By now, the COVID-19 crisis has infiltrated communities globally, and the diving community is no exception. Indeed, as health care workers, scientists and world leaders work to overcome this challenge, organizations within the diving industry are turning their focus to how we can support each other in this unprecedented time of need.
Here’s a roundup of some of the major players in the diving industry and what they’re doing to get us through to the other side — happy, healthy, and ready to go diving again.
In a generous move to support its instructors during this massive upheaval, AIDA has announced that it will waive all instructor renewal fees for 2021. The hope is that this move will encourage thousands of AIDA instructors to feel reassured that AIDA has their back while they navigate the coming months with little to no income from freediving.
The executive team shares their thoughts, “AIDA appreciates that everyone’s priority now is to maintain a safe and reassuring social environment and will continue taking steps in support of their instructors and the freediving community as a whole.”
The clever folks at AP Diving have invented a cheap adapter to allow O2 pin index regulators to be fitted to scuba tanks, increasing the availability of O2 in the community. With hundreds of technical divers all over the world sitting on cylinders of 80-100 percent O2, this invention is likely to be welcomed by those wishing to help struggling relatives. Over 400 have already been produced and given away, with more in production as we speak. For more details, check out the AP Diving Facebook page.
Cressi is doing their bit in the fight against COVID-19 by sharing their own safety guidelines, which you can see here. What’s more, the team is championing what innovative doctors in Italy and Spain have done with their Duke dry full-face snorkeling mask in order to keep patients and doctors safe. Spanish speakers can check out the video above for more details. English speakers can read about it here.
Divers Alert Network (DAN)
In line with the organization’s keen focus on health and safety in diving, DAN has released a set of COVID-19 guidelines. Invaluable for any diver still able to dive at this time (as well as those of us simply dreaming of it), tips include advice on how to disinfect your gear effectively without causing damage. For the full recommendations, click here.
To keep your connection with the ocean alive and well, Divesoft is hosting a weekly online DIVETALKS livestream, revolving around the passion of diving. Hosted by Joseph Jonathon Bosquez every Thursday afternoon, each session invites a famous or noteworthy diver to recount their unique stories of the past and share their thoughts on the future of diving. Interaction is encouraged. To join in the livestreams, head to the Divesoft Facebook page.
Emperor’s solution to dive travel in a time of huge uncertainty is this: hold your space for free — no deposit required. That’s right, for any date from July 1st onward, you can reserve your spot with Emperor Divers by simply contacting the team or your favorite dive travel operator. Once bans are lifted and ‘normality’ returns, you’ll pay a low deposit (€200, £180 or $250 per person).
Via social media from April till June, Explorer Ventures is curating and re-sharing lots of ocean-inspired activities, family entertainment, and underwater highlight tours so you can #BeAnExplorerAtHome. Plus, they’re hosting a Facebook Live Happy Hour to talk all things diving with Explorer Ventures’ President Clay McCardell, industry Veteran Peter Hughes, and host Greg the Divemaster from ScubaRadio on May 14th, 1 p.m. PST/4 p.m. EST. The team is also using this down time for extra training and deep cleaning, so each vessel is in top form for the first group of guests returning to diving.
As COVID-19 arrived in the Philippines, the clever team at Hammerhead Spearguns took fast action in turning their wetsuit factory into the Hammerhead Surgical Mask Factory. For more info, check out their Facebook page.
Ocean Reef, which usually produces full-face diving and snorkeling masks, has created an adaptor which can be fitted to their snorkeling product. This small addition transforms it into a legitimate COVID-19 protection mask. What’s more, the adaptor is now being modified to work on other full-face snorkeling mask brands, like Easybreath and Aqua Lung.
Besides creating ocean-themed face masks from recycled ocean plastic, PADI is constantly creating and sharing fresh content to keep our connection with the ocean alive. Check out their Earth Day video or head to the PADI Community page for more.
To help us all stay sane while stuck at home, the underwater photography gurus at Paralenz have compiled a list of four practical steps you can take as a diver to keep yourself fit and healthy within the confines of your own home. Tips include regular exercise, meditation, breathing techniques and searching for inspiration for your next dive trip.
The wonderful people at Shark Angels have decided to offer their shark webinars free of charge for all. This is great news for any shark enthusiasts missing the deep blue, as well as parents looking for fresh ways to keep kids engaged in home schooling. To get involved, head to the Shark Angels website.
Pro Dive International
To encourage you to book your dive travel without really knowing what the future holds, Pro Dive International is offering a 25 percent discount across all diving and snorkeling activities. Your reservation can be used any time in the next five years, providing unrivaled flexibility.
Whether it’s actively fighting the spread of COVID-19, bringing the ocean direct to your home, offering inspiration or peace of mind as well as great offers on future dive travel, there’s a lot going on in the industry to be hopeful about.