PADI IDC Graduates Passed The Digital Underwater Photography Specialty Instructor Course


Continuing your education beyond PADI Instructor level is not only great for your career but also the experience gained is awesome fun.

Pablo and Big Vic are both full time Scuba Instructors at the Downbelow 5 Star IDC Dive Centre & they took advantage of having resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann around by enrolling in the PADI Digital Underwater Photography Specialty Instructor Course during their day off.

Richard is a professional Underwater Photographer who enjoys photography and has captured marine images for many years so he was happy to have some fun & at the same time share his knowledge with his previous IDC students.

Both Pablo & Vic displayed artistic flair & professional dive skills during the program so do check them out with confidence for your Digital Underwater Photography course!

Apart from the photography specialty course, we also have many other specialty courses on offer. Contact us if you need more details on any of our dive courses.

Pablo Taking The Nitrox Specialty Instructor Course in Sabah


Downbelow PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Pablo continues his professional education by taking the Nitrox Speciality Instructor Course with resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, Gaya Island.

The Nitrox Specialty course is PADI’s most popular specialty scuba diving course as scuba diving with enriched air nitrox gives you more no decompression dive time, resulting in more time to spend underwater.

There are techniques involved in getting more dive time using enriched air nitrox and that is why instructors are needed to teach these to their students.

An instructor will teach among others, management of oxygen exposure and setting up dive computers.

Being a certified Nitrox Specialty Instructor Course will also count towards a Master Scuba Diver Trainer.

Little Red the Borneo Ghostpipe Fish Photo Update

11722_10200238107369375_464293206_nWe promised there would be more photos of our Little Red and so here is the latest of our favourite Ghostpipe Fish taken with a 60mm lens by Downbelow’s Managing Director and resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann.

Looking good there buddy!

See other amazing photos taken in Borneo by Richard – the photos are not just limited to underwater but includes topside as well. Do check our photography collection page!

In case you are out of the loop or just forgot about Little Red, we found him under the jetty just outside our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre back in January.

In March we spotted him again and that time he was with a partner.

It’s amazing to know our “office space” is sharing with some beautiful marine animals.

Asia Professional Dive Internship Going Strong


Downbelow continues its commitment to our local professional dive internship program.

Next up is “Little Gary” who is the most recent addition to the Downbelow family team.

Gary joined our guest Rafael from Mexico to complete his PADI Openwater Course with their qualifying instructor, Downbelow’s PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor Liz.

This will be Gary’s first step in his year long program to become a fully qualified and experienced PADI Divemaster.

After this, he may well have the opportunity to continue his diving career by joining one of our PADI Instructor Development Courses (IDC).

Keep up the great work Gary & welcome to the Downbelow family!

Richard and Strike Diving in Sabah Together To Visit Ruby the Froggy

529208_10200232875198574_2034616083_nDownbelow Operations Manager & PADI Instructor Strike couldn’t help but to have a dive with Downbelow Managing Director & resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann to meet Ruby the Froggy.

He made full use of the Sola 500 dive light which performed perfectly in the low visibility conditions. By the way, you can read our review of the Sola 500 Dive Light on our online Dive Shop.

Richard & Strike first dived together around 10 or more years ago & both still love a dive together once a while.

Ruby the Froggy is a shallow water Frogfish or Anglerfish from the family of Antennariidae and can be found within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. You can read more about them in our Frogfish Marine Biology page.

Only The Best For Our Guests in Borneo


Downbelow believes in providing the best of everything from our products to our interaction with guests and even through non-obvious things like the chicken meat that we use in our freshly cooked meals served to our guests at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

For some time we have been searching for free range chickens and we are pleased to report that we have now found a local company called Desa, with their poultry plant located in Lok Kawi, that follow a strict set of guidelines that include making sure the animals in their farm are well cared for with plenty of room to grow, supply of clean water and proper handling from day one when the chicks hatch.

For us, it is important for us to know that the animals raised as our food are treated with respect and are properly cared for during their lives.

