Archive for November, 2011

Downbelow’s Net Removal Team Zaps Another One

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 @ 10:00 News, Project AWARE

Sabah, Borneo: Downbelow’s island crew cum Net Removal Squad found another net recently, and because it was stuck on Ribbon Reef, one of the park’s healthiest reefs, they had to move quickly.

Professional Diving Intern and then IDC Candidate Shevy (since qualified and now a PADI OWSI) got the opportunity to present the dive briefing for the net removal operation and gained valuable experience for his future career in the professional diving industry.

Resident Course Director Richard Swann lead the charge, taking the team by boat to the site of illegal net devistation.

Luckily the net had not been around for too long, and in a complicated operation requiring several dives, the net was delicately and slowly removed from the healthy reef, so as to avoid any damage whatsoever.

Having successfully removed the net saving the reef, it was returned to Downbelow’s PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre for reporting to Sabah Parks.

The net lives on, however, but in a life filled with good karma.

The island crew used it to make rubbish bags, which will be used in future Project AWARE clean-up events to collect rubbish with.

View the pictures from this net removal as well as other clean-up events on our Project AWARE Events picture page.

 

IDC Candidates Qualify as Scuba Instructors in Kota Kinabalu

Monday, November 28th, 2011 @ 17:06 IDC, News, Professional Diving Internships

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah: Congratulations are in order for our PADI IDC candidates, Steve and Shevy, who sat for and passed their PADI Instructor Exam this weekend on Gaya Island in Kota Kinabalu.

Both Shevy and Steve has been with us for the last month on Professional Scuba Diving IDC internships, preparing for the Instrutor Development Course and also gaining valuable experience about the diving industry.

This weekend past their IDC preparations came to fruition when they sat for the PADI Instructor Examination.

PADI Examiner Colin flew out from Sydney in Australia to assess Shevy, Steve and a few other IDC candidates from Kota Kinabalu and Sabah.

They both looked comfortable as they took on the challenging 2 days of the Instructor Examination and why wouldn’t they?

Preparation: The Key to Success

Thanks to the Downbelow internship and the support of resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann and his Go Pro Team, the required knowledge and skills objectives where already part of their daily routine.

All that was left was demonstrating their command it all during the PADI Instructor Examination, which they did in spades.

During the PADI IE graduation ceremony Saturday evening at the PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island, Steven and Shevy proudly received their PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certificates, signifying that they are now fully qualified PADI professionals.

Well done to you both and congratulations on your achievements.

Our next PADI IDC course is scheduled for February 2012. For more information on that and our other scheduled courses for 2012, please visit our next PADI IDC page or contact us for more details.

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935
Email: dive@divedownbelow.com

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!

IDC Candidates take to the water in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Friday, November 25th, 2011 @ 15:22 IDC, News, Professional Diving Internships

Sabah, Borneo: It’s all about demonstrating skills today as the PADI Instructor Examination takes place in the water in front of our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island.

The Instructor Development Candidates getting briefed by the PADI ExaminerOver the last month our professional scuba interns Shevy and Steve have worked hard in the build-up to the PADI Instructor Examination, and, at last, the day day has arrived.

The last 2 days required the candidates to demonstrate their hard work and knowledge on dry land and in water.

Today it all comes to a head when the PADI Examiner determines if they have walked the walk good enough to earn the distinction of becoming PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors.

Currently in the water, we know our resident PADI Course Director Richard isn’t worried.

Richard and his Go Pro IDC Team have worked with our candidates over the last month and have taught them all the finer details of not just being an instructor, but being a well rounded diving professional.

With Downbelow’s 100% success rate, there is little doubt that Shevy and Steve will emerge triumphantly.

With our November IDC wrapping up we looking forward to our next IDC, which is taking place in February and is now open for registration.

Want to become a scuba diving professional? Go Pro with Downbelow!

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935
Email: dive@divedownbelow.com

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!

IDC Candidates Prepping for Instructor Exams in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Sunday, November 20th, 2011 @ 10:00 IDC, News, Professional Diving Internships

Resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann giving exam advice to Steve and ShevyKota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Time flies when you’re having fun.

None more so than for Instructor Development Course candidates, Steven and Shevy, who have been at it for a week already.

