TSD PADI Awards
Thresher Shark Divers has been operational for 12 years, and during that time we have become known as one of the best and most professional dive operations in the Philippines. The PADI awards we now regularly receive are a testament to that. These includes the most prestigious of their awards, finalist for two years running for OUTSTANDING DIVE CENTER BUSINESS (2009 and 2010) and winner for OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE DIVE INDUSTRY (2011, 2012 and 2013) and OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO PROFESSIONAL LEVEL TRAINING (2014).
Every month, PADI awards one dive shop and one instructor worldwide with a special award. We are very proud to have received one of each in the last year. The latest recipient is TSD instructor, Jason Orage. The Instructor award is particularly prestigious given the high number of PADI instructors working worldwide, and so huge congratulations to Jason!
As an example of how happy Jason's students always are, PADI Diver Ilona Loo wrote in to say:
“Jason Orage is most probably the main reason why I enjoyed my advance and nitrox dive course so much. But that statement really does not even start to justify how pivotal he was during my latest dive trip. If there is one dive instructor whom I would recommend to all my friends, it will have to be him.
1) He is reassuring at all times.
Whether it is during practice on land or in water, he is ALWAYS there to make sure that we are safe and that we are enjoying ourselves.
When he knows that my sister wasn't a confident diver, he took extra care to make sure that she is comfortable and safe - he held her hand all the way, calming her down all throughout the dive.
2) He goes above and beyond the call of duty.
My sister was not a student as she was already certified as an advance and nitrox diver last year. She asked if she could join us in the practice so that she could get herself comfortable in shallower waters first before joining others in the fun dives. Not only did he graciously agree to take her in, he included her in the course. And after the main paying students are done with the practice for that session, he did additional practices with my sister to enjoy that she is comfortable with even the basics e.g. clearing of the mask, removal of the regulator etc.
Similarly, when we asked for him to conduct revision of things we have learned in the open water course, he gladly obliged.
3) Safety is his priority.
Safety is first but without compromising on fun it is always observed that safety of our dive group and even of the marine life is always his utmost priority. He is always checking to see if we are okay under water, not just on how much air we have left, how long we have been under but also constantly checking that we have loads to see and experience under water.
When the threshers came a little close to us, he promptly herded us close to us and held onto to us to make sure that we are calm and safe.
When he realised that we are hovering dangerously close to the corals and potentially harming them, he would signal for us to control our breathing to be more buoyant.
4) He has respect for the marine life.
Some people might not think that this is an important factor for a student to assess their instructor, but personally I think that for someone who is interested in the marine life enough to take up a dive course, it is important that our instructor teaches and practices marine life preservation so that we do not destroy the ecosystem for the animals and future divers alike.
He often makes sure that we do not destroy the corals with our fins, and when he observe other dive groups doing something that is harmful to the marine life, he would manoeuvre himself into a position where he is able to perhaps prevent some of that from happening. And when we surface, he explained his rationale for doing so.
To sum it up:
Whilst most dive instructors might have safety of their students as their top priority, Jason does it with a kind of panache that he is still able to make the dive course fun for all of us. He will spend additional time with weaker students and yet not neglect the needs of others. He is really fun to be around, but still makes sure that everything that is required is still done properly. Jason has definitely made our dive out here exponentially more enjoyable.”
PADI Certificates of Excellence
We have been having a great run on Certificates of Excellence!
PADI Member Awards 2010
Awarded February 2010
PADI Member Awards 2009
Awarded March 2009
Older Instructor Certificates of Excellence
PADI very occasionally issues Certificates of Excellence to its instructors. This is a great honor and they are not common. TSD's instructors have received two recently.
Awarded February 2010
Mike Ferguson (Course Director 2010)
Awarded March 2009
Project Aware 2009 International Environmental Achievement Award
The International Environmental Achievement Award honors dive operators around the world who display commitment and excellence in their efforts to protect underwater environments within business operations and their community.
"The Environment Achievement Award is about rewarding vision, excellence and pursuit of conservation. More importantly, this award ensures the enjoyment of underwater environments for future generations."
Dr. Drew Richardson, Chairman, Project AWARE Foundation.
Awarded: January 2010
Go Eco Status
TSD was awarded Project AWARE GO Eco Operator Status in March 2009. Project AWARE Foundation, a non-profit environmental organization working with divers to conserve underwater environments, launched the Go ECO campaign into the Asia Pacific region in 2005. The main objective of Go ECO is for dive centres to minimize their impact on the aquatic ecosystem whilst contributing to environmental, economic and cultural conservation. Dive centres are required to meet best practice environmental guidelines and commit to the Project AWARE Go ECO philosophy.
Joanne Marston, Manager, of Project AWARE Asia Pacific added, “We are pleased to recognize Thresher Shark Divers as a Go ECO Operator. We look forward to working with them to implement environmental best practices and educate tourists about how they can travel responsibly.”
Awarded March 2009
This award is given by PADI International. It honors the top PADI instructors of the year in the UK for their commitment to teaching and their success with students. Mike Ferguson, one of our Course Directors, received the Bronze Keyman Award in 2005 out of the whole country.
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