Joe Returns for Master Scuba Diver Training MSDT Course

Sabah, Borneo: We are extremely glad to welcome back one of our IDC interns from last year, Joe.

PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor OWSI Joe joins us once more as an international intern to do his Master Scuba Diver Training MSDT course with Downbelow here in Sabah, Borneo.

During this internship and under the guidance of resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann and his Go Pro Team, Joe will also complete 5 Speciality Instructor ratings.

Keep your eye on this blog to see what Joe and our other professional interns get up to.

Also check out, which is our website aimed exclusively at our Professional Diving Courses and Internships.

Now, meet Joe:

September Project AWARE Beach Cleanup

Who knew collecting trash could be so much fun?Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu: Sunday passed was blessed indeed.

Not only was the day an island of sunshine in a sea of stormy weather, but Gaya Island benefitted as over 50 volunteers pitched in to help clean its shorelines.

All this happened during Downbelow’s recent Project AWARE event.

A regular occurrence, it’s aimed at helping the environmental organisation raise awareness of the problem of marine debris.

The event was well publicised this time around as the Sabah Tourism Board magazine picked up the details for their September issue.

As a result 53 eager participants from organisations such as the Asian Tourism Institute ATI, Sabah Tourism Board STB and Downbelow’s own dive club signed up.

Project AWARE Sep 2011 Participants with some of the collected trashMembers of the public also pitched in, including locals and participants from Japan and the UK.

Additional coverage will also be provided courtesy of a production team from Astro’s Channel 180 who joined the event to film a segment for an program on the channel.

It will be aired on 2 October.

Hard work in spite, the participants had a fun time.

Together we collected a whopping 689 kg of marine debris.

All sorts of plastic made up the bulk of the trash, with glass, metals and other assorted rubbish in the mix.

“We always find amazing rubbish,” said Downbelow PADI Instructor Alvin who lead one of the groups, “and this time was no different.”

Downbelow's Marketing Director Joanne and her parents also helped with the cleanupAsked about one of their more interesting finds, he picked up an unopened can of beer.

“Who throws away an unopened can of beer?” he asked incredulously.

Following the hard work, the participants were treated to a scrumptious lunch sponsored by Downbelow, together with the boat transfers and equipment.

Sabah Parks and Sutera Harbour Marina waived their park and jetty fees respectively.

Dowbelow’s customary raffle rounded of the day to raise money for Project AWARE.

Downbelow sponsored a Full Day Pleasure Diving or a Discover Scuba Experience for the raffle and managed to raise RM 548 from the participants to give back to Project AWARE.

Check out more photos from the day in this Facebook photo album.

We say Good Bye to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor OWSI Roy

Freshly minted Open Water Scuba Instructor Roy with resident PADI Course Director Richard on the rightWe bid a fond farewell to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Roy from Hong Kong last week.

Roy, who was a PADI Divemaster back then, joined us for a 1 Month IDC Internship last month.

He became part of the family here at Downbelow as his developed his skills, gained crucial knowledge and increased his insight into the operations of a busy dive centre.

Spending pretty much every day at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya Island, Roy also dived to his heart content. Our intern do, after all, get unlimited diving during their internships with us.

Roy, a native Chinese speaker, had the added challenge of a language barrier, but through the hard work and dedication of both Roy and Downbelow’s ace Go Pro Team, his success was assured and his triumph all the sweeter.

Resident Course Director Richard Swann took Roy under his wing and successfully guided him through the completion of an EFR Childcare Upgrade, EFR Instructor course, O² Provider course, O² Speciality Instructor course and, finally, the Open Water Scuba Instructor course.

Roy leaves us as a well-rounded, fully qualified, ready-to-work PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and we look forward to hearing about his success in the industry.

As we wish him luck, we hope to see you back in Sabah again soon! Good luck, Roy!

High Level of Service Throughout the Whole Process

Thanks a lot Abigail :)

Let me just thank you once again for the high level of service you have provided throughout the whole process – both before, during and after.

Your conduct has been most friendly and professional and I would definitely consider booking through Downbelow on another trip :)


Happy Downbelow customers Ian & Hannah at the peak of Mt. Kinabalu

Sabahan Qualifies as Divemaster on Local Internship

Divemaster Interns present a Deep Dive Scenario to IDC candidatesSabah, Borneo: Sabahan and intern on Downbelow’s Local Internship Program Lee has become a fully qualified PADI Divemaster under resident PADI Course Director Richard.

