Four new underwater photography Instructors at Gaya Island!

Monday, December 1st, 2014 @ 08:00 Courses, News, Professional Diving Internships, Speciality Instructor

padi master scuba diver trainer, padi msdt, padi instructor, new instructors, dive instructor, padi specialty instructor, digital underwater photography, go pro internship program, professional dive internship, sabah, borneo, malaysia, gaya island

Only qualifying as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors recently, our Go PRO interns who completed their Instructor Development Course (IDC) and Instructor Examination (IE) the previous week are already continuing their professional dive education.

Maria, Ray, Dominik and Amy are tutored by their mentor resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann on the performance requirements to conduct the PADI Digital Underwater Photography Specialty course.

Maria is first to brief and she discusses the correct procedures of preparing and maintaining an underwater camera and its housing.

Dedicated PADI Instructors at our premier PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre encourage student divers to practice on the course using their own camera, if possible. Many cameras differ in their features and functions from brand to brand and model to model, and it’s encouraged for our Go PRO interns to do the same for the Instructor-level too!

For more information on how to become a PADI Instructor, or continue your professional dive education with Platinum PADI Course Director Richard Swann in Borneo, contact one of the Go PRO advisors at our Kota Kinabalu HQ!

PADI IDC Graduates Expand Teaching Knowledge with Speciality Instructor Training in Malaysia

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 @ 10:16 News, Speciality Instructor


Well done to both Michael Markscheffel & Debra Bookbinder for completing all the requirements & becoming speciality instructors in PADI Deep Diver, PADI Wreck Diver, PADI Enriched Air Diver, PADI Digital UW Photography, PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider & AWARE Shark Conservation.

Michael and Debra were graduates from the July PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) and now they have expanded their teaching repertoire and well on their way to becoming Master Scuba Diver Trainers.

The speciality instructor training was conducted by resident Platinum PADI Course Director Richard at Downbelow’s 5 Star IDC Dive Centre, Malaysia.

Find out more about these training on our PADI Speciality Courses page or contact us!

Good job Michael & Debra!

Borneo – Perfect Place for Diver Training

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 @ 11:35 Emergency First Response, News, Speciality Instructor


The above picture shows our island-based “classroom” where we conducted our professional training last week at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre. Actually this is just like any typical day at our dive centre.

On the left is one of our recent successful PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) graduates Vui How taking his Nitrox Speciality Instructor course with PADI Platinum Course Director Richard Swann.

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

On the right is PADI Divemaster candidate Hannah Earp, who was undergoing Emergency First Responder (EFR) training with PADI IDC Staff Instructor Strike.

With a view of the jetty and the nice blue water in front of the dive centre, it is quite a mesmerizing scene that makes it a wonderful place to train.

Fancy having a course here? Check out our range of scuba diving courses that are available for anyone, from a non-diver to an already qualifed diver.

Our dive centre is not confined to diving courses only. We are also able to host groups for adventure training, team building or just holiday fun.

Do contact us if you have any enquiries.

PADI IDC Graduates Passed The Digital Underwater Photography Specialty Instructor Course

Monday, April 29th, 2013 @ 10:33 Courses, News, Speciality Instructor


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

Saturday, April 27th, 2013 @ 09:15 News, Speciality Instructor


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.

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.

Nitrox Speciality Instructor for Diving Usukan Bay Wrecks

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 @ 10:21 Courses, Dive Sites, News, Professional Diving Internships, Speciality Instructor

Resident PADI Course Director Ricard Swann (far right) conducting the Nitrox Speciality Instructor course yesterday, before heading off today for some Usukan Bay Wreck diving.

Our recently minted PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors and PADI IDC Staff Instructors gather around Richard yesterday for some fun while acquiring their next speciality qualification.

Downbelow’s resident PADI Course Director, Richard, took the crew under his wing for the Nitrox Speciality Instructor Course at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island in Kota Kinabalu.

In a nutshell, diving with Enriched Air Nitrox EANx allows you to enjoy more time diving.

There are special considerations when it comes to diving with Nitrox, which is why instructors are needed to teach students the ins and outs about it. That is what our eager instructors were up to yesterday.

