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EVENT NOTICE: Novel Coronavirus Update (March 24, 2020)

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Dear Esteemed Exhibitor,

In light of COVID-19 declared as a “pandemic” on March 11 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) due to the rapidly global spread of the coronavirus outbreak, the governments of the world have been advised to change the course by taking an urgent and aggressive action.

Since the announcement, we have seen countries administering measures such as border closure, stringent travel bans and restrictions, country lockdown, and precautionary measures advisory for the general public practicing “social distancing” or any activities involving close contact that can be a potential vector for transmission of the virus.

As of today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed a total of 509 cases, 294 imported cases and 2 deaths across the country. Due to the increasing numbers of “imported” cases of the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore and the rapid escalation of death and those infected globally, the Singapore government has implemented a series of measures to reduce the risk of imported cases and slow down the transmission of the virus. They are as follows:

General Advisory for Visitors

From 23 March 2020, 2359 hours, all short-term visitors (from anywhere in the world) will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or to transit through Singapore. Singapore has also ceased port calls for all cruise vessels.

General Advisory for Event Organisers

From 20 March 2020 and 1 July 2020, all events and gatherings with 250 or more participants in attendance at any one time should be suspended. For events and gatherings with fewer than 250 participants, organisers and event venue operators are required to implement the necessary precautionary measures to ensure separation of at least a metre apart between participants. Organisers should also put in place precautions such as reducing the scale, improving ventilation, and implementing measures to facilitate contract tracing.

As the organiser of Asia Dive Expo (ADEX), we are once again faced to make another pragmatic business decision based on the current advisory measures by the government of Singapore. Herewith, we regretfully have to postpone and defer the event, originally scheduled for April 17-19 and May 29-31, 2020. The deferred event date will be advised at a later date.

This decision was reached after an extensive consultation with the relevant government authorities and agencies in Singapore, and in consideration to health and safety as the priority of the native Singaporeans, visitors, partners, stakeholders, exhibitors, speakers and industry partners.

Statement from Asia Dive Expo (ADEX)

“The year 2020 has been a challenging one for the global economy and the dive industry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, as the organiser of Asia Dive Expo, we have been faced with new and multiple challenges facing this situation and we would like to assure you that every decision is made with careful considerations with the support and advisories from the Singapore government agencies.

I must admit that the experience has been a learning curve but in the positive light, ADEX has always been an event that convenes Asia’s dive industry and its community towards its vision – which is to entertain, educate and engage.

COVID-19 situation has affected the world’s travel industry considerably and the most challenged is the dive industry. In the stride of bringing the industry and its community under a single platform, Underwater360° is introducing ADEX to its digital phase – ADEX Pixel Expo. The first exclusive digital platform to represent “one industry. one ocean. one community”.

I hereby invite every ADEX dive industry partners to be a part of this platform as this is the time to unite and fortify the dive industry and its community against an unprecedented future.”

Mr John Thet
CEO, Underwater360

In conjunction to this announcement, Underwater360° encourages our partners, stakeholders, exhibitors, speakers and industry partners to be a part of our latest online platform, “ADEX Pixel Expo”. This online platform will be the “First Exclusive Digital Platform” showcasing a plethora of underwater and diving content that addresses ADEX’s diving, dive tourism and marine conservation industry and community. For more information, please visit www.adex.asia/pixel or email hello@uw360.asia.

Once again, Underwater360° deeply apologise and is appreciative to everyone in the diving, dive tourism and, the marine conservation industry for the support, cooperation and patience during this unprecedented times. While we try our best as an event organiser to navigate through this pandemic, we apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Thank you.
Yours sincerely,
Asia Dive Expo (ADEX)
Organising Committee

EVENT NOTICE: Novel Coronavirus Update (Feb 20, 2020)

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Dear Esteemed Exhibitor,

Underwater360° deeply appreciates the incredible support and valuable feedback that we have been receiving since the announcement for the postponement by the diving, sustainable and dive tourism industry, and its community.

After a careful consideration and discussions made with the relevant stakeholders and government authorities, as well as agencies of Singapore, the organising committee of ADEX Asia Dive Expo would like to announce that the new event dates for ADEX Ocean Vision 2020 will be from Friday 29 May to Sunday 31 May 2020.

