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Hey all, obviously from my other posts I am going into commercial diving. But I was reading a couple other threads and saw the Aquanauts Dive Centre mentioned in a couple. Anybody have any thoughts on this learning experience in Thailand to become a recreational Dive instructor? Always enjoy good information on how to expand knowledge as a diver. Although Commercial is totally different then recreational Id like to know more about this as something I may do a year or so from now....
Yes, Commercial is different, but it cannot hurt your resume or experience to be a DM or OWSI. In fact many commercial operators require a divemaster cert as a minimum, as the education behind the DM (Physics, Physiology in particular) are quite useful.
Here at Aquanauts we also do a lot of technical diving, whcih can be of great value to you. Decompression diving, trimix, rebreathers (semi-closed and fully-closed), gas blending and equipment technican. We offer an "Intro to Tech" package -- gas blender, semi-closed rebreather, equipment tech and Discover Tec -- free with early signup.
There are a numnber of current and former Aquanauts interns here on Scubaboard. Contact Freddie@Aquanauts, Laura0314, Josh_Ingu, and/or Milktrayman to get some first hand tales.
There's also, unfortunately, a handful of people from the competition and their partners who love open door opportunities like this to stir things up saying things like "don't go there. PM me and I'll tell you why." Should they post here (and I expect they will) just keep in mind their motivations.
As always, we at Aquanauts are here by e-mail and toll-free telephone to assist you. Numbers and contact info are on our website, the link to which is below.
Hi DiveMon read this post about Aquanauts that was posted here in ScubaBoard
I went to Aquanauts Dive centre because I was informed by Bob James the person that looks after the internships and attracts customers through there website how good they were and how poor the instruction was at other centres. I sent numerous emails to aqunaunts and each one was answered promptly and even when i expressed concerns regarding being treated as just spare labour and not a paying customer Bob James phone me direct to confirm that I was and will always be a paying customer and treated accordingly. I believed this and made a decission based on that. This was my first mistake. When I arrived I was greeted by Bob James and given the Bob James Talk where he tells you all about what is going to happen and the ins and outs of what you might expearance in Pattaya. Although the website stated quite clearly that this was a complete package with nothing further to pay, to start off with I seemed to constantly dipping into my pocket for things that were not included, so I suggest you exam the very small print on the website, even when I got to my IDC I was still dipping into my pocket. On the website it said you do two IDC's I have yet to see anyone do two unless they fail the first IDC so i never got exactly what i paid for, this is a very comon gripe amongst interns.
On the very first day I got on the boat I was informed that because I was an intern I had to wait untill all the other paying customers were fed before I could get something to eat. So much for being treated as a customer, I queried this instruction and was informed by the person running the boat that this instruction had come from top. I can not say I was impressed but I let it ride as it was a minor point as there was always plenty quality food to eat. I am not sure how to spell her name but Wee the cook never failed to amaze me with the quality of food she could supply. The captain and the Boat boy were generaly good guys but unfortunailty the captain that I knew has been replace and I have no information about the new captain but I am sure he will be ok.
My next concern was raised by the way that some of the interns and instructors were being spoken to. On one occassion I heard the MSDT in charge of the boat shout out accross the water infront of customers to another instructor to get back on the F--k--g boat as he had been in the water too long, it was obvious the the instructor in the water was having problems with the student but obviously this was no concern of the person runing the boat, it became obvious that the person runing the boats driving goal was to get out get dives done and get back so he could get home. I always dreaded the day when the MSTD would over step the mark with me because I do not tollerate bad service well, after all we were meant to be paying customers.
About two weeks later when i was evaluating a rescue course, I was DMT at this point and should not be doing this as I was not a certified assistant, again it was the same MSTD, my father had come out for a holiday and had commented on the general manor in which the person spoke to those that he did not favour yet those that were in favour were spoken to with respect, I was in water evaluating scenario 4 for the instructor when I informed the diver doing the course "diver on the surface in distress", there was no response from the rescue diver or the MSTD so i said it again assuming that they had not heard at this point the MSTD turned round to me a said "SHUT UP" my hackels went up, I continued the evaluation but I have to be honest and say I was not a very happy person, my father comented to me later that I had done well as he had seen me re-act to this sort of situation in a very dramatic manor before. I can not think of many places that you would get away with telling a paying customer to shut up. There was another situation very similar to this about 2 weeks later and on this ocasion it made sure this so called professional knew exactly what I thought about him, the way he speaks to people and his genaral monor of professionalisim.
At this point I did not know if I wanted to continue with this company so decide to reoprt the incidents to the senoir staff. I was told that what had happened was unaceptable they would investigate it and get back to me I am still waiting. I have many more incidents that I could write about but this generally sums this company up.
When working with the Course Director or the MI at Aquanauts they are decent guys in fact I got on realy well with the MI and have nothing but praise for them thier teaching and profesionalisim when they are working with you. Unfortunailty you dont get to spend a great deal of time with them, they also seem to want to follow the path of least resistance so problems never get sorted or actualy delt with and invariably the problem grows. This meant that if you had strength of charater to chalenge the situation to make things better or highlight areas your not happy about, even though you are a paying customer you will then be labeled a trouble maker or a poor candiate/instructor.I had some great times there and made many new and good friends but over all my experiance with Aquanauts left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
This new, anonymous poster has conveniently left out half the post and the real story: That the very same author of the post above loved Aquanauts so much, he signed up for not one, but two training packages and then wrote a glowing testimonial about us for our own website, which is reprinted at the link above as well.
It was only after we refused to hire him as an instructor due to his many personality conflicts with our staff and customers did he go over to our competition and join with them in launching an online vendetta and rewrite history, in the form of the SB archive post.
Whether or not this new poster is the same Colsom (i.e. Colin Stuart PADI IDCS#487679) or the webmaster at our cross-town rivals who, rather than come on here and promote his company positively, loves to continually sign up for new accounts and repost the same half-story or worse, I don't know. All I know is that it's getting old.
You'll note this new poster registered today, has only one post and of course its negative about us. You'll find that in a number of posts about Aquanauts there are the same negative, anonymous postings from the same person, our cross-town competition and their financial partners, all trying to say the same thing: Don't go there. But I can't tell you why unless you PM me. Wink Wink. It's a cute way to get around PADI standards that explictly state you cannot unrightfully bad-mouth another PADI member.
Here's a news flash to whoever you are: Scubaboard users, like the public in general, are smarter than that. They know axe-grinding when they see it and value opinions from credible sources who actually put their names on their posts.
If you really want to know about Aquanauts from our customers, simply use Scubaboard and PM Fred@Aquanauts, Miltrayman, Laura0314 or Josh_Ingu, all current or former Aquanauts interns. They're at least not afraid to put their names behind what they say.
Well Pattaya is a dirty city, of course a lot instructor there are worldclass but of course I have seen some heavy alcoholism ex army-now scuba instructors.
With all the hookers on the street there also the human trash from Europe/USA comes in a higher percentage than on a place where you have only beach and fishes......
I think thats not only a problem of the aquanauts. The question is how you run a company in that surely not easy enviroment.
(But the aquanauts told me in a private message that there are also hookers in other places in Thailand -- Thank you for that value, secret information)