Guidelines for Komodo Marine Tourism Operators

These regulations are applicable to vessels of any size carrying passengers or paying guests in the Komodo National Park. They are designed to protect the natural resources of the park and ensure safer, and enjoyable, experiences for all visitors. 

SOP

DOCK STANDARD OF PROCEDURE 2019
(Last review – June 2018)

A. MISSION STATEMENT

1. Professionalism and Standards
Maintain high standards of safety, customer service, environmental protection and fair employment among dive operators.

2. Fair Business Employment
Foster cooperation, mutual support and the upkeep of ethical business practices among members.

3. Partner Collaboration
Collaborate with local government, Komodo National Park Authorities, local NGO’s and communities

4. Conservation
Support projects which conserve and improve the marine ecosystem, respect local culture and grow the local economy.

5. Inspiring Action
Support projects which conserve and improve the marine ecosystem, respect local culture and grow the local economy, conserve and improve the marine ecosystem, local culture and local economy.

3. SAFETY

3.1 Equip dive boats with 100% emergency oxygen, first aid kit, marine radios, GPS, sonar, life jackets (one for every person on-board) and all required safety equipment at all times.

3.2 Agree to limit dive groups to 4 fun divers or less.

3.3 Agree to have a maximum capacity of 18 guests on any DOCK dive boat.

3.4 Agree to ensure that all guest divers and dive staff have adequate dive insurance to cover rescue, medical and chamber cost in case of emergency.

3.5 Agree to not take divers to sites beyond their experience level; including no DSD or Open Water courses at Batu Bolong, Tatawa Kecil, Crystal Rock, Castle Rock and Cauldron.

3.6 Dive Leaders to continuously assess dive conditions, including currents and weather and change dive schedule should the dive site not be safe for all divers.

3.7 Agree to assist in any emergency situations when possible and agree to abandon dives if assisting takes priority.

3.8 Agree to regularly maintain all dive and dive related equipment – all tanks within hydrostatic test dates, serviced regulators etc.

4. EMPLOYMENT

4.1 All staff must have a signed fair-employment contract and job description in place.

4.2 Manpower laws followed including; minimum Wage, a minimum number of Rest Days per Month and Annual Leave*
*Depending on Manpower laws; DOCK might want to add extra beneficial regulations for the staff.

4.3 All staff must have BPJS (or other insurance) in place.

4.4 All foreign staff to have a valid working visa and permits in order.

4.5 Members shall not use DM Trainees or newly certified foreign DMs as cheap labour under the pretence of DM Internships, instead of regularly-employed staff.

5. ENVIRONMENT

5.1 To assist in the data collection of infringements within the KNP and to add this information to the database to be used in any discussions, meetings etc with authorities, government bodies in the future.

5.2 To give all guests (and staff) a proper boat briefing including all points from ‘DOCK Boat Briefing’.

5.3 All DOCK members agree to adhere to the ‘Code of Conduct’ at all Manta dive sites, and will fully brief all customers on this before entering the water (refer to ‘DOCK Boat Briefing’).

5.4 All DOCK Dive Guides and Divers are to demonstrate and demand responsible behaviour underwater regarding marine life – no touching, teasing, feeding, poking any marine life. There is to be ‘passive’ interaction at all times. Neutral buoyancy if to be kept over all coral and rubble areas at all times.

5.5 Making safe and responsible decisions on selecting dive sites in regards to conditions, carrying capacity of the dive site and divers ability. No two boats from the same dive company, with full passengers capacity, will go to the same dive site at the same time. One dive company with multiple boats can only have a total of 18 guests at one time in the same dive site and should enter the water in staggering time to avoid overcrowding the site.

5.6 Use of gloves by guest are prohibited and equipment such as current hooks only to guests with suitable experience with a proper pre-dive briefing.

5.7 Use good judgement when using moorings inside the National Park so as not to overload moorings or cause damage to the mooring or other vessels.

5.8 To reduce wherever possible the use of single-use plastics, containers, food boxes and recycle materials whenever possible.

