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Diving With Seaventures Dive Rig, Mabul Sipadan, Celebes Sea, Malaysia

Asia DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer


What is your name?

Pete Hamerton

What is the name of your business?

Seaventures Dive Rig

What is your role within the business?

Dive Team Manager

How long has the business operated for?

Since 1997

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I learnt to dive in 2003 and became an Instructor in 2009. I am currently a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, Tec Deep Instructor, TDI Advanced Trimix Diver and IANTD Full Cave Diver.

What is your favorite type of diving?

Other than teaching diving, I enjoy Caves, Deep Walls, Wrecks and Muck Diving.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Seaventures Dive Rig is the world’s first and only oil rig that has been re-purposed into a dive resort. We offer daily dive trips to Sipadan, regularly voted as one of the best dive locations in the world. And we offer daily diving at Mabul Island – macro-diving heaven! But it’s not just the diving that we love. The whole experience of living on a former oil rig is a one of a kind experience. Rooms are small but comfortable. There is an almost 360 degree view of the Celebes Sea with great sunrises and sunsets. We pride ourselves on having an extremely experienced, friendly, multi-lingual and safety-conscious dive team. Finally, we pride ourselves on providing superb customer service – both topside and underwater – and excellent food.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

The Rig’s house-reef is definitely a favourite if you love macros. Nudibranch, pygmy seahorse, frogfish, and the ornate ghost pipefish are just some that you will see under the Rig. Other than that we love Turtle Tomb and South Point. Both are famous dive sites at Sipadan. Turtle Tomb is a cave system that stretches for several hundred metres under Sipadan Island. It contains the perfectly preserved skeletons of about 20 dead Turtles and a dead Dolphin. We think they have found their way into the cave through a hole in the reef wall and were unable to find their way out. It’s an unforgettable dive and a really unique cave system.

South Point is an awesome wall dive on the South side of Sipadan Island. The wall starts at about 10m and stretches into the abyss – 600m below…! It’s great for recreational diving, Tec diving and Freediving (we are a PADI TecRec and Freediving centre). The wall is covered in vibrant soft and hard corals; we regularly see numerous Green and Hawksbill turtles and we regularly see different types of Sharks cruising past in the blue.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Recreational diving, Tec diving, Freediving, Rebreather diving, Wall diving, Macro diving, Drift diving and Night diving.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Working with people and being in the ocean. Whether that’s a PADI Open Water student learning neutral buoyancy for the first time, guiding an experienced cave diver into Turtle Tomb, mentoring an Instructor candidate about to take their Instructor Exam or working with a diverse, dedicated, talented and multi-lingual group of colleagues.

At Seaventures we’re fortunate to have an awesome dive team who, between them, have over a hundred years of diving experience. I’m constantly impressed by our dedicated and hard-working team who always strive to show our customers the best of Mabul and Sipadan Islands, prioritise safety and make their guests smile. We also have some great customers from all over the world – and it’s a real pleasure to watch their faces as they come on to the rig for the first time (all of the team who aren’t diving personally greet arriving customers).

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Ornate Ghost Pipefish. I love their shape, colours and get a real sense of satisfaction whenever I find one….because they’re quite hard to find!

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Absolutely. We’ve just become a PADI Freediver centre and are really excited to start offering Freediving courses, as well as guided freediving, for our guests. We’re the first dive centre in the area to offer freediving and one of the few to offer Tec and Cave diving for our customers.

In addition, we’ve just finished our first Ocean Conservation week. As a busy dive resort, we’re acutely aware of some of the threats facing the ocean. We always try and educate our students and guests on the importance of preserving the marine environment – but we also want to have a set period every year where we relentlessly focus on this. We’re not only working with our guests and local community to educate them about some of the threats facing the marine environment, and what they can do to help, but we’re also looking at our business practices. For example, this year, we have stopped providing our guests with plastic bottled water. Instead, we’re providing re-fillable glass bottles. It may seem like a small change, but if you scale that up, that’s a significant reduction in the amount of plastic that we’re generating every year.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

It’s not a quite a problem but more of a challenge. Our Rig is located 45 minutes away from the nearest town (although we’re only minutes away from Mabul Island and only twenty minutes from Sipadan) so everything has to be transported in by boat. As such, we try and anticipate guest’s needs by having a well-stocked shop on the rig. In addition, because we are located literally above the water, every decision we make to use, install or build something has to consider the environmental impact that will have.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

The team at Seaventures has over a hundred years of diving experience between them. We have seen many changes in that time. A few that we are especially conscious of:

  • A much greater focus and urgency on the threats facing the ocean, and, with the support of partners like Project AWARE, a means to address some of these.
  • Increased popularity of Freediving and Tec (both of which we offer). Including the recreational rebreather market.
  • Especially in South-East Asia and Australia, there has been a massive increase in the number of Chinese divers. This is great, and has significantly changed the market across every aspect of the business.

