This is a tough, challenging time for everyone, but PADI Retail and Resort Dive Operators have been hit particularly hard. The impacts of social distancing, forced shutdowns and travel bans have kept most of us away from diving and dive centers. But, the problem for dive shops is their cash-flow and business levels are at an all-time low. Many are just trying to hang-on and survive through all of this, so they can reemerge and be there for all of us when this season passes.

PADI Dive Center and Resort operators are a spirited group of largely small specialty entrepreneurs who have devoted their lives and passion to servicing all of us in the diving community. It’s where we go for diving community, gear sales, equipment service, air fills, local diving, dive travel, and training – in other words, connection, preparation and education, all essential to all divers and the diving community worldwide. It is difficult for small business operators to navigate this downturn and they need our support and help, so right now we need to go there for survival – theirs.

Connection. Diving is a people-centered pursuit. Staying plugged into your PADI Dive Shop is the best way to keep connected to your local dive community and what’s going on. Being in touch keeps you engaged with their social hub so you know who’s doing what, what’s happening where and most everything else centered on the sea and diving – and other divers. If you are thinking about getting your gear serviced, cylinders inspected, purchasing a class or diving equipment – do it now and please don’t wait. It may make the difference in whether your local dive shop is able to clear this downturn. Many dive shops are offering curbside drop-off and other accommodations based on local guidelines. Please help them now if you can.

Preparation. Your dive shop keeps (or gets you) ready to dive. Besides being the best place to get gear, it’s where you get it serviced (best timed for when you won’t be needing it for a spell). But, your local dive shop keeps you prepared in other ways: They book local and distant diving outings and trips. They can help you find a buddy when you need one, and if you don’t know where/when to dive, they’re your first stop. Whatever you need before you can actually pack your gear bag and head to the water, chances are they can help you with it.

Education. You already know your local PADI Dive Center or Resort is the place to keep learning and growing as a diver with traditional and eLearning courses. But, I’m speaking of “education” more broadly, integrated with connection and preparation. The PADI Pros are savvy to what’s up and what’s happening in diving – especially regionally – so make them your first stop for information. Whatever the local situation is, your local dive shop stays on top of what it takes to be diving right where you are.

Survival. Diving wouldn’t be possible without our community-based dive shops, and we want PADI Dive Shops there for us as divers when we are able to come back. But, right now they need our help. There are many things we can do to help them through this time, and the most basic is the easiest – support them now.

As the world begins transitioning from sheltering in place to less restrictive practices that let us get back to life that is “less unnormal,” go in person if you can, or reach out virtually with an email, Skype or FaceTime, post on their Facebook page or whatever connection you find on their webpage. Please just let them know you’re loyal and thinking about them and want to help. And, check out and share this video on social media to get other divers doing the same.

Thank you.

Stay well, connected and committed,

Drew Richardson
President & CEO PADI Worldwide

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