New Course Director in UAE – Kholousi Khayal

<< I took my first breath underwater at the age of 14, since then, I have been pursuing my dream of becoming a Scuba instructor and Course Director.

Having extensive experience teaching as a PADI Scuba Instructor at the highest level of standards the industry can provide, I have been recognized by PADI and awarded the elite instructor award 2 years in a row.

I have been working as a dive professional now for more than 4 years and have tremendous experience in the dive industry, I have logged 1,500 dives, and I am an Instructor in 21 PADI specialty courses, 6 Project AWARE specialties, and a Freediving Instructor.

I’m also an active 100% Project AWARE partner, helping clean the ocean with every dive as I consider the ocean one of the greatest callings to serve, seeing as we are at the least to say “are one with the ocean”.

I am also a certified A.S.S.E.T (Association of Scuba Service Engineers and Technicians), meaning I have in my arsenal the capability of servicing all types of scuba diving equipment. Moreover, I have further developed my skill set, as a certified compressor technician for all types of compressors.

My ambition is to transfer all the knowledge and experience I have to my future candidates, create more ocean advocates, and to further extend our diving community one member at a time>>.

Congratulations to Kholousi for successfully completing his CDTC !

New Course Director in UAE – Hassan Khayal

<< As one of the newest and youngest Course Directors in the UAE I’m looking forward to growing the professional field in the country. As a PADI Course Director, I have had extensive experience teaching scuba diving at the highest levels of standards the industry has to offer.

I have received the PADI Elite Instructor award three years in a row and aim to continue teaching to the same high standard as a Course Director. I believe education is a never ending journey, and I’m always looking for the next learning opportunity and I believe everybody should do so.

I’m also very passionate about the preservation of the aquatic world, being a 100% AWARE Partner and being an adoptive parent to not one, but two dive sites in Fujairah where I enjoys diving and teaching.

All different types of diving are my favourite because I genuinely believe every type of diving has something unique to offer. As an award winning underwater photographer, taking pictures and videos and working on them are my personal passion in diving. I believe diving is about relaxation and invite everyone and anyone to try it out regardless of why they think they cannot.

I would describe myself as a very active and enthusiastic instructor, as I cannot help but spread around my excitement at being around, above, under, or anywhere near the water. I’m looking very forward to spreading this same passion and excitement to my future instructor candidates >>.

Congratulations to Hassan for successfully completing his CDTC !

Abu Dhabi to host 2019 World Ocean Summit

PADI® and Project AWARE® join together to congratulate the Government of Abu Dhabi for hosting the World Ocean Summit 2019. The announcement that the United Arab Emirates’ capital is to host global talks in March 2019 to support international efforts to protect the ocean was made at the close of the 2018 summit in Mexico where Project AWARE represented the global dive community and joined a number of organizations to discuss solution-focused initiatives.

While the United Arab Emirates may be known more for its shopping than its water sports, there is plenty to do and see underwater. It is a great place for all levels of diver. It is even the perfect place to earn your first scuba diving certification as most of the dive sites are relatively shallow and without heavy currents. Abu Dhabi, in particular, has a close relationship with the ocean, through its history as a centre for pearl diving, its resilient coral reefs and its mangroves sea grass meadows.

Bringing the World Ocean Summit to Abu Dhabi presents a unique opportunity to shine light on what the region has to offer as a scuba diving destination and involve the local community in conservation actions, with fins on and off, in the run-up to the summit.

The World Ocean Summit 2019 will be held March, 5-7. A key priority for the World Ocean Summit 2019 will be to foster greater cooperation and collaboration between different groups, and to serve as a bridge between the development of economic policies and protecting the marine environment. PADI and Project AWARE look forward to continuing to involve the dive community in local conservation actions in the Middle East, share our underwater perspective of global ocean issues, and support the success of the 2019 World Ocean Summit. But for now, we share Project AWARE’s message and ocean leaders’ call for action from the Ocean Summit 2018:

Diving with Hazardous Marine Life

Written by DAN staff

Diving, swimming and even just going to the beach offers the opportunity to observe marine animals in their natural environment. Unfortunately, inappropriate or unintentional interactions with some marine life can lead to serious injuries. The good news is that most injuries are largely preventable with some forethought, knowledge and awareness. However, accidents do happen and each year a number of divers sustain marine life injuries. Below are best practices for dealing with some of the most common marine life injuries:

Urchins

Sea urchins are echinoderms, a phylum of marine animals shared with starfish, sand dollars and sea cucumbers. They are omnivorous, eating algae and decomposing animal matter, and have tubular feet that allow movement. Many urchins are covered in sharp, hollow spines that can easily puncture the skin and break off, and may penetrate a diver’s boots and wetsuit.

