unfortunate captain’s second trip, the expensive goods she was carrying were not beyond saving. A team was put together which, led by Hassan “Lakudiboa” Manik, began the operation to salvage the wreck’s cargo.

“The cars were the first things we salvaged,” he had said in an interview to veteran diver Adam Ashraf. The recovered goods were later auctioned off.

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

Amongst those who got to see the salvage process was Hussain “Sendi” Rasheed, a renowned name in the Maldivian diving industry.

“My first dive was at the Victory wreck,” revealed Sendi, who had regularly visited the site between 1981 and 2003.

Over the course of 20 years, Sendi was able to observe MV Victory’s metamorphosis from lifeless skeleton to a vibrant ecosystem pulsing with life. Lying upright and parallel to Hulhule’s reef, she naturally became a breeding ground for corals; and the multitude of marine life she attracted, along with great visibility due to the currents in that area, established Victory as one of the hottest dive spots in the Maldives.

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

“This is one of the most beautiful wrecks, and one of the biggest. It’s around 110 metres in length,” stated Sendi.

However, even 37 metres underwater, Victory did not lie undisturbed for long. Bits and pieces began to disappear. Portholes, doors, the anchor and steering wheel fell prey to scavengers until all that remained by the year 2000 was “a metal skeleton”.

The culprits behind the robberies included local and tourist divers – a foreigner had personally shown Sendi one of Victory’s portholes, wrapped up and ready to be shipped to her home country as a souvenir.

“Everything that could be physically removed was gone … It’s like breaking into a museum,” said Sendi, expressing frustration over the lack of established laws and regulations to ensure the protection of shipwrecks.

Though the rich coral life and abundant fish surrounding MV Victory remained ever picturesque, Sendi noted with remorse that her true beauty remained lost to those viewing her after the new millenium.

Onslaught of damages

Victory, and by extension the diving sector, suffered more blows years later when the site was closed down in March 2016 for the development of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge between Male and Hulhule. The bridge is a mere 500 metres away from Victory’s resting place.

The first setback was the abrupt cessation of revenue. Wreck diving, though a rather obscure activity for most civilians, holds a significant popularity for divers who travel to the Maldives from around the world. As such, MV Victory was responsible for contributing to the attraction of hoards of visitors daily from within the central atoll dive circuit.

According to Sendi, local dive guides typically escorted a minimum of eight dive boats, with around 15 divers on each, to Victory every day.
“That’s an income of at least USD 3  million from Victory alone, every year,” said Sendi.

Illustration depicting the value of Dive Sites around Central Male region. IMAGE_ RAE MUNAVVAR_THE EDITION

The second blow to MV Victory did not take place till later that year when Dive Instructor Adam Ashraf, having extensively researched the wreckage for years, approached the government regarding protecting the wreck during the construction and development of the bridge. He led a team of divers to set up four buoys to mark Victory’s location so that bridge workers would steer clear of the wreck site.

Damages caused to Victory Wreck

However, later it was discovered that Victory had sustained damages of magnitudes that could only be caused by dropping anchors of vessels, which were deployed around the bridge, onto the wreck. With the housing ministry’s permission, a team of divers inspected and documented the damages: two wings of Victory’s wheelhouse had been destroyed, while several cabins on one side, including the captain’s, were crushed.

Subsequently, Ashraf proceeded to meet with the boat captains working around the bridge, intending to expand their awareness on MV Victory’s importance. However, her proximity to the bridge meant other adverse effects continued; the ongoing construction work disrupted the ocean floor, encasing the wreck in the suspended sediments, thus suffocating the corals and chasing marine life away from their homes.

Heaving a sigh, Sendi recalled his last dive to Victory, accompanied by Ashraf: “There’s no more life now.”

“Shipwrecks are underwater museums”

Though Sendi and Ashraf remained optimistic that coral and other marine life would return to Victory once the bridge has been completed, both admitted that all the damages might not be repairable – damages that could have been prevented had there been proper protocols.

“We need to regulate diving, or establish standards and regulations for wreck diving,” said Sendi.

The divers stressed that it was imperative for authorities to protect shipwrecks for the sake of heritage and tourism promotion. Though all sunken vessels become state property under Maldivian law, they claimed that proper steps have not been taken to preserve them.

Inside the wreck of MV Victory off the coast of Hulhule. PHOTO – ADAM ASHRAF

“[Victory] belongs to the museum. It should be an asset of the museum,” Sendi declared, stating that all shipwrecks in Maldivian waters should fall under the ownership of the National Museum.

Describing them as underwater heritage sites, Sendi said that under the museum’s protection, shipwrecks could be properly maintained and conserved for future generations.

