Where is my logbook?

“Where is my logbook?”

Is this the first question you ask yourself when you are preparing to go diving? As a PADI Pro, perhaps it’s the first question your customers ask themselves after the meet and greet? Despite putting them in a ‘safe place’, our logbooks and certification cards have a tendency to disappear – especially after a long break from diving over the winter or between holidays.

To help avoid frantic searches, here’s 5 tips to help you – and your customers – keep hold of this essential diving accessory:

#1 – Logbook Binders

PADI training logbooks have three punch-holes for a reason: so that they can be stored safely in the PADI logbook binder. Get your students into the good habit of using the binder for storing their logbook and a pen so they are ready to log their dives at any time. Plus, in the front and back are spaces to store certification cards and the RDP.

2 – Logbook Pages and Card Holders

More experienced divers (including PADI Pros) who want to log their recreational dives can also add the red logbook or refill pages to the logbook binder (which also comes with three punch holes for this purpose). If you need more storage for certification cards you can get vinyl card holders, keeping everything tidy and safe in one place.

#3 – PADI eCards

Another possibility is to get an eCard. With an electronic certification card (eCard) on their mobile device, students can easily have their certification verified by any PADI Instructor or PADI Dive Center they are planning to dive with.

PADI eCards are stored in the PADI App so your students won’t need to worry about losing or forgetting their plastic certification card, and will be prepared for any impromptu diving opportunities whilst travelling.

PADI Open Water Diver students get an eCard for free for 30 days, after which time they can easily purchase one should they wish to. Renewed PADI Pros get pro-level eCards included as part of their membership benefits.

#4 – Digital Logbooks

Don’t forget, there’s also the option to log dives digitally via the PADI App and ScubaEarth. Just download the PADI App and show your student how easy it is to log their PADI Open Water Diver training dives, and recreational dives – straight from their mobile device.

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#5 – Keep Diving!

But the best tip is… don’t have a break! Keep diving! Don’t give your logbook the chance to disappear into the depths of your cupboards. Give your divers the opportunity to join you for fun dives, continued education or diving holidays. Keep them involved with socials and local events. You could even run a “logbook of the year” competition! No more lost logbooks for you and your divers!

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Order PADI sales products and training materials 24/7, 365 days a year by using the PADI e-Shop via the PADI Pros’ Site, or contact your local Sales Consultant at [email protected] or +44 (0) 117 3007234 during business hours.

Is the PADI Rescue Diver Course for everybody?

Let’s hear marketing expert Ornella Ditel’s opinion, after she completed her PADI Rescue Course!

orn3Tell us something about yourself?

My name is Ornella Ditel and I am responsible for Sales & Marketing at Camel Dive Club & Hotel, the historical scuba diving hub in the heart of Sharm El Sheikh.

I started working at Camel five years ago, but I moved to Sharm in 2007, after my Bachelor Degree in Marketing and Communication and after having worked in different parts of the world in the diving tourism related field. In Sardinia (Italy) I’ve worked as a counter girl for a popular diving centre; in Thailand, I worked as a snorkeling guide and as a diving boat hostess; and in Australia I worked both on diving safari boats and land based.

My passion for scuba diving started thanks to my ex-partner who is a PADI Instructor and underwater photographer. He struggled to convince me to try diving, as in the beginning I was scared to death and firmly declined his many attempts to even making me try breathing through a regulator on the surface!

What is your diving background?

I did the PADI DSD experience in 2004 and then repeated it in 2005 twice before I finally signed up for the PADI Open Water Course the same year. As many beginners, I’ve been one of my instructor’s worst nightmares as I truly struggled in some of the skills, like clearing the mask or performing the CESA. I have very clear memories of myself in the Camel Dive Club swimming pool thinking of aborting the course and just stick to snorkeling! At that time I was a guest at Camel. I think that if it wasn’t for the patience of my partner and the bubbling atmosphere that you experience at Camel, I would have never realized that scuba diving was what I love the most.

orn1A few months later, I signed up for the PADI Advanced Course and Nitrox Specialty, which I thought would have remained my final diving certifications for life. Although many of my diving friends used to encourage me in continuing my training up to a professional level, I have never been interested in it. I love scuba diving, but thinking of being responsible for teaching diving skills to horrible students as I was or guiding inexperienced divers is not really “my thing”.

What made you decide to enroll in the PADI Rescue Course?

Although I have never been interested in becoming a diving professional, during every dive I always keep an eye on other divers, and somehow feel I should have an active role in making every dive a pleasant and safe experience for the group I am in.

