A ScubaBoard Staff Message...
I had the experience of diving with Craig Johnson from Safety Stop Divers in Green Island, and he was a fun guy to spend time with. I quite enjoyed diving with him and learning more about Green Island with him.
...unfortunately, he and his dive shop have absolutely no regard for the ecosystem in which they dive. He sent me a bunch of videos of him diving, and I was... genuinely horrified.
I feel bad coming onto the site to just call out this dive shop and the owner and this guide... but this sort of behavior needs to be called out.
Their website is SafetyStopDiver.com, and their address is N0. 2 Fish Port Road Ludao, Taitung, TAIWAN. The owner is Ken Hou (PADI MSDT 46039), who owns a few different dive shops around Taiwan. Our dive guide that we worked with was Craig Johnson (PADI MSDT 337566).
Craig and Ken have a habit of taking divers out who don't have any control of their buoyancy, and then tying rope to coral heads underwater for them to hold on to. This isn't something that is happening from some rogue irresponsible divemaster who doesn't know what he's doing - this is one of the first dive shops in Taiwan - it is the owner of 3 dive shops and the boss of one of those shops.
Here are the videos - note that Craig is taking the videos, completely unconcerned by the divers rampaging through the coral, and that the dive guide who owns the shop is pushing off with his fins from the coral head. They're signaling to the other people underwater to literally grab onto the coral and grip it.
Maybe I'm missing something here, and this behavior isn't as repulsive as it seems to me. Maybe it's all CGI! But maybe I really am wrong about something, and maybe Craig or Ken can get on here and explain what I'm missing, or why they're doing this to the reef. Sorry for all the negativity =(.
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