We would like to thank you for all your support, cooperation, and patience as we navigate through this international calamity. We look forward to see you at ADEX Ocean Vision 2020 this May and we apologise for any inconvenience caused due to these unavoidable measures.

Thank you.

 

Yours sincerely,
ADEX Asia Dive Expo
Organising Committee

EVENT NOTICE: Novel Coronavirus Update (Feb 18, 2020)

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Dear Esteemed Exhibitor,

Due to the increasing numbers of cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with evidence of local transmissions, the Singapore government raised the country’s risk assessment level from DORSCON Yellow to DORSCON Orange on 7 February 2020. As of today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed a total of 75 cases of the virus across the country.

Under the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition, or DORSCON, an Orange alert means that the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact. In light of the DORSCON Orange code, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)*, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) advisory to cancel or defer nonessential large-scale events, Underwater360°, the organiser of Asia Dive Expo (ADEX), has taken the decision to postpone the event, originally scheduled for April 17-19, 2020. Underwater360° will be announcing the new event dates as soon as they are available.

This decision has been reached after an extensive consultation with the relevant government authorities and agencies in Singapore, and in consideration of the challenges faced by the diving and dive tourism sectors due to restrictions on travel and tourism across Asia-Pacific as well as internationally.

Statement from Singapore Tourism Board

“We are working closely with Underwater360° to support the continued success of Asia Dive Expo. We are committed to standing by our MICE industry to provide the support required, and we believe that Singapore’s reputation as a preferred destination for MICE events remains strong. The health and safety of locals, visitors and industry partners remain a priority and we will continue to monitor the situation,”

Mr Andrew Phua, Director of Exhibitions and Conferences, Singapore Tourism Board.

Underwater360° would like to offer assurance that we will continue to work in partnership with the relevant government authorities and agencies to take all necessary measures in accordance with the latest advisories published by the Singapore Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Trade and Industry as we take the safety and health of all our partners, stakeholders, exhibitors, speakers and visitors at utmost importance.

We thank you for all your support, cooperation and patience while we try our best to navigate through this international calamity, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused due to these measures.

Yours sincerely,
ADEX Asia Dive Expo
Organising Committee

EVENT NOTICE: Novel Coronavirus Update (Feb 11, 2020)

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Dear esteemed exhibitor,

The organising committee of ADEX Asia Dive Expo have been monitoring the situation in Singapore closely in relation to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We would like to assure you that we are taking this matter firmly and are working closely with the relevant government advisories of Singapore with the latest updates on the current situation.

As of Friday, February 7, 2020, the Singapore Government has raised the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to ORANGE code, which means “moderate disruption” and the Ministry of Health Singapore has mandated that there is yet no evidence of widespread community transmission in Singapore and ongoing events are planned with added precautions which is in line with the latest advisory from Singapore Ministry of Health.

 

ADEX Ocean Vision 2020 in Singapore on April 17-19 at Suntec Singapore will continue as planned. If the situation worsen and the Singapore government and the Ministry of Health have raised the DORSCON level to the “RED” code, the event would then be advised to a postponement and a deferment to a later date. As an organising committee of ADEX, we will then provide all our esteemed stakeholders, partners, exhibitors, speakers and visitors an extensive detail on an alternative action plans.

We will continue to work in partnership with the relevant government authorities and agencies and take all necessary measures in accordance with the latest advisories published by the Singapore Ministry of Health and the Singapore Tourism Board.

We will be updating the regular updates on the ADEX website in the coming days, with further information and answers to any questions you might have. For more information on DORSCON “Orange“ code, please visit https://www.gov.sg/article/what-do-the-different-dorscon-levelsmean

Statement from Singapore Tourism Board

“We are working closely with Underwater360° to support the continued success of Asia Dive Expo. We are committed to standing by our MICE industry to provide the support required, and we believe that Singapore’s reputation as a preferred destination for MICE events remains strong. The health and safety of locals, visitors and industry partners remain a priority and we will continue to monitor the situation,”

Mr Andrew Phua, Director of Exhibitions and Conferences, Singapore Tourism Board.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
ADEX Asia Dive Expo
Organising Committee

Official Memorandum: Novel Coronavirus Update

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Dear esteemed exhibitor,

With prior to the recent novel coronavirus (2019-n CoV) outbreak, as the organising committee of ADEX Asia Dive Expo, we would like to assure you that we are taking this matter firmly and are following and working closely with the relevant government advisories of Singapore with the latest updates on the status of this “international calamity”.