With the PADI Instructor Exams now less than a week away, tension is building.

Resident Course Director Richard Swann knows better though: nothing beats nerves like being well prepared.

“Our candidates need not be nervous,” said Richard “Downbelow does, after all, have a 100% success rate.”

IDC candidates, Steve and Shevy, have both been doing an IDC Internship with Downbelow over the last month, which means they’ve spent a lot of time with Richard and his IDC Go Pro Team.

Shevy and Steve sitting for the practice physics exam“That’s the benefit of an internship,” Richard explained “you have so much time to practice, study and ask questions, that by the time the exam comes around everything should be second nature already.”

The candidates spent the weekend familiarising themselves with the theory exams with Richard giving advice about the best way to approach them.

They also sat for a practice physics exam, their first taste of Instructor exams.

The actual PADI Instructor Examination is taking place on 25 and 26 November in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

PADI Examiners fly out from Sydney, Australia especially for this instructor exam and to certify IDC candidates as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors, provided they pass the exams, of course.

The week ahead for our intrepid IDC candidates will be hard work and not easy. Then again, nothing worth achieving ever is.

Good luck Steve and Shevy!

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935
Email: dive@divedownbelow.com

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!

Staff Emergency First Response Course in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 @ 10:00 News

Wellson presents the Emergency First Response course to interns and boat captainsSabah, Borneo: Downbelow’s staff have been racking up some study hours at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island here in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Wellson, Downbelow’s Assistant Base Leader, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and EFR Instructor, has been teaching 2 of our boat captains and 1 of our interns the EFR Emergency First Response course.

Nearly all Downbelow’s staff, whether instructor, travel consultant, admin staff or driver, are EFR qualified.  Vital for some and an immensely useful life skill for others, we like to prepare all our staff to know what to do when the unforeseen happens.

For Hillary, one of our local interns, this EFR Emergency Response Course is part of his PADI Rescue Diver course, which he will be starting on shortly on his journey to becoming a PADI Divemaster.

Aside from teaching our own staff and diving & non-diving customers, we also conduct the Emergency First Response Course plus the special Childcare Add-on for corporate and recreation groups, so drop us a line to have your staff benefit from life skills that could save lives.

Double Discount on Kapalai & Lankayan until 15 Dec 2011

Monday, November 14th, 2011 @ 10:00 Diving Borneo, Diving Sabah, News, Promotions

Diving at Sipadan Kapalai Dive ResortArguably amongst the best diving resorts in South East Asia, Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort and Lankayan Island Dive Resort are well popular amongst divers visiting Sabah, Borneo.

For stays until 15 December 2011, Downbelow is giving double discount on the fabulous Kapalai Dive Resort and Lankayan Island Dive Resort near the world-famous Sipadan Island.

Both Lankayan Island Dive Resort and Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort are covered by Downbelow’s Price Promise.

What this means is when you book with Downbelow you automatically get a 7% discount from our published rates.

But there’s more! For the next month, to sweeten the deal, if you book with us and stay at either of the resorts from now until 15 December 2011, we will give you an additional 10% discount.

That’s outstanding value!

Click through to the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort page or the Lankayan Island Dive Resort page to see what these fabulous destinations have to offer. The links will open in a new window.

In the meatime, email us or contact us by any other means to take advantage of this special offer.

Don’t delay, go diving in Sipadan, Kapalai or Lankayan today!

 

Email us now to book!

 

Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort

Downbelow is a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre Our international staff provide personal, premier service at our PADI 5 Star Instructor Development (IDC) Dive Centre, where we pride ourselves on small group tuition with extremely high safety standards & procedures.

Do visit us at our Dive Shop & Travel Centre where we offer free wireless Internet and refreshments.

Tel: +6 012 866 1935
Email: dive@divedownbelow.com

Visit our Facebook page to see what we get up to over here in paradise!

Everything went very smoothly and was very well organised

Sunday, November 13th, 2011 @ 10:00 Guestbook

Dear Magdalene,

Just thought I would say thank you to you, Joanne and Richard for a great holiday, which we all enjoyed immensely.

Everything went very smoothly and was very well organised.

