Family Scrapbook

Over the course of the last 20 years SDI-TDI-ERDI has enjoyed success while being forerunners in the industry with ground breaking ideas while staying honest in our business tactics and ethical with our approaches to drive new business towards us. However, the number one attraction that our group of organizations has is NOT the lower prices or the modern up-to-date materials. It is the customer service level that takes care of our customers’ needs. It is the other person on the line listening to our members’ situation and trying to work with them, side by side in making it better. It is about the people running the business wishing the utmost success on their customers and dealers so we can, in turn, share that success as well. We are a family, and we want to invite you take a look at our Family Scrapbook..

[real3dflipbook id=”1″]


3 Tips for Diving Nitrox Safely

by Cris Merz:
##Diving with Nitrox has brought divers many benefits over the years including longer bottom times, shorter surface intervals, longer repetitive dives, and much more. However, with the good, comes the bad… often followed by the ugly. Nitrox has depth limitations because it increases the risk of oxygen toxicity, among other issues. It is a common misconception that Nitrox benefits deep divers during the dive.

The best way to prepare and plan is to follow three core tips when diving Nitrox.

  • Analyze
  • Label
  • Set Computer

Once you have gone through these three steps, you can establish your maximum operating depth.

Analyze. Take the initiative and put the responsibility in your own hands. It is up to you, the diver, to confirm the mix you have in your tank. Since each “flavor” of Nitrox has a different MOD, you need to make sure yours is safe at your maximum depth and which partial pressure of oxygen is right for your conditions. Many experienced Nitrox divers use a PO2 of 1.6 in warm, calm water, but back the PO2 down to 1.4 in colder more challenging conditions.

Once your tank has been filled, the blender will either check the mixture in your cylinder for you – we advise you to watch – or have you check the mixture yourself. Either method is acceptable, provided you are satisfied that you have the correct gas mixture in your cylinder: because after all, it’s you that has to breathe it!

Label. To complete the process, mark the cylinder Contents label with date, FO2, MOD, Limiting PO2, dive operation name and the name or initials of the person conducting the analysis. Your signature indicates that you take responsibility for the Nitrox that has been delivered to you, and that you are satisfied that your cylinders have been filled properly.

It is important to analyze every cylinder and label the mix on each cylinder. While repeatedly stating this may seem redundant, we know that most Nitrox diving accidents occur when the diver grabs the wrong cylinder because it was not properly labeled, or fails to analyze the cylinder. You need to know what is in your cylinder prior to diving so that you can adequately plan your dive, set the mix in your dive computer and avoid an accident.

Set computer. Prior to every Nitrox dive, you must check your Nitrox dive computer to be sure that it is properly set for the mixture you are using. It is important to remember that there are two settings that you must take note of; the percentage of oxygen and the maximum PO2 to which you are willing to expose yourself. Remember, some dive computers, and their manuals use the term “FO2” (fraction of oxygen). In other words, 32% oxygen is the same thing as .32 FO2 in these cases.

While different dive computers have different default settings for both the oxygen percentage in the mix and the maximum PO2, most default settings tend to be conservative. In many cases, the default setting for the percentage of oxygen will be 21% while the default setting for PO2 is often 1.4. If you do not check these settings and adjust them to your dive plan you will not be getting the full benefit of the capabilities of your computer and Nitrox.

Excellent! You can now plan your maximum depth and bottom time. If you always remember to analyze, label, and set your dive computer to the settings according to your mix as well as your dive plan, you are good to go. And remember, when diving Nitrox; don’t dive below your MOD.

2015 Facility Renewal

Dear Facility Owner,

On behalf of everyone at SDI, TDI and ERDI, we thank you for your loyal support in 2014.

This year marks 20 years since TDI first appeared on the scene. Over the course of the last 20 years we have made it our mission to support the dive centers first – as they are the backbone of our industry. We still follow our business model of supporting the dive centers and understand that our success is borne out of your success.

