From PADI Divemaster to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor – Manu Bustelo tells us about his worldwide adventure

PADI AmbassaDiver, Manu Bustelo, spoke to us about his travels, his steps to becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and how he is inspiring others to become ocean stewards.

  • You had quite a busy summer Manu! Could you tell us a little bit about what you did?

I spent over 40 days travelling with four electric vehicles from London to Nordkapp. We covered a distance of 9000km showing that electric vehicles can travel to remote places in Europe with zero tailpipe emissions. We named the project ‘Charge to the circle’. Before our departure, we also had the opportunity to take part in the Bristol Harbour, UK clean up organized by Project Aware and PADI.

  • That sounds like a great challenge! Straight after you went on to do your IDC, Could you tell us more about your journey to becoming a PADI Instructor?

I’ve been pretty busy but nothing took out of my mind this year’s highlight – to become a PADI Instructor. For over 10 years, I have travelled as a PADI Divemaster around the world scuba diving in as many destinations as possible. My passion for diving grew through the years. I began to feel the itch to share my passion with others, therefore I enrolled in the PADI Instructor Development Program and it seemed the right step to take.

I only had a few days between my return from Norway to the due date I was supposed to be in Murcia to begin my IDC training with BALKYSUB.  Before Charge to the Circle I spent an entire month scuba diving in Ibiza, therefore during the last four months I’ve been at home, Andorra, for just a couple of days.

  • What is your advice to those who want to become a PADI Pro?

Becoming an instructor is something I recommend to all divers who love the underwater world. Whether you want to make a life out of teaching how to dive, own your scuba dive center or simply encourage more people into diving, you are going to need to be an instructor.  I feel a tremendous benefit is already providing me to deeply understand how to teach people how to dive. Educational frameworks are always great to enhance the way you can share your passion with other individuals.

  • How did you become interested in ocean conservation?

I have been fortunate enough to do a lot of high altitude mountaineering and mountain biking in The Andes, Alps and Pyrenes during my high school and University Career. At the time, it felt I’ve seen quite a lot in my mid-twenties. It was only when I discovered scuba diving that I reset my ‘adventure’ button. If our planet is 70% water, then there was much more to see underwater than everything I’ve seen till then. Here’s the crucial point though, without water life in our planet wouldn’t exist as we know it. The oldest and more complex ecosystems are underwater.

  • Why do you believe it is important to raise ocean conservation awareness?

I believe that an essential part of being human is being curious. Curiosity leads us to explore unchartered territories. Loving what we see is crucial, since our oceans are vast yet fragile at the same time. Current rates of plastic pollution, ocean acidification due to CO2 emissions and overfishing are damaging our oceans more than we could have ever imagined. Scuba divers are ocean stewardship because we learn to love what we see.

Nature hasn’t given us gills. Give yourself some love and learn to scuba dive. If you need a scuba instructor, now you can count on me.

You can follow Manu’s scuba diving journey through his Instagram and Facebook.

Meeting CPR and First Aid Requirements for PADI Courses

Some PADI® courses require first aid and CPR training within the past 24 months. You know that Emergency First Response® Primary and Secondary Care courses meet the requirements.

How do you determine what other courses qualify when a diver presents you with first aid and CPR qualifications from another organization?

Follow these steps:

  • Verify that the CPR and first aid training included student skill practice and demonstration of CPR and first aid techniques in person with a qualified instructor. A course that lacks this does not qualify, such as online only courses or self-study programs via any other media.
  • Check that the training taken meets current international emergency care guidelines as defined by the various resuscitation councils. For further information on layperson CPR and first aid training, visit the following ILCOR (International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation) Association websites:

American Heart Association

Australian Resuscitation Council

European Resuscitation Council

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

New Zealand Resuscitation Council

  • For PADI Divemaster candidates, include a copy of that CPR and first aid course completion documentation along with the Divemaster Application to avoid unnecessary processing delays. Documentation must be from the qualifying CPR/first aid organization. Certificates or completion documents provided by third parties that are not directly sanctioned CPR/first aid organizations are unacceptable. Look at the name of the CPR/first aid organization for whom the instructor is authorized to teach and ensure it matches with the name on the certification.

