Travel & Safety Guidelines
The following Travel & Safety Guidelines have been created for your peace of mind. It’s a common mis-conception that South Africa is completely unsafe for tourists and visitors. Ask any one of our international tripadvisor reviewers.It’s often that we have people from all over the world and the most common comment made is that their friends and family have “gasped” at the thought of their loved ones coming to our beautiful country. The Truth is, it’s exactly that: Beautiful.
In addition to yourself checking your equipment and the usual pre dive buddy checks, please note that the final word as to whether a launch goes ahead or not resides with the management and their skippers. If management or skippers deem it unsafe to launch then a dive will be cancelled in the interests of safety.
Signal Device and Surface Marker Buoy
Each diver should carry a surface signal device such as a whistle and a surface marker buoy.
It is our policy that guests using medication, drugs or who are excessively hung over can be barred from a dive.
Divers Alert Network – South Africa
We recommend that all divers take out cover with Divers Alert Network South Africa. If you do not already have cover with DAN SA you can also obtain Temporary Cover from as little as R200 per day per 5 consecutive day period.
Remember the No Fly
If you are flying return to Durban please remember that after scuba diving, current PADI Flying After Diving guidelines say that you should not go to altitude (fly) within 12 hours of completing a single dive or 18 hours when doing multiple dives (where possible wait 24 hours). Keep this in mind when planning your dive schedule. Your dive computer will keep track your No Fly period for you, so make sure you bring it with you. To adhere to this guideline we recommend no further diving after the dives conducted on the day before departure.
Emergency Assistance Plan
In the unlikely event of a medical emergency, Blue Ocean Dive Resort has basic first aid facilities and will take the lead charge in any medical emergencies as they are in the best position to respond. All boats are equipped with Oxygen and Radio communication. Nearest dive doctor, ambulance services and hospital are listed below. Divers with current Emergency First Responder certifications will be made known to the group prior to departure.
15kms one direction – Dr Morris, Scottburgh – 039 978 3344
Ethekwini Medical Response 084 506 9911 based in Umkomaas
Private service ER24 084 124 or Netcare 911 082 911
20kms one direction – Kingsway Hospital – 031 904 7000
Baromedical Diving Facilities (Chamber)
50kms one direction – St Augustine’s Chamber – 031 268 5000
It’s always great to dive in your own gear. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable and it fits. However, we understand the limitations of travel with your gear, especially if your holiday is not ONLY a dive holiday. Therefor, we do have all gear available for rental. While we have everything you’ll need in rental gear, we do recommend bringing at least your own mask if you can.
Should you wish to purchase gear gear before departing please contact Gary Snodgrass to assist you with gear selection. You can also bring your own cylinders and weight belts, but if you do not have these are provided to you by our resort for each dive at no additional cost.
Please ensure all hard gear is serviced before departure of your home country, we do have a gear servicing facility on site to assist you in time of equipment failure but prefer that you are prepared by ensuring your gear quality.
Our rental gear is serviced weekly by our qualified Instructors. This ensures the potential hazard of equipment failure is not a concern for you. Our BCD’s are a choice of Aqualung Waves or Scuba Pro T1’s and our regs are Aqualung Calypso regs (DIN fitting) or Scuba Pro Regs (Yolk / A-Clamp fitting)
A 5mm wetsuit should be sufficient. If you have a hoodie vest it is recommended to take them with. Ocean temperature fluctuates between Min: 18°C in our winter and Max: 27°C our summer.
When daily diving, ensure that you have the following items with you:
- Certification card
- Logbook (showing proof of minimum 1 logged dive within the last year)
- Dive Equipment (unless renting)
- Swimsuit, Towel and Sunscreen
- Money for lunch, drinks and sundries
- Marine Permit (obtainable from our Dive Centre or any Post Office in South Africa)
Children are most welcome at Blue Ocean Dive Resort!!! Should they be divers younger than 15 years of age we will buddy them up with a qualified and experienced Dive Master or Instructor at no extra cost should the parents request this.
For Children Between 8 and 10 years old we offer PADI Bubble Maker courses. The introduction to scuba diving that makes them feel part of the whole diving fraternity.
Most places in South Africa have drinkable tap water. In areas where tap water is not safe the establishment will have notices. At Blue Ocean Dive Resort, our tap water is safe to drink.
The beauty of Aliwal Shoal is that the reef system caters for all skill levels.
Whether you’re doing a DSD (Discover Scuba Dive or Discover Shark Dive) or an advenced diver with 1000’s of dives, Aliwal Shoal’s diversity in Marine Life has it all.
The conditions can sometimes be a bit on the challenging side, making it FANTASTIC for adventure seekers. Our launches are all through the UmKomazi River Mouth or from the beach in an 8m zodiac/rib/rubber duck.
We indeed do dive most days. The only time we don’t dive is if the weather or launch site say “no”.
Safety is our first priority and if the wind makes the conditions dangerous or we know you won’t have fun, we don’t launch. This doesn’t happen too often though so don’t worry, your launches are pretty much in the bag.
We only decide on the day IF the launch will be cancelled and never judge by the weather apps or forecast. What people don’t tell you is the wind doesn’t watch the weather forecasts and has a mind of it’s own.