While training organizations have experienced a loss of stability here and there, I will pledge to you that we are as rock solid as ever. Renew with us for 2015 and in return we offer you the following:

  • Stability in your training organization. We are a close family-type company with extensive experience in the many diverse fields of diving; we truly are a global company serving you at the local level.
  • Top customer service. Prompt, professional, pleasant service is what you can expect from us. Our American-based organization prides itself on listening to and assisting our dealers and members.
  • Profitability. Our competitive prices are backed by great products. And we have 24 eLearning programs that can make you money 24/7! As the first agency to adopt eLearning back in 2000, we have developed and combined learning techniques that allow you to produce high-quality divers.
  • Great facility support. Our aim is to support the dive centers and their business, we promote you first. Expect us as an agency to protect your business while we assist you in growing it. In the end, we want to ensure your success.
  • Cutting edge technology. We are a company of “firsts” in the dive industry; eLearning, Solo Diver, the fastest growing Public Safety agency, and the use of dive computers from the get-go are just a few things we instilled in the industry. And all these ideas came from listening to you!


Working together in 2015 will be crucial for the success of your business and ours. Whether you have been with us for the last 20 years or the last 20 minutes – we look forward to working with you and your facility in a partnership of educating more divers while growing the sport and business we all love.

Once again, thank you and we look forward to working with you in 2015. Please take this time to renew your facility membership. If you have already renewed, thank you, no further action is needed.

Brian Carney –


ONLINE Renewal Option:

  1. Go to
  2. Use your username and password to login as a “Facility Administrator”
  3. Click on the “Facility Tools” menu and choose “Renew Facility”
  4. Follow each step:
    • Accept the Facility Agreement
    • Update your facility member affiliations (the members that are affiliated with the selected facility)
    • Review your facility ratings
    • Finish your renewal

PAPER Renewal Option:

    1. Fill out the enclosed application and return to us by any of the following methods:
      • Mail to:

International Training
1321 SE Decker Ave,
Stuart, FL 34994


Important!! Members of your FACILITY must also renew their membership.

Please note: Facilities that are outside the Americas, please contact your Regional Office to renew your membership.

We are hiring!!!

We are hiring!!! Full time Multimedia / Graphic Artist position is available for immediate employment. Must be willing to work directly at the Jensen Beach office. Starting salary of $30,000 to $35,000 a year.

Title: Graphic Artist
Department: Technology & Development
Reports to: ITI Director, Technology & Development

Job Objective:

  • To graphically design, layout and make press and web ready education, marketing and corporate identity products consistent with established company image, priorities and budgets.
  • Responsible for proper naming, management and archiving of digital and hardcopy files.
  • Manage in-house printers and printing.
  • Work with the coordinated Technology and Development team and act in a manner consistent with the team directives and objectives.
  • Work with other departments and divisions as required in a professional and consistent manner.
  • To assist the office staff in daily procedures when needed.


  • Design covers, page layouts, record-keeping forms, sales flyers and other components for ITI training manuals, marketing and sales support materials.
  • Work with the technology and development team to brainstorm and produce products.
  • Design layout of print and digital forms in conjunction with other ITI departments/divisions.
  • Generate original illustrations, charts, drawings and clip art.
  • Prepare artwork for printing (digital prepress). Work with printers and other service providers to deliver products that meet their prepress expectations.
  • Design layout of products used in marketing campaigns. Develop look of posters, brochures, catalogs, web pages and other material to reflect the current marketing theme and branding.
  • Design layout of company image products. Develop look of letterhead, business cards, labels, envelopes and other “image” products, to reflect the current company image and branding.
  • Prepare web graphics, pages, and other elements.
  • Design animated graphics (GIF and FLA) for use in video and web productions.
  • Work with other development/graphics/marketing team members to design consistent materials.


  • Design layout of newsletters and other periodic ITI print and digital publications.
  • Prepare artwork for sales to international centers. Create artwork requested by international centers.
  • Scan photos and documents.
  • Design graphics, logos and other artwork for T-shirts, hats, posters, brochures, business cards, etc.
  • Assist with development and implementation of Marketing Plans. Provide input to implementation of marketing plans, and direction to development of marketing products.
  • Design logos and trademarks.
  • Assist department team members with software use and special functions.
  • Capture, edit and organize original photos for use in ITI print and digital materials.
  • Provide office support for the operations team on an as needed basis.


