Uttara Kannada promotes scuba diving among ‘Many Adventures’

AJ Vinayak Netrani Island (Karnataka) | Updated on March 01, 2020

An instructor guides a woman participant at the Scuba Diving Festival at Netrani Island in Karnatka’s Uttara Kannada district

Uttara Kannada district’s tourism initiatives come with the tagline, ‘One District, Many Adventures’ to highlight the unexplored tourist destinations in the district.

In spite of 300-plus km of coastline, scuba diving has remained an unexplored adventure sport along the Karnataka coast.

Now, with the initiatives of the Uttara Kannada district administration, scuba diving near Netrani Island is gaining popularity among the youth. To promote adventure tourism in the region, the district administration conducted a scuba diving festival recently.

One-hour trip

It was an hour’s journey to Netrani Island from the crowded beach at the temple town of Murdeshwar on the scuba diving festival day. Netrani Adventures, the boat which carried participants that included the public, officials and journalists, had to make a journey of 20 km. .

Before starting a session on scuba diving, Moin Nawaz, a diving instructor on the boat, asked participants not to throw any waste materials, including plastic, into the sea. He also made sure that all the participants had their lifejackets on.

He also asked the participants to not touch or pick up anything while scuba diving.

Learning with signs

The entire learning process happens through sign language. However, the sign language used while scuba diving is rather different from that followed on land.

If thumbs-up is a ‘like’ on social media and an ‘approval’ during personal interactions, out there, it is a sign for the instructor to take the scuba diver up from the bottom of the sea. The instructor makes sure that the participants get themselves acquainted other basic signs, too.

What to expect

Your one-hour trip to the location may let you spot dolphins if you are lucky.

Though the scuba diving takes place near Netrani Island, you are not allowed to disembark and enter the island. This is to protect the coral reefs and ecosystem of the island.

Your diving begins from the boat. Initially, you can acquaint yourself with the sea by floating in your life jacket. You can also try snorkelling.

Ahead of scuba diving, the instructor fits you with the necessary gear. As soon as you dive in, the instructor assigned to you once again makes sure the rules are followed. Then, with his/her assistance, you begin your journey to the bottom of the sea.

Under sea, you marine life from close quarters — be it fishes, snakes or shells. However, you are strictly forbidden from touching them.

The scuba diving organiser makes arrangements for an underwater picture/video of yours, on request. That takes care of your Instagram post.

Once the allotted time is over, the instructor assists you back into the boat. The next participant then gets ready to take the plunge.

Published on March 01, 2020

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