The Freediving Coordinator is a position devoted to all aspects of the NAUI Freediving program, including standards and curriculum development, training, eLearning management, member recruitment, upgrades, and programmatic maintenance. In this expanded role, Semrad will work alongside NAUI Training Director, Terrence Tysall, and be responsible for developing and implementing freediving support and materials for members.
“I am excited to be able to help build the NAUI Freediving program into a global presence in the diving world,” said Semrad. “The freedive training continues the NAUI tradition of exceeding standards and providing the highest quality training.”
Born and raised in Oregon, Semrad has always had a passion for the water. As a biologist and professional educator, Semrad has always held freediving and spearfishing to be more than just sport. With a deep respect and appreciation for the ocean, Semrad enjoys sharing his experience and training divers.
Semrad holds professional level certifications with Performance Freediving International (PFI), NAUI and Scuba Schools International (SSI). Semrad was also the first NAUI freediving instructor certified through the collaboration between NAUI and PFI.
“Dan is one of NAUI’s most prolific freediving instructor. His passion, enthusiasm and commitment to NAUI makes him the perfect candidate,” said Tysall. “Freediving is such a vital part of our future development, so we need someone to give it the full attention it deserves. There has not been a training qualification change of this scope in decades.”
Enthusiasm for NAUI freediving courses continues to grow. Course participants vary widely, from spearfishers and freedivers to recreational and technical scuba divers simply looking for a new challenge. In fact, the growing interest in the sport has motivated Semrad to open a freediving-specific NAUI dive center in Oregon City, Oregon Freediving Company. http://www.oregonfreediving.com
"One of my favorite things about training freedivers is watching people exceed their own expectations. Whether it is hitting their first 4:00 static or a new personal best on depth, people are capable of much more than they think,” said Semrad. “It’s very rewarding to see students pick up the safety procedures; as an instructor, you can see when they start getting [things] ingrained as habit.”
Because individuals have different levels of ability and interest, NAUI offers a variety of training programs at all levels to include recreational and competitive training goals. All NAUI freediving courses are taught by NAUI-certified instructors trained to the world’s leading freediving education and safety standards. Components of NAUI’s freediving instruction includes essentials in safety procedures, proper breathing, confined and open-water skill development, equalization, equipment, and fundamental physics and physiology.
NAUI training includes professional level freediving courses as well. Upon completion of the NAUI Freediving Instructor Workshop (FIW), graduates are certified to teach a variety of freediving courses, including NAUI Snorkeler, NAUI Introduction to Freediving, Safe Buddy, Open Line Diving, Coaching Session, and NAUI Freediver. To learn more, visit specific course pages at www.naui.org/certifications.
NAUI Freediving Instructor Workshops are being scheduled for 2018 and beyond. For a full listing of NAUI FIWs, visit NAUI’s Events page at www.naui.org/events.