PSA (Professional Scuba Association)
PSA Courses include theory which can be completed on-line anywhere in the world !, you can then complete your open water training on your holiday without spending time in the classroom
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History of the Professional Scuba Association International
The Professional Scuba Association International (PSA) was originally founded as the Florida Scuba Association in 1962 by Hal Watts in Orlando, Florida (Photo Left, Hal Watts in Pattaya 2005). Hal’s experience with scuba had begun in 1955 while he was attending college, earning a Master’s degree in Law. The Professional Scuba Association International is one of the oldest scuba instructional training agencies in the world. For many years it was a small, specialized organization that was predominantly involved with scuba dive training associated with extended range, deep air diving. Virtually all of the early history centers on the founder, Hal Watts.
During the 1960’s Hal became devoted to extended range diving and developing proven, effective diving techniques to depths greater than the normal recreational range of 40 meters (132 feet). In 1968, using the methods he developed, Hal set the World’s Record Depth by diving to 119 meters (390 feet). In 1970, Hal wrote and copyrighted the first manual for Extended Range Deep Diving for instructors. Hal also had Ned Deloach of New World Productions produce a 16 mm color film for Deep Diving on location at Wakulla Springs, Florida.
Hal Watts formed a specialty diving club known as the “Forty Fathom Scubapros” that was very active diving all over Florida, especially at a spectacular sink hole, that just happened to be 40 fathoms deep! Many of the other divers and organizations simply were not prepared to understand the desire of these early pioneers, so program development continued largely in quiet. During the 1970’s, the “Scubapros” continued to refine techniques and skills to improve safety in deep diving activities. Hal Watts still holds, today, the record for the deepest air dive in a cave at 127 meters (415 feet). (Photo Right, Forty fathoms 1960's)
Widely respected for business and marketing, Hal, also known as “Mr. Scuba”, has been active in virtually all the trade shows and meetings in the USA spanning over 4 decades. Hal has been recognized as the Diver of the Year by Beneath the Sea, testified before the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and has a host of other accolades and experiences. Little known facts include that he developed and coined the term “octopus” for the additional second stage, to eliminate problems associated with “buddy breathing”. In the “old days” buddy breathing meant sharing one mouthpiece, not like today’s world of simply passing the “octopus”! Another contribution to safety awareness is his devotion to dive planning. The phrase “Plan your dive, Dive your Plan” came from Hal’s early PSA desire to promote safe diving activities.
PSA was already long in place when the mainstream technical agencies began in the mid-80’s, and then burst onto the market in the early-1990’s. Even so, we have continued our program of careful selection of instructors and adherence to safe diving techniques. Many of the various agencies recognize the PSA programs for our quality, which has afforded direct cross-over certification of both divers and instructors.
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