Update 12 May 2021: With vaccinations up and cases down, we are operating fully. Since we specialize in private classes, our risk to us and our clients are low. We do not create large groups of divers. In addition, all of our instructors have the coronavirus vaccine. We look forward to diving with you!
There has been a lot of unknowns and constant changes to policies, laws, and safety regulations during this pandemic. We want to assure you that we have been watching closely and trying to come up with our own plans on how we can continue to provide our Scuba instruction and services without compromising training quality. We do not believe it is in your best interests to skip or modify important skills that could compromise your safety as a diver. At the same time, we also don’t want to unduly put you at an increased risk of infection. This has presented a unique set of problems. We have solutions to some of those problems and will be implementing them in the near future. Others we are still working on and seeking additional solutions.
With that in mind, we have divided our reopening into 4 phases. You might notice there are no dates attached to these phases, and that is intentional. We don’t know how long this pandemic will continue to put our divers at risk, so we will be going through these phases when we feel it is safe to do so. Good news is everything points to it being very safe from transmission while underwater. Bad news is things are constantly changing so we might go forward or we might roll back our phases and things progress.
Phase 0: No in person meetings.
This was our phase during the initial lockdown. Nothing in person. No diving, classroom, etc. Remote refreshers and eLearning still an option. Can still special order dive gear.
Phase 1: Return to shore diving with certified divers, with their own gear.
In this phase, only trained divers with their own gear will come to our events or hosted dives. Social/Physical distancing will be followed on the surface with masks during briefing and gear setup. Distance will also be maintained during shore entry and surface swims. This will affect what surf conditions we are comfortable with diving in. Divers bringing, using, and washing their own gear will also reduce risk of cross contamination infection.
Phase 2: Begin teaching specialties through shore diving only.
With this phase we will begin teaching lower risk specialties again. Elearning and remote classroom will be utilized as much as possible. Any in person instruction will be conducted with masks, hand washing, and physical distancing. If gear is involved, each diver will have their own set and not share with each other, or equipment will be disinfected between use (ex. EANx analyzer). Surface instruction will be with masks when out of water and distancing if in the water at the surface.
Phase 3: Begin renting gear again with enhanced cleaning procedures and a cleaning setup in the truck for divers to clean their own gear. Boat dives, Catalina Day Trips, and events may resume.
We are in the process of establishing a washing and decontamination system with our Jade Scuba truck. Once that is sorted and we have all our decon procedure ducks in a row, we’ll be able to rent gear again. Gear will be cleaned and disinfected on site before returning it to us. It will only be handled by us with clean hands and masks on so as to keep them clean. Dive Boats, Catalina, and our larger events obviously have increased risk, so this phase will wait until we feel it is safe to start having larger gatherings again or when protocols are in place that make it safer to do so. This will also depend on state and local regulations regarding larger gatherings.
Phase 4: gain access to pools and begin teaching open water and rescue courses.
Pools and Open Water hold the highest risk of infection for us and our divers. With that in mind, these are the two things that will be last to resume. Unfortunately, this is very bad for business since Open Water is what gets you all started in this fantastic sport. As stated previously, we are not willing to compromise safety and quality of training. With that in mind, we will take the necessary steps when they are safe to do so regardless of our bottom line. You and your safety is what is most important to us.