5.9 To never use plastic straws, styrofoam boxes, plastic cutlery and single-use cups. To reduce other single-use items as much as possible including plastic bottles, plastic bags, products with a lot of plastic packaging and non-rechargeable batteries.

5.10 To separate waste in boats and offices into general rubbish, recyclables and organic waste and to dispose of each responsibly.

5.11 To provide free water refill on boats and in offices.

5.12 Agree to have all dive crew to assist in educating and assisting ALL divers to attain the above at all times.

5.13 Agree that divers who willingly break the above regulations once assisted in preventing and educated to the contrary on the regulations are to be warned and in extreme circumstances asked to sit out dives or stopped from diving altogether.

5.14 If a DOCK company serves seafood, they are to try, where possible, to attain from sustainable sources, avoid key ‘Habitat indicator Species’ such as snapper/grouper and avoid fish which is not yet mature.

6. COMMUNITY

6.1 Support efforts working with the communities of Labuan Bajo, surrounding villages and the communities of Komodo National Park to reduce waste, protect marine life – working together towards maintaining the beauty of the Komodo National Park & its surrounding areas.

6.2 Provide training and opportunities to the communities in the Flores and Komodo area in all aspects of sustainable, well-managed tourism.

6.3 Support efforts to increase and maintain protection in the Komodo National Park with individual or group activities such as school visits, educational programs, reef and beach cleans, reef ecology courses, presentations etc.

6.4 Support/donate/sponsor environmental NGOs (e.g. Trash Hero, MantaWatch, Marine Megafauna Foundation, WWF, etc.) in their important conservation work and research and assist in any way possible.

Vessels

1 Passenger Vessel Equipment and Gear

1.1 Radio And Telephone

For safety and to enable intership communications ALL vessels are required to carry a working SSB or VHF radio and at least one member of the crew must be trained and qualified as a radio operator.

All boats should also carry a hand phone in the areas of the park where signal is available. Contact number for each vessel should be provided to the association.

Channel 16 should be used in any emergency and to establish contact for routine communications before switching to another channel. SSB and VHF radio channels, frequencies, and protocols are described in a bulletin available from Komodo National Park offices and on the Komodo National Park website.

1.2 Navigation, firefighting, emergency equipment

Vessels must have all equipment and gear required by applicable international and Indonesian regulations according to class, tonnage and/or number of passengers carried.

These include navigation equipment and lights, firefighting equipment, lifejackets, lifeboat or life raft, flares, rockets and other emergency signaling devices. At a minimum, vessels of any size carrying passengers or paying guests within the park should be equipped with fire extinguishers, suitable lifejackets or life preservers for all crew and passengers, navigation lights, compass, and emergency flares or rockets (red and white).

1.3 First aid kit and medical supplies

Vessels carrying passengers or paying guests must carry medical equipment and/or first aid materials as required by the applicable international and Indonesian regulations according to the class, tonnage, and/or number of passengers carried.

At a minimum, vessels of any size carrying passengers or divers within the park must have a suitable first aid kit, and there must be at least one crewmember on board who is trained in administering first aid and emergency cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

1.4 Dive equipment and facilities

Vessels carrying divers or engaging in dive operations must carry working oxygen apparatus (including medical oxygen and delivery apparatus), and there must be at least one crewmember on board who is trained as an oxygen provider.

This requirement also applies to dive tenders and/or support vessels carrying divers operating more than 5 km from the main vessel. Oxygen sets must be maintained in good working order and supplied with sufficient gas to enable transport of an injured diver to emergency medical facilities at Labuanbajo or another location without interrupting the required supply of oxygen to the patient.

1.4.2 Other general dive safety equipment

Operators are encouraged to consider additional equipment to enhance diver safety, such as diver EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) systems, back- up signaling devices, etc.

1.5 Compressors and banks

Dive compressors carried on-board must be installed and operated in accordance with industry standards, including routing of air intakes and engine exhaust to ensure that exhaust gases do not contaminate breathing gases.

