The Adventures of a PADI Divemaster Trainee in Phuket, Thailand

Author: Max Hand, December 2006

PADI Divemaster course in Phuket, Thailand

"Cripes DM" said Penfold. I realize now, of course, he was always referring to a Divemaster and not Danger Mouse. I have just completed my PADI Divemaster course in Phuket with Sharkey Scuba and I agree with Penfold on this one "Cripes DM".

Kata Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Kata Beach, Phuket

I arrived here in the beautiful settings of Kata, Phuket in sunny Thailand as a PADI Rescue Diver. I already had some 130 logged dives from a host of different environments, ranging from the refreshingly cool waters of the UK , to the warmer waters in countries like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bahrain and the spectacular Red Sea in Egypt .

I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every single one of those dives and believed myself to be a pretty competent diver. My Rescue Diver had further enhanced my ability to look after others but I never thought my divemaster course would take that ability to such a greater level.

Best Dive Instructor in Phuket

Instructor Iain - "Get it right this time!"

I completed my PADI Rescue Diver in May 2006 with Iain of Sharkey Scuba after crossing over from BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club). Iain came highly recommended by a friend from back home. I was told that he was widely accepted as one of the best instructors in Phuket. They were not wrong.

Iain is a great instructor. He is has years of experience, is calm, professional, and trains you to a very high standard. Above all he also makes it FUN. After all that's why we all do it. So I had no hesitation to come back to Iain to start my divemaster course in September.

Divemaster Study

Max (left) entertaining as always

Like all PADI courses there is a large part of self study. This course was no exception. My practical and theoretical dives knowledge grew exponentially as I studied subjects such as Physics, Physiology, Decompression Theory, Equipment and Skills and Environment. The knowledge reviews and exams helped me understand these subjects and Iain was always on hand to help explain and tutor me where needed. In my case that was most of the subjects! For that I thank Iain for his patience.

Let me ask you some questions:

  • We all know and remember the 20 skills from our Open Water, but how many could you do to demonstration standard?
  • You've all heard Dive Briefings before, but could you stand up in front of 20 plus eager customers and confidently do one, making it fun and informative, without missing any keys safety issues?
  • Would you be able to map a dive site in such detail that anyone else could use that map to dive from?
  • Could you assist Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, EFR, and Specialty courses anticipating exactly what the instructor required from you?
  • Would you be able draw up an Emergency Assistance and a Risk Assessment Plan in detail to cater for diving and non-diving related injuries?
  • Could you Guide customers on a dive providing them with local diving knowledge, aquatic and coral awareness, read currents and tides, let them have the max dive time allowed, keep to the dive plan, not lose your way or your customer, keep them safe while making it FUN?

The answer to all of these, and many more, while doing my course is an empathic YES.

Best Scuba Diving in Phuket

Champagne celebration for Divemaster Max!

Both Iain and his wife Oui have been out of this world. After my first visit, I knew that if I ever did my DMT course, there was only one place I would ever do it. They are friends for life. And they treat all customers with the same friendly, welcoming, and open way. They are truly professional, have a high standard of excellence, and it obvious to all that they both love their work. Like all divers we are in it because we enjoy it and love to have FUN. Sharkey Scuba are no exception.

I already knew from my previous trip that the diving around Phuket is some of the best I have ever experienced. I worked on many different boats and visited many of the varied beautiful dive sites around Phuket and Phi Phi. Dive sites such as the King Cruiser wreck, Shark Point, Anemone Reef, Koh Bida Nai, Racha Noi, and my personal favorite, a wall dive called Koh Doc Mai, to name but a few. While assisting on an Open Water course we even got to see 2 huge Manta rays at a local dive site Racha Yai. They circled us for about 40 minutes. The only word that can describe such an occasion is awesome.

Now I am a Dive Master. It has been tough at times, but I have loved every second of it. My knowledge and awareness of what goes on behind the life of organizing and managing (both theoretical and practical) Recreational Diving has developed to new heights I would never have dreamed of. Hopefully this will be the start of a long and thrilling Dive career. I know that it has got off to a brilliant start by doing my DMT with Iain Page. Not only is he a great instructor but a great friend too. Thank you Iain.


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