We are pleased to invite you to join us at one of the Instructor Development Update events taking place in EMEA during 2019. These events will cover the revised IDC curriculum due for launch later in the year.
These live events will give you the opportunity to be fully updated on the latest standards changes to the Instructor Development Course revision, and provide a broader overview of the exciting PADI developments planned for 2019 and beyond. As a PADI Course Director attendance at one of these events will enable you to teach the revised IDC curriculum when launched later in 2019. Places at these events are limited and all IDC Staff Instructors, Master Instructors and Course Directors are welcome to attend.This program will meet Active Status Course Director requirements and will also count towards seminar credit for master Instructor and CDTC applications.
The PADI® Open Water Diver and Advanced Open Water Diver
courses provide a strong foundation for teaching divers to think through diving
scenarios to make sound decisions. As you mentor divers at all levels, you can
build on this by providing dive scenarios relevant to the course you’re
teaching, and offer questions that help them think like a diver as they
evaluate the scenario and share their decisions with you. This helps you assess
understanding and how they apply what they’re learning. It’s a great way to
coach thoughtful and deliberate decisions. In this example, the scenario
promotes using sound judgment in deciding whether to enter a wreck in the PADI Wreck Diver
Entering a Wreck
When a diver wants to enter a wreck, the primary-decision-making goal must always be to have a safe exit. That means being able to find a way to an exit, and being able to handle any emergency situation that could arise while in that overhead environment. Wreck-entry methods include two classifications: swim-throughs and penetrations.
Swim-throughs – In a swim-through,
the diver enters through one opening and exits through another. In a basic
swim-through, the diver will always be able to see two exit points to open
water using natural light. The path between them will be free of significant
obstacles, entanglements or silt. The combination of the distance to an exit
point and up to the surface should not exceed 40 metres/130 feet for Advanced Open Water Divers
and higher, and in other circumstances the distance should be the depth for
which the diver is qualified.
Penetrations – In a
penetration, the diver enters more than a few metres/feet into the wreck
intending to return to the entry point, either because there is no other exit
or the diver is not sure there is another one. The diver may go beyond the
point that the entry is still clearly visible and must run a line to ensure a
safe return to the exit. The path should be well lit and free of obstacles, entanglements
or silt. As with swim-throughs, the distance to the exit and then to the
surface should not exceed 40 metres/130 feet.
Using Sound Judgment
Either situation calls for good, reasonable
judgment. Answers to the following questions can help a diver shape an
Are the exits big enough to
allow my buddy and me to swim through side by side?
How much light is there? Is
there enough that I will always be able to see the light of the exit?
Is there anything big
enough to be a dangerous obstacle?
Is there enough silt to
have potentially obscure my vision to the extent I couldn’t find my way out?
For my planned maximum
distance, is the nearest exit close enough to allow me to leave the wreck and
with ample time to handle an emergency?
Also factored into the decision should be the
diver’s experience, training, skill and equipment. Two different divers looking
into the same wreck can make two totally different, yet appropriate decisions.
For example, divers with little wreck experience entering a silty environment
could obscure visibility creating a potential hazard. A diver trained in
non-silting kicking techniques may not have a significant issue with silt. A
diver with excellent buoyancy and trim skills can pass around obstacles that
could challenge a less‑skilled diver.
Good judgment can also allow divers with more
experience and training to go beyond some of the penetration guidelines. A
diver with technical training, such as cave training that includes effective
use of suited lights, will be able to work in areas without clear daylight.
When teaching the PADI Wreck Diver Specialty course, mentor
your divers on how to think like a diver and make good decisions regarding
wreck penetration based on the specific wreck circumstances and their
individual training and experience. Apply similar decision-making mentorship in
all courses as appropriate to the diver level, environment and course topic.
Reference the PADI Wreck Diver Instructor Guide (Product 70232)
for information about this specialty diver course.
A version of this article originally appeared
in the 3rd Quarter 2018 edition of The Undersea Journal®.
Amid everything the PADI® organisation does in a rapidly changing world, we need to always build on the foundation for everything the PADI family does. It’s what John Cronin and Ralph Erickson laid down first when they established PADI in 1966, it’s our foundation today and it will carry us into the future. That foundation is, of course, education: diver training. What we teach and how we teach have, will and must continue to change. But, that we teach will never go away. It can’t, because it’s not what we do, but who we are.