Operators supplying enriched oxygen breathing mixes must ensure that gas blending or filtration equipment is suitably maintained. At least two independent devices for checking the oxygen content of mixed gases must be available, and operators must allow divers to check the oxygen content of their own breathing gas before diving, using either their own device or a device supplied by the operator.

1.6 Tenders

Tenders must be seaworthy and their engines and other equipment must be maintained in a safe operating condition. Tenders fabricated with built-in positive flotation (e.g., rigid inflatable boats, etc.) are strongly recommended.

Operators are encouraged to equip dive tenders with a radio, first aid kit, bottled water and binoculars. Tenders carrying divers or passengers and operating at a distance of 5 km or more from the main vessel must carry a radio, first aid kit, bottled water, binoculars and emergency oxygen, as well as life preservers or life jackets for crew and all passengers who are not divers carrying (or wearing) their own buoyancy control devices.

Tenders operating at night must carry a signal light for navigation and a light of sufficient power to carry out a search for a missing diver in the water.

Tenders must abide to maximum speed limits of 6 knots with 250 meter of any dive site and exercise caution when picking up and dropping off divers.

Tenders are not allowed to anchor or set marker buoys on dive sites.

Operators are expected to report serious violations of these guidelines or other park regulations to the association and park authorities where relevent.

Operations

2 Vessel Operations and Procedures

2.1 Radio reporting and emergency

All members should keep an up to date copy of the Emergency Action Plan on all vessels and dive guides and captains should be instructed in the use and execution of the EAP.

In the event of an emergency all members are required to contact the association with the details of the emergency in a timely fashion for purpose of developing guidelines for improved safety in the future.

In the case of suspected decompression illness, including barotrauma or decompression sickness, a report, including a log of all dives and their profiles, should go with the patient when he or she is transferred to a medical facility, and a copy should also be included in the report to park association. If the diver used a computer, this information can be obtained from the dive computer, which should be protected and travel with the patient when he or she is transferred to a medical facility.

Please see appendix 1 Emergency Action Plan and 1.1 Emergency Contact Lists.

2.1.1 Training, rules and emergency procedure briefings

All crew must be trained and be familiar with their responsibilities in emergencies such as collision or grounding, person overboard or lost, accident or injury, lifeboat boarding and abandoning ship, etc.

It is the responsibility of operators and/or vessel owners to ensure that their staff and crew understand and comply with the rules and regulations in this document.

It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that all passengers are familiar with emergency procedures and understand their own roles and responsibilities, including the meaning of alarms and the location of life-jackets, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, etc.

2.2 Navigation and vessel handling

All vessels operating within the park are required to observe the applicable International Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea and relevant Indonesian regulations at all times.

In the event of a capsize, collision, grounding, striking a reef, sinking or other life- threatening incident involving the vessel, park authorities must be alerted immediately by any available means so that search and rescue efforts can be mobilised.

A report concerning the incident must be submitted in writing within 48 hours to the association.

2.3 Mooring and anchoring

All vessels must comply with the park’s mooring and anchoring regulations. If available, mooring buoys must be used provided the gross tonnage of the vessel does not exceed the buoy’s maximum tonnage limit.

Anchoring is allowed only in areas with a 100% sandy bottom and a minimum depth of 30m, and is prohibited within 250m of gazetted dive sites.

2.4 Supervision of Dive Groups

All divers should have a support vessel on the surface at all times. The support vessel will be briefed on the dive plan and remain at the immediate location until all divers have returned from the dive.

Boat crew will be briefed on appropriate supervision and monitoring techniques for the site given the condition.

Using one boat to deliver guests to two different sites in strongly discouraged.

2.5 Dive tender operations

Dive tenders must remain on station in the vicinity of the dive site while divers are in the water and maintain visual contact with the divers and/or their bubbles during the dive.

Tenders operators should be prepared to render immediate assistance to divers at all times, including protecting them from other craft. Dive tenders are responsible for advising other vessels that divers are in the water and warning off boat traffic that may pose a threat or hazard to divers.

Dive tender personnel shall perform no other concurrent duty that may interfere with any of these responsibilities.

