How to chose a safe Scuba Diving School?

The ultimate check-list

Scuba Diving brings you to some of the so called last frontiers. Like Gili Islands, Raja Ampad, Sipaltan in Borneo and also El Nido is definitely one of them. What should you keep in mind when planing a PADI Course or Fun Dives in remote areas like El Nido, Palawan? First of all: chose your Dive School by it's reputation and not necessarily by the lowest price.

 

Here are the 8 most important things to keep in mind when looking a safe dive school

  1. Check if they are an active member of PADI, SSI or another global Scuba Dive Association. Because that requires already to full-fill certain standards regarding their Staffs Education and Equipment set up.
  2. Common sense: check the latest reviews by fellow divers on Google Review, Facebook or Tripadvisor. There will never be 100% perfect score - but its a great indicator if the dive shop is doing a proper job within their limits.
  3. Get in touch and see if they answer all your questions patiently and don't push you to sign a fast deal. If for example you are an Open Water Diver and a Dive School promise you to bring you to a shipwreck on 25meters on a Fun Dive, something is wrong.
  4. Ask about the scuba equipment and compressor: are they a certified service center for their own scuba equipment? Do they test their air and use original filter cartridges? Do they have a own Dive Boat and does it carry First Aid and Emergency Oxygene? Does the dive guide carry and use a surface marker when ascending?
  5. Getting your own gear is great as you will be familiar with all details. It's of course a big investment and hard to carry on a long journey. But even own Mask and Computer will make your dives more enjoyable and safe.
  6. Be insured for Diving and other accidents. Getting evacuated from a remote area - no matter if it's because of an unlucky turn with the scooter or a diving incident - it can be complex and surely expensive. Especially if a decompression chamber treatment would be required. More and more travel insurances nowadays cover Scuba Diving as long as you follow the standards of a Dive Association like PADI or SSI. There are also specialised Dive Insurer: Most famous are DAN and DiveAssure.
  7. Be aware: The nearest Hyperbaric Chamber from El Nido Palawan is in Manila housed at the Lung Center Hyperbaric Medicine Facility and Wound Center, located in a separate building within the Lung Center compound.

That is pretty far, right?

 

MOST IMPORTANT IS

Be a safe diver. A dive PADI professional would never push you to go deeper than your training limits. Dive only within the limits you are trained for and continue education. Make conservative decisions and remember what you learned in your PADI open water course: Avoid deep dives. Never dive alone. Never dive with a cold or other sickness. Check your air-gauge frequently. Rather skip a dive than taking any risks - cause ultimately you are the only one who decides if you are ready for the next dive.