With the knowledge that our chicken meat is produced with ethical respect and utmost quality, we know that we are putting our money and commitment to where our heart is. At Downbelow we are committed to humane and sustainable living.

Big Vic Goes for a Dive with Platinum CD Richard in Sabah


Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann introduced fellow instructor Big Vic to Ruby the Frogfish recently. They also had fun with a HUGE puffer fish on the same dive.

There are not many places in the world where a variety of marine life among healthy corals is situated just a few minutes away from the city. The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is one such place and you need dive there at least once whenever you are in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Both Richard and Vic had an awesome dive & Vic got some first hand experience which will be useful for his upcoming Photography Speciality Instructor Course with Richard who is also an award winning Professional Underwater Photographer. Vic couldn’t ask for any other better teacher than him.

When Vic is done with the specialty course, he will in turn teach others how to take good underwater images.

Are you interested in photography? Why not take your skills to another level, and take photos of the vibrant and colourful underwater scenes.

Let us arrange your PADI Digital Underwater Photography Course with us today. We also have the Canon G12 with its underwater housing for rent from our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre.

Contact us for details.

Borneo’s Longest Underwater Cleanup World Record Success


Downbelow was proud to be involved in helping Sabah into the Guinness Book of World Records for the Longest Underwater Cleanup which was held at 14 dive sites surrounding Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Borneo.

The attempt took 7 consecutive days and nights from the 6th to the 13th April 2013 and involved 140 divers across different nationalities including our divers.

This project was initiated by Astro Kasih as part of its Beautiful Malaysia environmental project.

The world record is an amazing achievement and even better is the fact that more than 3 tons of garbage was removed from the ocean and we hope this will raise awareness to just how much we are destroying the ocean by throwing rubbish into the sea.

We conduct our own daily clean-ups on the beach in front of our dive centre but the rubbish always seems to return. Only when people change their habits and develop a love and understanding for the environment and its cleanliness will marine debris reduce. We feel that this movement for a cleaner ocean has begun – so lets support it – the ocean needs us all !

Here is the weight break-down of the man-made debris picked up from the ocean during the event;

Plastic Materials: 1560.664 kg
Glass & Ceramics: 140.440 kg
Paper & Cardboard: 5.350 kg
Metal: 318.360 kg
Rubber & Cloth: 357.340 kg
Wood & Mixed Materials: 716.610 kg
Nett: 3098.764 kg

We hope more projects like this can be held and of course, Downbelow will support it all the way.

Search and Recovery Dive on a windy day in Sabah Borneo


Resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann with the rest of the PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) & Divemaster interns getting ready for a Search & Recovery workshop on a windy day in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Borneo.

This is part of their PADI Divemaster internship program.

The Search and Recovery module teaches divers how to locate an object in the water, attach a lift bag and estimate how much air to put into the lift bag in order to bring the object to the surface. As a PADI Divemaster the chances are higher that you or someone else might need to conduct a search and recovery dive at some point whether looking for a lost camera or conducting search and recovery patterns during the Rescue Diver Course, these skills are useful.

They also learned search and recovery dive planning, organisation, procedures, techniques and anticipating problems and how to deal with them.

These skills can be learned as part of the PADI Search and Recovery PADI Specialty Course or as part of the PADI Divemaster course.

Either way, contact us and we will help you learn to recover lost things underwater!

Local Internship Program Continues To Bear Fruit

local sabahan intern passed open water in borneo

Well done to Rev Anson, one of our recent Downbelow local interns, for passing his PADI Open Water course with Downbelow Staff Instructor Pablo.

Pablo also came through the same local internship program with resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann and the rest of the team.

Both internship programs were conducted at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo.

It is great to see the team passing on their knowledge to the new arrivals & I am sure we will see Revor Anson achieving the PADI Divemaster qualification over the next 1 year.

Great to have you on board Rev!

If you are thinking of doing a diving internship then look no further than our internship programme. We can customize our syllabus to fit in with your schedule and experience.