Considerable responsibility is placed on the shoulders of safety divers during freediving competitions, and now international governing body AIDA has devised a training programme for all those participating in both pool apnea and open-water depth events.
The snappily titled AIDA Competition Safety Freediver by Vertical Blue Professional Safety Freediver course is claimed to be the most comprehensive safety programme available, based on what the body says is more than 30 years of high-level competition experience. It was devised in conjunction with Bahamas school Vertical Blue, which holds annual depth competitions.
The objective is to standardise safety protocols for all AIDA competitions and “set an example for freediving safety worldwide”, says AIDA.
The programme comprises three specialities: Pool Competition Safety Diver; Depth Competition Safety Diver (qualified to a maximum depth of 80m); and Advanced Depth Competition Safety Diver, which would enable the diver to participate in all AIDA competitions to unlimited depth.
The advanced course is set to be taught only by a select few safety trainers with sufficient experience, says AIDA, whereas the other two can be conducted by any AIDA instructor who has active judge status.
In conjunction with the new programme, AIDA says it is rolling out a new experience points system for AIDA Safety Divers, in line with the model it has established for its judges. “This will create objective measures and make it easier to select safety teams for AIDA competitions worldwide,” it says. A launch seminar for the programme is due to take place this month.
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