PADI standards change to improve safety for divers and Instructors!


The reason for PADI standards to change is to improve safety for divers and Instructors!

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann conducts a workshop at our HQ’s multimedia classroom facilities on those changes to the PADI Open Water Diver course, for the Instructors of our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre island staff team to maintain consistency in diver training, and in turn maintain our high standards of diver safety!

The crew then had a Q&A session for their mentors’ advice on conducting the new skills, such as deploying a surface marker buoy, emergency weight drop, indicating correct air supply, and so on.

Diver training evolves according to statistical reports on diver emergencies and accidents, because scuba diving training councils’ duty is to improve diver safety!

We, at Downbelow, are accustomed to changes from both the professional diving industry, but also the tourism industry; and we will always ‘roll with it’ because changes are necessary to improve!

Our operations believe in responsible ecotourism and will seek like operators for our guests travel and tours when exploring Kota Kinabalu and Sabah. One such attraction is Kinabalu National Park, where conservation is active; and for our guests choosing to climb Mount Kinabalu through any of our packages, they have the satisfaction of knowing they contributed to the environment!

There will be a few changes (very exciting changes!) to Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures – contact us at our Kota Kinabalu HQ to find out more information.

Commute to work and pass the Queen Mary 2!

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Our island crew decided to leave a little earlier than usual, just to pass the Queen Mary 2 during their commute to work!

Such a moment calls for a selfie, so the island staff team co-ordinated themselves into positions and quickly get a shot before heading over to our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

Kota Kinabalu is a lively port where many visitors from these luxury cruise liners will disembark to see more of Borneo’s exciting culture and traditions. Because the cruise liners will dock for a certain amount of time to give passengers a chance to sightsee different places, many of the guests who are avid divers visit our beach house for a few days of leisure diving or snorkelling to check out the diversity of the reefs in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

There’s lots more than diving in Kota Kinabalu, such as the famous Mount Kinabalu, which is an approximate 2-hour car journey from KK city centre, and our itineraries to climb the summit trail includes transfers among many other conveniences!

Get in touch with one of our Sabah Travel Centre staff who will arrange a suitable itinerary for your travel plans in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

Downbelow Sabah Travel Centre staff ready to start diving!

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It’s happened finally! After so long, our Downbelow Sabah Travel Centre staff are ready to start diving, and they’ve just completed their PADI Open Water Diver course at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre!

Both our Sabah Travel Centre experts Steph, Joey and Jane qualified as PADI Open Water Divers over the weekend, alongside our Kota Kinabalu Dive Shop Supervisor Karen.

The Downbelow team have waited for the girls to certify for a long while, but it’s been worth the wait to be able to complete their dive training together, and they’ll be able to go to our beach house and explore the TAR marine park during their days off together too!

Now they’ve qualified in SCUBA, there are so many adventurous activities to experience, such as climbing Mount Kinabalu. Conquering Low’s Peak in 2D1N is challenging, but not so much when with friends!

Get more information on the many attractions of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah for a personalised itinerary created by one of our Sabah Travel Centre experts to suit your Borneo adventure!

Opportunities are abound as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor!

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Now as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, opportunities are abound for our local ‘Work For a Career’ intern, Kerry!

It’s been a week since the recent PADI Instructor Examination (IE) in Kota Kinabalu, which Kerry was enrolled in and achieved a successful pass, but now we can find him behind the wheel of one of our fast speedboats!

There are so many duties and responsibilities involved in the scuba diving industry, and our ‘Work For a Career’ program offers the opportunity for local Sabahans to gain the experience as well as the qualifications to further themselves in such an exciting career.

Kerry will find employment will be a lot easier to come by due to his boat handling certifications, which are very desirable to dive operators.

Soon, our ‘Expedition Borneo’ program will be starting with an adventure group from Denmark, and to boost his experience level, Kerry will be involved in the management of diving groups at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

Get more information on the variety of experiences both our local and international clients are offered at our Dive Centre in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, when you get in touch with our Sabah Travel Centre!

Happy Chinese New Year from Downbelow’s staff team!

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Downbelow’s staff team wish a happy Chinese New Year to all!

Each year boxes and boxes of Vitamin C packed oranges are delivered to our Kota Kinabalu HQ, where they don’t last very long at all.

They are an incredibly thoughtful gesture from our many friends and partners in Sabah’s tourism industry, and always made a fuss over by our Sabah Travel Centre ladies.

It’s a wonderful tradition to celebrate Chinese New Year, and oranges are gifted because they symbolise prosperity, wealth and luck – all things we want for Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures this 2015!

It’s the Year of the Goat, which foretells calm and relaxation – we think it could be a good omen for starting new projects!

Contact any of our Sabah Travel Centre staff to find out what new projects are under development at Downbelow!

New dive Instructors qualify in Kota Kinabalu with Downbelow!

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On February Friday 13th, Go PRO interns qualify as new dive Instructors in Kota Kinabalu with Downbelow’s Go PRO team!

Our resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann, and all the Downbelow staff team, congratulate our PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) candidates for their professional success!

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, is a paradise location that moves many of our clients to visit again and again in their future holidays; and especially interns.

Several are staying on for another internship program to increase their employability by enrolling on our PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) internship program, for which their mentor Richard will conduct all dive training!

Some of our interns are staying in Sabah for another week or so to explore more of exotic Borneo, such as the many other attractions that aren’t diving! Double the celebration when some of them finish the climbing Mount Kinabalu challenge and descending via Ferrata too!