  • Maintain Art Files.
  • Maintain Disk Files and backups.
  • Design internal forms.

Expert Level Proficiency:

  • Macintosh Computer with Mac OS10.xx
  • Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Hgher
  • Adobe InDesign CS3 And Higher
  • Adobe Illustrator/Four Color, Vector Output Design
  • Adobe Bridge
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional
  • Microsoft Office 2007 and higher
  • Microsoft Power Point
  • Knowledge of printing requirements (prepress)
  • Knowledge of printing systems (Laser, Color Laser, Large Format)

General Proficiency:

  • Email (MS Outlook/Entourage)
  • Skype
  • Apple RDC
  • Filezilla
  • Adobe Flash and AS 2.0-3.0
  • Digital Capture Devices and Software (Scanners, Digital Cameras)
  • HTML and CSS (General understanding of their mechanics.)

Personal Attributes:

  • Self-Starter
  • Outstanding Time Management Skills
  • Ability to Read Between the Lines
  • Thinks Outside the Box while Remaining within it
  • Strong Understanding of Time vs. Quality
  • Always Looking to Improve (Personally and Professionally)

Team Attributes:

  • Ability to work with REMOTE team members on a consistent basis.
  • Assist other team members with design and layout.
  • Provide design and graphics input on a variety of project styles and outputs.

Internal / External Cooperation:

  • Insure that projects, tasks and objectives meet or exceed requirements and timelines.
  • Sets examples in areas of personal character, commitment, organizational and work habits.
  • Demonstrate ability to interact and cooperate with all company employees.

Job Specifications:

  • 1-3 Years Professional (Digital) Graphic Design.
  • Full time hourly at the office M-F 9am-6pm hour lunch.
  • Experience with the recreation industry and/or dive agencies a plus.

Benefit and compensation

  • 1 week PTO (Paid Time Off) First Year

If you meet the above requirements, please fill out this form and submit your resume to be considered.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Amazing Underwater Encounters

amazing underwater encounterThere are many reasons to love scuba diving. Some people just love being in the water, or experiencing the thrill and adventure that diving is. Some find it to be a relaxing escape, but almost everyone agrees that exploring our oceans and coming face-to-face with some of the world’s most interesting marine life imaginable – straight from the depths of the mystifying seas tops the list of scuba diving benefits. Whether it’s a rare species of coral, the elusive frog fish or a massive great white shark, we all have had an amazing underwater encounter. At SDI/TDI/ERDI World Headquarters, we want to know… What was your first AMAZING underwater encounter? Share your first-hand account and pictures/videos with us, and we will publish right here for all to enjoy. Just fill out the form below.


Recent Submissions




1. Sea-Horse giving birth!

Back when I was guiding dives in the Galapagos Marine Reserve, I had an experience that blew my mind! Talk about being at the right place at the most perfect time to witness this wonder of nature in the birth of new life. I was leading my group along the wall of Cousin’s Rock looking for neat things among the black coral. Some of the main attractions were the sea-horses, but I never expected to see one that was about to give birth! Luckily, my video camera recorded the whole thing.
– Cris Merz

2. AMAZING encounter (while teaching)

whale shark encounter

The most amazing encounter I experienced while teaching was during the SDI Scuba Discovery course with two participants. The students took to the water quickly and easily during our pool session in the morning but naturally, they were antsy to get in the open water environment to experience diving in the ocean. Little did we all know our open water dives were going to be one of my most memorable experiences in the water! After our first descent, we enjoyed a leisurely dive across a beautiful reef in the Caribbean around 10 metres/30 feet. With limitless visibility in crystal clear water; we saw a green moray eel, a turtle, and an assortment of colorful reef fish but we did not anticipate what was coming next… A massive shadow came over us and we looked up to find an enormous whale shark swimming near the surface! We couldn’t believe our eyes as we remained still in the water, hovering, while watching this incredible creature swim away… To make this experience even better, we were greeted by two manta rays swimming around the boat upon our return! They put on a fantastic show as we conducted our safety stop prior to ascending. Now keep in mind, this was the first diving experience the SDI Scuba Discovery divers experienced and the first time I saw a whale shark! It was an amazing encounter while teaching I will never forget.
– Lauren Kieren


To participate, fill out this form, and tell us about your Amazing Underwater Encounter!