12In various occasions, especially in diving destinations with poor visibility and strong currents, I faced some problems and helped other divers to calm down or to fix small issues with their equipment, and mine, both underwater and on the surface. It also happened that I could feel that some divers I was with were not feeling relaxed about the next dive, because of the potential sightings or difficult weather conditions, for example. In those cases, I thought that improvising or ignoring certain issues could not have a happy ending all the times, so I clearly felt the need to develop my knowledge and learn the adequate techniques to assist other divers in need. That’s why in 2014 I signed up for the PADI Emergency First Responder Course, which is a pre-requisite for the PADI Rescue Course. I did the Course with the tuition of my fantastic colleague Beth Sanders along with my former boss at Camel who was also a PADI Instructor that wanted to refresh her EFR skills. I loved the course and I decided right away that after a few years of being a fun diver it was time for me to commit to something more serious and potentially beneficial not only for myself but also for my diving buddies.

Do you believe is a useful course?

I now believe that the PADI Rescue Course and the EFR Course are the most challenging yet most useful and rewarding milestones of my qualifications in general, not only within the scuba diving field.

Whilst my training was kicking in, moment-by-moment I was surprised and happy to realize that I knew what the next step should have been. I truly loved the fact that performing rescue skills provide instant feedback and that the challenge and the skills are somehow in balance.

90Was it challenging?

The Rescue Course for me was quite tiring but also very good fun! It needs concentration and commitment and sometimes the thought that the scenarios I was getting trained in could have been real life situations was about to put me off. However, in other occasions like transporting the unconscious diver on the surface, I could not stop laughing with my buddy student after we completed the skills! He had eaten some quite spicy stuff, so the simulated rescue breaths had a smelly addition which I am sure I’d have never noticed in a real emergency, but which was hilarious in that circumstance, whilst definitely also worked as a good hook to remember the techniques we were learning!

000073What did you like most?

The aspect of the Course which I enjoyed the most was the feeling of usefulness that pervaded me when I stopped being paranoid and realized that if any of the scenarios would have happened, my presence as a EFR and Rescue Diver could have saved someone’s life. This is priceless, in my opinion.

Con-Ed; Grenada; 2012

Will you recommend the PADI Rescue Course to other divers?

I definitely recommend this Course to fellow divers, and not only to those who plan to become Divemasters or Instructors. Certified Rescue divers are probably the best buddies any diver could dream for. Wouldn’t we all feel safer if we’d know that all our diving buddies would be ready to assist in case of need? I definitely would! And I am not necessarily referring to dreadful and serious situations… sometimes divers can face small issues which may lead to surface earlier only because of the lack of knowledge of the proper ways to handle a non-standard situation.

With this Course I expanded upon the knowledge I had already acquired in previous scuba training. When I passed the final exam after the amazing tuition of Camel Instructor Francesco Pipino, I truly felt I took a giant step forward by taking everything that I already knew to a whole new level, and becoming a more confident diver who knows how to react in the event of an emergency.

DSC_0013In any learning situation, there is an old adage saying that to teach something is to really understand it. This thinking applies here as well. I believe that to feel comfortable helping others is to really feel comfortable with yourself in the water. Non-professional divers could achieve this comfort level over time with hundreds of dives, but taking a PADI Rescue Diver course will get you there much sooner.

The PADI Rescue Diver taught me transforming a threat into a challenge. With the Rescue Course, I did not become like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider but this Course definitely challenged me, forced me to push my limits forward and rewarded me immensely both on a scuba diving level and as a general personal achievement.

July & August Winners for PADI Member Recognition: Fins Scuba and Eddie Venter

Every day – from around the world – divers send PADI a steady stream of correspondence complimenting PADI Dive Centers and Resorts for outstanding customer service, and commending PADI Divemasters and Instructors for their professionalism and leadership abilities.

Each month, the PADI Member Recognition Committee reviews these submissions and selects one PADI Dive Center or Resort Member and one PADI Professional Member to be recognized as a global winner, an achievement which also features on the home page of the PADI Pros’ Site.

PADI EMEA is proud to announce that PADI Members from within the Europe, Middle East and Africa region were selected as global winners during July and August.