To demonstrate the specific skills required from a Nitrox Speciality instructor, the crew head out to the Japanese WWII Wrecks in Usukan Bay today.

The Usukan Bay Wrecks in Sabah, Malaysia are 3 Japanese ships that were sunk by an American submarine during World War 2, on 1 October 1944. The 3 wrecks, the Rice Bowl Wreck, the Upside Down Wreck and the Usukan Wreck, lie at varying depths between 25m – 40m.

This makes Nitrox the perfect choice, because combined with their fascinating history and the beauty that has flourished around them, you want to spend as much time as possible diving these wrecks.

We wish our Nitrox Speciality Instructor students best of luck and look forward to seeing the photos from their dive.

More Value for Your Money – Add a Speciality to your Dive Course

Friday, September 7th, 2012 @ 10:00 Courses, News, Speciality Instructor, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Excellent value for money when you include a speciality dive course with your diving package

PADI dive courses are deeply rewarding experiences. The achievement of gaining new skills and knowledge and applying them as you explore our beautiful underwater world is, indeed, very fulfilling.

But did you know the reward is even greater when you combine a speciality course with your Open Water Scuba Diver, Advanced Open Water or other diving courses?

Downbelow offers the spectrum of PADI Speciality courses, designed to maximize the pleasure you derive from every dive.

Wether you want to ignite your passion for underwater photography, hone your love for shark conservation, perfect your buoyancy to hovering stationary in any spot, or learn how to pilot an underwater propulsion vehicle, Downbelow can offer a Speciality Course to make it happen.

Simply have a look at all the Speciality Course possibilities, tell us what you would like to achieve, and we will combine it with your diving and accommodation package in way that will save you the most time and money.

Visit our Speciality Course, AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality, AWARE Reef Conservation Speciality, Enriched Air Nitrox Speciality and Digital Underwater Photography Speciality course pages to find your perfect match.

Or get in touch with us and we will help you find the best Speciality course to fit your requirement.

Diving Sabah? Dive Downbelow.

Downbelow Teaches 3 New AWARE Shark Conservation Instructors

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 @ 14:05 Courses, News, Speciality Instructor

3 new AWARE Shark Conservation Instructors with resident PADI Course Director Richard Swann (2nd from left)

There you have it! 3 more AWARE Shark Conservation Speciality Course Instructors to spread the shark love to divers everywhere!

Our recently qualified PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors attended this course with Downbelow at our PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Centre on Gaya island and joined the fight for saving our sharks.

Downbelow’s resident PADI Course Director, Richard Swann, donated his time to teach this speciality for free.

PADI also assisted by donating the application fees to the AWARE Foundation and Project AWARE donated all the learning materials used by both the Instructors and the students.

Essentially, all our candidates had to do was attend and pass the course, and commit to spreading the word on the plight of sharks.

Together we make a great team and set an outstanding example of how, as a collective, we can be more effective in the ongoing battle for the protection of sharks worldwide.

We wish our new AWARE Shark Conservation Instructors the best of luck in teaching as many students as possible about this important issue.

New OWSI do Speciality Instructor Courses with PADI Course Director Richard

Monday, June 11th, 2012 @ 15:09 Courses, News, Speciality Instructor

Unruly Subjects 101: Essential knowledge for any would-be underwater photographer

The May Instructor Development Course is well and over, but our new Instructors are not done soaking up as much of resident PADI Course Director Richard’s knowledge as they can.

Over the weekend the OWSI started a few additional speciality instructor courses, with PADI Course Director Richard leading the pack.

Most visually impressive of the courses is the PADI Digital Underwater Photography course.

Richard has a wealth of knowledge thanks to years of experience on this subject, as you can see from our photography collection as well as the images that decorate the product pages of our website.

Our Open Water Scuba Instructors, presently Photography Speciality Instructor students, thus has the opportunity to truly master the camera before becoming UW Photography instructors themselves.

Have a peek at the Facebook album from the course and you’ll see that the students produced some stunning shots, all by using Downbelow’s rental Canon G12’s with Underwater Housing.

After the fun they had with the photography course, the students will also tackle the Nitox, Wreck, Deep & Fish ID Instructor courses, to help them reach the PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer level and position them perfectly for employment in the industry.