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Published on : Thursday, November 14, 2013
The certificate is available to anyone who has completed the first part of a Microdive 3-metre (10-feet approx) course and it proves that they can scuba dive safely in a swimming pool without supervision. This is expected to be a strong attraction for families staying in resort hotels and holiday parks from where they can rent equipment and enjoy the unique experience of swimming and playing underwater in a warm, safe, environment in their own time and free from control by diving instructors.
The Pool Diver certificate is gained after completing the first and most important part of a Microdive 3-metre training course. It requires the students to read and understand a colourful 50-page training brochure in their own time and to watch an accompanying DVD. By answering a questionnaire based on what they have seen and read, again in their own time, they will be able to confirm that they have gained all of the diving theory needed for Microdiving to 3-metres. An instructor will check the answers to the questionnaire and confirm that the students are ready to complete the in-water stage of their training. They will be shown how to assemble and use the scuba equipment and how to perform essential tasks such as controlling buoyancy or clearing a flooded mask. If, after two 20-minute dives in the pool, the instructor is satisfied that they have demonstrated the necessary level of proficiency, they will be officially registered as Pool Divers and qualified to use scuba equipment in a swimming pool anywhere in the world. Because the qualification is available to children as young as 12 and can be achieved in a morning, it is expected to have a strong appeal with families looking for a new activity that they can enjoy together. It is also expected to appeal to hotels and resorts that can generate income from tuition and equipment rental fees.
For students who want to go beyond the pool and explore the shore and shallow reefs near their hotel, or for boat owners who need to investigate the underside of their craft, it is then a simple matter to achieve a 3-metre Microdive qualification. Two 30-minute dives in the sea or a lake with an instructor are all that is needed to complete their Microdive 3-metre training. They are then qualified for life to dive unsupervised to that depth anywhere in the world.
Rob Hart, the UK inventor of Microdiving explained how it makes scuba diving accessible to more people. “Microdiving succeeds by breaking the scuba experience down into bite-size chunks that require less training to be enjoyed safely,” he said. “Traditional scuba courses teach people to dive to 18-metres which is quite deep and, for many people, rather scary. The student must learn a great deal to swim safely at these depths so training is consequently slow and expensive. Because diving in shallow water is simpler and safer Microdivers can learn to dive to 3-metres in a day or to 9-metres in two days. If the Microdiver finds later that 9-metres is not deep enough, an 18-metre open water course run by any of the recognized training agencies will satisfy their ambitions. The main benefit of Microdiving is that it enables anyone to enjoy some level of scuba diving without making a major commitment in time and money towards a more demanding 18-metre open water course.”
“We have now broken scuba diving down into its most basic elements by creating an inexpensive qualification that confirms a person’s ability to dive in a swimming pool unsupervised down to 3-metres (10-feet approx). This opens up an entirely new range of recreational and profit-making opportunities for swimming pools and leisure parks which can provide their facilities and rent-out scuba equipment so that whole families can enjoy the fun of diving together in a warm and safe environment throughout the year. It provides a qualification that can be gained in a morning and enjoyed for life at that level or upgraded to open water diving later.” It will give a family the opportunity to enjoy new and different in-water games and to play together in a warm and safe environment.”