Team photo

During the month of July, Fins Scuba (S-7891, UK) was chosen as the Diver Education Center of the Month. Their achievement follows a nomination by Gemma at Galaxsea Divers who had received this praise from one of their customers:

“Today I met one of your customers called Luke from the university who has trained through you. Luke popped in as he is home for the holidays and wanted to check out his local diving centre. I had a lovely chat with Luke and felt I should email you to let you know how highly Luke thinks of you. He had so much positive things to say about his experience with you which was wonderful.  I wanted to email you to let you know that Luke highly recommended you and had all good things to say.”

During the month of August, Eddie Venter (PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, South Africa) was selected as Diver Education Leader of the Month after being given the following recommendation from Ruan van Biljon:

eddie“This letter demonstrates my appreciation to one of the best PADI Instructors I have ever had. With his dedication to teaching others to dive and the level of professionalism that I received throughout my DM training I would recommend him to anyone that asks me for a PADI Instructor.

Learning to dive is rewarding as well as challenging, however with the flexible structure offered by Eddie I was able to complete the classroom and pool sessions easily as well as all the hands on work experience with new students, based around our work commitments.

With the amazing service that Eddie has provided us as well as the level of professionalism, I have already started looking for work as a DM”

Congratulations to both Fins Scuba and Eddie Venter for this exceptional achievement and for their professionalism and dedication to diver training and customer satisfaction!

Want to nomination someone for a future award? If you have experienced outstanding service, or have received praise from a customer and would like to nominate a PADI Member for the PADI Member Recognition awards, please send your nominations to [email protected].

My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 1: Million Hope Wreck (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler)

“So what’s your favorite dive site?” asked a freshly scuba addicted student yesterday.
“Ummm… That’s a really hard question!” I’d replied.
He looked puzzled, “Why?”

Why indeed. I am a PADI Instructor, as are many of you. I am sure you get asked about your favorite dive site all of the time too – don’t you? What is your answer? How do you choose? How is it possible to remember every amazing experience underwater and then pick only one? It is almost always impossible. Diving is incredible in so many ways. You can enjoy a wreck dive as much as a wildlife dive, but we love them each for very different reasons.

So I thought I would write about my top 3 dive sites in this three-part blog series. Surely I can narrow it down to 3!

Dive Site 1: Million Hope Wreck

Location: Nabq Sharm El Sheikh
Description: Wreck
Length: 130 meters
Depth: 0-30 meters

Million Hope

This wreck has it all. It’s huge, it’s in shallow water, it’s covered in coral and teeming with life. This wreck is rarely dived due to its proximity to the shore line, and notoriously choppy waters make it hard to get there. However, if you are lucky enough to dive it you will be in for a real treat. It took me three trips to Egypt and many attempts by RIB before we had the right conditions to dive the Million Hope Wreck!

Why I love it…

Some of the ship is still visible above the surface but the majority is underwater. The shallow depth makes this wreck one of the most colourful and vibrant wrecks that I have ever seen. The traffic of fish was thick and the nudibranch were out in force. Beautiful.

It’s a big wreck! It is possible to get round it in one dive, although the use of nitrox to extend bottom time will make it a lot easier. This wreck sank in 1996 whilst heading for Cyprus. It was carrying fertilizer high in phosphates; the cargo had to be removed following an algae bloom, but there is still lots to see. The cranes that lie on the bottom create overhangs and there is even a Caterpillar crane at 22 meters; a bizarre addition to the dive that’s covered in colourful soft corals. The rotten seat and flooded controls are contrasted by the many scorpion, lion and glassfish that have made their home there.

Million Hope Wreck

White broccoli coral hangs from the ship’s stern but unfortunately the prop and rudder have been removed, leaving a void that the coral struggles to fill. It is one of the places on this ship that makes you feel very, very small! The hull is covered by enormous fire sponges and pajama slugs, as well as there being numerous starfish and pipefish clinging to it. There is a rotary telephone and a toilet seat in the sand surrounded by raspberry coral. There are penetration points everywhere; crew quarters, illuminated by various portholes; a work room complete with spanners on wall hooks, and where a piece of cloth still tied around an old radiator reminds us that this was a working ship.

You can also see the two boilers and twin six-cylinder engines before going up to make your safety stop. My “safety stop” lasted for more than 15 minutes! It was so beautiful between 3 and 5 meters that I could have stayed there forever.  The Million hope is a photographer’s dream – so full of natural light. The contrast of this huge rusty beast next to the multi-colored coral is one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen.

Million Hope Wreck

If you’ve enjoyed this article, watch this space for Part 2 next week!