He added that preserved shipwreck sites could possibly generate sustainable revenue towards the maintenance of these sites by providing additional income serving the needs of the hospitality sector.

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

“Wreck sites could be sold as facilities for wreck diving training,” said Sendi. “… The museum could also charge fees for divers to visit wrecks.”

It is the divers’ long-enduring wish to see a day when the shipwrecks, scattered across the atolls, would be properly protected and conserved. Listing some of his favourite sites such as the wrecks at Fesdhoo, Halaveli, and Macchafushi, Sendi added, “Every individual wreck has a story” – such as the tanker “British Loyalty”, which was torpedoed by the German navy in 1944 and later scuttled by British forces off the coast of Addu Atoll’s Hithadhoo in 1946; a unique relic of the Second World War that is now another top dive site in the Maldives.

“Underwater archaeology, museums, history – shipwrecks are symbols that represent all of these.”

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

Events – National Watersports Festival and Leeds Triathlon

It’s that time of year when things are heating up and people are looking at what to do

PADI Event Tent

with their summer. At PADI we try to aim our Marketing at both Divers and importantly non-divers. This means when we look at events to attend we try to think about how it would benefit our members. By this I mean we work hard to put our brand in front of people who will take note and then actively seek out a PADI Professional to learn (and hopefully continue to learn) to dive.

 

With that said we have to very exciting events coming up this over the upcoming weekend 8th – 10th of June.

The first is one that PADI has supported for a number of years – National Watersports Festival. (#NWF2018)
The National Watersports Festival is aimed at water sports enthusiasts Windsurfing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kayak, Dinghy Sailing. So already keen on enjoying themselves on the water but missing all the good bits below the surface.
With Families, Camping, Parties, Taster Sessions and a great atmosphere theirs little wonder why we have been getting so much interest in people wanting to learn to dive. The great benefit for yourselves as a PADI Pro is that the attendees are from all over the country and when they return home they have seen diving and how easy it fits into their lifestyle.  I was speaking with a Pro Windsurfer who travels all over the globe to compete and train, but there are often days with poor conditions for Windsurfing. Poor conditions for Windsurfing would often mean great conditions for SCUBA.

I am very much looking forward to being there and working together with Dive Rutland and other Manufacturers to offer DSD’s at Rutland Water.

The second event this weekend is the Leeds Triathlon. Taking place at the  Roundhay Park and finishing in Leeds City Centre, it is going to be quiet an event.
As part of the ITU World Triathlon Series, Leeds Triathlon is aimed at both Elite athletes and first-timers Triathlon try’ers. People who are active, enjoy a number of sports including the water, are used to spending good money to get high-quality training and equipment. PADI is going to be in the heart of the action at Roundhay Park.

I am really looking forward to presenting diving to everyone and working with Scuba Leeds and other Manufacturers to offer DSD’s and advice.

Again as this is a national event there will

Local news

be families and athletes from all over the country and further afield who will have seen diving and how it can fit into their lives.

 

At both events, we will be pointing all to their nearest PADI Dive Centre.

USING PADI TRADEMARKS

 

As global awareness of the PADI brand continues to increase, it’s time for a reminder of existing trademark usage guidelines and how these apply to social media.

Trademark (“Marks”) usage rights granted to PADI Members have not changed, and are clearly stated in the License Agreement for PADI Members.  These rights are given on an individual, non-transferable basis, which means that rights cannot be provided to a third party such as a non-PADI dive store, etc. This is the case even if the individual PADI Member works there or owns the business.

There are various uses of the Marks that are specifically not allowed, most particularly the use of any of the PADI, DSAT, EFR or PAF company names, trade names or Marks in internet domain names or email addresses. This means that PADI Members may not use a PADI Mark or trade name in a personal or store website root URL, so that no one  member is able to obtain a marketing advantage over others by setting up exclusive PADI domain names. However, it is acceptable (and positively encouraged) for PADI course listings to be shown in a member website URL, such as www.xyzscuba.com/padiidc or www.xyzdivers.com/padiopenwaterdivercouse. To put it more simply, the wording following the first forward slash, which refers to the page path, is not subject to the “no use” rule.

There is a similar need to avoid exclusive uses of PADI’s names and Marks in social media, however in order to encourage good social media strategy, PADI Members are permitted to use the Marks to create PADI Diver, etc., groups on Facebook and other social media pages. However, if you create such Pages, Profiles or Groups, there must be a personal identifier to the name and URL to make it clear who has set it up, and to make sure again that no one member obtains exclusive rights to use a PADI name. As simple examples:

Acceptable: https://www.facebook.com/PADIDiveInstructorJohnSmith

Not acceptable: https://www.facebook.com/PADIDivingThailand

These guidelines would also apply to other social media channels, such as LinkedIn, You Tube and Instagram.

