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The TDA base is already a brightly decorated Phuket landmark

Phuket TDA Base Will Teach Thailand to Swim

Sunday, May 3, 2009
IN THE MIDST of a successful global diving summit taking place on Phuket, the finishing touches are being applied to the new Thai Diving Association headquarters.

The colorful site on the road to Phuket airport, highlighted by a boat out the front, should be finished and open within two weeks, TDA CEO Rainer Gottwald told Phuketwan today.

Until May 9 his priority will be the CMAS World Underwater Federation general assembly taking place at Karon to celebrate the federation's 50th anniversary.

''About 160 delegates are here from 100 countries,'' Mr Gottwald said. ''And more will be arriving next week.

''The event has been extremely successful so far. A few people have cancelled, though, because of the red shirt protests in Bangkok, which is a pity.

''Some people who would have brought their families have also chosen to come alone on the advice of government travel alerts.

''It's a shame, but the future looks brighter.''

The future sits out on the airport road, a collection of sea containers painted with bright dolphins and other marine images, with an old trawler now being tarted up.

The site is a physical demonstration of the TDA's swing to Phuket as the central hub for all Thailand diving activities, and a move to involve more Thais in the industry.

Next to the tall building a huge swimming pool is being constructed.

''We plan to teach as many children as possible to swim,'' Mr Gottwald said. ''Later, some of them will graduate to snorkelling and diving.''

The children will be able to camp on the site. Phuketwan checked out the TDA centre at the weekend for a Photo Album that indicates it will be a bright and positive addition to Phuket's popular landmarks.

The centre will also give the campaign to boost safety on and in the waters around Phuket a huge boost.

Conservation and scientific TDA projects will also be based here. The land came free and costs have been kept extremely low with the generosity of sponsors.

The TDA is probably best known in Phuket for its artificial Sky Dive Reef, also known as the Coral Reef Squadron, in Bang Tao Bay. The obsolete aircraft were sunk in November.

This week's diving conference is being held at the Phuket Orchid Resort in Karon.

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Saturday February 24, 2024
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