As reported widely, the outbreak has impacted many countries globally but with a deep concentration in China and some parts of Asia with Singapore affected as well. As established, the single biggest impact has been the near-complete evaporation of outbound Chinese tourism, but the tourism industry in Singapore (and indeed, the whole of Singapore) has rallied together in an extraordinary effort to keep Singapore healthy and safe.

The Singapore government is sparing no effort to safeguard the health of Singaporeans and our visitors thus the Ministry of Health, Singapore activated the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON)* alert levels as a guide as to when an enterprise will activate their business continuity measures and adopt measures to be ramped up or down, in line with the advisories issued by MOH and other government agencies.

As of Thursday, February 6, 2020, 2:22PM local time, the DORSCON status in Singapore is YELLOW, which means “minimal disruption” and the Ministry of Health Singapore has mandated that there is no evidence of widespread transmission in the community yet and have advised that large-scale events may proceed as planned**. Herewith, ADEX Ocean Vision 2020 in Singapore on April 17-19 at Suntec Singapore will continue as planned unless advised by the Singapore government and its multi-ministry taskforce to postpone the show if the novel coronavirus (2019-n CoV) outbreak situation escalated to RED.

The Singapore government and its Multi-Ministry Taskforce on the Wuhan Coronavirus has decided to take additional steps to contain nCoV:

Travel Restrictions

i) With effect from 1 February 2020, 2359h, all new visitors with recent travel history to mainland China (within the last 14 days) will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or to transit through Singapore. This applies to individuals regardless of their nationality.

ii) With immediate effect, the following returning groups will be issued an advisory for them to be placed on a 14-day leave of absence (LOA) from the day of their return from China:

The Ministry of Health (MOH) Singapore is closely monitoring the 2019 novel coronavirus situation. At present, Singapore has had a cluster of limited local transmission of the virus. Nevertheless, precautionary measures are encouraged to safeguarding the health and well-being of participants.

Precautionary measures for Large-Scale Events

i) Individuals who are unwell should not attend. They should avoid public spaces and contact with others, and instead seek medical attention. Any staff or participant who becomes unwell during the event should leave immediately to seek appropriate medical attention.

ii) Individuals placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) should not attend events. They are strongly advised to remain at home and minimise their time spent in public spaces.

iii) Individuals with recent travel history to mainland China, in particular, Hubei province, should not attend.

iv) Individuals who well do not need to wear masks.

v) Individuals should remain vigilant and practise good personal hygiene, such as washing their hands regularly, at all times.

Organisations/ event organisers may consider the following measures to further mitigate the potential risk of disease transmission during events:

i) Prominently display notices at entrances to an event, and during pre- or onsite registration, to remind participants not to attend the event if they are unwell, placed on LOA, or have recent travel history to mainland China, in particular, Hubei province, within the last 14 days.

ii) Deny entry to staff and participants who are unwell with fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath, individuals on LOA, and individuals with recent travel history to mainland China, in particular, Hubei province, within the last 14 days.

iii) Maintain a registration list of participants (if practicable).

iv) Ensure that event venues are ventilated and are adequately equipped with hygiene facilities (hand sanitisers, surgical masks, thermometer etc) e.g. at the entrance and washroom.

v) Temperature screening has been implemented at all our entry checkpoints, and all suspect cases will be referred to hospitals for further assessment and isolated as a precautionary measure.

vi) All medical practitioners will look out for suspect cases and maintain strict infection control and prevention measures.

We advised all exhibitors to be assured and any further updates mandated by the Singapore government that is related to the event status will be shared at the earliest. We thank you for your kind understanding and exhibitors who have already submitted and signed the ADEX Ocean Vision 2020 exhibitor contract, we encourage that you would honour and adhere the contract terms as indicated.

For more details on the Singapore government and its Multi-Ministry Taskforce on the Wuhan Coronavirus, kindly refer to the appendix attached.
We look forward to seeing you in April!

