Italy Dive Fest is a yearly event organized in partnership between PADI and DAN, Divers Alert Network to promote diving activities in different regions in Italy.
Italy Dive Fest 2018 was held on the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa during 10-14th October. Manufacturers participating in the event 2018 were Cressi Sub, Aqua Lung, SUEX, ScubaPro, COLTRI SUB and the diving activities were organized by Marina Divers PADI 5-Star IDC Centre, Pelagos PADI 5-Star Centre and Moby Diving PADI 5-Star Dive Centre on Lampedusa and MareNostrum PADI Dive Resort on Linosa.
The event was also supported by the Pelagie Islands Marine Park Association (MPA) who provided facilities and conducted presentations on how they ensure all parties work together to protect the islands beautiful and unique underwater environment. MPA together with PADI and DAN held meetings during the event to bridge the two communities – Scuba Diving and the Fishing Industry. With these groups discovering ways we can work better together for the longevity of the Pelagie Islands.
The environmental movement started with pictures taken of our blue planet from space by the first space explorers. It was then that we first realized how fragile our planet is and why it is so important to act now, to prevent us from destroying all the beauty that took millions if not billions of years to evolve.
Marcel Proust said “the true voyage of discovery is not so much about finding new landscape as to get a new pair of eyes”. Diving in areas like Lampedusa and Linosa gives you those new eyes and with those new eyes a better understanding why we have to act now to protect the ocean.
The ocean takes up more than 75% of our planet, with an average depth of nearly 3,700 meters and home of a larger biodiversity and bio density than the rain forest. The ocean has more earthquakes and volcanoes than on land. You find the longest mountain range in the ocean. The World Ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but because much of it is unexplored, the number of species that exist in the ocean is much larger, possibly over two million.
Our hope is that our photos and videos from the depths of the oceans and lakes during an event such as the Italy Dive Fest 2018 will inspire in the same way as those photos taken from space by the first space explorers, which started the first environmental movement. Therefore creating further awareness to protect the underwater world, inline with PADI’s mission.
Lampedusa is the largest island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The island of Lampedusa is part of the Sicilian province of Agrigento which also includes the smaller islands of Linosa and Lampione. It is the southernmost part of Italy and Italy’s southernmost island. Tunisia is only 113 kilometres away, Sicily is further at 205 kilometres, whilst the island nation of Malta is 176 kilometres to the east. Lampedusa has an area of 20 square kilometres and a population of about 6,000 people. Its main industries are fishing, agriculture and tourism. There are year-round flights from Lampedusa Airport to Palermo and Catania on the Sicilian mainland. In the summer, there are additional services to Rome and Milan, besides many other seasonal links with the Italian mainland.
Below is a short description of the activities during the Italy Dive Fest 2018.
TUESDAY, 9 OCTOBER
Italy Dive Fest 2018 started with the iXperience Tour in partnership between Aqua Lung, PADI and DAN. This included presentations about the PADI Enriched Air Specialty Diver Program, Aqua Lung Enriched Air Computers and DAN Research. Divers could test dive Enriched Air Computers during the day.
WEDNESDAY, 10 OCTOBER
The first day involved diving activities managed by the PADI Dive Centres on Lampedusa followed by research activities in the Diving Village by DANs Diving Safety Lab. Manufacturers like Cressi Sub and Aqua Lung invited divers to test dive new diving equipment. The evening presentation, Technical seminar on dive regulators, was held by ScubaPro in the Marine Park Associations facilities in Lampedusa followed by a presentation by Ernesto Azzurro from ISPRA (International Government Research Institution) about ‘Climate Change’ and the new research program ISPRA is conducting with the support of PADI Dive Centres around Italy.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY, 11-12 OCTOBER
The DAN Medical Team conducted Medical Checks during the day on divers from PADI Dive Centres, who also had a chance learn more about how Doppler tests work. SUEX conducted an intro dive on the SUEX Scooters and presented the new PADI Distinctive Specialty Dive Course ‘SUEX Advanced Scooter Diver’. During the evening PADI Regional Manager Fabio Figurella and Director of the Neapolitan Zoological Station Professor Franco Andaloro presented the new PADI Distinctive Specialty Diver Course “Environmentally Friendly Diver”
SATURDAY, 13 OCTOBER
The day was dedicated to a trip to the neighbouring island of Linosa. DAN, SUEX and PADI conducted dives on the island with the support of PADI Dive Resort Mare Nostrum. In the evening SUEX Marketing Manager Ivo Calabrese held a presentation about the HYDRA Project, a research project using scooters in the Santa Margaretha Ligure Marine Park. The evening finished off with announcing the winners of the Instagram Italy Dive Fest Photo Competition in partnership with EasyDive, with prizes from ScubaPro, Aqua Lung and Cressi Sub.
So did we achieve our goal of spreading awareness about diving activities around the Pelagic islands of Lampedusa and Linosa? We believe by introducing more divers to the amazing to the underwater world around these islands, by holding presentations about diving programs that help divers improve their diving and through PADI’s joint programs with partners such as the Marine Park Association, Divers Alert Network, Neapolitan Zoological Station and diving manufactures Cressi Sub, Aqua Lung, Scuba Pro, SUEX, Easy Dive and more – We truly believe we did!
So please continue to spread this message by posting photos and videos from the underwater world, just like the space explorers did 50 years ago of the blue dot we call home. Thanks to all that participated in this year’s Italy Dive Fest. Special thanks goes out to PADI Regional Manger Fabio Figurella who initiated the event and was the main organizer.
See you all next year!
PADI EMEA Territory Director