If you’re unsure, contact a Regional Training Consultant at your PADI Regional Headquarters for clarification before accepting documentation provided by the student or candidate for course requirements.

New, improved, 2019 PADI Show Support Pack

This year we’ve upgraded your Show Support Pack, to further assist 100% PADI Dive Centers to convert customers. Feel the power of the PADI Brand with more show support than ever before.

2019 Show Support Pack contains:

  • NEW design PADI 3.5m Beach Flag (with Pole & Base)
  • 100 PADI recycled pens
  • 50 PADI Stickers
  • PADI Course Brochures – Go Dive, Keep Diving, Teach Diving

Show Support Packs are a benefit available to 100% PADI Dive Centers. We invite you to complete the 2019 Show Support Pack Application*, return it to Amber Swan-Hutton and, once approved, the goodies are yours!

Your pack will be shipped to you with your next Sales order, or delivered to the PADI stand for you to collect if PADI is exhibiting at the same event.

* Complete and submit the PADI Show Support Pack Application with evidence of attendance at your Expo at least eight weeks prior to your Expo.

Risk Management Tips

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.

A Force for Good: The Researchers

Everyone knows that global environments in general, and the oceans in particular, are threatened. Climate change, coral bleaching, overfishing, runaway plastics – it’s a long list and every day, another study makes the list longer and more daunting. It may seem like everyone’s jumping on the bad news bandwagon, but I look at these reports in a positive, enabling way: the future we don’t want must be predicted to avoid it.

So, besides studying current issues, marine and environmental researchers show us problems before they arise. For example, in August marine scientists Wortman, Paytan and Yao (University of Toronto and University of California, Santa Cruz) released a study that suggests that, beyond warming, elevated atmospheric CO2 would reduce oceanic oxygen, making the deeper depths toxic and significantly damage fisheries through it effect on the food web. Yes, that’s bad news, but thanks to these researchers we know now, while we still have time to do something about it.

And, this leads to the second reason researchers are a crucial force for good. It’s about predicting problems, but also finding the solutions andsharing them. In a previous blog, I mentioned Dr. Vaughan’s breakthrough in coral restoration – shared research that directly addresses a massive global challenge that’s close to the heart of all divers. In Cuba’s Guanahacabibes National Marine Park, biologist Dr. Dorka Cobián Rojas teams with global scientists and “citizen scientist” divers to research causes and implement solutions to coral loss and the invasive lionfish. There also, Dr. Osmani Borrego similarly researches plastic pollution. These are critical research efforts because Guanahacabibes’ reefs are healthy, making them a biological resource oasis needed to find the problems and solutions we need to protect, preserve and restore the world’s reefs and fisheries.

Let’s not overlook “citizen scientist” involvement, because it is vital. Professional full-time researchers like Rojás and Borrego do not have the time or resources to gather all the data and trial the solutions. Solving massive, world-scale problems calls for massive, world-scale participation – in the ocean, that means you and me. As Project AWARE likes to say, don’t let your dives go to waste. Every dive we make can contribute to research. Dive Against Debris, for example, isn’t simply about picking up litter underwater or pointing fingers – it’s part of finding out how we can stop it.

Another effort is Reef Life Survey, founded by Dr. Graham Edgar, which trains volunteer divers to survey marine organisms. More than 200 RLS divers have already surveyed more than 2,000 sites in 44 countries, creating one of the largest global biological databases in existence. Using these data, researchers expect a shift in fish and invertebrate distribution as the oceans warm – a conclusion only possible thanks to these citizen scientist divers.  India.mongbay.com reports that in India, scientists train fishermen and other volunteers to dive (if they’re not already divers) as citizen scientists for involvement in multiple initiatives, and it has another benefit – public support. “The research also gets community buy-in when their people are involved,” the report quotes University of Kerala’s aquatic biology department head A. Biju Kuma. Go online and you can find literally dozens of ways scientists embrace divers like you and me in researching the solutions to environmental threats.

