President Remengesau encourages Palauan youths to become PADI certified divers

(Koror, Palau) 13 young students received their PADI Open Water Divers Certificates through the Year of the Youth Small Grant initiative.  The program was initiated by the Office of the President with intention to expose and get as many young Palauans to be certified scuba divers.


“I am very thankful for the opportunity to be part of this,” says Dilbuked Persis Omelau, a student from University of Alaska-Fairbanks, interning at PICRC and one of the recently certified PADI Divers.

“This program helped us improve our work, especially collecting data underwater, which requires scuba diving skills.  It also made us understand why so many foreigners come to Palau to dive,” she added about her scuba diving experience.

“It made me understand why we need a Marine Sanctuary,” stated Alexi Meltel of the University of Hawaii-Manoa, of her experience underwater.  Adding, “My favorite diving site is Blue Corner because you can see so many different fish and shark.”

This first round of certification was offered by Sam’s Tours, which trained and certified the students through their certified PADI instructors.  President Remengesau expressed his appreciation to Sam’s Tours for being the first to offer to take the student.

President Remengesau added that the program is on-going and encourages other dive shops to join the program and invest in the young people of Palau.

Students successfully completing the course were Evan Fritz, Rubie Joy Gabriel, Mira Mariur, Mengiau Sasao, Jedidah Masahiro, Leo Giliko, and Marcyl lkesakes, all from Palau Community College.

Ngedengoll Destinie Akira from Palau High School, Garry Boisek Tellames Jr. from Emmaus High School, Persis Omelau from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Yubee Isaac from the University of Hawaii in Hilo, Alexi Meltel from the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and Bryan Ngiraked from Palau Community College. All are enrolled in the Palau International Coral Reef Center Internship Program.

It typically takes about four days to complete the Open Water Diver course which can be done in consecutive days or over a period of four separate days based on the candidates and instructors schedules.

The Student Scuba Certification Program continues with the next round starting July 5, 2016. All interested students may call the Office of the President Youth Coordinator, Mr. Alex Meltel at 488-4410 for application details. [/restrict]