Dive tenders shall not fish!

Dive tenders shall not anchor or tie up to a mooring except in the result of a mechanical failure making it necessary to anchor or moor in order to remain on station to retrieve divers.

Dive tender operators shall turn off engines or disengage from gear when divers are in the immediate vicinity of the tender or engaged in entering and exiting the tender.

In the event of an accident or emergency, the dive tender operator is responsible for rendering immediate first aid or other assistance; maintaining control of the tender and its engine(s); and contacting the main vessel by radio or other means to report or request additional help.

Tender operators should proceed at a safe speed in the vicinity of divers, other tenders, and/or dive sites where divers may be present.

2.6 Person overboard, lost or missing diver passenger or crew

In the event that a passenger or crew member is lost from the vessel at sea, or if a diver cannot be found after a dive, the operator should conduct an immediate search for 15 minutes.

If the person is still not found after 15 minutes operator should request assistance from nearby vessel and or the association. After 30 minutes a full search and recovery exercise should be considered necessary and the association must be notified immediately so that a search and rescue effort can be mobilised.

The time and location (GPS coordinates) should be recorded as soon as possible after the discovery that someone is missing, along with the estimated time and place that any passenger or crew last saw the missing person, the equipment carried by the person (smb, light , camera etc) and this information is given to the association.

The search for the missing person must be continued until they are found or instructions to suspend or discontinue the search are received from authorities directing the search and rescue operation.

In the event of a lost or missing person on another vessel, you may be asked to participate directly in search and rescue operations or to assist in other ways (such as relaying communications). It is your responsibility to assist in an emergency and to comply with reasonable requests and instructions (i.e., which do not endanger your vessel, passengers or crew) from park authorities directing the emergency response.

2.7 Injuries and medical emergencies

In the event of a serious injury or medical emergency, including possible decompression sickness (DCS) or barotrauma, affecting any passenger or crew, the association can be notified immediately so that an appropriate response can be mobilised if necessary.

In the event of cessation of cardio-pulmonary function due to drowning or other cause, responsible persons on board the vessel shall initiate cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and continue until relieved by competent medical personnel or until the victim can be transferred to other medical facilities ashore or on another vessel.

Following any serious injury, medical emergency or death, a detailed report of the incident must be submitted in writing to the association within 4 days

2.8 Environmental Awareness.

All vessels should have sufficient storage for their solid wastes to enable that it be stored on board until the vessel returns to port.

Crew must be instructed on the appropriate method of disposal for the waste material.

All boats should have oil water separators in the bilges to avoid the discharge of petroleum wastes into the water. Crew should be given ample resources to ensure refueling and oil changes are done cleanly.

All vessels should ensure that their engines are regularly serviced and operating cleanly without excessive smoke or oil discharges.

All vessels that make use of engines and or generators should ensure that the engines and generators are sufficiently silenced so as to not disturb other vessels at moorings and anchorages.

All vessels should ensure that night lights and navigation lights are not so bright as to disturb other vessels.

Vessel will not host fishermen or spear fishermen in violation of the park zoning plan, and extend the same regulations to dive site outside of the park.

2.8.1 Disposal of solid and liquid waste

There are no facilities for disposing of trash or other waste materials inside the park. Solid and liquid waste should be placed or held in suitable containers and retained on board until it can be off-loaded to an appropriate disposal facility outside the park.

This does not mean dumping waste just outside park boundaries prior to entering or after exiting the park. Oil-water separators should be installed in bilges. Before flushing or pumping, bilges should be inspected to ensure that bilge areas are not contaminated with oil or other pollutants.

2.9 Using radios and other means

Operators should communicate with other operators in the area to coordinate their visits to dive sites in order to avoid over- crowding and other problems.

When a boat or tender approaches a dive site where divers from another boat or tender are already in the water and diving, or are about to enter the water, the newly-arrived boat should not put divers in the water until the first group of divers have cleared the entry area unless given explicit permission to do so by the captain or dive leader of the first boat.

