Twenty sea gypsies from Rawai, Phuket recently took part in a scuba diving course to prepare them for possible future jobs as diving instructors in the local diving industry.
The programme, organised by Thai Diving Association and Phuket Office of Sports and Recreation Development, could lead to the sea gypsies, once living nomadic lives and fishing around the Andaman Sea, entering the workforce jobs as dive master assistants.
The five-day training featured theoretical and practical training, including how to avoid decompression sickness. The condition is common among sea gypsies, many of whom descend to the sea bottom to fish without using conventional scuba gear.
The training equipment is donated by the local diving operators.
This course will help expand career opportunities for sea gypsies beyond fishing. However, the diving trainees must pass the exam to certify for dive master assistants. - Phuket Gazette