There’s a lot to do, so let’s make every dive count. Join Dive Against Debris if you haven’t already, and/or any other citizen scientist effort. We can be researchers while still making images, exploring or doing everything else we love about diving. And, let’s be restorers who use what we’re learning to rebuild, revitalize and recreate a healthy global environment. Let’s be reachers and teachers who use diving to spread what we’re learning and doing, and pass it to the next generations.

Regardless of what today’s trends are, the future is not inevitable. With 25 million PADI Professionals and Divers helping lead the way, and with a new generation of divers to come, we’re already changing course to a different tomorrow with a thriving, healthy global environment. When it comes to gazing into the crystal ball, I like what author-educator Peter Drucker said:

The best way to predict the future
is to create it.

Dr. Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO

Selling Scuba as a Festive Gift

give-the-gift

Consumer behaviour and trends show that people increasingly prefer experiences over things. Your business should be capitalising on this by offering scuba diving to new and existing customers. But how?

In the Retailer and Resort Association Digital Marketing Toolkit, there are two sets of assets available to you: Discover Scuba Diving and eLearning. Despite the difference in promotion, the implementation is the same. Decide which promotion best fits your business model and then follow the formula below for a synchronised multi-platform campaign.

  • Alert your customers with an email. Use the specific campaign email header from the toolbox. Make sure your subject line and snippets are written with Open Rate in mind. You want to make sure as many customers as possible open the email and then click through to the specific promotion.
  • Users should be directed from this email to a specific landing page or blog post. Make sure you’ve implemented full width website image and blog post image for consistency.
  • In addition to this, update your social media channels with the optimised imagery. Update your Facebook cover, Facebook posts, Instagram posts and Twitter posts. Keep in mind the “80-20” rule for Facebook social media posts. You want to keep 80% of your posts engaging and fun, with the remaining 20% of posts being sales orientated. Don’t spam your customers with sales.
  • For full integration, use offline materials like posters to promote in-store & in local hot spots.

Digital Toolbox

Before implementing the marketing plan, make sure that the promotion fits with your business. Discover Scuba Diving is perhaps considered more affordable and in line with gift budgets, therefore you’d expect to see a higher uptake. With this in mind, be sure you have your conversion tactics in place. The aim here is not to sell 10 DSD gift vouchers over the festive period. The objective is to sell 10 PADI Open Water Diver courses, using DSD Gift Vouchers as a new diver acquisition tool. Emphasise that the Discover Scuba Diving experience counts towards the full PADI Open Water Diver course and consider taking deposits before even entering the water.

Using eLearning, you will know from the outset that your trainee divers are engaged and willing to take diving further. This will enable you to already sell the Advanced Open Water during Open Water training. The uptake of eLearning may be less than DSD gift vouchers, but the rewards could be greater.

PADI Awards Medal of Valor to Thailand Cave Rescuers Who Represent Diving’s Finest Hour

Leadership and rescue divers instrumental in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand earlier this year will be the first-ever recipients of PADI’s Medal of Valor. This high distinction will be awarded to Rick Stanton, John Volanthen, Dr. Richard Harris, Dr. Craig Challen, Jason Mallinson, Jim Warny and Chris Jewell. The courage, strength, honor and dignity displayed during the rescue operation propelled the PADI organization to create the medal to formally recognize their contributions to one of diving’s greatest moments in history. Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson will represent this distinguished group and accept the PADI Medal of Valor at the PADI® Social on 13 November during DEMA Show 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

In June and July 2018, the world watched as top cave divers and other experts from around the globe converged in Thailand to find and save the “Wild Boars” soccer team, which had become trapped deep inside the Tham Luang cave system. For 18 days, the international effort involved more than 1,000 men and women, who combined their collective talents for the extraordinary recovery of the team.

“It was an awe-inspiring example of humanity at its best, focused on a single noble purpose,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “This complex rescue operation demonstrated action and focus propelled by the unshakeable conviction that those boys would not die on diving’s watch. Rick Stanton, Jason Mallinson and everyone who was part of this effort faced and accepted the difficulties, dangers and risks inherent in the rescue. On behalf of the entire PADI family, it is an honor to recognize these heroes and extend our immense gratitude for representing diving’s finest hour.”