In any event the new dive group should wait for a minimum of twenty minutes from the time the earlier group entered before adding divers to the site. The waiting boat or tender should maintain a distance of at least 100 m from the dive site and exercise extreme caution in manoeuvring in case divers surface close by.

The newly arrived boat may contact the first boat by radio or loud-hailer to find out when the dive is likely to be concluded or to request permission to put divers in the water before the first group concludes their dive.

When a boat or tender approaches a dive site where divers from another boat or tender are waiting for current conditions to moderate before beginning their dive, the newly-arrived boat must not put divers in the water until the first group of divers have completed their dive unless given explicit permission to do so by the captain or dive leader of the first boat, or have waiting at least twenty minutes from the entry time of the previous group. The waiting boat or tender should maintain a distance of at least 100 m from the dive site and exercise extreme caution in manoeuvring in case divers surface close by. 

2.10 Valid Pass

All persons, with the exception of crew members and staff must possess a dated pass valid for the Marine Wilderness Zone and covering the entire period the visitors are within the boundaries of the park.

Divers

3 Code of Conduct for Diver Operators and dive briefings

It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that all divers understand the Code of Conduct for Divers in Komodo National Park and that they are familiar with other dive safety (e.g., hand signals, procedures for aborting a dive, gear handling, tender operations, etc.) and emergency procedures (person overboard, fire, abandon ship, etc.) specific to the vessel.

Divers are required to sign a Liability Release form required by the operator. The LRF requires divers to affirm that they have read and understand the Code of Conduct and agree to comply with its provisions.

The operator and/or dive leader must provide mandatory briefings prior to every dive, including a description of the site; the dangers or hazards that may be encountered during the dive; appropriate responses to dangers or hazards; and other relevant safety, environmental or conservation concerns.

Operators have a particular responsibility to ensure that divers observe the Environmental Awareness and Diver Safety provisions of the Code of Conduct at all times. If a diver who refuses to comply with any these provisions; or repeatedly or flagrantly harasses or damages fishes, corals, or other natural resources of the Park; or repeatedly or flagrantly engages in activities in violation of the Code of Conduct or other regulations which endanger himself/herself, other divers, and/or crew members or practices, then the operator is required to prohibit that individual from further diving in the park, without incurring any obligation to refund ticket fees, charges or to provide any other compensation. And advise the association of the name and contact details of the offending diver.

Operators and their staff are encouraged to become knowledgeable about the ecological systems of the park, its wildlife and their habitats, Park conservation activities and programs, and to share this information with visitors.

It is the responsibility of the operator to brief divers on the procedures to follow in the event they surface from a dive and the tender or chase boat is distant or not in sight, including correct use of the individual dive safety equipment items they are required to carry, including surface marker buoy (SMB), light or emergency strobe, and whistle or compressed-air powered horn.

3.1 Dive operations

3.1.1 Individual dive and dive safety gear

Operators must ensure that all scuba gear (cylinders, regulators, gauges, buoyancy control devices, etc.) used by divers are maintained in safe operating condition. Operators must ensure that every diver is equipped with the following minimal safety gear on every dive, and that the safety gear is maintained in good working order, and that divers are familiar with the procedures for correct and safe operation of these devices.

Daytime visual signal device (SMB (surface marker buoy) or “safety sausage”, brightly-colored lift-bag, dive flag, diver’s inflatable raft, etc.); Nighttime visual signal device (Dive light or flashing emergency strobe light). At least two dive lights (main and backup) must be carried on night dives;

Auditory signal device (whistle and/or horn operated by compressed air) Divers using SMBs (surface marker buoys), lift bags, or other inflatable signaling devices must not attempt to deploy the device underwater using a fixed line, reel or spool unless they have received training or the operator is confident of their proficiency to execute this procedure safely.

3.1.2 Individual dive gear – dive computers

It is strongly encouraged that all divers carry individual dive computers on all dives. In addition to enhancing dive safety, dive computers make it possible to reconstruct the recent dive profiles of a diver experiencing symptoms of decompression illness that may be required to determine the necessity and appropriate course of treatment. Divers may use their own dive computers, or the operator may supply computers for their use. Operators are encouraged to carry spare dive computers for divers who do not have their own.

