Diving in international waters

24 March 2003

Diving experts: (From left) Daniel Martin with Tom Herbstein and Nick Kenneth-Watts of the UCT Underwater Club.

WITH THE northern hemisphere ushering in summer and international holiday resorts preparing for the hoards of holidaymakers seeking fun in the sun, some experienced divers looking to make extra money doing what they love best are currently participating in an eight-day international diving instructors programme, being hosted by the UCT Underwater Club.

Daniel Martin, a PADI course director, is currently instructing a class of nine divers in the PADI-run, Independent Development Course (IDC), which will qualify them as PADI open water diving instructors.

An internationally renowned recreational scuba diving and snorkelling company that is recognised by the Recreational Scuba Training Council, PADI offers diving enthusiasts packaged holidays and internationally accredited instructors courses in 175 countries. According to Martin, the current eight-day training programme requires a strict minimum of six months' diving experience and at least 100 dives.

“At this level, [IDC] divers are doing an instructor programme, and after eight days independent PADI examiners check that that they have met all the requirements before they can move on to the two-day intensive testing session,” he explained.

Martin said that the eight-day programme includes sessions on open water, confined water, academic teaching presentations and theory exams. “When you qualify from this course, you can work anywhere in world. We are based in 175 countries, so it is quite a nice way to travel.

“With the growth of tourism in South Africa, there are many opportunities, especially in Cape Town,” he enthused.

According to Martin, the UCT Underwater Club facilities were the best on offer in Cape Town and saved PADI from having to drive out to Strand.

“Cape Town is struggling with diving facilities and before we had to drive 40 minutes to the Strand pool. Now we have a good operation, at club level, already in place. And that helps us out enormously when it comes to training, because everything we need is already on-site.”

The IDC course is run three times a year in Cape Town, and the next sessions will take place in July and December.

At R15 000, the diving course does not come cheap, but according to Nick Kenneth-Watts, registered PADI open diving instructor and diving officer with UCT Underwater club, the opportunities that are open to qualified diving instructors are well worth the cost.

“It does not take long to make it [the R15 000] back. I have done a lot of travelling since I qualified and it sure beats bartending,” he remarked, adding that his part-time vocation was definitely a more economical way to travel, since employers covered the cost.

For more information contact, email Nick Kenneth-Watts.

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