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James Lapenta is was first certified as an Open Water Diver through PADI in 2004 and over the next two years advanced to the rating of Divemaster in 2006 with that agency. In addition I hold specialties in Nitrox, Deep, Wreck, Underwater Navigation, Drysuit, and Equipment Specialist. I am also a certified Rescue Diver. In 2006 I began technical training with the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) and earned certifications for Intro to tech and Helitrox. In the fall of 2007 it became clear that I again wanted to teach diving with the YMCA. The philosophy of that agency and comprehensive training methods drew me to seek Instructor status with them. Their ethical and moral standards also were a perfect fit with my own. When the YMCA decided to close the program in 2008 I made the transition to Scuba Educators International and just received my 2 star CMAS Instructor Rating. In 2009 I received my Ice Diver certification. In addition to my formal training I have over 350 dives in conditions ranging from warm clear water in the Florida Keys to the cold dark depths of Lake Erie. I've dove the Florida Springs, reefs in the Keys and off of the Caribbean Island of Bonaire. Wrecks in the St Lawrence River, the Florida keys, and Lake Erie as well are recorded in my logbook. Monterey Bay in California in 54 degree water temps and the aforementioned Lake Erie with temps as low as 38 degrees. Many training dives have been conducted in lakes and quarries in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. I have experience in night and low visibility diving. In addition I have certified or assisted in the certification of over 100 students from Jr Open Water to Divemaster. I have also authored a new course in Underwater Navigation for SEI Diving and am highly involved with developing new training programs and created a new Advanced Open Water Program that actually teaches true advanced skills. I have had students travel hundreds of miles to take this course. In addition a presentation on the “Failure of the Buddy System and Diver Deaths” was created by myself. My true passion is shipwrecks and Underwater Navigation I specialize in working with younger people and those needing extra attention due to various conditions. I'm also looking forward to additional training that will allow me to teach individuals with disabilities such as amputees, paraplegics, the blind, and those with neuromuscular diseases. As an SEI Instructor I am also required to maintain a level of skill that requires me to continue to increase my education through additional training and study of issues related to diving. I'm also a factory authorized technician for Oceanic World Wide- a leader in the scuba equipment industry. In addition I hold certifications in CPR/AED, First Aid, and Oxygen Provider for the Professional Rescuer. I am currently writing a book dealing with what I see as deficiencies in diver training and the effect that shortened courses are having on diver safety, comfort, and skills and how those deficiencies can be addressed by divers themselves.
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