ALAN RINES – ANDARK DIVEMASTER
AN INSPIRING STORY OF HOW IT’S NEVER TO LATE TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!
2022, is my 20th year as a working PADI Divemaster with Andark. Although my love of diving started well over 40 years ago with a try dive in the South of France, like many, life got in the way; work, family and other commitments limited my diving until the late 1990’s. It was then I started on the path to the DM professional qualification which I completed as an internship with Andark in 2001/2002.
A Divemaster qualification is not just a step on the ladder to Instructor, it is a worthwhile destination in itself. Taking a group of divers on a tour as Dive Guide is both rewarding and enjoyable; introducing potential new divers to the underwater world during a Discover Scuba Diving experience can be exhilarating & fulfilling; bringing divers back into the sport, through running a comprehensive Refresher programme keeps you both sharp and engaged.
Acting as a certified assistant, the role of a DM is to reduce the workload on the instructors, by undertaking the general organisation & logistics; equipment management & safety support which enables them to concentrate on the overall planning, detailed diving programmes, course training requirements & assessment of the candidates. A vital & valued team member.
It can also provide a “soft edge” to communications between Students & Instructor, ensuring a pleasurable & effective learning environment is created.
In return, being an active DM enables you to remain “current”, aware of changes to best practice, new equipment, and training opportunities. Working and mixing with a wide range of diving enthusiasts it allows you to apply all your acquired skill & knowledge whilst often gaining new ones. It often creates opportunities for wide ranging social activities, encourages good levels of fitness, and certainly provides plenty of mental stimulus
I have been fortunate to have dived all over the world, from Bali to Bognor, Horsea to Hawaii, most of the Mediterranean Islands, Northern Red Sea, Canaries, Florida & California. UK diving is often underrated but on a good day can compete with the world’s best especially in variety and range of sites available.
Age is not a limiting factor and for many of us “Retirement” was just the beginning.