Freediving Gold Coast COVID-19 Update
With the current uncertainty in relation to COVID-19, the team at Freediving Gold Coast want to reassure you that your health and safety is our top priority. We are monitoring the recent, dynamic health directives from the State Health Department, Australian Government and the World Health Organisation and, as such, are continually aligning Freediving Gold Coast operations with these recommendations and regulations. Because of this, our current programming contains operational changes effective as of 5th April 2020 which do the following (Please be advised, these may be subject to change):
In short, stop the spread and ‘flatten the curve’ by:
- Staying home if sick (or experiencing any symptoms of cold / flu)
- Washing or sanitising your hands
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, then washing your hands immediately afterwards
- Stay 1.5m from others
- Complete COVID-19 Checklist before attending your personal training session.
In brief, we have made the following changes:
- All people participating in face-to-face freediving activities with Freediving Gold Coast will need to complete the COVID 19 Checklist prior to face-to-face outdoor personal training sessions. Social distancing must be observed at all times.
- We have moved to a Self-Study mode for the theory component of all courses and into an outdoor personal training mode for the practical elements of your training. Social distancing rules of 1.5m must be observed at all times. Review of theory sessions may occur via Skype or in an outdoor training area to ensure students have a firm understanding of the knowledge requirements of their freediving course.
- If you are unwell or you show any signs of cold / flu symptoms you will need to reschedule your course or training session by phone or email prior to your course start. For cancellations outside of 72 hours of the start of your course, you can postpone, reschedule or receive a full refund. For cancellations made within 72 hours due to illness, we will reschedule your course and you will not incur any cancellation fee. For ‘no-shows’, our normal Cancellation Policy applies.
- We will be offering at least 50% discounts on our private rates for one on one training and courses. For example, normally the Intro Freediver course is $495 for one person. We will now offer this as a private one on one course at our regular price of $225. In essence, the student is getting individual attention while we are reducing the risks associated with group activities.
- The pool component of our courses will now be conducted in “confined water” (essentially calm water – protected beaches, rivers, lakes) according to AIDA course requirements. We have a number of available confined water options for our students (depending on student needs and weather conditions). In fact , this is how we first started teaching courses, with students completing confined water skills off Wave Break Island in the Gold Coast Seaway.
- Deep Dive Days will continue, when suitable, but we are limiting the number of freedivers / athletes on our dive boat to a maximum of 4 people to be consistent with social distancing (relative to the size of our boat). This activity occurs offshore in the open air. There are no confined spaces on our vessel (e.g. cabins, toilets, etc.). Hand sanitiser is on board.
- Briefings prior to boarding vessel will include information about COVID-19 and procedural changes to boarding vessel.
- We will no longer provide hot tea/coffee and food on our DDDs or courses. As a result, it is each diver’s own responsibility to ensure adequate hydration and own snack foods while diving from our boat in the ocean. Hand sanitizer is on board.
- All hire freediving equipment including masks, snorkels and wetsuits are cleaned according to the latest DAN recommendations in light of COVID-19.
- Freediving rescues are the only freediving skills prior to the COVID-19 response requiring close human contact. We have developed a number of simulation techniques and scenarios to maintain social distancing.
We believe maintaining moderate physical activity in a healthy outside environment is essential to physical and mental wellbeing during these turbulent times. Freediving can help contribute to mental and physical wellbeing. This is our core value. Freediving is also a unique human endevour. All confined water and ocean skills are spent diving in water while using wetsuits, masks and snorkels. In many ways, the water, masks, snorkels and wetsuits are our personal protective equipment (PPE) and this equipment is continually flushed with salt water. No other land based sports and fitness activities use such equipment. As a commercial business we believe we need to continue operating in the capacity outlined here for the foreseeable future. In fact, our readings of government guidelines and policy is that the COVID-19 pandemic will be with us most likely for the remainder of 2020 as “it is a long haul and that’s why we are keen to keep society functioning but keep society safe” (Professor Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer). We couldn’t agree more. We hope this provides confidence and trust for you as we get through this together.