Markets evolve for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. Working in the dive industry, we have the ability to both shape and respond to some of those changes. We’ve seen a huge increase in the volume of divers and the speed at which we can get people into the water. That’s great. But we also need to make sure that students, from the very beginning, are learning and mastering good buoyancy skills and safety habits. This should be an integral part of their diving habits and is crucial for environmental and safety reasons.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Well, we dive every day at Sipadan and Mabul islands. They are both world-renowned dive locations that never fail to impress guests. And we are the world’s first oil rig that has been re-purposed as a dive resort. But on top of that, we strive to offer three things without fail: un-compromising safety standards; excellent standards of service and experience topside and underwater; and, like any business, sales.

On the last point, we take the time to listen to where customers are in their diving career and match the appropriate diving course or experience to them. If that’s a PADI DSD or a guided cave dive, we can offer it. We offer a wide range of diving courses and experiences, have an experienced and multi-lingual team, and have the benefit of a huge variety of diving options (Caves, Deep, Macro, Walls, Drift etc.)– so we don’t just blindly push the next course on to customers – we work out where they are and want to go with their diving, and try and help them get there.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business? 

If you would like to know more about scuba diving and living on a former oil rig, email us at info@seaventuresdive.com or visit our website at www.seaventuresdive.com. We are also reachable at +6088 251 669 if you wish to speak to us.

You can also follow us on our social media pages for updates at:

https://www.facebook.com/seaventures
https://plus.google.com/107344633898864939260
https://instagram.com/seaventuresdiverig
https://twitter.com/Seaventures

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DAN and Indonesia Ministry of Tourism advance commitment to Safe Diving

Asia DTA Team

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Divers Alert Network and the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism are moving forward with their commitment to promoting dive safety in Indonesia. DAN President and CEO Bill Ziefle and COO Panchabi Vaithiyanathan met with Indonesia Minister of Tourism Dr. Sandiaga Uno on September 1 to further the two organizations’ Partnership to Promote Diving Safety

The meeting took place in Jakarta amid the opening of Deep and Extreme Indonesia, Asia’s largest outdoor adventure, diving, and marine tourism show, and followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year in which the organizations committed to working together to promote safe diving.

In the months ahead, DAN’s Indonesia team, led by Ronny Hertiadhi and Bayu Wardoyo, will be undertaking various initiatives including raising awareness for the new DAN Emergency Hotline in Indonesia (which is available in Bahasa Indonesia and English), training physicians through DAN’s Academies of Dive Medicine, conducting inspections and providing support for recompression chambers, training chamber operators, disseminating safety resources for divers (new and experienced), and supporting dive professionals and operators with free safety consultations, safety seminars, and risk mitigation measures.

“We are so pleased to be working with Minister Uno and his colleagues on this bold initiative,” Ziefle said. “Their enthusiasm — and the enthusiasm of the attendees at the DEEP show — was inspiring. The ministry has embraced the importance of safety in promoting Indonesia as a great place to dive, and we are excited to work alongside them to implement meaningful programs and strategies.”

While the effort is ongoing, the next major milestone in the collaboration will take place on September 13, when DAN Vice President, Risk Mitigation, Francois Burman and DAN Vice President, Medical Services, Matías Nochetto will travel to Indonesia to present a series of lectures and safety presentations to dive operators and medical professionals around the country.

Join the DAN community or learn more at DAN.org.

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Save on NEW Emperor Harmoni

Asia DTA Team

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The launch of Emperor Harmoni – Emperor Divers’ brand-new liveaboard in Indonesia – is just a few weeks away with the finishing touches currently taking place. And, to welcome her to their fleet, Emperor have put together an offer as magnificent as the boat herself.

Anyone booking a trip on Harmoni for 2022 or 2023 will receive a 25% discount if they book and confirm before October 1st 2022.

That means the first guests on board can not only explore and dive the Indonesian waters in the finest of style but do so at an incredible price. And sailing on Harmoni really is fine.

She is a 24-berth, traditional Indonesian phinisi-style vessel which has been bespoke made using a combination of Emperor’s vast experience of liveaboards and the expertise of legendary Indonesian boat builder Pak Haji.

Constructed almost entirely by hand using Sulawesi ironwood, Harmoni has been designed specifically to offer the finest diving experiences possible in spacious surroundings of the very highest standard.

The beautifully-finished cabins all have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning while the deck areas offer plenty of comfortable places to sit and maybe even enjoy a relaxing massage. The dining area is spacious and serves the high-quality food and drink you would expect from an Emperor Divers holiday.

The first trip leaves on September 16th and will cruise from Bali, taking in the wonderful scenery of Moyo Island, Sumbawa and Sangean Volcano before finally reaching Komodo National Park. 

The offer is valid on new bookings only and discount is not to be combined with group free places or any other discount or promotion.

Email reservations@emperordivers.com to confirm pricing and availability or speak personally to the Emperor Divers’ reservation team to find out more.

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