What It’s Like To Be…

A Technical Diving Instructor

by Andy Davis

I was recently interviewed by preaquaint.com on my career as a technical diving instructor.  That interview has been published on their website and might prove interesting for those who are considering teaching technical diving or have a general interest in the tech diving community and lifestyle.

Here are some excerpts:

“Andy has been qualified through several scuba-training agencies to teach diving at different levels. As a technical diving instructor, Andy develop divers towards a highly refined way of diving, using very complex equipment to survive in dangerous circumstances. He now specializes in teaching technical wreck diving — the use of advanced decompression techniques to reach shipwrecks far below typical diver depths, coupled with extensive skills for safely entering the cramped, pitch-black spaces deep inside sunken wrecks.” preacquaint.com

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“Andy believes that teaching at this level requires extensive personal experience, and the ability to communicate the lessons learned from that experience to his students. He knows that there is also a need to provide psychological development as the risks and challenges of diving at this level require the development of a particular kind of mindset. The specialized nature of this type of diving tends to dictate a more intimate student-mentor relationship than more mainstream recreational scuba courses do.” preacquaint.com

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“Andy’s interest in history complements his diving. He conducts explorations for undiscovered sunken ships and aircraft, which lead to historical research for identification. He enjoys the challenge of discovering the story behind the wrecks he finds underwater. He also enjoys educating himself on other complementary subjects, such as the development of theories for safer diving decompression (although the maths and physiology can be very heavy!) and diving hyperbaric medicine. He simply loves the challenge and adventure that diving offers. He believes that there aren’t many endeavors in life where one can legitimately be involved in pioneering exploration; and technical diving is one of those.” preacquaint.com

Technical Diving Instructor Philippines

“Andy loves the challenge and adventure this career path offers. He explains, “There aren’t many endeavors in life where you can legitimately be involved in pioneering exploration – technical diving is one of those. Mankind knows more about the surface of the moon than it does about the bottom of the oceans. Technical diving is also developing rapidly in technology; new techniques, equipment and procedures are evolving at a rapid pace. It can be exhilarating to be involved in a community that is pushing the cutting-edge in its field.” preacquaint.com

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“Given the specialized nature of the diving I teach, each course brings the challenge of identifying an individual diver’s strengths, weaknesses and learning preferences.I have to approach each course and each diver as a unique challenge and use my experience to sculpt the most efficient and effective solution for each diver’s individual needs. In that respect, it differs greatly from more basic scuba instruction, which tends to be quite ‘off-the-shelf’ in approach.” preacquaint.com

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“Some technical diving students struggle with the sheer volume or complexity of new skills to be learned – a physical development challenge.  Others require more focus on establishing an appropriate mindset; improving their attention-to-detail, increasing confidence, eliminating gung-ho tendencies.  It takes a lot of patience, observational skills, problem-solving ability and insight into the finished product that I am trying to create with the training.” preacquaint.com

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“Specifically in regards to technical diving, it’s important to learn from the best.  I was lucky in that respect and have enjoyed mentoring from some of the leading divers in the global technical diving community. Research and commit to gaining world-class instruction and be prepared to travel extensively to receive it. Always keep your ego under control, retain an open-mind and never forget that there is always more to learn”. preacquaint.com

About the Author

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Andy Davis is a RAID, PADI TecRec, ANDI, BSAC and SSI qualified independent technical diving instructor who specializes in teaching advanced sidemount, trimix and wreck exploration diving courses across South East Asia.  Currently residing in ‘wreck diving heaven’ at Subic Bay, Philippines, he has amassed more than 9000 open circuit and CCR dives over 27 years of diving across the globe.

Andy has published many magazine articles on technical diving, has written course materials for dive training agency syllabus, tests and reviews diving gear for major manufacturers and consults with the Philippines Underwater Archaeology Society.

He is currently writing a series of books to be published on advanced diving topics.  Prior to becoming a professional technical diving educator in 2006, Andy was a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force and has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Belize and Cyprus.

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