For who those who don’t know, Downbelow runs a successful and popular local internship program, which gives the opportunity to Sabahans interest in diving, to make it their career.

Pictured beside the text is Lee giving the briefing for a deep dive scenario, which was the last skill he had to master in Divemaster course before being fully qualified.

PADI Course Director Richard simultaneously did a workshop for candidates of the IDC, which was running at the time.

Downbelow’s staff, Jeff and Cyril (pictured far left), lend a hand to play the part of students during the exercise.

Jeff and Nigel will take the helm next as part of their Local and International Divemater Internships respectively.


Sabahan Qualifies as Divemaster on Local Internship

Congrats to the newest PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors in Sabah, Borneo

Ecstatic former IDC-candidates-now-qualified-PADI-Open-Water-Scuba-Instructors Roy and PaulSabah, Borneo: After blood, sweat and a significant amount of salt water tears, our two former IDC candidates have persevered and came out the victors in the PADI Instructor Examination that came to its conclusion today near our offices in Sabah, Borneo.

Both Roy and Paul worked hard to get their PADI OWSI qualification and all the hard work paid off in spades when they passed their Instructor Exams.

A big congratulations are in order, so CONGRATULATIONS, boys, you did us proud!

With the September PADI IDC Instructor Development Course now laid to rest, we look forward to the next IDC, which will start in November this year.

We have also already confirmed our 4 IDC sessions for the whole of 2012, so zip on over to our Next IDC Page to get a handle on when next you can do the IDC with us, join an IDC Internship in Sabah or come and sit for the Instructor Exam.

Don’t forget our range of Professional Diving Internships, ranging in duration from 1 to 6 months, which can be tailored to suit your needs an schedule.

Contact us for more information and be successful like Paul and Roy. Live the diving dream – Go Pro with Downbelow!


Happy Divemaster Intern Takeshi

Takeshi (second from left) with fellow professional interns Neil, Roy, Weijia and PaulHi Alice,

I just wanted to say a BIG thank you for organizing the internship and understanding my circumstances at the beginning which may have caused you some inconvenience. I was always well impressed with your kindness, friendly manner and patience

However, the credits should be given to whole Downbelow staff for their professionalism!

Bus drivers who smiled at us every morning and never complained even we were late some time (4 internship guys you know.. :)), well organized and high standard internship programs with awesome (and crazy.. :)) instructors, very high customer services with a very friendly approaches to all the guests…

Anyway, my one month internship could not have been any better than this, I have fully enjoyed the every single day and wish I could stay there longer to take part for the IDC with my buddies Paul and Roy.

But I know they are in good hands and I am sure they will succeed their exams to become awesome instructors.

Now I am back on land, I feel weird to not hear any waves or feel the island breeze, not even being in the water at all during the whole day! I miss every part of the island life, but I hope to see you guys in the near future again.

Thank you!

Best wishes,

Divemaster Intern take Emergency First Response Course

The Emergency First Response EFR Course enables divemasters to be prepared when they are first to arrive on the scene of an accident.  

It equips them with the knowledge to save lives and stabalise victims until trained medical person arrive.

As part of his Divemaster Internship, our Divemaster Intern Nigel took the EFR with our PADI Instructor Roy, to give him the confidence to deal with whatever eventuality may present itself during his professional diving career.

For more information on the Emergency First Response EFR course, which is suitable for divers and non-divers, have a look at the Downbelow EFR page.

New Local Divemaster Victor Learning the Ropes

Victor the divemaster intern gives briefings a goLast week our newest local Divemaster intern Victor had an off day, but he enjoys working so much, he was back a the dive centre to gain more experience.

Victor is part of our successful local divemaster internship program and have only recently gained his PADI Open Water Scuba qualification under our resident PADI Course Director, so he still has a long road ahead of him.

It seems, however, that’s he is keen to run this road quickly, because during his recent off day he came in to get more experience and he bravely attempted to give his first test presentation to the Downbelow staff.

With eagerness like this young Victor seems to be heading down the road to success. We wish him all the best and will keep a keen eye on his progress.