As a PADI Instructor I have always been aware(no pun intended) of the influence that I have over my student divers. With the new Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty I have a chance to support the organization during each and every IDC.
It is a privilege to be able to show someone what is under the surface of the water for the first time. I am sure that every instructor gets the same feeling when they see the look on their students face after that first dive. It is truly one of the most satisfying things and just another way that the ocean gives back to the people that have a connection with it. But what concerns me now is not what the ocean has given me (that list is too long) but what I can take from the ocean.
The human race has taken a lot from the ocean over time, but I think now is the time that we need to take the most. With the new Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty we can start to take back our trash and debris from the ocean. It’s the least we can do for something that has given so much to us.
Marine debris is one of the biggest ocean issues of our time. During the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty course divers gain the skills needed to conduct regular Dive Against Debris surveys and equip themselves with knowledge on the global marine debris problem.
Every time that an instructor teaches a new diver there is an opportunity to instill in them a respect for the underwater world and drive them to make positive and influential changes to help protect it.
The opportunity for instructors to make these changes in an individual is immense as we as instructors have a tremendous amount of influence on our students. With this much power in our hands it is less of an opportunity and more of a responsibility. We are the underwater ambassadors and have a duty to lead the charge with regards to protecting the ocean and effecting positive change in how our students interact with the ocean.
That is the reason that at Instructor Development Philippines we have included the Dive Against Debris Specialty Instructor course as part of our IDC at no extra cost. Gabrielle Holder(Atmosphere Resorts & Spa) and myself, Tim Latimer(Liquid Dive Dumaguete) created IDP to be able to offer the highest level of professional dive education. The opportunity to give new instructors the tools, skills and mentality to effectively use their influence is something we feel is our responsibility.
Our first 5 Dive Against Debris Specialty Instructors were a pleasure to teach. The classroom presentation from the staff was a great opportunity to talk about a topic that all professional divers have encountered.
IDP produced specifically designed debris bags that can be taken on every dive, not just official debris course dives or events. These debris bags were given away to the instructors and are now standard equipment for all Divemasters and Instructors in both Atmosphere and Liquid.
The new instructors had lots of fun teaching the classroom sessions to the group. But the most rewarding part was the time out of the IDC to do a Dive Against Debris dive. Both Course Directors and all candidates planned and co-ordinated a dive for the last morning before the IE. It was a great opportunity to get out on a dive as a group and at the same time to help clean up our “office”.
Our goal is not to just train instructors that can teach people to master dive skills and dive knowledge, but also in influencing the attitudes of their students towards the ocean. If we did anything less we would be shrinking from our duty as role model professional dive educators.
The Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty Instructor Course is something that we will be conducting on every IDC program that we offer.
Don’t let your dives go to waste. Take a giant stride towards protecting our ocean today.