Saturday, 1 February 2014

Interview with Desmond Liung of The Divers Club - Official Sponsor of Miss Scuba Singapore 2013


NOTHING GREAT HAS BEEN & NOTHING GREAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT PASSION. The best thing in life is DISCOVER YOUR GIFT and the most meaningful in life is GIVING YOUR GIFT AWAY. Desmond has been demonstrated  calm and mature personality with positive attitude, passion and professionalism towards his career as a diving instructor. He guides our  Miss Scuba Singapore 2013 winner Schvelle Ong patiently through out the series of  training and help her achieve her goal.   

Followings are the sharing of his dream and passion as a diving instructor during the interview.  

Tell me about how Scuba Diver Life got started.

The very 1st time I ever heard of SCUBA Diving was when I was about 18 yrs old. That was in 1997 and I was posted to the Naval Diving Unit ( NDU ) serving my National Service and stayed for 2 and a half years as a Naval Diver.

After that was completed, I started out looking for a job and quite coincidentally I saw an advertisement from a company looking for commercial divers. I applied for it and got in as a Commercial Offshore Diver and that experience was a totally different experience from the Navy.
I was working from the very bottom up to the high levels. Zero to Hero, junior diver to Assistant Operation Manager in a mere short 5 years. I have been assigned jobs like no other diver have experienced before from ship hull cleaning and video inspections to interchanging huge oil rig thrusters. I would say those were the best days of my diver life.

When did you know that you wanted to become an instructor?

Along the way since 1997 till present I took up Recreational SCUBA Diving Courses on my own, being already a certified Advanced Scuba Diver and all the way up to Dive Master level.

It was probably in 2012 when I was introduced to my NAUI Course Director Manfred Chai to take up the NAUI Instructor Course. I was hesitating for a while because I was not very active in diving then, so i halted.
Some say opportunity does not come twice, it was then in 2013 I was introduced by Manfred again to take the NAUI Instructor Course. It was then I decide to go ahead with it since i am already a certified DiveMaster.
So I took the course, passed the evaluation and now I am a NAUI SCUBA INSTRUCTOR.

How long did it take you to become certified?

Well if you start counting from 1997 till present I say it took me about 16 years to be a certified SCUBA Instructor.

What is the craziest thing you have seen?

In my years of diving and experiences, I would say the craziest thing I saw was a reef shark probably about 2m long. You know what people would say when they see a shark, is like OMG A SHARK !! And freak out... well actually not me. I was literally chasing the shark around the reef, I say he was more freaked out than me and it was really crazy doing that.

The 2nd thing I remembered most clearly is during my commercial diving days.
I was doing an inspection under a floating platform 85m x 25m near to shore in a shipyard. I remembered it was low tide and getting lower by the minute. I was directly at the bottom when suddenly my scuba tank hit the bottom of the platform and I was just inches from the sea bed. Soon after I find myself pinned face down in the muddy sea bed and was stuck unable to get out. Can you imagine how you would have felt if that happens to you ?

How do i get out ?
I LITERALLY DUG MY WAY OUT THROUGH THE MUD.... Luckily for me I saw light from the surface and swam to that direction and got out...
This is one experience I say not many people in the diving industry would want to experience.

Where is the most amazing place you have dived

The best place I have dived in was in Yangon, Myanmar.
A friend of mine was opening a resort at Ngwe Sang Beach and invited me over to check out the place. I flew to Yangon and took a bus ride of 10 hours to reach the beach and approximately 1.5 hrs boat ride to reach the dive site.I had been told that the dive site was quite untapped so it was a new experience for me to be one of the first few to explore that area.The fishes was abundant and some corals was sighted along the coast.
Then at a nearby dive site I heard there used to be fishermen who used dynamite fishing and most of the marine life was destroyed.It was quite sad to know...

What is the worst part of your job? Best part of your job?