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)



Upload Image (filetypes:.jpg|.png|.gif)


August 2014 – Important Insurance Update

Last night we received a fax from Willis Insurance noting they will be discontinuing the Recreational Scuba Diving Insurance Program. This is unfortunate news, as we had a long standing relationship with Peter Meyer and Barb Beauchemin for the last 20 years – as many of you have as well.

It is also unfortunate but not unexpected that PADI’s field reps have used this as an opportunity to call retailers and state that they are no longer insured if they purchased insurance from Willis; or they heard rumors claiming Willis is “dropping” SDI TDI. Nothing could be further from the truth and frankly, this is a simple scare tactic to promote one brand over another.

Here are the facts of your insurance if you have it with Willis:

  1. If you purchased your insurance with Willis prior to August 20th, 2014 – you are covered for the 12 month term of your policy as required by law.
  2. This fax is a form letter required by law to inform buyers that their program will no longer be offered after the policy’s expiration date.
  3. Peter Meyer and Barb Beauchemin were forcibly retired in early July because of internal conflict within Willis.
  4. Willis believed they did not need Peter and Barb to run the Recreational Scuba Diving Insurance program, thereby making the mistake of believing you don’t need diving expertise to run a dive insurance program.

For those of you looking to purchase insurance currently, we recommend you look to the other companies at this time. SDI/TDI/ERDI will have our recommended options in place by 1 January 2015. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this decision by Willis may cause you, but we will find options and support our membership with a superior insurance program as we have for 20 years now.

Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out directly to Sean Harrison or myself as we are intimately knowledgeable with the intricacies of the insurance program. SDI, TDI and ERDI remain committed to personalized service to our members and will be devoting our energies to exactly that.

Brian Carney –

Click here to view the fax from Willis Insurance.


How To: Label Your Nitrox Tank

by Lauren Kieren

Nitrox Tank Wrap

Labeling and Identifying Nitrox Cylinders

Any time you fill a tank with nitrox, it must be identified as such. This will help to prevent accidents in the event that someone uses a tank filled with nitrox without taking the proper precautions. The industry standard for tanks filled with nitrox is to mark the tank with a tank wrap, as well as identify the mixture with a label or tag.

A nitrox tank wrap is an adhesive decal, generally 10-13 cm. (4-5 in.) in width, that is designed to completely encircle the diameter of the tank. The decal is usually printed in yellow and green with the word Enriched Air and/or Nitrox printed continuously on it in bold green or yellow letters. This tape makes it quick and easy to spot a nitrox bottle in a group of tanks.

TDI Contents LabelIt is standard practice to identify the actual nitrox mix currently contained within the cylinder and note it on a Contents label. This information can be found by analyzing, or watching someone analyze, the cylinder for oxygen content using a properly calibrated and functioning analyzer. At a minimum the information recorded on the label should include; oxygen content, maximum operating depth (MOD) of the gas you will be breathing, the name / initials of the person who analyzed the mixture, and the date it was analyzed.

After you analyze the cylinder and find the oxygen content, the rest comes pretty easy. The only additional “how to” necessary is calculating the Maximum Operating Depth (MOD).

To calculate the MOD for a specific ppO2 and percentage of oxygen (FO2) the following formula is used:

MOD = 10metres X [(ppO2/FO2) – 1]

For example, if the gas contains 36% oxygen (FO2 = 0.36) and the maximum ppO2 is 1.4 bar, the MOD (m) is 10 metres x [(1.4 / 0.36) – 1] = 28.9 metres

MOD = 33feet X [(ppO2/FO2) – 1]

For example, if the gas contains 36% oxygen (FO2 = 0.36) and the maximum ppO2 is 1.4 bar, the MOD (fsw) is 33 feet x [(1.4 / 0.36) – 1] = 95.3 feet.

The additional information on the Contents label concerning nitrogen and helium is primarily intended for use by certified TDI Technical Divers trained to dive with helium in their breathing gas mixtures.

