What is SCUBA?

SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. It is the equipment developed by the world-famous underwater explorer and conservationist - Jacques Cousteau together with Emile Gagnan in the mid-forties for the French navy during the Second World War. After the war, diving turned into a recreational sport which has since been taken up by millions worldwide.

Who are the major certification agencies?

SSI (Scuba Schools International), PADI (Professional association of Diving Instructors),and various small clubs teach and certify divers.

Why dive?

The only answer to this question is - Why Not? There is truly no greater "high" than an exhilarating dive in crystal clear waters with plenty of colourful coral and fish!! Diving offers different things to different people. The list includes appreciating nature at its colourful best, marine conservation, photography, exploring shipwrecks, observing and studying sea life, navigation, search and rescue, etc. Primarily, diving is a social sport and generally divers tend to be a very easy-going lot who make a lot of friends without hang-ups.

Isn't diving dangerous?

Definitely - if you are not properly qualified or ignore the rules. If, on the other hand, you are properly qualified, follow all the basic rules and act responsibly, it is much safer than trying to cross the street in most major cities during rush hour!! The only REAL danger of diving is that you get addicted to it!!

What about SHARKS?

What about them? Approximately 5 million sharks were killed by humans in 1998 alone - intentionally or unintentionally as opposed to a handful of shark attacks on people in the last decade!! Try and figure out who is more dangerous!!

Divers have something more to worry about than sharks - themselves!! Most diving accidents happen due to the errors made by divers than due to attacks by marine animals. While it is true that sharks are voracious eaters, the following facts must be taken into account.

There are more than 375 species of sharks of which only a few have been involved in human attacks. Humans are not the natural prey of sharks and they generally tend to avoid all contact with humans. Attacks on humans have been very rare and have mostly been a case of mistaken identity or provocation on the part of divers. Most of the time the sharks have mistaken the divers to be their primary food source - seals.

In conclusion, Jaws has portrayed a very wrong picture of these magnificent creatures which are an extremely important link in the food chain of the oceans. While it would be foolhardy to treat them as docile pets, they should certainly not be thought of as mindless monsters waiting for you to jump in the water!!

Can I dive wearing contact lenses?

There are essentially two types of contact lenses: hard contacts and soft contacts. Hard (gas-permeable) contacts will often float off an open eyeball underwater. So, if you flood your mask, ensure you keep your eyes closed. You will never find a contact lens after it has left the eye since they are essentially invisible under water.

I would not recommend any water sports with hard lenses. Soft contact lenses contain their own percentage of salt water (same concentration as blood, which is much lower than seawater), so a flooded mask is much less of a problem. My advice is to dive with disposable soft contacts (not permanent ones) because, in the unlikely event of losing one, they're cheap to replace.

All contacts can become irritating in a dive mask and you can't rub your eyes to fix it. An alternative is prescription masks which optometrists regularly construct. There are very reasonably-priced ones and very unreasonably-priced prescription masks; so do your homework first. The success of these is dependent upon your prescription, so consult your optometrist first.

Are the certification cards of SSI and PADI recognized all over the world?

Yes, it doesn’t matter with which organization you have learned to dive. So, if a PADI Open Water diver for example wants to dive with an SSI Dive centre, that’s perfectly fine. This counts certification cards of all dive organizations.

I have done my Open Water Diver course with PADI, can I do my Advanced Course with SSI or the other way around?

Yes, you can cross between PADI and SSI as much as you like for the recreational dive levels. Their levels are quite similar and certification of another dive organization is totally accepted. As noted all standards are set forth by the RSTC (Recreational Scuba Training Council).

If I forgot to bring my certification card with me, will I still be able to dive?

Both SSI and PADI have an online system and since we are affiliated with both PADI and SSI, we will be able to look you up. If a dive centre is not affiliated with the organization you have done your course with, they can contact them to see if you are in the system. A signed logbook also helps.

If I forgot to bring my certification card with me and I don’t show up in the system, will I still be able to dive?

No, we need to see proof of certification before we take you on a dive, regardless of training agency or experience level.

Do I need to have a medical before scuba diving?

It is not a pre-requisite to have a medical before scuba diving, however if you have a pre-existing medical condition which affects your ears, sinus, respiratory and circulatory systems, or have had recent surgery it is advisable to consult a Diving Physician before you leave home. Before starting a diving course you must go through a medical questionnaire.

What if I cannot complete my dive course?

If you cannot complete your course with us for any reason, we can refund you some money for what needs still to be done. We will give you a "referral form" and you will have a maximum of 12 months to complete it with us or with any other dive school around the world.