Rick Stanton and John Volanthen were a driving force in the Thai cave rescue operation. The pair was the first to discover the soccer team, which had been trapped in the flooded cave for nine days at the time they were found. Together, with Mallinson and Jewell, the divers led the dive rescue and carried the boys out of the cave to safety. Both Stanton and Volanthen are regarded as two of Britain’s foremost cave divers, with more than 35 years’ experience in extreme cave dives and rescues, having led a number of high-profile rescue attempts in the past.

Dr. Richard “Harry” Harris played a critical role in the rescue, administering sedatives to the boys to facilitate their extraction under extreme and complex conditions. Working in anesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia, Harris has expertise in cave diving, wilderness medicine and remote area health. Dr. Craig Challen, an Australian cave explorer, early adopter of closed-circuit mixed-gas rebreathers and avid wreck diver, dived alongside Harris facilitating the successful execution of the rescue.

Jason Mallinson and Chris Jewell were integral to the mission, taking food to the those trapped and working alongside Stanton and Volanthen to carry the boys out through the flooded sections of cave. Mallinson is an exploration and rescue cave diver with 30 years in the field. His achievements have led him to set distance and depth records in caves all over the world. He has assisted in multiple rescues and is a member of the United Kingdom’s international cave-dive rescue team. Jewell is a UK-based exploratory cave diver with more than 12 years’ experience leading cave diving. Belgian cave diver Jim Warny, who currently resides in Ireland, was instrumental in the coach’s extraction.

 

“Their daring mission is a wonderful opportunity to show the world what the diving community is made of, and what can be accomplished through a combination of proper training, trust, courage, passion and perseverance,” says Richardson.

Industry stakeholders and PADI Members are invited to stand together to thank these heroic divers. Join PADI in honoring these men at the PADI Social on Tuesday, 13 November 2018, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Westgate Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

All are invited for a special meet and greet with Rick Stanton and Jason Mallinson at the DEMA Show in the PADI booth (booth 1524) on Wednesday, 14 November from 5:00-6:00 pm. Please join PADI in celebrating these heroes and thanking them for their courage and honor.

PADI Digital Core Courses Expand Reach

As part of PADI’s ongoing mission to expand independent study materials and enhance the PADI digital product suite, we’re expanding the number of language offerings for the PADI Open Water Diver, Freediver™ and Enriched Air Diver educational course materials. Making the PADI eLearning experience accessible to even more students across the globe.

Scuba diving is a sport/hobby/obsession that bridges borders and cultures, bringing people around the world together to enjoy the underwater environment. But people around the world have different needs and, more importantly, speak different languages.  PADI accounts for this when creating its eLearning products.

The PADI organization is making it easier for PADI Divers to access learning materials, with a digital suite of core courses that are easy to purchase, download and use. Now, these materials are offered in more languages than ever before too – further demonstrating that PADI truly is the way the world learns to dive.

What’s new?

  • PADI Open Water Diver – Open Water Diver now available in seven new languages: Czech, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Russian and Turkish.
  • PADI Freediver – Along with the existing English, the popular Freediver program is now available in 10 additional languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, with Korean, Thai, and Russian soon to follow.
  • PADI Enriched Air Diver – 22 languages: English, Arabic, Danish, Dutch, French, Finnish, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, with Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Indonesian, Thai, Hebrew and Polish soon to follow.
  • Advanced Open Water Diver: Coming soon!

Important to note: The PADI Library app will reflect these changes. If divers have automatic updates turned on in their device settings, the app will update automatically.  If not, they will need to make sure they update their app.

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, be sure to update your eLearning preferences in your account to reflect the courses and languages you support.

Keep an eye out as more updates to the eLearning experience are coming soon.

Get the Most out of Black Friday

Black Friday has grown in the public imagination over recent years – it is common to see retailers offering huge discounts for their goods on the 23rd November.

How does a small business capitalise on a big event like this?

Here at PADI we wanted to share some key ideas to help you make the most of Black Friday 2018.