The best part of being an Instructor is I am passing my knowledge and experiences I gathered over the years to the next generation of divers. Hopefully one day they will be the same to pass down the knowledge to another as well...
To me whenever I am in a water environment I feel that I am my true self... I feel very natural and one with the ocean. This is one feeling not many people can experience.
The worst part is anticipating the dangers you faced during training session. You will never know what might happen next, even when you already took precaution measures.
However nonetheless scuba diving should be enjoyed anyways, another reason to think why EARTH IS MADE UP OF 70% WATER... There are many places left unexplored.

You have a huge facebook following, including almost over two hundreds fans on Facebook.
What do you think is the appeal of The Divers Club?

First of all I like to thank all the people who liked The Divers Club fan page on facebook.
I would say that in this age there are more people who are conscious about marine conservation and the beauty you see beyond.
There are divers and non divers who liked The Divers Club page, so what I can say is that there are more people who are taking up this wonderful experience, to explore the oceans and see for themselves that there is another world out there... The Underwater World.
The Divers Club offers is a wide selection of exotic resorts and live-onboard vessels from Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia for your diving and holidaying pleasure.

You also involved in a marine conservation effort, tell me about that.

This is really interesting.
Quite some ago I met a friend in Kuala Lumpur who is the organizer for the Miss SCUBA International pageant. This pageant drives a message across the world and that is about marine conservation, save the oceans and marine life in that sense...
I was recommended by the organizer to be the Dive Instructor and Trainer for Miss SCUBA Singapore 2013, Miss Schvelle Ong.
The finals was to be held in Sipadan Mabul Resort, unfortunately I was unable to attend.
I do hope that for Miss SCUBA International 2014 I will be there to assist and contribute to this wonderful cause.

What did you get out of your diving programme?

For a standard scuba diving beginner course, what you get is 1x classroom theory lesson, 1x pool practical lesson and 2D2N resort stay and evaluation open water dives most commonly conducted in Malaysia.
When you take your Open Water Diver Course with The Divers Club, not only you get your certification as a NAUI SCUBA DIVER, you will take home with you the experiences of the Instructor who had been trained in the Navy, Commercial Offshore Deep Diver and NAUI Instructor.
I believe in teaching the right thing to my students, as I have mentioned of passing my knowledge to the next generation.

What is your vision of founding The Divers Club?

When I 1st founded The Divers Club, it was just by pure chance.
I have a friend who was looking for a diver to help him with an underwater hull inspection under a ship. Because his company requires a registered company to do the job due to accounting matters, I had to register a company and the name The Divers Club and got the inspection job.
That is how The Divers Club was born.

Since at that time I have registered the company The Divers Club, I am already a certified Dive Instructor so I might as well carry on with it as a business.
And so I did...
My vision for The Divers Club is to spread the name and business out of Singapore. Because of my involvement with Miss SCUBA International I hope to contribute more to the effort of marine conservation and preservation around the world.

What’s next? (eg. Trip to somewhere?)

The Divers Club would like to have more opportunity to contribute more to the diving community as after all we are all divers and what do divers do best is to dive right ? 
End of the day bottom line is what is left to dive when there are not many of marine life to see, when the oceans are polluted and corals destroyed ?
Nobody truly understands what the oceans are going through other than us divers.
Though no doubt as Dive Instructor I teach people how to do scuba diving but the real message is to preserve marine life and educate the general public what they do not understand about the oceans.
And I believe that this is one challenge every diver will face.

Will you do this forever? 

As long as I am still fit to dive, I will still contribute my knowledge and experiences to anyone who wants to learn and myself will still carry on learning from organizations on how divers can better save the oceans and contribute to the efforts of marine conservation.

EARTH Is Made Up of 70% Water...
Have You Experienced It ?

Once again we would like to thank Desmond of The Divers Club for his generosity in sponsoring us the diving cours to MIss Scuba Singapore 2013.   For more information about The Divers Club. 
Check out their site!