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HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL SCUBA DIVER

By Jobin Joseph, 30 May 2020

Choosing the right career often is a major decision, as it takes up a significant part of one’s time in this world. In most cases, it would be a dream come true if one can make a decent living through something that they absolutely enjoy doing. If you have an affinity with water and a desire to pass your passion on to others, then perhaps you will enjoy making the ocean your office. Let me take you through the 3 straightforward steps to become a professional scuba diver and forever be addicted to the ocean.

 

STEP 1: LEARN HOW TO SWIM


Believe it or not, there are people who love being in the water despite being unable to swim. Take me, for example. I didn’t know how to swim until I was 24, but that never stopped me from plunging into the lakes and canals of Kerala with my cousins who were swimmers (to be frank, DO NOT try this at home!)

(Anywhoo), moving forward in life I realised that being successful is not riding a Harley or owning a mansion, but enjoying every moment in life and that is possible only when you do something that you love for a living (or have a couple of Patiala pegs?). Frustrated with and tired of being a part of the regular scheme of a fast-paced city and its demanding corporate world, I decided to call it quits and took a plunge into the swimming pool obviously to learn swimming, which is one of the minimum prerequisites to become a scuba diver, professional or otherwise.

While you need not be a competitive swimmer, you must be able to perform timed swimming for 400 metres and snorkelling for 800 metres in the sea. Besides the physical fitness, you also need to be medically fit (alright, alright! It’s not a potbelly. It’s my personalised life jacket that helps me stay afloat and to place my beer?).

 

STEP 2: UNLEARN SWIMMING AND GET A TASTE OF DIVING


The swimming requirement is primarily to make sure that you are totally comfortable in the water, can manage yourself and help others in deep water (and never ever drown) even without scuba gear. To be fair, it’s quite impossible to unlearn a life skill like swimming. What I mean is that the techniques involved in swimming and scuba diving are different. For instance, we scuba divers generally don’t use our arms to move through the water unlike in swimming. So, I suggest you begin your scuba diving journey with an open mind.

The PADI Discover Scuba Diving can be the initial entry level to experience the underwear realm, but the PADI Open Water Diver will be your first guide in the journey of becoming a professional scuba diver. This is followed by the Advanced Open Water Diver course, followed by the Emergency First Response course, followed by the Rescue Diver course (duh, these are obvious). It takes about 10 days to get them done. Apart from these basic checkpoints, you also can venture into some side missions like specialities (ohhhh yeahhhh!!!). It helps to harness specific specialities which you find amusing like underwater photography, wreck diving, cave or cavern diving, ice diving (whoever wants to do that), etc.
 

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STEP 3: TAKE THE PADI DIVEMASTER COURSE


After recording 40 dives in your logbook (remember not to lose it, at least until you become an instructor), you will be qualified to do the PADI Divemaster course, which is the first professional level in recreational scuba diving. During this course, you will learn the scuba diving theory in-depth and how to lead certified divers in an underwater environment, assist instructors in conducting various courses, supervise emergency procedures, and much more.

It is important to choose the right dive centre to do the Divemaster course. A few things to consider are the qualifications of the instructors, whether they are approachable, patient, and fun to be with, how meticulously they follow standards and protocols, if they have well-maintained equipment and give you access to additional study materials like a set of spanners for equipment technician enthusiasts like me, a lot of marine life slates and books (so that you don’t point at a pipefish and call it a ‘tiny snake’) and more importantly, access to their fridge so that your beers are always chilled?
 

PADI DIVEMASTER COURSE AT BAREFOOT SCUBA

Barefoot Scuba, located on Havelock (Swaraj Dweep) Island of the Andaman Islands in India, has a large and cheerful team of 15 well-experienced instructors, most of whom have been trained at Barefoot Scuba itself. Managing the dive centre is a resident PADI Course Director – the highest level of PADI Instructors. We are the first PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre in India and have coached several hundred dive professionals now placed across the globe.

It typically takes about 2-3 months to do the PADI Divemaster course in Andaman with us. You will certainly have fun while learning important lessons, acquiring insights into the daily dive operations, diving at some of the most beautiful sites, and getting hands-on experience working with actual guests under an instructor’s supervision. This will be the beginning of the most exciting days that you will cherish for a long time. Once you become a Divemaster, I recommend that you work at a dive centre to gain some experience before you go on to become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and continue living a very fulfilling life.

Until next time, cheers!!!