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
ADEX Asia Dive Expo
Organising Committee

 

For more details please click here to download the official letter.

ADEX India Mumbai Dive Show – Day 3 Post-Show Report

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Day 3 of the first ADEX show in India organised by Underwater 360 (International), Highrise (Sri Lanka and Maldives), and Events Solution (India) happened on October 6, 2019 at Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon, Mumbai. Underwater360 is proud to be co-organiser of this inaugural event.

Speakers’ highlights

Jonah Skoles opened the last day of ADEX Mumbai Dive Show with a talk on the evolution of diving, especially regarding sidemount techniques. Sidemount diving stemmed from cave diving, wanted to go deeper. Therefore, there was a need for something on the side to explore the tight spaces. In 2000, it started to become a popular configuration.

Jonah then proceeded to shed some light on the question: “Why should one venture and try out sidemount techniques?”

While sidemount is not new per se, it’s a reinvention of what was before. Sidemount gives redundancy (extras), is easy to transport and streamlined, and allows one to explore deeper and dive in remote areas. Plus, the gear is more accessible and feels balanced. “You can just be…” he says, “No extra hassle!”

“It is an entirely new way of diving,” Jonah exclaims, “A way that feels like freedom.”

As your time underwater is determined by the amount of gas in your tank, a sidemount allows a diver to stay underwater longer thanks to its double quantity, allowing for longer and deeper exploration. Jonah started diving sidemount to do a one-hour wall dive in Pondicherry at 30m.

While the sidemount technique requires training as its technicality calls for guidance in its use, Jonah says, “There is no one way or the highway. And that’s the beauty of sidemount.”

Monica Chin, donned in a beautiful sari, spoke about her personal, and her company, ADRECC’s, hope for our ocean. With ADRECC, Monica and her team taught people about up-cycling fishnets, saving sharks and coral, and created a wider awareness about a clean ocean.

“Education is important as fishermen sometimes don’t even know that corals are animals!”

Monica and her team have bought sharks from fishing boats, then took care of them for a few months and released them into the ocean again, in hopes of making them not only live, but also thrive. She says, “There is a lot to do… but just don’t give up, keep trying!” She said in optimism.

Mark Strickland spoke about the amazing marine life behaviours by looking at the tiniest to the largest creatures in the sea. From clownfish to sharks, Mark talked about how they mated, laid eggs, and fed. He also mentioned how different marine creatures partner to form unique relationships that enhance each other, also known as symbiosis, and others that simply cannot get along.

Mark’s comical, engaging talk was refreshing and eye-opening, and its less technical nature truly brought a vast variety of topics to ADEX India.

Kanika Mohan Saxena from Orca Dive talked about three kinds of divers she sees and trains as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. These were the Facebook Divers, the people who want to try out a new sport, and those that do it because they have fears to overcome and triumph over. She talked about her approach to teaching, and how it is accessible to kids and adults alike. “ABCD,” she lulls, “Any Body Can Dive!”

Panel discussion

Ibrahim Naren, Elsie Gabriel, Monica Chin, Jackson Peter, Shaahina Ali, and Ahmed Gabr sat on a panel with moderator Mitali Dut Kakar to discuss The Single-use Plastic Conundrum.

In discussion about the challenges of single-use plastic in their respective regions, Ibrahim, regarding India, said that the challenge is very big but he firmly believes that a solution can be found. “But we don’t have to wait till it’s found, we just need policies to be made.” For example, the implementation of paper straws etc is great, but the government ultimately needs to do more.

Elsie, regarding Mumbai, mentioned that the biggest challenge we face today would be a collaboration between the municipality, government, ministry, and the citizens.

“Together with ADEX, if we can collaborate with these governing bodies, we can create divers that become agents of change.”

The second biggest challenge, she believes, is the enforcement of these rules. On 2 October 2019, the plastic ban in Mumbai was placed, but has been since retracted. “This should not happen,” she said firmly.

Monica pondered, “Plastic plastic plastic… Why plastic?” She wonders why people still create plastic waste. “It’s not so hard to start with small efforts, since we as people already started this entire mess of plastic pollution. It is my responsibility as a diver and as a human.” Monica has stopped using plastic bottle for 7 years, and questions, “Why can you give excuses when the ocean and nature never gives excuses and provides for us endlessly?”

