Only 13 out of about 200 instructors certified under DiveSafer scheme
- POSTED: 09 Sep 2013 22:19
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Only 13 out of the estimated 200 diving instructors in Singapore are certified under the DiveSafer scheme administered by the Singapore Underwater Federation (SUF), the national sports authority for diving and underwater activities.
SINGAPORE: Only 13 out of the estimated 200 diving instructors in Singapore are certified under the DiveSafer scheme administered by the Singapore Underwater Federation (SUF), the national sports authority for diving and underwater activities.
This scheme, launched in April, aims to provide a more comprehensive framework for divers and a high level of quality and safety.
Currently, the diving community rely on various accreditations offered by different authorities such as the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), Scuba Schools International and the British Sub Aqua Club.
The SUF hopes that the DiveSafer scheme will be made mandatory to ensure a uniform standard of safety and allow consumers to make a more informed choice before taking the plunge.
This comes after two Singaporeans died while diving in Tioman last Saturday.
35-year-old Lee Yong Yeow was one of the two Singaporeans who drowned in the waters off Pulau Tioman island in Malaysia on Saturday.
His brother told Channel NewsAsia that he was recently married and was just learning to dive.
Dr Lee was a research scientist and project leader at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), specialising in the area of bio-devices and diagnostics.
A*STAR said he has been with the company for 10 years and was one of their first Youth Research Program students.
The Youth Research programme was initiated by the IBN in October 2003 with the aim of reaching out to students and encouraging them to explore research in science. Dr Lee was one of the first few students who was offered an attachment at IBN.
A*STAR said that he was an outstanding researcher, and a dedicated and loyal staff who was well-loved by colleagues.
Mr Lee's brother said the other deceased -- 48-year-old Tan Seah Heng -- was his brother's friend, and is understood to be a freelance diving instructor.
A check showed that Mr Tan was not a certified DiveSafer instructor.
The SUF said DiveSafer offers a standard benchmark to assess dive operators here.
Song Shing Hae, president of the SUF, said: "All instructors come from different dive agencies. What we wanted to do is to put all these instructors into some kind of a common platform.
"Based on a lot of references that the committee who created this technical reference have gone through and deduced, the set of rules or references that you can follow, particularly in the context of Singapore."
The SUF also encourages freelance divers and service providers to adopt this new scheme.
Mr Song added: "Those who are on a freelance basis, those are the people who should be aware that there's such a programme.
"Likewise, service providers who are running recreational diving outfits also need to support such a programme because this is where the standards are being laid and the guidelines are being properly provided for them to follow to ensure that dive safety is of paramount importance.
"The public, particularly the diving public, especially those who want to start to learn diving -- they also have a part to play. They need to discern where the professionals are, who they are, have they or have they not been accredited."