|Beaches dive instructor earns highest PADI rating|
|Thursday, 04 August 2011 10:24|
Gustavo Simons Martinez has earned the highest and most respected professional rating in recreational scuba diving, becoming the first resident PADI Course Director in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Simons, whose grandmother is from Salt Cay, is also the first islander by descendant and Dominican to obtain the Course Director certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the world’s largest recreational diving membership and diver training organization.
“Becoming a PADI Course Director places me in a very strategic position to promote and increase enrollments in PADI Instructor Courses here in the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Simons said. “One of the benefits for tourism is that persons who wish to become diver instructors could travel to the TCI for certification.”
“Attaining the PADI Course Director certification allows me to instruct a wide variety of PADI Pro Level Courses and would give the Turks and Caicos Islands an edge in promoting, increasing and conducting more PADI Instructor Development Courses.”
Simons, now 37, has been a PADI member for 18 years, but it all started when he was a child.
“As a very young lad growing up in the Dominican Republic, I was always fascinated with swimming and water sports activities,” he said. “One day on an invite from friends, I visited a dive center. I was captivated by the underwater environment.”
“Hard work, perseverance, personal sacrifices and networking with the professional team of PADI staff, were vital to my professional success with PADI,” he said.
Simons has led initiatives like Project Aware Coral Watch and has organized shoreline and underwater beach clean-up campaigns. He also is a member of the TCI Environment Club and the TCI Red Cross as a first responder.
Working with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, Simons has been trained to capture the invasive lionfish and helps control them on the Reef Ball artificial reefs off Beaches in the Princess Alexander National Park.
“I strive to conduct high quality training to produce the best professional divers and dive instructors at PADI’s standards,” said Simons, who has worked at Beaches for almost five years. “With the growth in tourism and the ensuing interest in scuba diving, many dive enthusiasts want to take up diving as a career.
“My goal is to increase the number of local dive instructor. I trust that my presence and achievement would inspire other divers and dive instructors to continue to pursue their diving career.”
|Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2011 10:31|
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