Training is PADI’s foundation, but the heart of it is not the PADI System, eLearning,
instructor cue cards and the like. These are powerful modern tools, but in 1966, several years
before all of these existed, you could take PADI courses and earn PADI certifications because our training
foundation was already there, entrusted where it is today – in the hands of you
and your fellow PADI
Instructors and Divemasters.
Without you, the PADI
System – the best education system in diving by a long shot – can’t do
what it does so well, much as a Steinway piano can’t sound like a Steinway without a master at its keys.
Even with all the innovations in
instructional technology, such as the rise of artificial intelligence and
dynamic online learning systems, human teachers still bear the weight of the
best education. Innovations are important to keep PADI training relevant in today’s dynamic,
personalized online world, but you still need great instructors to have great
training. As American author William
Arthur Ward explained it: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher
explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
That describes the PADI family – more than 130,000 people who inspire others to learn, to dive and to care. Together we motivate divers to rise to new challenges, to have underwater adventures, to heal and help others with scuba, and to protect our fragile world. PADI Course Directors shape the future by passing our collective -wisdom to a rising generation of dive leaders, who will in turn inspire divers to do things we have not even imagined yet. Everything the global PADI organisation does today has its roots in training, and that training has its roots in you, me and the rest of the PADI family.
Aristotle said, around 2,300
years ago, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at
all,” and that hasn’t changed – the PADI family doesn’t “teach diving”; we educate the heart and
transform lives. That’s what makes PADI’s training foundation solid.
Good luck, good teaching and good diving,
Drew Richardson Ed.D. PADI President and CEO
This article originally appeared in the 4th Quarter edition of The Undersea Journal.
As diving instructors, we have a duty of care to the students we take into the water. We are the experts, and therefore we need to be prepared to make decisions on behalf of our students as well as on behalf of ourselves, taking into consideration their current skill levels and general comfort.
PADI standards provide a fundamental structure within which instructors can operate. For example, the student to instructor ratios represent the maximum number of participants an instructor could take in ideal conditions – instructors can then use this to work back to an appropriate ratio for their personal environment, experience and students.
Ensuring students have appropriate equipment is another example of good risk management. Consider whether their thermal protection is appropriate for the water temperature anticipated at your prospective dive site. Also consider their likely air consumption – students who are nervous will breathe air far more rapidly than an experienced instructor. Even in relatively shallow water, an Open Water Diver course student or Discover Scuba Diving participant may go through their air very quickly. Consider how often you will need to monitor their air supplies, taking the prevailing water conditions into account.
Sometimes the most mundane factors can be overlooked, however a thorough briefing and debriefing after each dive, along with a clear plan for how your dive will be executed, can be very important in the event of an incident underwater. In some parts of the world, a certified assistant is required by law, but in other areas the instructor is responsible for determining whether they wish to take an assistant with them. Consider your supervision of the divers at all levels, and how you will handle a large group if one of them has a problem.
PADI standards also help to enforce good risk management practices from the very start of a diver’s experience. The Statement of Risks and Liability / Liability Release & Assumption of Risk form outlines the risks inherent in scuba diving activities to your students so that they are suitably informed. Similarly, the Medical Statement is used to help screen out divers with possible medical contraindications to diving. This screening is a crucial risk management tool, and failure to use the relevant medical statement – or failure to act appropriately upon the answers from a medical statement by ensuring that written approval is obtained from a physician prior to any in-water activities if there are any “Yes” answers on the medical questionnaire – represents a serious risk to your students as well as compromising your own legal position in the event of an incident.
Adhering to standards and always being safety conscious when supervising others is your best approach to minimise the likelihood of an unfortunate incident from occurring, and ensure you provide your students with the best possible training experience.
AWARE Week 2018 was a great success around the United Kingdom, with many UK Dive Shops participating in a number of ways. The week entailed film nights featuring ocean conservation films, Dive Against Debris® events, beach cleans and even a baby lobster release.
To compliment AWARE Week, PADI® and Project AWARE® announced the launch of the updated Project AWARE Speciality course. This course can be taught by all Instructors and Assistant Instructors. PADI Divemasters who have completed the Speciality Instructor training with a PADI Course Director and applied at their PADI Regional Headquarters also qualify to teach this course.
