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'Any monkey can open a dive centre'

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Dive operators in Cyprus say the self-regulated dive industry fails to provide a minimum level of scuba diving safety standards...

Dancing monkey
Any monkey can open a scuba diving centre but can he dance, chew gum and blow underwater bubbles at the same time?

CYPRUS (11 July 2007) -- Anyone can open a dive centre in Cyprus, with the government unwilling to enforce a minimum set of safety standards that would regulate the industry, professional divers said yesterday.

"A monkey can go and open [a dive centre] tomorrow unfortunately. There are people who teach and train who are not insured," said Clive Martin, general secretary of the Cyprus Union of Dive Centres.

Martin said the union had been set up precisely because the island lacked regulations.

"We are working with the CTO [Cyprus Tourism Organisation] to implement these requirements… We can't force people to join the union, but what we want is to force people who open dive centres to comply with basic minimum standards."

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