She put eloquently: “There is no need to reuse, reduce, recycle. There should only be refuse!”

In the discussion in combatting plastic pollution, it was mentioned that while beach clean-ups are great, they should not be the idea of a solution, as ultimately, if plastic usage is not reduced, the sea brings waste back to land. ”It’s about stopping as an individual.”

Jackson told the audience to consider climate change and pollution as the biggest threats to humanity. “And plastic contributes to that,” he said. “This planet must not be known as Earth, that is only 30% of it, it should be known as Ocean.”

Shaahina believes that we have become used to and dependent on plastic. It has also become the norm and standards in businesses, imports and exports. ”But all you need to do is to reduce your footprint instead of thinking of completely avoiding plastic usage,” she explains. “Sometimes it’s necessary.”

Ahmed lamented that his children may not be able to grow in a great environment thanks to the effects of what we’ve done so far. ”We as people can voice things out but our ocean cannot. So it exhibits its problems in other ways, seen through dying corals and dirty beaches.”

“We need to set an example and standards for young generations,” said Elsie, “It needs to be in their curriculums to have ocean education and environmental sciences.”

Mitali expressed that plastic is not bad per se, but it’s how people use and manage it. For example, industry standards usually require plastic packaging, and if this is gone many people may risk losing their jobs. “That’s why the government can’t pass blanket policies.”

She also talked about her favourite way of eating since she was a child, on a banana leaf, which is also one of the most eco friendly ways to subsist. “We make the change,” she believes.

ADEX India Mumbai Dive Show conclusion

The diving industry is growing in India, and marine conservation and plastic pollution awareness around the region is an issue that is being talked about. At ADEX, these burning topics were spoken about in depth and the questions posed by the public showed that India is ready to plunge into the deep blue. We at UW360 would like to thank you for all your support at ADEX India Mumbai Dive Show 2019, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

ADEX Mumbai 2019, the inaugural Dive Expo in India hosted in partnership of Events Solution (India) and High Rise (Maldives) was held from October 4-6 2019 atThe Bombay Exhibition Centre. Please visit adex.asia/india/ to learn more about the show.

ADEX India Mumbai Dive Show – Day 2 Post-Show Report

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Text: Shreya Acharya
 
The second day of the first ADEX show in India organised by Underwater 360 (International), Highrise (Sri Lanka and Maldives), and Events Solution (India) happened on October 5, 2019 at Bombay Exhibition Centre in Goregaon, Mumbai. Underwater360 is proud to be co-organiser of this inaugural event.

Maldives’ Former President attends ADEX as a GOH

Former President and Speaker of the People’s Maljis Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, came to grace the event as a Guest of Honour at ADEX India about Maldives and the importance of healthy marine life.

“Maldives is not a small island state, it is a big ocean state.”

He says that Maldivians are the ocean people — people who live lives next to the ocean and grow up next to the sea. As such, the beach, sea, and underwater is intertwined with President Nasheed’s and also the lives of other Maldivians.

Maldives has a middle-income economy primarily thanks to the ocean. Therefore, he says, “It is in our interest that we maintain the beauty and health of the ocean.”

The Maldives is built on the coral reefs, and contains about 4500 square kilometers of reefs, or “farou”. The world has 800 species of coral and the Maldives boasts 250 of them. Maldives is also not only just for the rich— it is for everyone.

It is a new phenoma that humans have been able to observe the underwater. While the skies and stars are easy to see just by looking up, the sea shows blue but not what’s under it.

“When the Amazon burns we see it on TV and news. But when the reefs die we don’t see it.” He laments.

“In my view, this is why this exhibition becomes so important. You are the people that see it. We must tell the world about this.”

For 1000+ years we have had a clear definition and description of almost all our reefs, but haven’t been able to see them till recently.

“I come here as an advocate for protecting our environment. Our reefs are the first line of defense for our island. Without them, our island will face massive corrosion.”

It costs more than 750,000$ a metre to restore the reefs. As such, there is a need to preserve and save these reefs instead.

“The relationship divers have with marine biologists are very close, and this must be used.” The former president says.