The use of PADI Marks by non-PADI members, both individuals and businesses, remains prohibited however, and will be dealt with appropriately.

Hopefully, these guidelines will help you maintain effective and appropriate trademark use going forward in these digitally expanding times. For further information or questions regarding the acceptable use of PADI Trademarks, contact your Regional Training Consultant, or the Quality Management team (qm.emea@padi.com) at PADI.

Reef Restoration at Gili Lankanfushi – “Mahuge Veshi”

Home to more than a quarter of all marine species, coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. But these reefs are now under threat.

Of the many problems facing coral reefs, rising sea temperatures due to global warming are perhaps the most serious. In 1998, a complex climate event in the Pacific Ocean known as ‘El Niño’ pushed global temperatures to new highs and killed 16% of coral worldwide; this was declared the first major global coral bleaching event. The El Niño of 2010 triggered the second global event, and in October 2015 The US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a third global bleaching event – so far this has been the longest event recorded, impacting some reefs in successive years.

Here in the Maldives, we witnessed the effects of global warming first hand when the bleaching event caught up with us in 2016 – affecting about 60% of corals.

In view of the environmental and economic value of coral reefs there is considerable interest in preventing further damage as well as rehabilitating and/or restoring coral reefs subjected to damage. A widely adopted method for reef restoration is the construction of Artificial Reefs (AR’s). The main purpose of these structures is to attract fish by providing them with habitats that are as favourable as those that are present in the original environment.

Gili Lankanfushi is surrounded by a beautiful and diverse coral reef, but we weren’t exempt from the bleaching of 2016, and some of the varied habitat once provided by corals has disappeared. To aid the reef we recently constructed a small AR adjacent the damaged coral. In this instance, the term ‘artificial reef’ is somewhat of a misnomer as its purpose is to rehabilitate an already existing reef; so a better way to think of our project is the building of ‘fish homes’. To maintain the natural aesthetic we are accustomed to here at Gili, the AR was constructed using natural rock from around the island. After settling on a location the rocks were assembled in a pyramid shape and care was taken to leave several openings as previous studies found that reef blocks which had a higher number of holes also possessed the greatest fish species richness and abundance. We have named our structure Mahuge Veshi (Pronunciation: ma-hoo-geh veh-she), meaning fish environment.

AR’s tend to develop in fairly predictable stages: When an ocean current encounters a vertical structure it creates a plankton-rich upwelling. This upwelling provides a reliable feeding spot for small fish, which draw in pelagic predators such as trevallies and sharks. Next come creatures seeking protection – hole and crevice dwellers such as grouper, snapper, squirrelfish, eels, and triggerfish. Over months and years the reef structure becomes encrusted with algae, tunicates, hard and soft corals, and sponges which add to the structural integrity of the AR. There is an expectation that ecologically the AR will resemble the local natural environment over the long term as plant and animal assemblages associate with the structure.

We know from previous studies that AR’s can increase the total aggregate of fish and invertebrate species, and in some cases the abundance of corals have exceeded that of adjacent natural reef areas.

The use of AR’s to increase fish populations goes back at least 400 years, but there have been suggestions that they don’t actually increase the total numbers of fish, and act simply as attractors; moving fish from one place to another. However, we know from well documented studies between animals and their environment that when a habitat range is extended their numbers tend go up. Imagine an island populated with birds: their population is at its limit, until one day another island appears within flying distance. What we would expect to see is a sequence of events:

  1. Arrival – Some of the birds would migrate from the old island to the new one.
  2. Population increase – With more nesting space available the populations of each island would increase.
  3. Persistence – Assuming a steady supply of resources (food, nests, etc.) the birds on each island would thrive.

AR’s can be thought of like underwater islands, and for each one built we essentially extend the geographical range of the animals that live within reef structures, and so we would expect to see the same sequence of events mentioned above.

So far Mahuge Veshi has been visited by large schools of surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and on last inspection a large moray eel had made itself at home within the structure. The Mahuge Veshi project is a simple, environmentally friendly and self-sustaining venture. All being well, the structure will help grow the natural area and support help marine life while our corals recover.

PADI guest blogger Jon Fry introduces himself:

After receiving my degree in Marine Biology & Coastal Ecology from Plymouth University I worked in Madagascar where I gained experience in reef restoration and tropical biology. I believe awareness is the most important tool we have in conservation, and I am pleased to be here at Gili Lankanfushi where I can educate the curious about marine life and sustainability.

 

 

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