Yet another question about diving operators in Singapore

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cinder
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Yet another question about diving operators in Singapore

Post by cinder » Tue, 16 Feb 2010 9:41 pm

hello,

had done my research, read all post tagged with 'diving', but couldn't find the answer (or even a hint) to the nagging question. so here i am again, asking for advice from the great crowd of singapore expat forum, especially the seasoned scuba divers.

do you have any recommendation for diving operator(s) who arrange trip to Tioman/Aur/Dayang over the weekend?

- operator with strict regulation regarding the environmental concern
- 1 dive master with not more than 4 divers
- i dont mind with big group to go (say, 16 persons within a boat), but the operator should plan the people & equipment movement within the boat
- needles to say, decent equipment

i heard many (seriously, a lot) stories from divers in singapore (especially the beginner like me) whose diving trips to the nearby islands sound like trips to wet markets: massive number of people lead by one dive master, less or no consideration on the environmental issue, and hectic time when going in and out of the water - rather stressful trip.

i am a novice diver; a spoiled novice diver i might say. i obtained my ow and advance certs in a school which Lonely Planet dubbed as 'Meryl Streep of diving schools in Koh Tao' due to its continuous winning of many awards (in fact, it has just been awarded the 2009 International Environment Achievement Award). right after that, i took a liveaboard trip in Similan and Surin with a very good operator too. these two definitely give me a right impression of what diving activity should be.

unfortunately, my luck was not long enough. i took two day trips right after the liveaboard trip with another operator, and it dawn on me how lucky i was with two earlier operators.

now i want to go around singapore for weekend trips, but not sure which operators to go with.

as always, thank you in advance for any input.
cheers, c

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 16 Feb 2010 10:48 pm

I have over 40 year of diving experience and over 20 years of commercial diving experience. I don't use any outfit in Malaysia or Singapore as I don't trust the lot. Most of the boats wouldn't pass any sort of safety inspection based on what I've seen. You dive with them at your own peril. I think the operators try their best but it's the boat owners who are the big culprits (although stories abound about cutthroat package providers as well). Just make sure you insurance policies are up to date. :-|
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by cinder » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 10:31 pm

ouch. that bad?
thanks SMS. and yes, DAN insurance is in order.

having much lower expectation, i am still hoping for some recommendation from other experience divers out there.

unfortunately i am a novice and still need a dive master to go with, and have no sources nor knowledge to arrange things myself and hire a private dive master. had booked my liveaboard for June with operator that is well recommended, but meanwhile i am desperate to don my fins again for quick trips over the weekend...

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 Feb 2010 10:52 pm

I'm not saying it's not possible to get a good trip. What I will leave you with is what my NAUI instructor told me lo on 34 years ago.....

"There are old divers and there are bold divers.......

But there are damn few old, bold divers."

Personally inspect every boat you get on. Ensure that all safety equipment is in order, in the correct numbers and inspection dates are current and not expired. This goes for extinguishers, lift raft/boats, tanks (if boat/operator is providing). radios working, emergency equipment is available/flares, etc. This will keep you alive. More people die because of confusion than anything else. Also, be sure to take your own regulator, BC and dive computer if you use one. Don't trust anybody elses. Your life is your responsibility.

I have always dived by the rules. I've been known to shut down operations on drilling rigs because I felt something was unsafe for my diving crew. I've never hurt a diver or been hurt (well aside from small stuff, cuts, abrasions and the like). I am sitting here looking at my old Desco Air Hat on top of my filing cabinet as I'm typing this. I bought it new in 1977. It's seen a lot and is, like it's owner, still serviceable, albeit a little long in the tooth, but always ready for a dive!

:cool:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by cinder » Thu, 18 Feb 2010 11:17 pm

Exactly SMS, there is no point being bold but then you will never ever have a chance for another dive because you are unable to, or simply because you cease to exist. Thank you for your input, indeed our lives are our own responsibilities. I am also concern on the impact of irresponsible diving activities to the environment, which I think it goes hand in hand with safety issues.

On the topic of operator in Singapore/Malaysia, I might see the light in the end of the tunnel from this link:
http://www.projectaware.org/knowledgeba ... 242&pid=86

Further input and recommendation are always welcome.

Cheers, c.

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Post by cvmc67 » Tue, 04 May 2010 9:39 am

You can try www.whitemanta.com and check out the trip schedules for the Black Manta. This is by far the best way to experience diving out of Singapore.

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Post by tall cat » Tue, 04 May 2010 10:18 am

i won't say i'm very season..but before i bought my own gear, i would always meet up with the dive operator (ok..that ONE dive operator that i go with) to choose my dive gear and pack it in a dive bag.

This allows me to ensure that my rental gear is in good condition.
(but at this end of the day, getting your own equipment is the best..minus the hassle of having to rinse & wash it after that and of course the lugging of the gear ard!)

Can i suggest that when you sign up for the dive, to indicate to the dive guide that you want a smaller grp (or better still got with four friends of similar dive experience) and ask for a dedicate dive master.
always happy to make a new fren...

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