There is a need to understand biodiversity and it’s conditions 50 years from now. “We are not willing to die.”

With climate crisis, humanity is at risk, but President Nasheed is optimistic.

“I believe we can save the planet. We can work against the odds and win it,” he says, “We want to survive. We must dream of a better world, and we will have a better world.”

India has taken upon herself, too, to realize that its reefs are important. India has a large shoreline; and has more reefs than mountains. “We are coming to a time where more and more Indians would go diving, to look at the world underwater.”

“The Environment must be an economic issue as well. You can’t just narrate it as a human rights and ethical issue. You need to get the message across.” He states.

“As politicians we can promise jobs, but green jobs. We can promise electricity, a good life, but the environment needs to be promised. This will be seen in the future of elections as well.”

He concluded by saying, “I may be a speaker and a former president, but I come here as a diver.”

 

Record holders shine at ADEX

 

Ahmed Gabr, Guinness World Record Holder in the Deepest Scuba Dive at 332.35 metres spoke about his venture and experience in breaking the record.

His companion had assured him, “If you go down and don’t come back up, it’ll be a movie. If you go down and come back up, it’ll be a record and a movie”

Ahmed believes that there is a huge difference between who you are and who you think you are. It took him 4 years to prepare for the deep dive, and every day of those 4 years he kept a goal and worked towards it.

Training was two parts for Ahmed: physical and mental preparation. Ahmed had no problem with the physical portion thanks to his history in the special forces.

“I actually had to reduce my physical activity!” He laughed.

The hard part was the mental aspect. “I had to remove the peer pressure. I had two options: if I focused with my main goal or if I waste time to think about what people think.”

“People thought I was an attention seeker. But I knew what I wanted to do. I didn’t listen to these people.”

At the end of the day, Ahmed chose to reside in the sixth dimension. “I chose to isolate myself in a bubble. But the bubble is flexible, it grows. But nothing can penetrate it.” Ahmed stopped listening to negativity and worked towards his goal. He failed a lot, but said, “what is the opposite of success? Not failure, it is part of success. I learnt, I failed so much- equipment wise, team wise. But the show goes on.”

Ahmed’s dive lasted almost 14 hours, and his friend “Sharkie”, an actual shark, kept him company for six of those hours. After the successful dive and record, Ahmed talked about him losing a third of his lung capacity that took months to recover.

 

Faisal Jawad Hashim, Guinness World Record Holder for the Fastest 10KM Scuba Dive in 5 hours 24 minutes talked about his near-death experience 14 years ago. His surgeon declared to Faisal’s family that he couldn’t promise anything: Faisal may not have been able to live for even 5 more minutes.

“Everyone suffers from loss in life. Some people crumble but others see that being strong is the only option,” he says.

But the hardest question to Faisal is: Would you like to walk again or not?

Faisal displays two photos: one of him in the hospital and another diving in the sea. “I am in both this photos. And I like both. The one on the right reminds me of how strong I can become.”

Faisal first felt that he lost everything— His health, study, and life. From being a professional football player in Kuwait’s national team to spending a year in the hospital recovering, he emerged to be born again. He started by included himself in the society again.

When he heard the terms: disabled, unable, and other negative words, he worked to change all these words with his hands.

“My determination is bigger than my disability. My rule in life is planning, planning planning. Plan 80%, work 20%”

In 2008, Faisal got his first international diving license, and Sipadan island was started his diving journey.

Faisal dove like a turtle, because he just used his hands. In his first dive, a turtle swam alongside him for a great part of the way.

“In 2005, I watched my friends play football and couldn’t join in, but in 2014, my friends longed to dive with me.”

Faisal was scared of the sea and the water as a child, but is now a rescue diver.

He broke the world record for the fastest scuba dive 1 hour quicker than the previous, able bodied record holder, at 5 hours and 24 mins.

“Don’t look at my legs as a challenge for me. Look at my eyes and the passion burning in them to take on the challenge.”

Faisal didn’t just break the record, he smashed it, leading to his “superhuman” title in the Guinness articles.

Leading back to the question, regarding if Faisal would like to walk again, he says, “Yes. But only if I have the same determination and courage I have today.”

