from 1 reviews
PADI Dive Center
G27, Ground Floor
29th July 2012 by Jdub76
Unfriendly divemaster and potentially unsafe diving
Visit Date: July 2012
On our return from a trip in Samporna where we had a fabulous time under water (see asummersday’s review on Celebes scuba resort), we were looking into extending our diving holiday one last time in KK before flying back to England. I visited a few dive centres close to the Jetty and I have to say it is always difficult to know the suitable ones before we have already tipped your fingers in the water. I hope this review will help keen divers like us, at least to warn of one in particular that we think should be approached with caution.
I came to the shop two days before our dive trip and spoke to Peggy (the owner of Sabah Diver if I am not mistaking), a well-educated and very friendly lady. I booked a day package to Sapi island, comprising 3 dives, boat transfer, all the material and the diving licence for the local marine park (Tunku Abdul Rahman) at an unbeatable price.
We arrived at the shop (located at walking distance from the Jetty) at 8h45 that morning. Our divemaster came to us without any introduction to check our dive certifications, and judged unnecessary to see our log book or to acknowledge our diving experience, even on my request. We got equipped and joined him to the Jetty less than 15 min later for a departure to Sapi island. We were joined by another couple who were experiencing their very first dive. All our 3 dives were boat drift dives.
Once we arrived at our first dive site, we started preparing and already a problem occurred: the staff didn’t bring enough weight. Knowing exactly how much I needed I prepared my belt (4 kg). My partner was presented an identical one and asked for the missing bits that would help her sink safely and not skip the safety stop on the way back up. Our lying divemaster and his colleague ensured us that both weight belts, which clearly carried the same weight, were in fact different: one containing 4 blocks of 1 kg and the second one 4 blocks of more than 1 kg, but we won’t know by how much.
The briefings were short and efficient and just named the dive site and a few fishes we would be able to see.
Other than that, our divemaster never said a word to us. Once or twice I tried to engage a friendly conversation but he never replied and I cannot be sure this was due to a language barrier … we are in the tourism industry after all.
My partner who didn’t have enough weight had to be pulled down by her fingers. The rest of our dive was rather solitary, the divemaster swimming distantly and calling us from time to time to point at a fish before getting back to his distance. He never knew that my partner was struggling with her mask (which kept on filling up) … this was our problem and we had to deal with it ourselves underwater. When it was time to end our dive my partner … skipped the “safety” stop as predicted, with an empty BCD, and a lighter half empty tank.
Between the dives we were left on Sapi island to take our break before the next dive.
On our return to the KK Jetty, we were just greeted with a simple bye, without a direction for a shower or a changing room as the staff, head down, was too busy getting the material out of the boat.
In conclusion: The coral reef and the site were stunning but there are many others dive centres around that can bring to those idyllic sites. I won’t come again to Sabah Divers and I don’t recommend this dive centre.