The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) value the ‘four ‘Es’ in scuba diving. Originally there were only three Es but recent developments of the environment had another ‘E’ included.
Do you know what the four Es are? I gave one answer away already. Do you know the other three Es? Let’s see if you get it correct.
The first ‘E’ - Education
There are two needs for education and certification. For the first need, divers need to know enough knowledge and skills to scuba dive. They are taught the ability to manage risks and maintain reasonable safety. Secondly, knowledge and skills increase satisfaction and enjoyment. After all, the main reason why many recreational divers take their certification is to enjoy the underwater experience.
Different levels of scuba diving certifications require different management of risks and safety. For instance, an Open Water licence allows divers to dive up to 18 metres while an Advanced Open Water licence could go up to 40 metres depth with additional measures of checking for gas narcosis and safety stops (first need). Other courses may not require additional safety measures such as the Digital Underwater Photography. Instead, may increase the pleasure of diving underwater (second need).
Teenage sisters learning to dive in the swimming pool
The second ‘E’ - Equipment
Of course, without the proper equipment, you cannot scuba dive. What started as just a group of explorers and adventurers using garden hoses and handcrafted spears have evolved into the dive equipment we see today with the Buoyancy Control Device (BCD), regulator, fins and masks. Sea natives such as the Bajau Laut instead forgo equipment and rely on their superpower breath holding to spear fish.
For recreational scuba divers, we are not as acclimatised as our awesome brothers. We need the right equipment to dive. Some scuba divers would want their own scuba diving equipment to fit their own taste and comfort. It is important to maintain the equipment that we have by regularly servicing it, especially the regulator that we use to breathe. Alternatively, scuba divers could also rent the equipment, but would need to check if the equipment is good to use before any dive.
Buoyancy Control Device attached to scuba tank
The third ‘E’ - Experience
In my diving experiences, if I go diving with a group we might see different marine life even though we dived together. So each person’s dive experience is quite personal. Without opportunities to go diving, the previous two Es are useless. There are many dive exhibitions, clubs and dive outings for you to join and experience yourself. Film festivals, underwater photography and other events expand a diver’s joy in scuba diving. And that experience I believe brings up affection for the last ‘E.’
Experience marine life
The last ‘E’ - Environment
Environment. Without the ocean, without the marine species, and without the supported ecosystems like the mangrove, wetlands, we could not enjoy the beautiful underwater environment. This last E was recently included as part of PADI’s foundation. And rightly so. Without the preservation of the underwater environment and surrounding ecosystems, divers could not enjoy the experience, using the equipment, and learn about scuba diving. Environmental awareness, care for the environment and advocacy are essential to scuba diving. A certified PADI diver is expected to care for the environment when diving and is encouraged to follow PADI's Project AWARE.
Without the Environment, we could not establish the other Es.
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See you in the water!