The hotel Rasa Ria was wonderful, the scuba diving was great (except for me I’m afraid!) and the trip to Sandakan was great (our guide Hadie was fantastic).

In fact the whole thing was fantastic and we will certainly recommend your company to our friends.

I think we will have to camp in Cornwall next year (!!!) but we will keep an eye on ideas for the year after!

Many thanks

Maggie and Mark Langford

The Langford Family at Downbelow's PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island (Bob and Intern Paul in the middle)The Langford Family, August 2011

They’ve already started to plan next year’s trip

Friday, November 11th, 2011 @ 11:41 Guestbook

Hi Sara Jane,

Just a short note to thank you for organising our wildlife trip. Richard should be proud to have you working for his company.

Everything went well and both the Myne Resort and the Sepilok Nature lodge were excellent, we even got to see a herd of about 20 elephants.

Again thank you very much. We have already started to plan next year’s trip.

Best Wishes,
Terry and Rosie Henderson

Elephants seen in Borneo during Terry & Rosie Henderson's Downbelow holidayCute monkey

Downbelow Liberates the TAR Park from Illegal Net Tyranny

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 @ 16:10 News, Project AWARE

Sabah, Borneo: A while ago, whilst resident PADI Course Director Richard was conducting a deep dive with our Divemaster interns in the TAR Park, he spied a discarded fishing net.

The location was noted and following a Net Removal Workshop Richard had hosted, Downbelow’s Assistant Base Leaders Bob & Wellson given the opportunity to manage the logistics for the net removal.

They assembled a crack net removal team and included professional diving interns Paul, Joe and Shevvy in the action.

As none of the interns had been involved in a net removal before, Bob & Wellson were particular about the plan of action and safety, to ensure nothing goes wrong.

Arriving at the site of the net though, they discovered that what was thought to be one net was in fact 2 nets running parallel from around 9m down to 30m. It added an extra element of caution, as entanglement at these depths can be fatal.

Richard, with his wealth of net removal experience, lead the team who systematically and efficiently cut down and removed the net.

On his way up with the final load of illegal net, wouldn’t you know it, Richard spotted another one.  They would come back later in the day for a second dive to remove the 3rd net laying on a sandy slope.

There wasn’t much coral damage for the net to do on the sandy slope, but peculiarly it managed to kill a number of Horse Shoe crabs. Richard couldn’t hide his dismay at these millions of years old creatures having to meet their end, for no reason, in a modern day fishing net.

They still managed to free a few survivors though, and made short work of removing the net.

In total the team removed an estimated 5,400 ft² of illegal fishing net that day. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

The Downbelow Net Removal Team chalks one up for the TAR Park and stands ready for when the next illegal net is spotted.

See this and other Project AWARE Photo Albums on our Conservation Page.

Downbelow Liberates the TAR Park from Illegal Net Tyranny 

Local Instructor Teaches Local Interns in Sabah, Borneo

Monday, November 7th, 2011 @ 10:00 Courses, Divemaster, News

From left to right Victor, Jerry, Jeff (all three are local Divemaster interns) and Assistant Base Leader and Master Scuba Diver Trainer BobSabah, Borneo: Bob is Downbelow’s Assistant Base Leader and a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island.

Once upon a time Bob was one of Downbelow’s Divemaster Interns, working his way through a local internship.

Many bubbles have flowed through the regulator since then and Bob, through hard work and continued education, has progressed to where he is today.

Pictured is Bob (far right) teaching Jeff (2nd from the right) the Skin Diver course.

Jeff, a young local lad and Downbelow Divemaster Intern, is standing where Bob stood many moons ago.

The other 2 lads in the picture, Victor (far left) and Jerry (2nd from the left) joined this particular training session to play the roles of students, but are Downbelow Divemaster Interns in their own right.

They joined more recently than Jeff, so will be paying close attention to this Skin Diver Program, because soon it will be their turn to learn this course, which is part of the journey on the road to becoming PADI Divemasters.

To join our Professional Diving Internships and start your career as a PADI Professional, send us an email today.

Learn to Dive with PADI Scuba diving courses for divers visiting Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Borneo.
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved By Downbelow. Unless otherwise stated all text, web & graphic design and photography is by Richard and Joanne

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