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COVID-19 – message from RAID President Paul Toomer

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the planet, RAID President Paul Toomer sent out a message to all RAID divers

On behalf of RAID HQ and all regional office staff, I’d like to share some information on the agency’s current position on the COVID-19 pandemic.

We all appreciate that everyone has to comply to directives from our respective governments and health department officials globally. Unfortunately, this means that training and travel as we know it has changed. Our aim over the coming weeks is to provide you with some business interruption assistance wherever we can. We are trying as best as possible to not just talk about assistance, but to actually bring something that truly benefits you in these times.

Even at HQ, we have stopped travel, and many HQ staff, senior directors, and ITs who have travelled in the near past have placed themselves in self-isolation. Naturally, this affects our scheduled travel for business-related meetings and training commitments with our members and divers globally, but in the interest of abundant caution, we are certain this is the best action our company can take.

Our members have expressed serious concerns over common practices in agency-sanctioned scuba training. Two specific concerns are in regard to gas-/air-sharing drills and equipment disinfecting. We have brought these concerns to the attention of the appropriate authorities and will be discussing what action our members can take to keep divers in training as safe as possible. We will be releasing updates immediately after those meetings.

As you all know, RAID training courses are valid for six months. If you have purchased a RAID programme and are unable to complete the course within the six months, we will extend your course so that you can complete the program once these trying times are over.

We are empathetic about the negative impact COVID-19 is having on businesses, our families, our dive centres, our professionals, and, of course, our divers. RAID is also working hard on alternative programmes and standards changes designed to help support your business, your diving ambitions, and your continued diving and teaching safety. We will release regular news and updates.

If you are in doubt about anything regarding diver training and how COVID-19 impacts it, please do not hesitate to contact your local representative.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please stay safe.

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. 30-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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