Dive Industry personality Watson DeVore has joined the dive training agency, RAID.
"What I enjoyed most about my time as Director of Education for SSI Globally was feeling like I was part of a family. When I left the dive industry, I thought it was for good, but I guess once you are in the dive industry for as long as I was, almost 26 years, it’s hard to leave something you are so passionate about. I am really excited to be back and most of all, I feel like RAID has put the family back together again.
Steve Newman (left) and Watson DeVore (right) enjoying a beverage during Divetech's rebreather week, Inner Space 2013
Paul Toomer (former Director of Technical Training for SSI), Mike Wells (former Director of SSI Freediving), Jim Holliday (former CEO of SSI Australasia), Col McKenzie and his team from SSI Australasia and Mark McCrum (former Manager SSI Australasia) are all part of the team at RAID HQ. I working alongside them for years. I am also excited to be working with many of the former SSI distributors, now RAID around the world again.
It has also been great to see the rest of the RAID Executive team assembled. It’s almost like a whose who of the global dive industry. Colleagues include Terry Cummins (ex PADI VP) and James Rogers (ex PADI UK Director), and rebreather expert Paul Haynes. All these guys are committed to making some big changes in the dive industry and it will be wonderful to be part of something so new, yet based on an unbelievable wealth of industry experience.
Having personally co-authored and written more manuals than most people in the dive industry, I know the challenges with getting them right, especially the first time. For example, by the time you print a student manual, the information can be out of date. So with the 100% digital solution that RAID offers across 60 different courses, you will always have the most current information at your fingertips.
I did not make the decision to come on board with RAID lightly. I took a good look at how the programme was put together, and the way it handles quality control is simply unbelievable. The way the skills are taught in the water at the beginner level is not a re-write of old ideas or concepts, but rather a totally new way to teach. I believe this new way will improve the quality of diver training for years to come.
I also saw what RAID has been able to achieve corporately in such a short period of time since their re-launch early this year. Regional offices already in Australia, Asia, Africa, Italy, Korea, Philippines, Middle East, Latin America, UK and now the USA – You have to agree that this is impressive in anyone’s language and a testimony to what this global team is capable of achieving.
And again, one of the main reasons I have chosen to become a part of RAID is the fact that I will be working hand in hand with my longstanding family and friends from around the world."