It is a real concern that new arrivals to Australia are once again over-represented in drowning statistics.
It is not because they can’t swim, (it is estimated that 65% of drowning victims could swim), It’s because of:
- Ignorance: They do not fully understand the dangers associated with coastal regions of Australia
- Over-confidence: They do not have a realistic grasp of their abilities in Australian aquatic environments
- Panic: which is the greatest cause of drowning fatalities worldwide
Being that Australia is a new environment to them, they cannot be aware of all the dangers our natural environments present.
It is in our best interest as hosts to ensure our guest have an enjoyable, memorable experience and build a reputation as not only being a great place to study, backpack or work, but as a safe place to experience our natural wonders
Cost: $75 (pool + pool fees) ($90 ocean)
The Aqua-Master Program is empowering international visitors to take safety into their own hands and explore our coastlines in a manner which is safe to them and the environment
There are three components to the program (completed in one lane at your aquatic centre or inside a netted baths area within the harbour).
- Discussion of the dangers associated with coastal areas.
- Snorkelling Safety & Skills
- PADI Discover SCUBA DIVING
We can organise program without Snorkelling or without SCUBA
1. Dangers associated with coastal areas
Going on the premise that ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’ our Instructor draws from his experience to discuss the common and uncommon dangers that our coastlines present and where Australians and visitors are getting it wrong. It is very comprehensive, covering:
- Dangerous surf
- Weather changes
- Exploring rocky platforms or tidal platforms
- Marine life
Segment 3: Snorkel Safety & Skills
Your students might only ever get one chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef or Ningaloo Reef, and too often people do not get the experience they expected because they thought snorkelling was just a matter donning the gear and jumping in.
Our snorkel Safety & Skills component covers the dangers associated with snorkelling, equipment, basic and advanced snorkelling skills and self-rescue and victim rescue techniques.
We are providing your students with the skills and knowledge to explore the aquatic realm in a manner which is safe to them and so that they get the best out of their experience.
Some examples of what the Instructor covers.
- Choosing safe sites
- Environmental conditions – research on tides, currents and weather (e.g. on the east coast, Blue Bottles and Urakandji are mostly seasonal, blown in on the Northerly winds)
- Marine biology – dangerous species to watch out for, how to avoid them and first aid
- Entry/exit points – especially around rocks or strong tides
- Failing to recognise personal abilities in respects to site selection, weather, currents etc.
- Boat traffic – often issue snorkelers overlook
- Understanding common dangers associated with snorkelling
- Hypoxia kills more teenagers than any other age group
- Reef rash is the cause of many coastal holidays being destroyed
- Developing an emergency plan
- Inexperienced guides – too often victims to the reef have been led by inexperienced tour guides
- Choosing equipment – Ill-fitting equipment contribute greatly to snorkelling deaths and injuries
We can also organise snorkelling lessons and snorkelling tours in the ocean with a marine biologist.
Segment 4: SCUBA Component
It is on the list of most visitors to Australia to try SCUBA on the Great Barrier Reef.
Unfortunately, SCUBA can be expensive and too often people spend more money than they cared to, only to find out they:
- Can't do it
- Didn't enjoy it
- Spent too much time learning the skills on a Discover Scuba Diver program and not enough time seeing the reef
A couple of other complaints would include:
- Felt as though they were rushed to do skills and found it difficult to keep up, which lead to failure
- The surge of waves, visibility or the current made it difficult to complete skills, which lead too failure
Our SCUBA PADI Discover Scuba Diving program introduces the student to SCUBA Diving in a highly supervised and controlled environment.
Under the guidance of our highly experienced PADI Instructor, students learn and practice skills in a relaxed manner, building confidence and competence.
By the end of the course the students will gain a greater understanding of what it takes to SCUBA and have the abilities to complete all Discover SCUBA Diving skills in a more dynamic environment, thus spending more time experiencing the reef.
We can also run this program within the nest at Chowder Bay with the fish and Seahorses
Bachelor of Secondary Teaching
Teaching qualifications:Science, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Environmental Science, Biology- UTS Sydney
BSc Degree, Marine Science, (Oceanography, Marine biology)
Murdoch University, Perth, WA
Associate Degree in Applied Science, Parks Recreational and Heritage Management
Charles Sturt University, Albury N.S.W.
PADI Master Scuba Diver Instructor and Rescue Trainer
(29 year’s experience)
Certificate II in Marine Studies
Diploma of marine studies Fisheries Management (Marine Biology)
Certificate II in Marine Studies
C.Y. O’Connor, College of T.A.F.E, Perth, WAExperience
Having grown up directly on the Murrumbidgee River and spending my youth hanging out at the local river swing, I mostly learnt river safety from some scary but lucky experiences of my own, friends and from horrific stories of mistakes some of the locals made.
From Wagga, I travelled for 20 years, working around the planet in a diversity of marine environments as a; Marine Biologist, SCUBA Instructor, Snorkel Instructor/Guide, Underwater Videographer and First Mate/Deckhand.
I have worked around the world with University Students as an Overland Tour Guide, Including:
- Western Xposure (WA): Extended tours from Perth to Broome/Perth To Esperance
- Intrepid Tours: South-East Asia
- Kumuka Travel: Middle East (Syria, Jordan and Egypt)
- Colourful Trips: Day tours from Sydney (part time)
From these experiences I witnessed the numerous ways in which people can get themselves in trouble in our aquatic environments.
Upon arriving back in Australia, I discovered that drowning fatalities were at their highest ever and continuing to increase. I also discovered that water safety education in Australia was way below standard and not evolving to effectively meet current priorities in drowning prevention. This lead to me designing the u-Rippa current simulator and associated programs.
For the past ten years I have been teaching my Water Safety Programs for Secondary Schools, primary schools, Universities and Swim Schools
During this time, my understanding of water safety has increased significantly and my programs have evolved into some of the best water safety programs available in Australia.
High Commendation for Community Education Program of the year 2014 at the Royal Life Saving N.S.W. Water Safety Awards