With the world in lockdown over the Coronavirus Pandemic the dive industry is facing a challenging time ahead, with huge ramifications from the small local dive shop to the huge globe manufacturer everyone has been affected.
I have just returned from an amazing trip to the Great Barrier Reef on board the Spirit of Freedom, and in the week that I was on the boat, with limited internet access, the world became a very different place. Great credit to the Spirit of Freedom crew, about half way through the trip they found out that this would be the last cruise for a while and that they would probably be out of work when they got back to Cairns. Despite this they continued to provide a fantastic service and an amazing experience for all the guests onboard.
Now like many other dive centres, resorts and liveaboards they have been forced to close their doors. The new measures that have been introduced to control the spread of the virus means that it is impossible to continue operating in the usual way. Hopefully these stringent measures will mean Australia and New Zealand bounce back from this catastrophe sooner rather the later. The latests report suggest that the curve is levelling off and while we are by no means out of the woods just yet it is perhaps an encouraging sign.
While some businesses might not recover, others will simply have to go into hibernation and some are taking the opportunity to make repairs, refit or carry out boat maintenance, check dive site moorings and service equipment. With most people now confined to home this is also a great time to look at taking an online diving course. Dive training organisations such as PADI & RAID are offering e-learning courses to help people beat the boredom of home confinement.
Like many businesses we have also been affected by COVID-19 and we are having to adapt to our new working environment. We are mainly distributed through the dive centres in Australia and New Zealand and as these are now mostly closed for the time being, we have taken the decision to temporarily halt publication of the magazine and concentrate on our website, bringing you the latest dive related news and features from around the world.
All we can do for now is to heed the government's advice and stay indoors as much as possible. Making sure that we are all safe and not spreading the virus further is the most important concern at the moment. Once the situation is under control we can look to support our diving businesses by getting back in the water and rediscovering our passion for diving.
Photo Credit: PADI Website & Adrian Stacey