Your safety and the safety of our staff is our highest priority!
Dive skills and tasks vary depending on the dive site, weather conditions and the dive objective at hand, but we will always dive within the limits set by the students dive qualification and ability.
Students will gain a lot of dive experience throughout the marine field course and students that wish to advance their dive qualifications and skills can do so through professional training by PADI dive instructors. There will also be a dive research methods skill orientation/training workshop to train students in the specific research project protocols required.
We monitor the weather and observe the sea conditions before every water activity, and the skipper OR dive master will make a decision as to whether the task objective can be successfully achieved based on these conditions. If the answer is no, then the excursion will be cancelled and an alternative itinerary will be organised.
Before any research diving or data collection begins, all divers will go through a period of acclimatization/assessment dives in week 1. Those not qualified to dive will be PADI open water level qualified in this week. Area specific briefings, dive briefings and objectives will be given before each dive so each person knows their task at hand and the equipment being used, buddy checks and dive safety checks will be done pre-dive and a detailed debrief will be given after dives.
We expect any diver who has not dived for 6 months to partake in a dive refresher course before they dive, either before their trip or upon arrival in our training pool. Please bring your dive cards and logbook to show on arrival. We can check the qualification of PADI, NAUI and SSI divers online. If you have lost your card, it may be easier for you to contact your Dive School and organise a replacement before you arrive.
All dive Staff, Skippers and Admin staff are trained and regularly refreshed in Diving First Aid and Oxygen Provision. We have emergency oxygen and first aid kits on each boat. The equipment we use is serviced regularly and the dive boats are certified and regularly inspected by the South African Maritime Safety Authority and South African Police Service.
What we expect from our students:
- Listen carefully to your dive and boat briefings, if you are not sure ask questions
- If you are unsure about your capability to make a given dive or research task, speak to our dive professional/biologist, we will help by choosing a different site, providing advice or buddying you up with a dive professional/biologist
- If you are using your own equipment, make sure it is serviced at least once a year.
- Dive equipped with a computer, SMB and reel if possible (at least one in each buddy pair/group).
- Stay hydrated, particularly during our hot summer days.
- No alcohol intake up to 12 hours before a dive and do not dive with a hangover.
- If you are prone to seasickness, let us know if you have taken any medication and tell the skipper/biologist so we can give you the best position on the boat.
- If you experience any signs or symptoms of Decompression Illness, or even if you just do not feel right, inform the dive staff immediately.
- We strongly recommend dive insurance. Divers Alert Network (DAN) is recommended.