PADI® Members around the world are taking action for the ocean, their businesses, the dive industry, and their local communities – hope is certainly rising. Here are a few examples of inspiring #PADIPeople who are creating positive change amid the pandemic.
Reaching New Audiences Unconventionally in India: Temple Adventures
In January, PADI Instructor and co-founder of Temple Adventures in India, S.B. Aravind, organized the first underwater Hindu wedding. The ceremony took place at a depth of about 18 meters (60 feet) in the Bay of Bengal – under the guidance of Aravind. Amazingly, this underwater wedding was chosen as a way to spread awareness about the damaging effects of ocean pollution.
While the groom was already a certified diver, the bride started her diving journey in the months leading up to the wedding. The couple donned traditional clothes and exchanged customary garlands during the ceremony, before returning to the surface to celebrate with their families. This scuba love story brought so much hope, it’s been written about by numerous news outlets including the BBC.
Implementing Successful Instructor Development Programs in Honduras: Course Directors Nick DeRutter, Josiah Mackin, and Grace Williams
Three PADI Course Directors – Josiah Mackin of Utila Dive Center, Nick DeRutter of Bay Islands College of Diving, and Grace Williams of Underwater Vision – have done remarkable work to keep successful instructor development programs running in Utila during this time.
“Here at Utila Dive Center we’ve been very fortunate to be running successful IDCs as of our reopening on October 1st, 2020. Three key points have allowed us to get the instructor training program back in swing and gaining momentum in 2021. First, when borders were closed, we invested in the business by renovating our facilities and training our staff. Second, we maintained open communication with all the trainees who had to defer their plans due to the pandemic – eLearning was a huge help in keeping them engaged. Lastly, once we reopened we’ve used social media to be transparent and open about all the measures and precautions we’re taking to create a safe and relaxed atmosphere for people to come down and take the next step in their professional development!” – Josiah Mackin, Utila Dive Center
“When we were in complete lockdown and unable to run courses at all, I wrote a book specifically aimed at people looking to go into the SCUBA industry. The PADI IDC is of course a great program, but I wanted to create a supplemental book that people could start reading to get their heads in the right space, check their professionalism, and get motivated to make their IDC a success. When we finally could reopen but travel to the island was still restricted, we started a training program for local Honduran youth – completely free of charge. The goal was to hand them the tools to be the first ones to engage in the local economy in a sustainable way as it reopened. Many went from uncertified to divemaster, and some completed the Instructor Development Course.” – Nick DeRutter, Bay Islands College of Diving
“When the news of COVID-19 hit Utila, no one knew how long we were going to be in lockdown. Instead of completely shutting the business, we were able to continue doing theory related learning with our remaining divers and, as lockdown requirements changed, we were able to send out boats to finish off courses (mostly Divemasters in training). We kept in constant contact with our IDC candidates whose IE was delayed due to the lockdown, so when the borders opened and PADI Staff were able to fly in to conduct the IE, we were ready and waiting with students. Some of our candidates stayed on the island the whole time. Others flew in as soon as we told them there was going to be an IE. They wanted to return to support Underwater Vision and Utila because we had done our best to support them during lockdown.” – Grace Williams, Underwater Vision
Spreading Goodwill and Attracting Future Travelers in Egypt and Around the Globe: Emperor Divers
Emperor Divers in Egypt has launched a “COVID Diver Heroes” initiative that will reward eight heroes with free liveaboard trips in the Red Sea or Maldives.
“This initiative is our way of saying thank you to all the people who have taken a selfless interest in looking after the vulnerable in their community.” – Luke Atkinson, Emperor Divers’ Manager
Do you know a diver who’s been heroic this past year? Visit Emperor Divers’ Facebook Page to learn how to nominate a diver you know who’s deserving of a free liveaboard trip. A multinational panel of Emperor Divers’ most loyal and compassionate staff will judge the entries and pick a winner every two weeks from 28 February until 14 June.
Share Your Hope Rising Stories with #PADIPeople
There is hope rising everywhere. We’ll continue to amplify stories like these with fellow PADI Members and divers to inspire, excite and accelerate recovery by demonstrating the spirit of #PADIPeople around the world.
Share your own stories about how you are making a difference, and the better days that are possible right now through diving. Simply post descriptions, photos or videos to your social media channels, tagging PADI and #PADIPeople.
Business of Diving / Business Support, COVID, hope rising, PADI peoplePADI Pros