The newly revised Speciality course provides information and support to help individuals take responsibility for ocean health, based on Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for divers. The purpose of the course is to unite scuba divers and water enthusiasts to make a difference. It makes individuals aware of the most pressing problems facing aquatic environments and how to protect them.
The participant’s prerequisites are that they only need to have an interest in the aquatic environment to enrol. There is no minimum age or experience requirement and it is run as a dry course, or “fins off” as Project AWARE like to call it.
With the winter months starting to close in, the Project AWARE Speciality course gives you a chance to get your dive team and customers together to learn about the pressing problems facing our oceans as well as the everyday actions that can be taken to help protect them. This is also a great course to reach out to youth groups and schools to get involved with, in order to teach young people about the importance of ocean protection. If you are a Centre and would like to know more about the PADI Approved Youth Training Scheme for your Centre then please contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant – Emily Petley-Jones (Emily.email@example.com).
There is a 10 Tips for Divers Toolkit on the Project AWARE website which includes Divers Handout and the poster. The instructor guide is on the PADI Pro’s site available as a free download and there are also lesson guides to help you in running your courses (Training Essentials> Curriculum> Specialities> Project AWARE Speciality Instructor Outline – v30).
The Project AWARE Specialty focuses on guiding participants toward the following personal commitments and actions they can take to help the environment…
As the number of divers of retirement age rises, dive safety researchers are increasingly interested in immersion pulmonary edema (IPE). Also called swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE), the condition may occur in young and healthy swimmers and divers, but the risk increases with age and age-related health changes. While IPE can be fatal, divers who are able to recognize the symptoms early and exit the water often have good outcomes, and spontaneous resolution is common.
Here’s what you need to know about IPE:
What is it?
IPE is the accumulation of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs (alveoli) caused by immersion in water. The condition occurs when the pressure in the alveoli is less than that of the fluid pressure in the surrounding capillaries, which causes fluid to seep into the alveoli. Some fluid in the alveoli is normal, but when too much of that fluid is present it can obstruct breathing and cause chest pain, frothy pink sputum and dyspnea (difficulty breathing).
IPE symptoms typically begin to improve immediately after exiting the water, but the condition can cause serious complications, and advanced medical interventions are necessary in some cases.
What are the risk factors?
There are several risk factors that, when combined with immersion, can increase the likelihood of IPE. Exposure to cold water will exacerbate the shunting of fluids to the chest. High blood pressure, overhydration, heart conditions such as left-ventricular hypertrophy, and some genetic predispositions may increase the risk. High-intensity exercise and elevated work to breathe, which may occur with a poorly performing regulator or an inappropriate gas at a deep depth, can also increase the likelihood of IPE by disturbing the fluid balance in the lungs.
Divers can reduce risk by using appropriate thermal protection, avoiding extreme effort in the water, maintaining physical fitness and addressing any potential health-related risk factors before getting in the water.
How should you respond?
If you or your student divers experience symptoms of IPE during a dive, it’s imperative to end the dive as quickly as possible. If symptoms are mild, make a relaxed ascent. However, if symptoms are quickly worsening or are interfering with the ability to breathe, make a direct ascent, get out of the water and seek help.
A diver with symptoms of IPE should breathe 100 percent oxygen and be immediately transported to qualified medical care regardless of whether or not symptoms are improving. It’s possible that the symptoms may have been caused by an underlying cardiac issue that must be addressed by a physician. IPE is likely to reoccur if relevant risk factors are not identified and addressed.
For more information on IPE or safe diving practices, visit DAN.org/Health.
PADI Standards require you to report incidents that occur so that they can be appropriately tracked, identified and managed if the need arises. As part of your PADI Membership Agreement, you agree to file a PADI Incident Report Form with PADI for any incident relating to your activities as a PADI Member. Additionally, PADI Standards require you to “submit a PADI Incident Report Form to your PADI Office immediately after you witness or are involved in a diving or dive operation-related accident/incident, regardless of whether the incident occurred in or out of the water; is training related, recreational, technical or seemingly insignificant.”
While the Incident Report Form is largely focused on collecting information related to scuba diving incidents, it’s important to remember that you are also obliged to report incidents that occur during snorkelling, skin diving and freediving activities, as well as any incident that involves divers, dive customers, dive staff or anyone in or around a dive business.
