Archive for February, 2013

Danish Adventure Group Wants Protection for Sharks

Thursday, February 28th, 2013 @ 10:09 Danish Adventure Group, News, Project AWARE


Downbelow welcomes another batch of Danish adventurers, as we always do every year.

The group will camp out in the island for a few nights as they enjoy the sun and cool sea breeze, in addition to completing the PADI Open Water course with Downbelow’s team of certified PADI instructors along with Project Aware Environmental and Conservation projects.

It is good to know that these young adventurers are all passionate about shark protection and everyone gave their full support to Project AWARE and “Extinction is Not an Option” in the last fews days before CITES meet to decide on the fate of some of our shark species.

We are sure they will learn and enjoy Borneo’s nature offerings but above all, to have fun!

Would you like to have an adventure for you and your group? See what our Borneo Adventure package can do you. Contact us for more information.

Whaleshark Sighted Again in Kota Kinabalu Borneo

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 @ 14:24 News, Sightings, Whale Sharks

After a hiatus of almost a year, the largest fish in the Ocean the Whaleshark has visited Kota Kinabalu yet again and was spotted outside of our dive centre last week.

Resident Downbelow PADI Course Director Richard Swann sensed they were coming a few days beforehand when a large presence of krill was seen around the park.

And true enough, word of the Whaleshark sightings quickly spread just days later so the Downbelow Dive Team kept a lookout for the gentle giants.

However even they couldn’t have guessed what happened next. Not only were Whalesharks sighted, Downbelow guests on the day witnessed a pod of dolphins and a turtle as well. All in the same day!

Above is the video clip one of the Downbelow Instructors shot of the Whalesharks feeding on thousands of krill’s!

Fancy a chance to be near a whaleshark? Though we cannot guarantee you this but being in the water will surely increase your chances!

Contact us and book a dive with us!

New Shark AWARE Speciality Instructors in Borneo

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 @ 09:56 News, Project AWARE, Speciality Instructor

Two New Shark Advocates

The fight for shark survival gained two new warriors as resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann qualified Stefan Bucheler and Samantha Sherman as new AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality Instructors.

Now they have enough knowledge about sharks and the reasons we need to protect them.

They will be able to spread the awareness and advocate the issue of shark conservation through their AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality courses.

The course itself is important as it informs and ignites the passion inside every diver and inspires them to defend the sharks and their environment.

With the shark population under threat, the time to act is now and we hope more and more individuals like Stefan and Samantha to commit to the fight.

With our recent sightings of whalesharks just outside of our dive centre, it was a timely reminder that the fight is not over and we should never stop because all marine life are so worth protecting.

If you would like to learn more about sharks and their conservation, join us Downbelow.

You can read more about the AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality Course here.

Contact us for more information.

PADI Divemaster Course Student Practises Briefing at Gaya Island, Borneo

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 @ 09:46 Courses, Divemaster, News

PADI Divemaster Briefing Practise

Jolene Burr who is taking the PADI Divemaster course practised her PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) program on Jason Kovacs under the supervision of her instructor Victor.

One of the skills needed to become a qualified PADI Divemaster is to be able to supervise students and their diving activities.

The PADI Divemaster program is the first step in the professional level of the PADI education system and you can take this course at Downbelow, either as a 10-day program or a one-month internship course.

The course itself will be held at our PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Centre in Gaya Island, Borneo.

Contact us if you are interested in this program or if you have an enquiries. We will gladly assist you.

Downbelow Says Extinction Is Not An Option

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 @ 09:40 News, Project AWARE


Downbelow’s Resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann and the rest of the staff from the office are fully behind Project AWARE and their fight on behalf of the sharks and other marine animals.

Not only that, our PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Centre is also 100% AWARE and is currently the only one in Borneo.

In a matter of days several leaders from countries all over the world will come together and consider 70 proposals to protect several species, including commercially valuable oceanic whitetip sharks, hammerheads, porbeagles sharks, manta rays and freshwater sawfish.

We need to let them know that there is just too many people in the world who care enough for the environment and that they should consider the proposals seriously.

So if you haven’t done so, please sign the petition now!

British Gurkha Army Adventure Training in Sabah

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 @ 10:21 British Army Gurkha, News

army adventure training in sabah borneo malaysia

Downbelow once again proudly welcome and host the British Army Gurkhas comprising of 30 personnels for their adventure training in the Land Below the Wind.

In a matter of four days, the group went from the bottom of the ocean to the highest point in Borneo.