3.2 Dive Supervision

3.2.1 Dive leader, specific authority and responsibilities

A qualified dive leader must be in attendance during all dive operations. The dive leader has complete operational authority and full responsibility for all diving activities, including (but not limited) to the following: ฀

  • Selecting dive site, including evaluation of weather, current and sea-state conditions and determining when the site can be safely dived; ฀
  • Operational diving procedures (including selecting dive site, setting maximum depth and time limits for dives), determining necessary equipment, and evaluating the qualifications and fitness of individual divers; ฀
  • Supervise tender operations; ฀
  • Determine the deployment of support divers (dive mastersand/or safety divers); ฀
  • Suspend, cancel or terminate any diving operation he/she feels may be unsafe in light of prevailing conditions and/or the qualifications, experience and skills of participants; ฀and
  • Prohibit any diver from participating in any dive if it is necessary or advisable to ensure the safety of that individual, other divers, or support divers. • Respect the rules to prevent overcrowding and allow a minimum of twenty minutes between the time of entry of a previous group of divers, and your entry time. Unless given express permission by the leader of the earlier group, or the dive site allows for very different profiles.

3.2.2 Operator and Dive leader, general responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the operator and dive leader to ensure that: ฀

  • Divers have appropriate certifications and are properly trained and physically fit to dive, and that their equipment is suitable for the dive and in safe working condition; ฀
  • Divers adhere to sensible depth limits and profiles using either a dive computer or dive tables;
  • Divers complete any decompression obligations incurred during a dive;
  • Divers carry out a 3-5 minute safety stop at a depth of 3-5 meters unless deteriorating sea conditions or other factors dictate that the safety stop be abbreviated or omitted; ฀
  • Divers are counted or listed by name at the beginning of every dive and the list is crosschecked against returning divers at the end of the dive or return to the main vessel.

It is also the responsibility of the operator and dive leader to:฀

  • Provide mandatory briefings prior to every dive, including description of the site; dangers or hazards that may be encountered during the dive; appropriate responses to dangers or hazards; relevant environmental or conservation concerns; ฀
  • Keep a log of all dives, including date, location, time of entry and time when the last diver completed the dive, and names of all participants, noting any significant incidents including serious injury, accident, sickness, or equipment malfunction, etc.

3.2.3 Support Divers (dive masters or guides and safety divers)

The deployment of support divers (dive masters or guides and/or safety divers) shall be determined by the operator and dive leader, taking into consideration the dive site, prevailing conditions, and the qualifications, experience and skills of the participant divers.

Most dives will require a qualified dive master or guide to lead the dive, and may also require additional dive masters, guides or safety divers. The dive master or guide must be certified by a recognized training agency at the dive master level, and knowledgeable about the dive sites and the conditions encountered diving in Komodo.

Additional safety divers should be certified by a recognized training agency to at least the Rescue Diver level. The dive master or guide shall lead the dive, and is responsible for monitoring conditions on the site and the status of divers in the water. Support divers should be prepared to render assistance to a diver at any time.

In case of deteriorating conditions (i.e., current, sea state, etc.) that present an immediate or potential threat to the safety of divers, the dive master shall suspend the dive and the dive master or guide (and safety divers, if present) shall direct and assist divers in executing a safe ascent and exit from the water.

Dive masters or guides and safety divers should be equipped with a surface marker buoy (SMB) with a lift capacity of at least 22 kg (50 lbs) and a reel or spool for deploying the SMB at depth, a spare (secondary) 2nd stage regulator to enable them to assist a diver in an “out-of-air”emergency. To facilitate sharing breathing gas during a swimming ascent or in difficult conditions, it is recommended for divemasters and safety divers that the 2nd stage donated to the “out-of-air”diver be rigged on a long (2 m or 7 ft) hose.