Finally, it is important to note that although the industry standard is described and pictured here, some countries require different looking labels by law. A proper nitrox diver course will teach you these procedures and allow you to practice until you are comfortable analyzing and properly labeling a nitrox cylinder.


Don’t Trust Your Gas Blender – Analyze Every Tank

by Jon Kieren

Analyzing your tank

Photo Courtesy of Andy Phillips

People make mistakes, it’s human nature. I make them all the time. I’m sure that even after this article has been edited several times and published someone out there will find at least a couple of typos and call us out on it. A typo is one thing. However, a simple mistake in the blending process can result in a diver breathing a mix with significantly more or less oxygen than they had expected, causing serious injury or death. If we KNOW that people make simple mistakes so often, then why do so many nitrox divers today NOT analyze their gas before diving? There are two primary reasons: either they don’t understand why it’s so important (a topic that is covered in every nitrox course), or they have just become complacent. This article will discuss both scenarios and how to avoid them.

Why is it so important to analyze your breathing gas? Simply, it can kill you if it’s wrong. If the oxygen content is less than the diver had expected, they can end up with unexpected and unknown decompression obligations.

Example – You make a dive to 30 metres/100 feet assuming you’re breathing 32% nitrox. You spend 39 minutes on the bottom and surface with no decompression obligation. Unfortunately, the nitrox tank you were diving was accidentally filled with air (21% oxygen), and in reality you just blew off 26 minutes of decompression. A significant error that is almost sure to result in Decompression Sickness. This situation can be made significantly worse by conducting repeated dives.

What if the oxygen content is HIGHER than you expected? Should be better off then, right? As far as decompression obligations are concerned, yes. However, a far greater risk in diving nitrox is Oxygen Toxicity and can cause severe convulsions (not a good situation underwater).

Example – Using the same dive as above, assuming you were on 32% nitrox at 30 metres/100 feet, your partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) would be close to its upper limit at about 1.3 ata. If that nitrox mix was in fact a 50% nitrox mix, your PO2 would now be over 2.0 ata and would be considered extremely dangerous.

The examples above are not the only concerns of breathing the wrong gas at the wrong depth; a thorough nitrox course will cover the others, as well as how to avoid them. So if you have to be Nitrox certified to dive nitrox, and the risks and proper procedures for avoiding those risks are covered in the course, why do people still end up breathing the wrong gas? The simple answer is: complacency. Over time, divers become complacent with their gas analysis procedures and start to skip it altogether, which means they end up in the water with absolutely no idea what they are breathing. Pretty scary.

Normalization of deviance is a term used by astronaut Mike Mullane (*Mullane 2014) to describe the process of complacency in safety procedures. In brief, it explains how humans have the tendency to take shortcuts due to different factors including time, peer pressure, etc. Once this shortcut is taken and nothing bad happens, the brain will incorrectly assume that the shortcut is “safe”. This shortcut now becomes the norm, and we have completely eliminated a critical step in a procedure. This applies to diving at every level. How many times have you seen divers jump in the water without doing a proper predive check? It is taught and its importance stressed in every open water course, yet it gets skipped every day because so many divers have “gotten away with it” they assume it’s safe to dive without making predive checks and then eliminate it from their procedure. Unfortunately, it also results in emergencies from divers forgetting to turn on their air and inflate their BCDs.

The same happens to nitrox divers. Maybe one day they are in a rush and forget to analyze their gas at the fill station. They get to the dive site and realize that they forgot to analyze but now do not have access to an analyzer. They are left with two choices, either not dive today or dive without analyzing their gas. The diver has been getting fills from that fill station for years and has never gotten the wrong mix, so they decide to dive anyway and assume the fill is correct. Nothing bad happens, so they now believe this shortcut is safe. “If I get my fills from XZY Dive Center, I know that it will be correct and I do not need to analyze my gas”. They have eliminated the most critical step in diving nitrox, and this is now the norm.

We know people make mistakes, and that’s why we have safety procedures in diving. These procedures help us catch the little mistakes before they create catastrophic emergencies. When diving nitrox, analyze every tank before every dive without exception. It could save your life.

* Mullane, Mike. (March 2014). Stopping Normalization of Deviance.