While we were chatting with author Simon Pridmore the other day, conversation turned to Scuba Professional, his book for experienced divers, instructors and dive operators.
Why did you write Scuba Professional?
When you work in the scuba diving industry, you have very few sources for objective advice about teaching scuba diving or running dive operations. Dive centre owners and instructors may need to seem omniscient to their customers but many privately have a lot of unanswered questions about what they do and are aware that a little help would be useful. But they have nobody to turn to for answers. Most instructors work alone and dive operators tend to compete rather than consult with each other. Scuba Professional aims to fill this information gap.
What makes Scuba Professional different?
Most of the information available elsewhere is sponsored by diver-training agencies, so it is mainly focussed on selling an agency’s particular way of doing things. There are some excellent books written especially for technical divers that raise some of the issues I cover in Scuba Professional but these books rarely address the context of mainstream diving. I wanted to write a book that covered a wide range of issues that all people who work in diving have to deal with and discuss them with common sense, straight talking and no hidden agenda.
But Scuba Professional is not only for professionals, right?
Right! Scuba Professional is for also for what I call serious divers. These are people whose recreational life centres on scuba diving. They may be involved in the business predominantly as customers but their opinions, choices, input and enthusiasm are massive drivers in the scuba diving world. I certainly had this group of people at the forefront of my mind when I was writing Scuba Professional. I thought they would enjoy a book that offers glimpses of the inside workings of the scuba industry
The book is also for people who think they might like to follow a career in scuba diving. Being a dive professional can be highly rewarding, but it takes work, focus, political nous and awareness. Many people come into the sport professionally with their eyes half closed and it takes them a while before they realise what they have got themselves into. I wrote Scuba Professional to help newcomers get a clear idea of what is involved and make the right decisions.
You talk a lot in the book about a developing a safety culture. Can you explain what you mean?
The concept of diver safety is not new, of course, but within the industry it tends to be surrounded by a certain cynicism. Every dive operation and every instructor always claims that safety is their primary consideration but, as the book clearly demonstrates, in many cases this is patently not true. Often, financial considerations, fatigue or just plain apathy take precedence. This is not as it should be. Safe diving procedures should be paramount and universal throughout the dive industry. My first book Scuba Confidential told divers what divers should do to stay safe. Scuba Professional shows operators and instructors how to play their part in developing a stronger safety culture in the sport.
One key premise of Scuba Professional is this. If you get the safety issues right, then everything else, a solid income, a more fulfilling working life and a good reputation, will fall into place automatically.
Scuba Professional – Insights into Sport Diver Training & Operations is available via Amazon and other online bookstores in paperback and e-Book editions and via Audible and iTunes as an audiobook, narrated by the author
Learn more about Simon Pridmore at: http://www.simonpridmore.com