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This is an interview with the PADI course director at Marina Divers in Phuket.

Q: What is your name, nationality and what languages do you speak?

My name is Soonthorn Thongaram (Sunny). I speak Thai, English and German.

Q: How long has Marina Divers been in operation?

It's been running for about 20 years.

Q: How many diving instructors work for the school?

Right now there are 4 instructors.

Q: How long have you been teaching scuba diving?

I've been a diving instructor for 13 years now.

Q: How much experience do your diving instructors have?

Everyone has more than 2000 dives.

Learn to scuba dive in Phuket, Thailand
Q: What dive courses does the school offer?

We teach every course from PADI open water to instructor level.

Q: What are the benefits of learning scuba diving at Marina Divers?

The courses are reasonably priced and you can make friends with other divers.

Q: What nationalities are most of your students?

The majority of them are English, German and Australian.

Q: What is the average and the maximum number of students in a group?

There are about 3 students in each group, with 8 students at the most.

Q: When is the best time to learn scuba diving in Phuket?

During high season, from November to April.

Q: What equipment do scuba divers use?

To scuba dive you need a mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit, regulator, octopus, depth gauge, weight belt and scuba tank.

Q: What do new scuba divers enjoy the most about diving?

They like to be in the clear water and looking at the beautiful fishes.

Scuba diving in Phuket with beautiful fishes
Q: What are the most famous dive sites in the Phuket area?

The most popular dive sites in this area include Pee Pee island, Racha Yai, Rachanoi, Sharkpoint and Annemone Reef.

Q: What are beginners most afraid of?

They're afraid of sharks and ear-pressure discomfort.

Q: How safe is it to scuba dive and what can scuba divers do to minimize risk while diving?

It's safer to scuba dive than to play golf. To keep the diving safe, we never have more than four students to one instructor. In addition, there's a dive master around assisting at all times.

Q: What are the greatest dangers with scuba diving?

The most dangerous thing for scuba divers is getting hit by a boat at the surface.

Q: Are there any health restrictions preventing anyone from learning scuba diving? 

Before starting, every student has to fill out a medical form. If you have any health problems, you must go to see a doctor.

Q: Where is the scuba training done?

We have our own pool at Marina Divers.

Do your scuba diving training in Phuket, Thailand
Q: How long is the average training dive?

The average dive is 45 minutes. Students need to complete four dives in order to qualify for a PADI open water license.

Q: How long does the air last for the average beginner, at 10 meters?

It's good for about 1 hour.

Q: How easy is it to learn scuba diving?

It's harder to drive a car. In other words, it's very easy to learn scuba diving.

Q: What are the most difficult techniques scuba divers must learn?

Clearing the mask is the most difficult technique.

Q: How old do you have to be to obtain a PADI open water license?

The minimum age is 10.

Q: Does the open water course include the PADI open water license fees? If not, how much are the fees?

Our open water course includes the PADI open water license fees.

Q: What's the next course after the PADI open water license?

The next step is to go for an advanced open water license.

Q: What are the requirements to become a diving instructor?

First you have to be a dive master. Then, you need 100 dives to qualify for the Instructor Development Course (IDC).

Thank you Sunny for taking the time to do the interview and for letting me use the photos.

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