IANTD and Divetech, Ltd. of Grand Cayman signed an agreement whereby IANTD has licenced a complete educational system for teaching Free Diving (Apnea or breath-hold) courses. This represents a unique new and signifigant offering from a premier scuba training agency. The intended availability date for IANTD Instructors to offer the courses is October, 2000.
Divetech, Ltd. of Grand Cayman developed the educational system of courses for teaching free diving, with an emphasis on safety. IANTD has licensed the educational system to bring standards, consistency, recognition and safety, through education, to the sport of free diving. Our mutual goals are to promote the sport of free diving by bringing new awareness to it through the continuing education programs that have been created.
There are literally millions of snorkelers today that are searching the oceans and seas from the surface. Many of the pelagic marine interaction environments such as diving with whales, dolphins, manatees and the like are best done free diving. Photography and video opportunities are expanded with breath-hold diving versus being on scuba. Many areas have avid spear fishing, conch, lobster, and abalone fishing that is all done without tanks, simply by breath-hold diving.
The new cirriculum will allow IANTD Instructors, Facilities and Licensees new business opportunities. Free diving is an ideal winter and summer sport, and many courses and local events can be conducted in swimming pools. As the snorkel market continues to expand, IANTD free diving courses, through student and achievement recognition, will bring new training and educational opportunities to IANTD Facilites and Instructors. Promoting safe and confident snorkle and free diving programs can be started with 6 year olds, allowing good watermanship skills to be developed at an early age. In addition to increased training courses, many retail products and dive travel oportunities will be available.
The certification courses offered are designed to increase a diver’s breath-hold range and comfort in the water. From snorkeling and Open Water Free diver through the Master Free Diver course, students are taught constant ballast diving techniques. The courses develop a detailed understanding of all aspects of breath-hold diving, including history, physics, physiology, psychological factors, breathing techniques and emergency procedures, along with skills and free diving experience. Courses run 1 to 3 days, with minimum age restrictions and prerequisites applicable.
Courses include programs for Snorkle/Skin Diver (surface to 15 feet/5 meters) for ages 6 and up, Open Water Free Diver (to maximum depths of 33 feet/10 meters) for ages 10 and up, Advanced Free Diver (to maximum depths of 66 feet/20 meters) for ages 12 and up, and a Master Free Diver course (to maximum depths of 99 feet/30 meters) for ages 16 and up. Instructor and Instructor trainer programs for the above are also available.