Scuba Diving is one of the most enduring and passionate tourist pursuits in Belize - and its offerings locally are about to get even more exciting. That's thanks to a new Technical Diving course. Now, divers will be able to go deeper into the depths to find out just what lies beneath.

Enter technical diving, a particular mode of the recreational sport, that's now been popularized from Australia's Great Barrier reef now to Belize's Barrier Reef. It's a specialized system that scientists, conservationists, and tourists will be eager to employ. Cherisse Halsall went to San Pedro to find out more about the course.

Yesterday morning marked the culmination of a goal for dive instructor Valentin Rosado.

It marked his final dive of a much longed-for technical diving course that he'd finally brought to Belize.

And yesterday morning when we spoke to him he was beaming about the possibility of adding this depth of diving to the Belizean experience.

Valentin Rosado, Diving Instructor
"Technical diving is not new to Belize, we have several companies over the years that have done some sort of training and explored some of these sites using technical diving. However, as we look around the markets from Roatan, Utlia, Playa Carmen, Cozumel and those places, technical diving is huge."

"Here in Belize we're still focused on sport diving, and recreational diving and we haven't really ventured much into technical diving to attract divers and make Belize one of those destinations that they see for technical diving. So, the idea here is to be able to show that we have the infrastructure in place, we have a lot of dive sites that haven't been explored and to begin training a lot of Belizeans to let them be aware that this can be done in Belize, it can be done safely. There is the interest from friends that we dive with that if they know we offer technical diving here, then they're going to make Belize their destination."

And Valentin and crew have to thank Ramon's Village for facilitating the course. Yesterday the head honcho at the legendary dive centre - Belize's first - told us why they chose to support the initiative.

Rick Sutherland, Divemaster, Ramon's Village Dive Shop
"Well I think it's gonna be the future for scuba diving and I found out from Valentin Rosado who you know is helping us a lot with making sure this all works and it's just something new and different and I think it's the future for diving and that's what people certainly look for and are asking about. So we gotta be prepared for it."

"We believe in education we believe in giving back to our community and anything we can help with, so with the help of our dive masters and we've got good ownership that always wants to give back to the community. We figured that by us taking the first step and learning. Once we've mastered it and do what we shared then we can share with the rest of the population, the public."

And, while there has always been a demand for technical diving in Belize training for local technical staff just hadn't materialized, that is until Roatan-based instructor Vasco Ferrera took up the challenge.

Vasco Ferrera, Technical Diving instructor
"So we are here training this group of three people with technical diving international and PADI accredited courses."

"So it is a combination of blender which is a person that is going to be able to blend, to mix the gases that we are going to use here. We are doing that advanced blender which allows us to breathe a different blend which is a trimix that is Helium, Nitrogen, and Oxygen and they are also learning how to service the gear for those types of diving."

And at the heart of all this training is the ability to see even more of the magic that Belize's mysterious underwater domain has to offer. Pete Ayuso, a dive instructor at Ramon's says he's excited to take what he's learned and possibly lead certified groups in the future.

Pete Ayuso, Dive Staff, Ramon's Village
"For us the locals to get experience in it and to be able to take out those types of tours. For technical diving, we do have the reef for it, even at two hundred feet, it's still a nice reef. There are a lot of sharks for you to check out. If you go out to the outer lots, those walls go down pretty deep. So it is something we can definitely try out."

And now divers will be able to see an underwater world previously only imagined - as they peel back a little of the mystery of the deep.

Ferrera's Technical diving course lasted two weeks. It's the only one of its kind for now but he says he may come back to Belize depending on the demand.

If you'd like to be certified as a technical diver you can start by contacting Valentine Rosado at www.surreption.org

Channel 7


Last edited by Amanda Syme; 07/08/22 05:59 AM.