I think we need to remind Ben that this is a diving school for the little ones!
Most parents are a little tentative about their adventurous kids wanting to experience the wonders of the deep. In fact, many dive companies have a policy where the students have to be well into their teens before allowing them to join classes.
Well, the eight to 12 year olds are discriminated against no more!
Noosa Blue Water Dive, in conjunction with PADI, has introduced the Bubblemaker program. Classes are held in public and resort pools around Noosa. This gives a taste of scuba diving in a totally controlled environment while enjoying pool games with expertly trained staff. Combined with having fun, diving and underwater skills are developed.
Instructors have a maximum of six students a session so everyone gets a fair share of attention, and the maximum depth of two metres ensures safe physical limits.
Lessons begin with a flip chart briefing, followed by the fitting of mask and flippers. Everyone jumps in the pool and the children practice breathing with their faces underwater.
Once they've mastered that, they are kitted into proper scuba gear buoyancy control device, regulator and scuba tank. It is the same gear as that used by adults, just smaller and lighter. Children are not weighted but they can stand up if they need that reassurance. The air in the tank lasts between 30 minutes to an hour.
They are given one-on-one exercises on breathing, how to use the equipment, horizontal laps, how to get used to the buoyancy vest and the meaning of universally-used hand signals.