Alexandra DimitriouAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a PADI Dive Center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner of Scuba Monkey Ltd and is writing a series of guest blogs for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

First PADI Instructor Examination in Gozo has 100% Pass Rate!

On the 19th and 20th September 2015, the first ever PADI Instructor Examination was conducted in Gozo. With candidates from Bubbles Dive Centre (Gozo) and Reefers and Wreckers (UK), it proved a great success with a 100% pass rate!

Congratulations to all of the new PADI Instructors, and many thanks to the Course Directors and Dive Centre owners who helped to arrange the event.

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Show your Dedication to Ocean Protection – Become a 100% AWARE Partner

100% AWARE - BalkySub SpainAre you an instructor or dive center who takes ocean protection to heart? We all want to keep our undersea world clean and healthy – not just for ourselves, but for the dive community, now and for future generations to come. If conservation is important to you and your business, consider becoming 100% AWARE.

Across the globe, PADI instructors and dive centers are committing to ocean protection through 100% AWARE partnerships. 100% AWARE partners support a healthy and abundant ocean by making a donation to Project AWARE on behalf of each student that they certify through PADI PIC Online.* 100% AWARE partners’ ongoing contributions make a difference by providing vital funds to support Project AWARE’s two core areas of focus: marine debris prevention and shark and ray protection.

2015 Project AWARE card choicesBest of all students certified through a 100% AWARE partner will receive the Project AWARE version of their PADI certification card, so that they can proudly display their support and remember their positive experience with you! Divers value practices that protect the ocean and want to dive with instructors and dive centers that share their values – show them that you care!

Ready to get started? Follow these easy steps to become a 100% AWARE Partner:

1) Get started by submitting your 100% AWARE partner agreement. Individual instructors and dive centers may apply. You have the option to donate $10 per certification card, or a flat donation of $250 per month.
2) Log into POL using the PADI member number on your 100% AWARE agreement and select your choice of preferred certification card.
3) That’s it! All your certifications will be automatically issued as AWARE cards without making a donation to process.

It’s easy to get started! Effortlessly support ocean protection with every certification – the benefits are endless! If you need any help along the way, Project AWARE is here to help. Simply contact the Project AWARE Team or click here to learn more.

*With the exception of EFR, Seal Team and Tec Rec.

Using Instagram to Promote Your Dive Business

instagram-banner-webIf your social media activities are limited to Facebook, consider adding an Instagram account. The popular photo sharing app is easy to use and can help expose your business to a new demographic. Use Instagram to upload recent scuba class photos, your favorite underwater pics or marine life, and save time by automatically publishing your Instagram posts to your Facebook page.

Here are a few more good reasons to try Instagram:

  • Instagram users tend to be younger than the average Facebook user, they are also 25% more likely to earn a high income.
  • Instagram recently hit 300 million active monthly users – surpassing Twitter.
  • The best reason? Instagram will actually show your posts to all your followers (unlike Facebook).

Still not convinced? Check out this article.

Ready to get started?

  1. Sign up for an Instagram account and choose a username that represents your business and is easy for customers to remember, spell and search for.
  2. Add a profile photo (use your logo if possible) and a link to your website. Your profile image will appear as a small circle approx 150 x 150 pixels.
  3. Link your account to Facebook and/or other social networks.
  4. Each time you upload a photo, you’ll have the option to share to Facebook or whatever other social networks you’ve linked. You can also choose not to share on social and the photo will post only to Instagram.

Posting to Instagram

You can take a photo using your device’s camera, or use a picture already saved to your phone. If using a photo from your gallery, remember that Instagram sizes photos to perfect squares. Horizontal (landscape) photos be cropped.

Instagram best practices

Interact! Just like Facebook, you can receive notifications when customers interact with your account. For example, you can receive an alert when:

      • A user likes or comments on one of your photos.
      • A user @mentions you in a comment.
      • When your photo is posted to the Popular page.
      • When your account is tagged in another user’s photo

To receive notifications: click on the Settings wheel while viewing your profile. Scroll down and select Push Notification Settings. You can also edit your Share Settings from the options panel. To change the way you receive notifications from Instagram, exit the app hashtagsand access the Settings location. From there, find Instagram in the Notification Center and configure your app preferences.

Use tags such as #photooftheday #tbt #scuba #scubadiving. There’s no need to overboard with hastags, two or three are ideal. Tag your best scuba diving images #PADI and you could be our featured photo of the day. See recent favorites at: paditv on Instagram.

Include a location in your post, it can increase engagement by 79%.

