PADI CEO Drew Richardson Issues Heartfelt Coronavirus Statement
PADI's CEO Drew Richardson has issued a heartfelt plea to divers and dive professionals to support the business during the current international coronavirus crisis
'For our beloved diving family, our friends, and associates in the diving industry across the world, the impact and disruption from COVID-19 is like nothing we have ever seen before. We are bombarded daily by a growing despair, and we wrestle with the fear of what life ahead will bring.
On behalf of the PADI family, I want to express support for millions of divers, dive centres and resorts, dive leaders and educators, and many colleagues and their loved ones, who are at this minute, suffering, isolated or quarantined.
I see strength in the beauty, emotion, tenacity and human spirit embedded in our international community of diving. The time is upon us to look within ourselves and to connect with the grace that we love in the world.
Today, there is wisdom and peace of mind in reflecting on the beauty and majesty of nature. The sanctuary of the oceanic wild, and the rhythm of life contained within beckons.
Today, there is solace in knowing our beloved dive sites, coral reefs, fish, whales and all creatures do not bear the stress and burden of worrying about the future during this season. Conversely, they are living each day and navigating through the present.
Today, there is strength in supporting one another in living for today as well. In adapting and surviving so that we can once again return to the diving adventure we love, and focus on being good stewards of the ocean as we emerge from this time.
We all care deeply about the safety of divers, the health of our local dive businesses, the travel and hospitality business and this hydrosphere. We are called now to reach out to each other in support of one another, to promote healing in meaningful ways. (Please see Ideas to Lean in and Support One Another Now below.)
We are connected through our love of the underwater world. That connection fills both our hearts and souls. Let’s come together in this crisis, focused and unified, to lean in, support each other, and to support our industry. The PADI family of divers, instructors, dive centres and resorts look forward to being there with you when this season is over.
Together, we will overcome this and we will thrive once again, Seeking Adventure and focusing on Saving the Ocean.
Please stay well, stay connected and believe in the art of the possible. Surviving each day towards restoring our preferred future for the world.
President & CEO, PADI Worldwide
Ideas to Lean in and Support One Another Now
Dive Centers and Resorts – Reach out to your customers and see how you can best support them from where you are. Find ways to promote the diving lifestyle to your customers to give them a healthy break from the stresses they’re enduring on a daily basis. Also, connect with other dive shops in your area to offer support or find ways to work together through this crisis.
Divers – Reach out to your local dive shop and see if there are ways to support their business. Dive shops are the stewards of local diving lifestyle and culture, and we need to ensure their stability. Also, connect with each other to support one another in these times. Go diving if you can and continue to connect with your dreams.
Dive Pros – Reach out to your students, your divers and your fellow dive pros to support them in ways they may need. Connect with your local dive shops or your favorite resorts to see how they’re doing and offer support for their businesses. As educators and leaders, find creative ways to engage your students, try to facilitate their desire to learn, be engaged and to explore and protect the ocean.
Dive Industry – By working together, our industry can continue to offer dive experiences that transform lives and enable adventure and exploration. Reach out to fellow industry stakeholders – to collaborate and work together through these times.