3.2.4 Surface intervals and flying after diving

A minimum surface interval of one hour should be observed between repetitive dives. Divers should also allow a surface interval of at least 12 hours after diving before flying or ascending to altitude, and 18 hours or more if they have engaged in multiple deep dives, decompression dives, or an intensive schedule of repetitive dives on multiple days.

3.2.5 Strong currents

Strong currents are common on many sites in Komodo National Park, including downward and upward currents, whirlpools, eddies and other conditions that can be hazardous to all divers and particularly inexperienced divers.

It is the responsibility of the operator and dive leader to make sure that conditions at any particular site are suitable for safe diving and that each diver has the appropriate training, experience and physical fitness to participate in the dive. All dives should be planned around the competency and fitness of the least experienced and/or least fit diver(s) in the group.

If there is a question about any diver’s ability to handle the demands of a particular dive, then the dive plan should be modified or a different site and dive plan selected. There are no absolute criteria to determine whether a site can be safely dived at a particular time. It depends on the qualifications, experience and fitness of the divers and the actual conditions at the site, including the likelihood that conditions may worsen significantly.

However, operators should always exercise extreme caution when strong currents and/or high seas are evident or anticipated. For example: ฀

  • Sea state – seas larger than 1 m (3 ft) ฀
  • Current in excess of 1 knot except for planned drift dives, particularly if the dive plan requires divers to swim against the current for a significant distance; ฀
  • Current in excess of 2 knots on drift dives (only), particularly if there is risk that the current may turn into a down current, up current, or lead divers into a dangerous eddy or whirlpool. ฀
  • Diving should not be attempted in currents in excess of 3 knots
Conservation

4 Conservation practices Manoeuvring around cetaceans, mantas and other large marine animals

All vessels must exercise care when manoeuvring around cetaceans or other marine animals (dolphins, whales, manta rays, etc.)

  1. Minimise speed and avoid sudden changes of speed or direction.
  2. Adhere to a maximum approach distance of 100 m for whales and 50 m for dolphins, allowing additional distance for mother-and-calf pairs or when animals are engaged in behaviours such as feeding or mating.
  3. Minimise noise and do not rev engines
  4. Never pursue, encircle or separate whales.
  5. Do not approach whales directly from the front or rear and avoid approaching on a collision course.Do not feed cetaceans or other marine animals.
  6. 7. Allow the animal(s) to control the nature and duration of the encounter.
  7. Do not approach cetaceans under observation by another vessel.
  8. If dolphins choose to bow-ride, maintain steady course and speed.
  9. Do not run through pods of dolphin to solicit bow-riding.
  10. If animals are in close vicinity of the boat, turn off the engine or disengage from gear to avoid propeller injuries. {See Code of Conduct for Whale and Dolphin Watching in Indonesia}

Opportunities to swim or dive with whales, dolphins, mantas and other large marine animals can occur. The following guidelines should be observed:

  • Free diving with snorkel gear is preferred when attempting to swim or dive with cetaceans, whale sharks, and mantas feeding on or near the surface. ฀
  • Swimmers should enter the water at a distance of at least 100 m away from the animal(s) and approach cautiously, allowing the animals room to avoid the encounter if they desire. ฀
  • Do not chase an animal that is trying to avoid an encounter. Allow the animal to control the nature and duration of the encounter. ฀
  • Do not touch or attempt to “ride” a cetacean, whale shark, manta or other large animal. ฀
  • Do not surround, encircle or separate whales. ฀
  • Do not attempt to approach animals engaged in courtship behaviour (including fighting among rival males) or mating pairs, mother(s) and juvenile(s), or animals presenting threat displays (such as tail lobbing). ฀
  • Cetaceans may be accompanied or followed by large pelagic sharks that are potentially dangerous to swimmers or divers.
Passes

5 Visitor passes and Park Management

All persons carried with the exception of crew members and staff must possess a dated pass valid for the Marine Wilderness Zone and covering the entire period the visitors are within the boundaries of the park.

Any violations of the guidelines should be reported to the dive operator association, and where relevant to the park authorities.

All guides and crew should be aware of the park zonation plan and the respective regulations on diving, fishing and visiting the various zones.

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