Yesterday during my second dive at Pulau Lang (Pulau Aur), I was leading 5 leisure divers (3 Advanced & 2 Open Water), we ventured to the less dived south-eastern tip of Pulau Lang. We planned for reciprocal navigation dive with a max depth of 24-26m and max bottom time of 30min.
Initial part of the descent and head out to south-eastern tip, was very clam and pleasant with visibility up to 20m. Once we hit 16m depth, current started to pick up from gentle to mild at depth of 24m. We were drifting for a couple of minutes before we started to ascent. We hang out for a couple of minutes at various depth (Multi-level stops), unfortunately the current started to pick at shallower depth. We won’t able to swim back to our dive boat.
So I signaled to my divers to surface up, as we were swimming at 5m swim for more 5 minutes to get back to our dive boat. I deployed my SMB before surfacing, as I knew we going to be drifted on surface too. Luckily, before I jumped into the water, I did tell the boatman where we were heading.
Before we surface up, we sighted 4 jellyfish in our direction, I signaled to my divers to look out for them. Once surfaced everyone fully inflated their bcd, and I fully inflated my SMB, asked one of the advanced divers to dunk his head underwater to check the jellyfish whereabout. We were drifting on surface as expected, so I asked the divers to swim perpendicular along the direction of current, till the surface current is gentle. We keep everyone close to each other.
I started to whistle, of course using a whistle, for our dive boat at the other side of Pulau Lang. No sign of the boat. After 5 mins, we saw 4-5 SMB shooting up the surface, the other group of advanced students with another instructor & 3 leisure divers, were also drifted out.
In the meanwhile, my divers were in high spirited, they started taking pictures of themselves and sharing on the dive we just had. It was only after 20 mins later, the dive boat came for us, after another group of open water students with their instructor completed their dive at the side of the island.
1. Plan your dive, dive to your plan – Yes. We did. Unfortunately the current were too strong.
2. Inform your Captain or Boatman where you are heading or your intend route of dive. Where is your exit point – Yes. We did. Unfortunately we won’t be able to swim back due to strong current.
4. Deployed SMB and get it fully inflated. SMB ideally as tall as you are.
5. Have a sounding device – Alarm or Whistle.
6. Stay together. If you have a Jonline, use it with everyone holding onto it. It is very useful during dive and on surface when the current is strong.
7. Face away from the sun.
8. Be patient.
9. ‘Do not point finger’ at anyone for the outcome.
10. Frequent look out underwater for any jellyfish or anything that going to harm anyone.
11. Keep the spirit up among the divers.
This photo was taken by one of the leisure divers during our drift on surface
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Its corals, lagoons and offshore pools make it a tourist attraction. It has for many years also always been a frequent stopover point for fishermen.
There is also a smaller island close by, Pulau Dayang, which is separated from Pulau Aur by a narrow channel of about 400m width at the narrowest point. Both islands are home to Singaporean diving companies, divers reach the island by chartered boats from Mersing or Singapore.
Due to its overwhelming distance from the mainland of Peninsula Malaysia, Aur Island offers the clearest of waters and the most exciting dive sites in this part of the country. Marine life commonly seen by divers include Manta-Ray, Barracudas, Whitetip Sharks, Rays, Napoleon Wrasse, Jacks, Trevally, Yellowback Fusiliers, Turtle, Angelfish, Titan Trigger Fish and Bumphead Parrotfish.
The Aur Island weather is affected by the monsoon winds that blows from South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. The northeast monsoon blows the wind from South China Sea from November to March and this is the time when the east coast states have heavy rainfall. Sea activities at this time are very much confined and the main activities at this time is usually the maintenance of boats and fishing related equipments as well as kite flying.
The west coast of Aur Island states are influenced by the southwest monsoon that blows the wind from the Straits of Malacca during the months of May to September. The periods between the monsoons are usually marked by heavy rainfall. The mountains have lower temperature range due to their higher altitude and the temperature ranges from 16 °C to 24 °C.
After the initial PADI Open Water Diver Course, you can further explore the vast underwater world, by taking up the PADI Advanced Open Diver Course.
To be certified as a PADI Advanced Open Diver, you have to complete a total of 5 dives:
2 x Core Adventure Dives
- Underwater Navigation Dive
- Deep Dive
3 x Additional Adventure Dives (select 3 from the various options below)
- Peak Performance Buoyancy Dive
- Night Dive
- Search and Recovery Dive
- Underwater Naturalist Dive
- Underwater Photography Dive
- Wreck Dive
- AWARE – Fish Identification
- Boat Dive
- Drift Dive
- Multilevel and Computer Dive
However, as safety for the divers is our first priority, selection depends on weather and environmental conditions at the dive site.
All Open Water Dives to be held either at Pulau Aur or Pulau Tioman.
Equipment required other than Basic Scuba units (BCD, Reg, fins, mask and snorkel)
Surface Marker Buoy (SMB)
The SMB is required at certain dive sites, with you deploying the SMB before surfacing. The purpose of the SMB is to alert all marine crafts via the surface that there are divers below. SMBs are visible at distance even when you drifted far from your dive boat. Normally, the SMB is deployed during your Safety Stop.
Dive Torches are not only used during Night Dives, but can be used during your Deep Dives as well if the colour absorption is too much or also during Wreck Dives to see the interior of the wreck more closely.
It is good to own the required equipments and bring along every dive, you never know when you will need it.
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification is valid for life and allows the diver to dive up to a depth of 40m.
For more info, please contact us.