• Stephen J. Aynsley

🖤 How to support your local dive centers in times of COVID-19

As COVID-19 protocols dictate to many small non-essential businesses around the globe to cease operations, or local law makers enforce rules that prevent gatherings, many dive operations will be taking a bit of a hit right now and sadly for some it could spell a long road to recovery and some might not even make it. I have many friends whom are store owners themselves and they rely on the local dive community for their existance and some have shared with me a few of the ways in which divers can still have a positive influence during these difficult times that don’t require you to break any self (or government) imposed quarantine.

What follows are five ways you can help support your local dive center during this current time of distancing and quarantine. I’ve kept them short because they mostly speak for themselves.

e-Learning - Why not use isolation time to make yourself a better, more knowledgable diver by looking towards doing another course? PADI have a range of courses that can be started via e-learning, everything from Open Water to Instructor level, specialty course training or, for those who have been inactive for a while you can even start your refresher training by completing the reActivate online in preparation. For many dive centers, PADI have offered discounted e-Learning products for a limited time which hopefully the centers extend to you, the diver, so you can save and help simultaneously. By getting a headstart on the knowledge development you can then roll out of isolation ready to immediately begin diving and putting your new knowledge/skills into practice and earn a new certification in the process. The beauty of this is that it helps your dive center but it also gives you a sense of hope and the prospect of something new to look forward to. Take advantage of the extra time at home by doing something that maybe you didn’t normally have the time to do.

Equipment service options - If you know you are going to be out of the water for the next few weeks it’s a great time to think about having your gear serviced. Regulators and BCD’s should be serviced annually as per the manufacturers recommendations, in a lot of instances it is reqired to maintain warranties too so it’s also an investment against unforseen damage which could otherwise cost you a lot more if you have to buy a new item. Dive computers can have batteries changed and be pressure tested, again some models require certified service technicians to perform this so what better time than right now while your’re not in urgent need of it. For drysuit divers it’s a good time to have your seals and valves checked and repair any rips/tears in the fabric so you can jump straight back in the water safe in the knowledge that it’s bee