Nov. 14, 2002 St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures (SCUBA) has been named by the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) as a Gold Palm Instructor Development Center (IDC). This means that SCUBA may now teach PADI dive courses from beginners all the way to the instructor level.
Ed Buckley, SCUBA co-owner, said, "We've always been able to teach courses through the professional level of divemaster, but adding the IDC capabilities means that for the first time we can also train instructors. The last piece was put in place when Doug Kaufman, a PADI course director, joined SCUBA's staff this summer." Course directors are required to teach the instructor-level courses.
SCUBA has already completed its first instructor course, recently graduating Gary Bracken, Doug Inman and John Santino. "It's especially gratifying that Doug and Gary were our first graduates as both of them initially learned to dive with us and then came up through all of the levels to become instructors," Buckley said. "John has been working with us as a manager since January and upgraded from assistant instructor to full openwater instructor."
PADI is the largest scuba diving certification in the world. The Gold Palm designation is awarded to dive operators that maintain an increased level of service through dive training programs and community involvement. SCUBA became the first Gold Palm facility on St. Croix in 1999, and recently became a Gold Palm IDC facility. SCUBA is located in the Caravelle Arcade in Christiansted and is open from 7:30 a.m. till 8 p.m. daily (5 p.m. on Sunday). SCUBA maintains a "wetsite" describing all of their training programs and other information for potential visitors to St. Croix at www.stcroixscuba.com.
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