  • Create a sense of urgency:

The buzz around Black Friday only works because the offers you make are unique. There are lots of excuses for extending the event (Cyber Monday has essentially become a way of offering things throughout the weekend) but be sure to limit yourself – if your customers can get the offer any time, they won’t feel an urgency to buy from you now.

  • Reward loyal customers:

Your marketing reach is probably going to be most effective at reaching your existing customer base. They’re the ones who have shopped from you before, and they are the ones most likely to recognise the benefits of your offers. PADI continuing education courses are best used for this.

  • Don’t just discount – upsell:

Simply reducing the cost of your courses on Black Friday is unlikely to truly benefit your business – you simply give away profit and end up working harder for less. Your best option is to encourage people to buy full price, and get something extra as a result as a reward.

  • “Buy two, get one free”:

This is a classic sales technique that is easily deployed. Your customers choose two items and get a third item free. You need to look carefully at your profit margin on the first two items to ensure that the offer works, however used correctly this is a great way to encourage customers to increase their average purchase price.

  • Keep It Simple:

Too many offers can be confusing for you, your staff and your customers. Pick a couple of attention grabbing headlines and use these to encourage consumers to your store. Even if they don’t take the offer in the end, you have a chance for them to see all the other products you have available.

So how might these offers look in real life? We’ve put together a few simple ideas that you could use in your store. You can use these are they are, or you could use them as inspiration to then make your own offers:

The Upsell:

Target your Rescue Divers from the last two years and offer them a free gift if they register for a Divemaster course with you during Black Friday. They should be required to pay a deposit on the course over the weekend in order to secure the offer. You need to ensure that the price of the course includes enough profit to cover the cost of the gift.

Example advert: Change your life and become a PADI Pro by completing your PADI Divemaster course with ABC Dive centre – BLACK FRIDAY OFFER! Register for your Divemaster course during Black Friday by paying a deposit and receive a PADI towel valued at £35 completely free of charge!

The Buy Two Get One Free:

Target your Advanced Open Water Divers and offer them a free Oxygen Administration course when they register for their EFR and Rescue Diver course. O2 is an easy course to add one, with minimal extra time commitment, and a high perceive value

Example advert: Serious Fun! Become a PADI Rescue Diver today! BLACK FRIDAY OFFER! Register for your EFR and Rescue Diver course during Black Friday, and complete your PADI Emergency Oxygen Administrator Specialty complete free of charge!

The Customer reward / sense of urgency:

Target your Open Water Divers and offer them a reduced price on a Specialty course if they sign up within a certain time-frame:

Example advert: Thank you from ABC Dive Centre – BLACK FRIDAY OFFER! As a thanks to our loyal customers, we are offering a 10% discount on Dry Suit Specialties to everyone who has trained as an Open Water Diver with us during 2018. Limited spaces available – contact the store on Black Friday to book your training now!

 Business advice is available to all PADI Dive Centre owners – if you’d like ideas and support for promotions during Black Friday, contact your Regional Manager (Emma.Hewitt@padi.com or Matt.Clements@padi.com) today!

Trade Shows: Thinking outside of the box!

During the month of September, few diving centers in the Middle East started exploring alternative ways to promote the diving industry and therefore increase diver’s acquisition.

The idea behind that is really simple yet very effective: attending non-diving related events / trade shows with the aim of attracting enthusiastic people interested in:

  • Increasing emotional well being
  • Visiting paradisiacal places
  • Connecting with nature
  • Building long lasting friendships
  • Feeling freedom
  • Increasing confidence and self esteem

There are several similar events regularly taking place in your region, just think about this: where could I meet people matching the characteristics above? …that’s the place where you want to exhibit, share your passion and attract new souls in discovering the beauty of the underwater world!

Here below some successful examples:

Dive Holics – Jeddah – Saudi Arabia

 

attending one of the several events scheduled for The National Day

 

Nautilus Diving – Kuwait City – Kuwait

 

attending the Outdoor Sports and Safari Show

 

Gulf Marine – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates

 

attending the International Hunting and Equestrian exhibition