Incident Report Forms should be submitted directly to the Quality Management department (preferably by email, to firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible following the incident. This ensures that important information is captured while your recollection of events is still fresh. Always use the most current version of the Incident Report Form, which can be found on the PADI Pros’ Site (Training Essentials/Forms and Applications/General) to ensure that all of the required information is recorded. If the incident occurred during a PADI training course, don’t forget that you will also need to submit copies of all of the student’s course paperwork alongside the Incident Report Form.
If more than one person from the same facility is involved in, or witnesses, the incident, it is acceptable to have one person complete the Incident Report Form and then either have each individual sign the summary, or complete a covering letter, signed by all, stating that they agree with all the details contained in the report (email statements to this effect from all Members involved, originating from the email address currently on file with PADI, are also acceptable).
If you have any questions regarding the incident reporting requirements, contact the Quality Management department directly on email@example.com for clarification.
In the Northern Hemisphere spring is a great time to maintain both equipment and skills in preparation for warmer weather and a busy dive season. As many divers make sure their gear is ready to get in the water, you can help them make sure they’re ready, too. By familiarizing yourself with the most common causes of diving accidents, you can offer tips for effective skills practice.
What causes the most accidents?
Accident analysis data has shown that there are five leading causes of preventable dive accidents and injuries:
Ear and equalization problems
Poor air management
Diving beyond personal limits
Failure to adequately plan and perform dives
At least one of these factors is present in the vast majority of reported incidents.
How can you help divers avoid incidents?
A great way to minimize problems is to get divers to practice foundational dive skills. Encourage your students and customers to consider which of their skills need improvement and suggest ways for them to practice these skills. Ascents, buoyancy control, ear equalization and emergency weight release at the surface can all be practiced in the pool. Divers can work on air management and dive planning by calculating their air consumption and planning practice dives with you or an experienced buddy.
What else can you do?
Some dive accidents are caused by unexpected equipment problems. Make sure divers know how to maintain, store and care for their gear. Also suggest they practice responding to different gear failures – regulator malfunction or stuck BCD inflators – by reviewing air sharing skills, freeflow regulator breathing and disconnecting their low pressure inflators underwater. Although not common issues, divers should feel comfortable responding to such events before they get in the water.
For more information about safe diving practices or preventing dive accidents, visit DAN.org.
Being able to quickly and correctly provide emergency care during a dive incident can be the difference between a positive outcome and a fatality. Regardless of your level of personal experience with emergency management and response, providing adequate care requires regular refreshers of even the most basic skills, such as measuring vital signs. Accurate assessment of an individual’s condition not only provides EMS personnel with a good baseline for care, but can also help expedite needed medical interventions, and provide a valuable timeline of a patient’s condition. How well do you know your basic life support skills?
Time is a fundamental metric in emergency response. Regularly recording the patient’s condition and the corresponding time is important to creating an accurate timeline of the patient’s symptoms. A timeline can be used to determine whether the patient’s condition is worsening and can dictate medical interventions. Seriously ill patients should have their vital signs reassessed every few minutes, while patients who are stable may reasonably have their vitals checked less frequently.
Level of Responsiveness
A patient’s level of responsiveness (LOR) can be one of the most revealing indicators of well-being. LOR is generally measured with four basic questions:
What is your name?
Where are we?
What time is it?
If an individual can answer all of these questions with reasonable accuracy, you can quantify the LOR as “Alert and Oriented to Person, Place, Time, and Event,” which is frequently written as “A+Ox4.” In the event that a person can’t respond to these, or is unconscious, you can further measure LOR by determining if the patient is responsive to verbal or physical stimuli. While this measurement may provide useful information to professional responders, it’s not likely to change the care you provide as a dive professional.
Pulse can be a very effective indicator of an individual’s wellness, especially if you measure strength and regularity of the beat in addition to frequency. To assess a pulse, place two fingers gently on either the carotid artery on the neck, or on a patient’s wrist just beneath the base of their thumb. If you difficulty finding a pulse, first confirm the location of your fingers, and then make sure you aren’t pressing too hard or too gently. Note not just the speed at which the heart beats, but also the strength and regularity of the beat, these can be important factors when determining injury severity.
Constantly monitoring a patient’s breathing is a crucial emergency care step. Because many people will alter their breathing if they know you’re trying to count their breaths, begin counting respirations immediately after measuring the patient’s pulse. Pay close attention to the sound of breath and listen for wheezing, gasping, or labored breathing. These can indicate the existence of specific conditions and be valuable information for healthcare personnel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.