Urchin

Injuries caused by sea urchins are generally puncture wounds associated with redness and swelling. Pain and severity of the injury ranges from mild to severe, depending on the location of the injury and the compromised tissue, and life-threatening complications do occur but are extremely rare.

Divers can prevent sea urchin injuries by avoiding contact with good buoyancy control and being cautious of areas where sea urchins may exist, such as the rocky entry points while shore diving.

Treatment for sea urchin wounds is symptomatic and dependent on the type and location of injury. Application of heat to the area for 30 to 90 minutes may help. Sea urchin spines are very fragile, so any attempt to remove superficial spines should be done with caution. Wash the area first without forceful scrubbing to avoid causing additional damage if there are still spines embedded in the skin. Apply antibiotic ointment and seek medical evaluation to address any embedded spines or infection risk.

Stingrays

Stingrays are frequently considered dangerous, largely without cause. Stingrays are shy and peaceful fish that do not present a threat to divers unless stepped on or deliberately threatened. Stingrays can vary in size from less than 30 centimetres/one foot to greater than two metres/six feet in breadth, and reside in nearly every ocean.

From DAN_stingrays_iStock_000019476594_WEB

The majority of injuries occur in shallow waters where divers or swimmers accidently step on or come in contact with stingrays. Injuries from stingrays are rarely fatal but can be painful. They result from contact with a serrated barb at the end of a stingray’s tail, which has two venomous glands at its base. The barb can easily cut through wetsuit material and cause lacerations or puncture wounds. Deep lacerations can reach large arteries. If a barb breaks off in a wound, it may require surgical care. Wounds are prone to infections.

Injury treatment varies based on the type and location of the injury. Clean the wound thoroughly, control bleeding and immediately seek medical attention. Due to the nature of the stingray venom and the risk of serious infections, seek professional help for stingray wounds.

For more information on first aid and safe diving practices, visit DAN.org/Health

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Expand into Instructor Training

Helping new EFR instructor candidates to gain instructor level knowledge and skill and then pass that on through positive coaching to their own students is the role of the EFR Instructor Trainer. As an EFRIT your own skills will also be polished as you role model instructor level teaching. You’ll also consider opportunities outside your normal market as you guide instructors considering work in a wide range of environments.

If you would like to be an EFR Instructor Trainer you will need to:

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

OR

  • Have conducted at least 5 separate EFR courses

And successfully complete an EFR Instructor Trainer Course. For dates and locations of these courses please click here.

Green Sea Turtles hatchlings on Kuredu

Guests at Kuredu Resort recently had a very cute surprise in the sand: a green sea turtle nest hatched! Late in the evening, while walking back to their villa, the guests spotted the tiny turtles making their way quickly across the beach into the ocean. A few hatchlings wandered astray and were collected by resort staff, soon to be released under the supervision of resident Sea Turtle Biologist, Stephanie, along with volunteers from the Prodivers Team.

According to previous reports, it takes green turtle nests 49 to 62 days to hatch here in the Maldives, but the baby turtles on Kuredu were a little slower – it took them 64 days to make their way out of the nest.

To evaluate the hatching success of the nest, Stephanie and a volunteer digging team from Prodivers went to exhume the nest 48 hours after the hatching event. After quite some digging, they successfully discovered the nest and out of 105 eggs laid, only three had failed to develop – that’s 102 more baby green turtles in the ocean! Such a successful nest is great news for the sea turtle population and we hope to see some of the hatchlings back on Kuredu to nest in about 10 to 15 years’ time.

Snorkelling or scuba diving at Kuredu Island Resort Maldives gives a very good chance of seeing turtles – the island is blessed with a large community of green sea turtles that can be seen at Caves, either on a Prodivers snorkelling excursion or dive trip. Turtles can also be spotted grazing in the lagoon.

Want to learn more about turtles? Visit Stephanie at Kuredu’s Marine Center and join her snorkelling on the reef for a turtle tour while she collects valuable data for the Olive Ridley Project.

Adaptive Techniques

Written by John Kinsella

It’s five thirty on a Costa Rican morning and Georgia King is talking to me about the PADI® Adaptive Techniques Specialty. It’s quiet, she says, before the rest of the family wakes. I can almost hear the tropical dawn chorus. Georgia is a PADI Platinum Course Director in Costa Rica and her time is precious, but she’s absolutely committed to helping people with disabilities benefit from diving and happy to share her wisdom. Georgia was an advisor during course development and has extensive experience and expertise. In fact, before we finish, Georgia has made another significant time and energy commitment: She’s decided to run an adaptive techniques workshop for PADI Women’s Dive Day.

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Georgia’s commitment is such that since the program launched she has run two Adaptive Techniques Specialty courses right after two IDCs. It was a natural fit. “I think it’s fantastic to be able to incorporate the training with the IDC,” she says quietly. “It makes sense to integrate it naturally with the various course elements. New instructors coming out of the IDC are super excited because we’ve been talking about it. It inspires them to take that next step.”

