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“Safety Concern”
Review of Scuba Coiba

Scuba Coiba
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Diving tours to Coiba National Park and dive sites close to Santa Catalina, snorkeling tours and dive courses
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 28 October 2016 via mobile

I have done a bunch of due diligence before I decided to write about my experience with Scuba Coiba.

I booked the 3 day, 2 nights, 9 dive package in/ around Coiba Island. 3 of us on this package along with 3 day trippers plus our guide Cederic and captain/ first mate. 2 weeks prior I had completed my Advance Open Water in Bocas and have been diving for 15yrs+.

We all entered the water for our first dive and the group was experienced and descending quickly. 10ft down it was apparent that my mask wasn't cooperating and fogging up no matter what tricks I tried to make it stop. However, I decided to continue on with the dive hoping it would improve (it didn't).

Cederíc took the groups air levels at around the 30min mark. Group was 1500PSI and I was low man given my mask issues at 1100PSI. We did another one 10min later and the group was 1000PSI versus my 700PSI and we were 60ft down. He turned around and started to swim and I was 10ft behind him and the group following me. After three short, shorter, no breaths it was obvious I was out of air. I immediately swam and grabbed Cederic leg and told him I had no air. As I reached for his back up as he passed it to me and I used that as we eventually made our way back to the surface with safety stops enroute.

At the surface I ripped my mask off and said "dude, what is the deal with my gage, it shows 700PSI"

His Comment "you must have an old gage"

I swam back to the boat extremely upset and when he came over once we were headed to the next dive I said, "I need to understand what just happened. My gage shows 700 PSI and you're telling me you guys use your equipment until it expires before you decide to throw it in the garbage."

His Comment "yes"

Pretty sure this isn't PADI common practice in regards to their equipment rentals, but concerning if it is.

Date of experience: October 2016
5  Thank Alba901
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herbie S, Director General at Scuba Coiba, responded to this reviewResponded 22 November 2016

Thanks for your review. I do not know when you where diving with us, as you state in October 2016, but Cedric does not work with us since June 2016. But it does not matter really.

First I would like to congratulate you for your correct reaction to a potential dangerous situation (running out of air). This shows a great deal of confidence and experience, as we request from divers who want to join one of Scuba Coiba's Multi-Day trips to Coiba National Park. (Most of our competitors do not ask for this experience in booking divers for these kind of trips.) Your pressure gauge was showing a wrong information, you noticed, that you ran out of air, as it got harder to breathe and you swam up to the guide signaling him the problem and going up slowly with his alternate air source, still taking the time for safety stops. Exactly as per the book!

Second, I am sorry for the failure of a piece of equipment. We service equipment regularly of course and also sort out gear before it starts to fail, if we notice a lot of wear in our maintenance schedules or upon complaints or obvious failures. But we do not know in advance, that a piece of gear will malfunction as we can't do more than try it before diving and if it works on land, it seems to be fine. Some failures are only noted during a dive and if they are not reported, we can't do anything. Or they just happen unexpectedly, what seems to be the case with the pressure gauge.

A pressure gauge is just a mechanical piece and it can happen, that the needle stops somewhere or moves irregularly (for example because of salt inside the mechanism). But this is one of the things we don't know in advance. I am sure you checked your equipment and your pressure gauge before diving and it seemed to be o.k.?

Rest assured, that, if we have been informed of this failure after the trip, we have thrown the pressure gauge away and replaced it with a new one.

I am sure, that the faulty pressure gauge has been exchanged immediately, as we carry spare equipment on our boats and hope you enjoyed the other 8 dives on your trip.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (198)
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in 8 reviews
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31 - 35 of 199 reviews

Reviewed 12 October 2016 via mobile

I got my Open Waters certificate at Scuba Coiba in Santa Catalina. Really pleased! I was initially drawn in more by the fancy shop belonging to the competition down the road but I was soon rest assured when I saw Scuba Coiba a much better boat and of course my instructor Nik was very experienced and fantastic.
Thank you so much to all the team!

Saw some incredible variety of fish! I just wish I had a camera to take photos! :)

Date of experience: October 2016
1  Thank JFir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2016 via mobile

We made our very first dive with Scuba Coiba and it was amazing! Nick, the dive instructor, is really good! The staff is fluent in German, English and Spanish. I can highly recommend Scuba Coiba.

Date of experience: September 2016
1  Thank isaaatm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2016 via mobile

It is our third visit to Santa Catalina and third time diving with Scuba Coiba.
Great people: nice, flexible when trying to accommodate visitors request and professional when diving
We have always enjoyed out time and dives with Scuba Coiba!

Date of experience: August 2016
3  Thank Nvpad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 July 2016 via mobile

My friend and I booked a trip through Scuba Coiba based on the recommendation of someone else. We were going to be in Santa Catalina for a few nights and knew we wanted to do a discovery dive on Coiba. Scuba Coiba offered competitive rates and easy customer service to book in advance. We were asked to pay a $20 deposit each. Upon arriving to the dive center, we learned that we were the only ones on our dive tour for the day. We were offered (and opted for!) an additional dive during the day for $25 extra. The staff took the time to fit us for our gear and explain what everything was. Then, we set out with Ben, our wonderful guide! The boat brought us to Coiba, where we dropped off some tanks for a 3 day trip and picked up some snorkelers. Then, we left for a quiet cove on one of the nearby islands, where Ben calmly and thoroughly explained the equipment and led us through the practice run. When we were all comfortable, we got to explore more of the area. Then, we went back to Coiba for lunch (sandwiches, cookies, and pineapple) that had been packed by the dive shop. We then went out to another location for our second dive. Ben was calm and understanding when I needed a few extra minutes to begin the dive. We got to explore 12m under the water and swim all around Isla de Frijoles. The boat then took us back to Santa Catalina. Great experience all around! I would recommend scuba over snorkeling to anyone who is interested in exploring Coiba - it was well worth the extra cost!!

Date of experience: July 2016
2  Thank Rquinn09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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