Their activities included climbing Mt Kinabalu, white water river rafting and of course, scuba diving in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park from our PADI 5-Star Dive Centre in Gaya Island which was the base for the underwater activity.

Downbelow regularly conduct adventure training and team building for groups coming from all over the world, including schools, universities, corporate bodies and armed forces.

Most activities are conducted at our PADI 5-Star IDC Dive & Adventure Centre in Gaya Island.

Check out their photo gallery at the gallery page.

Contact us if you would like to have a customized program for your groups – pick up the phone now!

Borneo PADI IDC Completed

Monday, February 18th, 2013 @ 17:12 IDC, News

borneo idc completed

It was a happy Valentine’s Day for our PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) candidates as their passion and love for diving went up another level as they completed day two of the Kota Kinabalu PADI Instructor Examination (IE) yesterday.

The second day of the examination saw all the candidates showing their abilities and skills as instructors to Marc, the PADI Examiner at our PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Centre in Gaya Island, Sabah.

In the end, it was high-fives and big smiles all around including the very proud resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann.

The candidates which are made up from a diverse group of nationalities now can enter the world of professional scuba diving with confidence and equipped with the necessary skills.

With the experience they gained in handling actual Downbelow’s guests and the daily dives accorded to them while they were stationed at the island made them a better diver and obviously, experienced instructors.

If you are considering living life as a professional diver then choosing a suitable dive centre for your PADI IDC internship is vital in your education and our PADI 5-Star IDC Dive Centre is indeed a perfect setting for any student.

Contact us if you are interested to join our next PADI IDC in Borneo, which is starting on the 20th May 2013.

Call us or drop us a line!

Go 100% AWARE with Downbelow

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 @ 17:46 News, Project AWARE

dive downbelow is 100% awareAt Dive Downbelow we remain fully committed to help in doing whatever we can to preserve the ocean’s health and its marine life. We also fully support Project AWARE’s cause in fighting on behalf of the ocean.

Ever since July 2011, we became a 100% AWARE dive centre whereby for each student who completes a PADI course with us, we donate directly to Project AWARE on behalf of the student.

Because of that, all of our students receive an upgraded qualification card with the Project AWARE logo indicating that they too care for the ocean and are ambassadors of the ocean.

So by completing a dive course with us, you are not only supporting Downbelow but also supporting the environment.

Currently Dive Downbelow is the only dive centre in Borneo that is 100% AWARE.

Apart from the donations, we have also shown our commitment to conservation by organising and conducting many activities such as beach clean-ups and removal of illegal nets within the protected area of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Borneo.

So if you are thinking of taking any PADI course, then go with a dive centre that cares about the ocean and the marine wildlife. Go with 100% AWARE. Go with Downbelow.

Check out our PADI courses here. We also have PADI professional courses for those who wants to take their recreational diving to the next level.

Please contact us if you have any enquiries on any of our courses or our conservation efforts.

Jan 2013 PADI IDC Candidates Now PADI Emergency First Responders (EFR) Instructors

Monday, February 4th, 2013 @ 16:39 IDC, News

padi emergency first responder instructor course kk borneo

Congratulations to the January 2013 PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) candidates as they are now qualified as PADI Emergency First Responders (EFR) Instructors.

The course is a pre-requisite for candidates sitting for the PADI Instructor Examination (IE) and it focuses on their instructional abilities as they will need to teach these skills to others in their professional career.

The teaching method for this course consists of multimedia presentation, class discussions and individual practical training.

Interested to take up this course? It is open to all CPR/First Aid responders whose qualification is in date, you do not even have to be a diver !!

More details here or you may contact us.

Downbelow Intern Gets Dream Job As Professional Diver

Monday, February 4th, 2013 @ 13:16 Guestbook

intern gets job zanzibar

We received a piece of good news from one of our intern, Oliver Smeenk who completed a 4-month professional internship with us to become a PADI Staff Instructor. We are so pleased to know that Oliver has found work and all the knowledge and skills that he learned while he was here is being put to good use.

The following is his email that he sent.

Hi Richard,

Monday I started working at my new job as a Dive instructor on Zanzibar. The company I work for is called Scuba Do, and it is run by a Master Instructor and his wife who is an MSDT. It is nice to be one of the only IDC Staff Instructors on the island, and all week I have been partly in charge of the dive center. I wanted to thank you for the opportunities I got at Downbelow and I had an experience that I will always remember.

I hope all is well in KK.

Take care, and a happy new year

Olivier Smeenk