“In 2005, I was the patient Faisal.

Today I am the champion Faisal.”

 

Panel discussion

A discussion and debate on sustainable diving tourism ensued with our moderator Ibrahim Naeem and panellists Zoona Naseem, Paul Tanner, Mitali Dutt Kakar, Jonah Skoles, Abi Carnadie, and Neil Francis.

Neil started off by saying that one should not be afraid to name and shame unsustainable practices and practitioners. Companies have a responsibility as an agency to conduct an investigation, push for retraining or even expelling to keep up standards.

Ibrahim also said that naming and shaming actually works, but Mitali added that it is the responsibility of a diver to report bad behaviour and practices in an agency.

Jonah countered that it is also good to reward good behaviour. “Don’t just name and shame but name and praise people who do their best as well.”

He insisted that companies need to work together. “There are so many issues but we’ve just scraped the surface. But if we put our heads together we can make a difference.”

Adi said that consumers try and choose sustainable operators, so businesses should sell themselves as such and also practice it. Hence, it is good for businesses to follow these footsteps.

Zoona said that, ultimately, education is very important. “Don’t blame policy makers. People should know what to do. It starts from home.”

Neil also added, “It’s purely about education and awareness, from children all the way to any person in the world. We can all implement changes– in personal, workspaces, or anywhere and everywhere you go. It starts with you and it can only grow from that.”

The second panel discussed Diving into Professionalism, and it was moderated by crowd favourite, Ahmed Gabr, and panellists included Julien Fortin, Commander Vishwanath Rajan, Anand Sharma, and John Seddon.

Ahmed questioned the panel on the accessibility of technical and professional diving, in which Rob, PADI’s Course Director for 20 years, said, “Back in the day the route wasn’t a defined route and systems were not clear. Now it’s more accessible route to be a tekdiver or a professional.”

Commander Vishwanath noted that there was no instructor training in India 13 years ago. But in contrast, today, 3 course directors, instructor trainers, and advanced level and speciality courses are available to the masses.

The consensus was that as professionals, one should not stop asking questions, especially “stupid” ones.

On the topic of the impact created by social media, Julien’s argument was that he simply did not believe in it. People have traveled distances to see him, and this is because he didn’t have a Facebook account. Ultimately, professionalism is more important. “It’s not one aspect of the job. If you’re spending 99% of time looking good for social media, you forget to look at equipment, technical parts, etc. Reality is slightly warped when social media is abused.”

John added that while social media is a powerful tool, most people are not trained in its use.

However, Ahmed made the point that generational and age difference should be considered when talking social media. “If you talk about millennials you can’t just ignore social media.”

Thanks to its technical but also highly relevant nature of discussion, and the jovial conversation-like flow of the dialogue, the panel kept the audience engaged and was very well received.

Speakers’ highlight

Julien Fortin from Technical Diving shared his in-depth expertise and experiences on Tek Diving and cave diving. He then posed a question: What can be done in India? Julien highlights, “Tek Diving simply exceeding rec limit without proper procedures and training is not tek. It’s stupid!” He also said that taking a passion and pushing it further is all about applying the right mindset.

Julien also emphasised on education, exploration and conservation. “Protect by it by proper training and getting the right buoyancy.” After all, Having the proper training, proper team, proper mindset makes a good Tek diver. “Everything you can find in the world, can be found in India. It’s just not found yet!”

Day 2 conclusion

ADEX India – Mumbai Dive show, today, served as a hub for businesses, divers, non-divers, and individuals alike in terms of its presentations, talks, panel discussions, and also its exhibitor booths. Audience interested in diving, or even just marine biodiversity and life, came together to enhance, learn from, and grow this tight-knit industry, proving that diving in India is definitely a budding activity.

Stay tuned for the exciting exhibitions, line up of programmes and international dive brands ONLY on ADEX India Day 3!

Register now and redeem your FREE digital copies of Asian Diver & Scuba Diver magazines and showguide at: https://adex.asia/india/emagazines/

ADEX Mumbai 2019, the inaugural Dive Expo in India hosted in partnership of Events Solution (India) and High Rise (Maldives) is held from October 4-6 in The Bombay Exhibition Centre. For more information, visit adex.asia/india/