Wherever their paths lead them all, we’re sure our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre will be graced by their presence once again in the future, and we’re really looking forward to see how they’ve developed professionally!

For more information on our Go PRO internship programs to qualify as a professional diver, get in touch with a Go PRO advisor at our Kota Kinabalu Head Office.

Hang out at Mount Kinabalu on the worlds’ highest via Ferrata!

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Many of our clients opt to hang out at Mount Kinabalu, especially because there’s a chance to complete the worlds’ highest via Ferrata at 3,776m altitude!

Recently, our client from Canada, Peter Martinello completed the climb Mount Kinabalu challenge on our 3D2N standard climbing package that our Sabah Travel Centre personalised to cater to Peter’s specific needs.

He spent 2 nights at Pendant Hut, which is the accommodation used for those participants wishing to descend from Low’s Peak via Ferrata, and the extra first night really helped him to acclimatise to the difference in atmosphere.

Peter prepared himself well with the advice our helpful travel experts offered him to successfully complete his goals – and he was very happy with himself to have finished the Guinness World Record, advanced via Ferrata Low’s Peak circuit!

Peter also qualified as a PADI Enriched Air Diver, under the tutelage of one of our dedicated and full time PADI Instructors, at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre before his climb. The dive theory concerned with gas narcosis is related to the effects of altitude sickness, which Peter didn’t experience at all during his itinerary because he acclimatised to the altitude at the Laban Rata Plateau during his extra night (amongst other forms of preparation).

For more information, about visiting our Dive Centre to experience island activities, or how to prepare for climbing Mount Kinabalu, contact our HQ to create an itinerary just for your convenient Sabah travels!

Go PRO team prepare only professionals to enrol on the PADI IE!

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Downbelow’s Go PRO team prepare only professionals to enrol on the PADI Instructor Examination (IE), and everyone is confident our candidates are ready to successfully complete the next 2 days of evaluation on the next PADI IE in Kota Kinabalu!

Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann will be as relieved as his candidates once the results are out. Richard, and the Downbelow Marine and Wildlife staff team, believe everyone will be successful!

Wishing the very best to candidates Patrik, Francisco, Sam, Aisyah, Hutch, Wong Si Peng, Kerry, Azhar and Abdullah!

All 9 candidates have been working really hard for the past 14 days, displaying the desired teamwork needed to gain the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) qualification; using all facilities of our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre and multimedia classroom facilities at our HQ, to complete the various performance requirements of the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC).

In just TWO days, the Go PRO interns will be living the diving dream, but before all that excitement – they might like to see more of Kota Kinabalu and Sabah, like visiting Kinabalu National Park and our famous Mount Kinabalu!

We’re sure they will all be dedicated dive educators adhering to PADI standards of diver safety and active ambassadors of marine conservation as Project AWARE supporters!

Contact a Go PRO advisor at our HQ to live the dive lifestyle for yourself!

First Aid and CPR qualification needs no diving experience!

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On the Emergency First Response (EFR) course, Along teaches 2 student divers Jed and Amanda basic skills to gain the First Aid and CPR qualification, which needs no diving experience!

Not many people realise that enrolling on a basic First Aid and CPR course requires no experience whatsoever! These skills are useful for any and all situations, and are necessary for all divers from the level of PADI Rescue Diver and higher, to be qualified as.

There’s a lot of exciting attractions in Sabah, and Kota Kinabalu alone, so Jed and Amy could give many reasons for why it would be wise they possess basic first aid knowledge. We can already think of one such adventure travelling, which is very popular amongst our clients  – climbing Mount Kinabalu! Private mountain guides of Kinabalu National Park, like dive Instructors, are qualified to assist their climbers with basic first aid!

When teaching many PADI dive courses and programs at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre in TAR marine park, our dedicated Instructors will reference climbing to Low’s Peak and the via Ferrata challenge to many diving situations. Not forgetting to clearly inform the golden rule of diving and mountain climbing! No climbing for 18 hours after enjoying multiple dives!

Get more details on the EFR course we can qualify you in just one day! Contact our Sabah Travel Centre experts to create a suitable itinerary with the best of Sabah’s attractions!

Luxury diving holiday: Only in Sabah with Dive Downbelow!

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For many visitors to Borneo, their perfect idea of a luxury diving holiday would be only in Sabah, and with Dive Downbelow!

Sabah Travel Centre expert Joey has created a superb luxury dive package for our two clients, Ramon and Suzanne from Holland.

Any diver will tell you (even if they’ve never been!) the diving on the east coast of Sabah is some of the worlds’ best diving destinations that must be experienced if visiting Sabah!

Sipadan-Kapalai Dive Resort will be greeting the lovely couple to their paradise in the Celebes Sea, but before they do depart Kota Kinabalu for their next epic dive adventure, Joey has suggested for them to qualify as PADI Advanced Open Water Divers at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park!

There will be some amazing reefs with incredible critters and pelagics they won’t want to miss when diving the world-famous Sipadan Island, and our island staff team of PADI Instructors possess the experience to prepare them for the local dive techniques practised in Sabah.

For more information on luxury dive travel in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah, contact our HQ to create a suitable package! Why not make it a ‘hat trick’? A scuba diving course, luxury dive travel and Sabah’s toughest challenge: climbing Mount Kinabalu!