Grow your followers
Search hashtags, location and Photos of You to find others’ posts about your business. Attract new followers by liking and commenting on their images.

Add Videos
You can record and post video clips from the Instagram app. To record video, press the camera button and and choose the video recorder option on the right. You can film one long video (or splice several short clips together). To create multiple clips, lift your finger off the record button. If you aren’t happy with a previous clip, delete it by pressing the delete arrow.

Looking for Instagram Inspiration?

If you’ve created your Instagram account but aren’t sure what to post, start following some of these dive shop and dive industry accounts to get ideas.

PADI on Instagram[email protected] (Georgia)
Orvil Clark (Oahu)
Dive in Ecuador
Project AWARE
Force E (Florida)
Sidey the Shark (Maldives)
SD Expeditions (San Diego, CA)
PADI

Check out the Instagram for Business blog for examples of how brands use Instagram.

Want more help?
If you’re just starting out in the world of Instagram or want to improve on your existing successes, book onto a PADI Business Academy to learn more about harnessing the power of online marketing, or, speak to your PADI Regional Manager.

Training Insights… EFR: Who else can you offer Emergency First Response courses to?

shutterstock_284644667Ask any of your customers (divers or non-divers) if they would know what to do if one of their friends or family had a medical emergency, and have the confidence to feel prepared. None of us like to think that we couldn’t help.

Emergency First Response (EFR) courses are a great way to get the non-diving friends and family of your existing customers involved in your dive centre, and act as an ice-breaker for introducing them to your dive crew and buddies.

Three Ideas for Broadening your Audience…

  • DSC02513Parents are keen to understand how they can be prepared to help their kids in times of need – why not offer the Care for Children course just for them?
  • In many countries, CPR and First Aid training is being introduced earlier into school curriculums. Try approaching your local school to offer training to your divers’ children, other children and even teachers! The Emergency First Response system has all the tools to keep kids engaged in the training – just check to make sure your schedule is suitable for the age and attention span of a younger audience.
  • shutterstock_228031189Good health may deteriorate as we get older and being prepared for potential emergencies can provide a welcome reassurance. Those who have already retired may find themselves with some extra time on their hands… perfect for completing and maintain their CPR and First Aid training.

If you’ve not harnessed the potential of EFR then get started today. For information on the training requirements for EFR courses, please contact [email protected].

New PADI Freediver program set to launch November 2015

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As PADI prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016, the organization is expanding beyond scuba diving to offer training in one of the fastest growing dive industry segments – freediving. Continuing the core business practice of delivering first in class instructional courses, the PADI Freediver program will debut in November at DEMA Show 2015 in Orlando, Florida, USA.

“The PADI Freediver program provides PADI Members with additional revenue generating opportunities by allowing them to expand their course offerings and reach a younger demographic,” says Mark Spiers, Vice President, Sales, Field Services, Marketing & Business Development at PADI EMEA. “PADI Freediver will also allow PADI Retail and Resort members to increase their equipment sales through a whole new category of product offerings”.

The PADI Freediver program is complete with student materials and instructional tools that follow the PADI educational philosophy, which makes it easy for qualified PADI Professionals to quickly start teaching. The course will feature quality, tablet-based training materials so students can access PADI Freediver Touch from the convenience of their tablets with or without an internet connection.  Like all PADI courses, the program was bred from first-hand experience as industry experts and competitive freedivers played a critical role in its development.

For more information regarding the PADI Freediver program, contact your PADI regional manager or sales consultant.

The New Online Processing Center is Now Live

The new Online Processing Center is now live and can be accessed via the PADI Pros Site and the PADI Pros’ Site Lite.

The new center has been developed using PADI Member feedback to ensure a more user friendly experience. The responsive design ensures it can be easily accessed from your mobile or tablet.

Some of the exciting enhancements to the Online Processing Center include:

  • Reorganization and simplified navigation.
  • Mobile optimization of all screens.
  • Simplified language and wording throughout the portal.
  • Downloadable reports for digital products in each status.
  • Digital codes scoreboard for a quick reference of your available codes.
  • Integrated tooltips to provide descriptions of each section or application.
  • Improved filtering and sorting options of digital code data.
  • Drop-down menu of languages.

The revised Online Processing Center has launched in multiple languages including English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.

Please note: the old PIC Online application has now been retired, and all online certifications will need to be processed via the new Online Processing Center.

If you have any additional questions, please contact PADI Training or Customer Services.

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