I ask what she’d say to PADI Pros with no prior experience, who may never have thought of taking or teaching the Adaptive Techniques Specialty.

“Get involved,” she advises, pointing out that one of the major benefits, even if you are not immediately going out and teaching people with disabilities, is that it will open your mind to various teaching techniques and ways to approach all PADI programs. This can completely change the way you teach. “It really does open your eyes to a whole world of possibilities,” Georgia says. “Even in something as simple as demonstrating a skill in the skill circuit, you really just think differently. You are not set in one way of doing something. A lot of people think, ‘You have to do it this way.’ You know? You don’t.”

Georgia feels that a lot of people may be apprehensive about getting involved and offers this encouragement: “It’s kind of like the EFR® program when people worry about helping others. They don’t think they’ll be able to manage it. But everybody who has done the Adaptive Techniques Specialty is absolutely blown away and amazed by it. There’s more to it than people realize. Sure, it’s helping someone in a wheelchair, but that’s just a tiny part of it. The program talks about the attitudes, and how you treat people.”

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And the confidence that insight brings opens up the most significant benefit of the Adaptive Techniques Specialty: It’s so rewarding for everyone. “Just giving people the opportunity, that’s one of the biggest things,” Georgia believes. “In any teaching there’s opportunity for reward, but sometimes I find more so with this. I shed tears after my first Discover Scuba® Diving experience with a guy who was born without legs. It completely amazed him how he felt underwater. He came up and just cried. I was so overwhelmed. It’s an amazing thing.”

Common crabs encountered in the Maldives: Part 2

Crabs are an underappreciated species. Whilst living in a harsh and arid environment they dedicate their lives to keeping the beach pristine.

Swift-Footed rock crab Laura Pola

Swift-Footed Rock Crab

The swift-footed rock crab can easily go unnoticed due to its elusive behaviour. It inhabits rocky shores at mid to high tide level and so can be found around beach rocks, boat ramps, rock walls and jetties. These crabs are fast moving and are generally only seen at night, unless disturbed. Then you may observe them jumping from rock to rock trying to find a new refuge.

Their colouration can be mesmerising with a multitude of blue, green, purple, orange, white and black. The crabs encountered on Gili are more blue, green and purple with white stripes. The shell (carapace) can be up to eight centimeters wide and is flattened, compared to other crabs which have shells that are more rounded.

Swift-Footed Rock Crab. Picture by Laura Pola

The crab feeds on algae, detritus, small vertebrates, barnacles, limpets and snails. They use their claws to break into the shells of other animals and to tear off pieces of their prey to be transferred into their mouth. This species is predated upon by a variety of animals including birds, octopus and fish, so it isn’t safe for them in the ocean or out of it!

Fiddler Crab. Picture by Carly Brooke

Fiddler crabs

Fiddler crabs are a small and short lived species of crab (up to two years) and are closely related to ghost crabs. They are found in mangroves, brackish water, mud flats, lagoons and swamps. The colouration of the crabs change in correlation with circadian rhythm – during the day they are dark and at night they are light.

Fiddler crabs are well known for their sexual dimorphism – the male’s major claw is much larger than the females. If the large claw has been lost the male will develop a new large claw on the opposite side, which will appear after molting. The female’s claws are the same size. The crabs use their claws in communication, courtship and combat. The male claw is used in waving displays which signals to the female that they are ready to mate. A more vigorous waving display indicates a healthier male and a larger claw indicates a wider burrow which will provide better temperatures for egg incubation. Females chose their partners based on claw size and the quality of waving. Once a female has been attracted she will reside in the male’s burrow whilst the eggs are being laid. The female will carry her eggs on the underside of her body for a two week gestation period. After this period the female will venture out of the burrow and release the larvae into a receding tide.

During feeding the crabs move their smaller claw from the ground to their mouth. This movement looks like the crab is playing the smaller claw like a fiddle – hence the name, fiddler crab. The smaller claw is used to pick up the sediment which is then sifted through in the crab’s mouth. Algae, microbes and fungus are the preferred diet of the crab. After the nutrients are extracted the sediment is placed back onto the ground in a ball. The feeding habits may play a vital role in preserving the ecosystem as they aerate the soil. The fiddler crab can be seen when visiting local islands, especially in the mangrove area at low tide

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.

PADI Elite Instructor Award 2018

Elite Instructor Award 2018

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE 2017 ELITE INSTRUCTOR AWARD WINNERS

The Elite Instructor Award started over with a clean slate as of 1 January 2018. As a PADI Instructor actively training and certifying divers, you can distinguish yourself by earning the PADI Elite Instructor Award, giving you the opportunity to tout your “Elite Instructor” status to student divers, potential customers, prospective employers and fellow PADI Professionals!

Program Summary

PADI Instructors who issue 50, 100, 150, 200 or 300 qualifying certifications in a
calendar year and who have no verified Quality Management violations within 12 months of the date of the award, will be recognized with the Elite Instructor Award.

  • Qualifying certifications: (Certifications issued by you which will included in your
    tally)

    • Qualifying student diver certifications include Scuba Diver, Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, Master Scuba Diver and all student diver specialties including distinctive specialties. Junior diver
      certifications will be weighted on a one-to-one basis as well as Basic
      Freediver, Freediver, Advanced Freediver and Master Freediver.
    • Qualifying PADI Professional ratings include Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, Open Water Scuba Instructor, Master Scuba Diver Trainer, IDC Staff Instructor, Emergency First Response Instructor and all Instructor Specialty and Distinctive Instructor Specialty ratings. Freediver Instructor, Advanced Freediver Instructor, Master Freediver Instructor and Freediver Instructor Trainer will also be included and weighted on a one-to-one basis.
    • Emergency First Response Participant programs, ReActivate, Discover Scuba Diving experiences, Bubblemaker, Seal Team, Master Seal Team and Skin Diver will be weighed on a five-to-one basis. For example, five Discover Scuba Diving experiences well be weighted the same as one Open Water Diver certification.
    • Referrals will be counted on a two-to-one basis. If you have referred students to another instructor or business but didn’t get the paperwork back from the other party, please submit your completed documents to the certifications department and they will make every effort to see that you get credit for your referrals.

Elite Instructor Award Program, continued.

  • PADI Instructors achieving “Elite” status will receive a recognition decal to display on their PADI Instructor certification cards along with an e-badge to include on emails, websites, blogs and social media pages. Every recipient will also get a certificate recognizing them for the number of qualifying certifications they issued during that year: 50, 100, 150, 200 or 300.
  • PADI Pros in PADI Americas, PADI Canada, PADI Asia Pacific and PADI EMEA with a rating of Open Water Scuba Instructor or above will automatically be included in the program and their productivity will be tallied by PADI.
  • Certifications issued 1 January through 31 December qualify for the award program each year. All certifications must be processed by 15 January to count for the award.
  • The Elite Instructor Award qualifying certifications winners are tallied on an annual basis. Awards will be tallied and the winners will be notified during the first quarter of following year.
  • Instructors associated with a PADI Dive Center or Resort may authorize the business to display the instructor’s Elite Instructor Award on the business’s digital site pages.

For More Information

Will you be a PADI Elite Instructor? Visit the “My Account” tab and then “Awards” tab at
the PADI Pros’ Site to see how many certifications you garnered.

For more information about the Elite Instructor Award program, please visit the Member Toolbox at the PADI Pros Site to read a list of frequently asked questions, or email customerservices.emea@padi.com or call +44 117 300 7234. 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL PROGRAM SUMMARY

 


PADI“Congratulations to the PADI Pros who achieved Elite status during 2017. This is an outstanding achievement and a testament to your hard work and commitment to PADI. As an Elite Instructor, you are able to promote your success by showing your Elite Instructor e-badge on your Social Media pages. This is also an excellent opportunity for PADI Dive Stores to take advantage of the increased marketing potential that Elite Instructors bring to them.” – Mark Spiers, Vice President Training, Sales and Field Services, PADI EMEA.

 

 

PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Applauds its 2018 Frequent Trainers

Congratulations to our 2018 Frequent Trainers

PADI Course Directors, the highest level of PADI Professional, are much sought after individuals within the diving industry.

Becoming a PADI Course Director is one of the toughest challenges an experienced PADI Professional will face throughout their career.  Many rigorous prerequisites must be met before the aspiring PADI Pro may submit an application to be selected for the Course Director Training Course (CDTC).  While many PADI Pros aspire to becoming instructor trainers, only the very best are selected.  The CDTC itself is intense, teaching prospective Course Directors everything from how to conduct an Instructor Development Course to how to market and grow their business.  Each candidate is subject to continuous evaluation in the classroom and in water, and it is not until the final evaluation on the final day that the individual knows whether they have made the grade.

This elite group of PADI professionals is responsible for creating the highest caliber of instructors around the world: PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.  Course Directors also train PADI Instructors in their continuing professional development to become PADI Specialty Instructors, IDC Staff Instructors, and EFR Instructors.  The responsibility on Course Directors to keep standards high cannot be underestimated and PADI is proud to have the best instructor trainers in the diving industry.

To that end, each year PADI applauds and rewards its most productive Course Directors in the form of the Frequent Trainer Program (FTP).  Dependent on PADI Professional training productivity during the preceding year, PADI awards Course Directors who meet minimum FTP requirements with either Silver, Gold or Platinum status for the current year.

Join us in congratulating the 2018 Frequent Trainers, and find out more about the CDTC here.