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“Good dive shop but tech divers should follow the rules too!”

Thresher Shark Divers
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Three-Dive Scuba Diving Tour with Morning...
Ranked #4 of 23 Tours in Malapascua Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: PADI 5 Star CDC Dive Center, located on Malapascua Island in the Philippines. Offering daily thresher shark dives, mantas, hammerheads, reefs and wrecks, macro and muck diving, mating mandarin fish, seahorses, frogfish and much more. Small groups with experienced Divemasters and Instructors. TSD offers all the local dives sites, a full range of PADI courses from beginner to Instructor, dive internships and technical diving. British owned and run, professional and safe, with 15 years experience on Malapascua.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 21 June 2016

The dive shop is well-organized and safety is priority. The prices and guidelines were explained well by Luke.
Our dive master, JT, is very professional – asks us to comply with the rules (no buts!), but still very friendly and accommodating. He’s also an excellent spotter.

Can be improved:
One of the selling point of TSD is that the price of the dives will be well compensated of the QUALITY of their operations.
We were 4 in a group and diving with TSD for 4 consecutive days, 3 days/mornings with the threshers. On the second day (last Saturday June 19, 2016), we didn’t see any thresher sharks. The reason is that there were tech divers below 40 meters that scared the threshers away. We were at 30 meters and 4 meters behind the tech divers. We can only see their bubbles from our position.. Sadly, the tech divers are also from TSD. One diver from our group informed Luke about this, and he mentioned that there are rules and tech divers shouldn’t supposed to be on that spot. As Filipino divers, it’s really frustrating to see foreigners (especially those with high position in a dive org) not following rules. JT was very very strict to us when it comes to complying with the rules, and when we see anyone not following rules, it’s just really disappointing.

My point here is that, I think ALL of the divers at that time (there were two groups on that spot - about 7 paying divers) deserve an apology or an explanation. It’s not just about the money, but everyone exerted a lot of effort just to be in Malapascua, woke up very early (means that we need to also sleep early), and do a lot of preparation. I understand that seeing the threshers is just a matter of chance. But if that chance is further diminished by divers not following rules, it’s just very very disappointing. If we also talk about the QUALITY of the service, it’s also diminished as some divers from the dive shop are not complying.

I’m still giving 4 stars to TSD as most of our dives went well. I just hope that this same case will not happen again to any diver.

Thank Chichirobles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scbrdvr, Owner at Thresher Shark Divers, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2016


Thank you so much for your review. We do appreciate all feedback, and always want to hear about any problems. So as with any such report, I looked into this incident in depth. 

Firstly, let me say that we are very strict about our rules and we don’t tolerate anyone disregarding them. This applies to foreigners just as much as locals. 

From what I have been able to find out:

1. The tec divers left for Monad Shoal after the recreational dive boats departed; as always, the plan was to avoid interfering with recreational divers.

2. The area the divers were seen was Magellan’s Mound, one of two designated sites of Monad Shoal agreed upon by the Malapascua’s Dive Association as a Tec-training area, so it’s important to highlight that no rules were broken and the tec divers were "officially" allowed to be there. Our tec instructors would never taken their divers into an area designated for recreational divers unless there were safety issues. 

3. On their return, there was some confusion during the conversation with Luke and the guest over why the tec divers were in that particular spot. Luke was not diving that morning and misunderstood the area they were talking about. He assumed they were tec divers from elsewhere, as he knew our divers wouldn’t be in the particular place he wrongly thought they meant.  

As for shark sightings that day:

The tec divers only saw one shark briefly and it was swimming quickly downwards. This normally indicates that it has just breached the surface, and was going to depth, completely skipping the cleaning stations where they are usually seen. 

JT did not see sharks in the “normal” area, so he headed in the direction of the tec area on the chance there may be some there. 

So from what we can work out, it seems there were no other sharks in the area that day, and it was not the tec divers that scared them away. 

It was unfortunate they were not around that day and that it coincided with the tec divers being there, as we do get great sharks almost every day, but occasionally they are simply not around. 

However, the reviewer’s points have been taken on board and have already been reflected in a change in policy of all staff communicating better about planned routes underwater when tec training is underway. 

I’m glad that this group still got two great shark dives during their trip, and that they enjoyed the rest of the diving. I also thank the reviewer for still appreciating the rest of our services and giving us 4 stars.

We hope to see you again, and we will do our very best to make sure this never happens again. 

Best regards


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 - 205 of 591 reviews

Reviewed 17 June 2016 via mobile

TSD have an absolutely fantastic staff, there are not many people who can make me smile at 4am, the ones that can all work here.

Thank Lee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 16 June 2016

My friend and I did our Open Water Course with TSD and had an amazing experience. TSD was very professional with the OWC and our instructor, Max, was an excellent teacher. Him, together with Terry and Julian made our first time diving memorable. Everything was well organised. We booked TSd during ADEX in Singapore and had a package for accommodation at Tepanee Resort (2 thumbs up!), OWC and airport transfer. Once we checked in with TSD all the arrangements were made efficiently - from equipment sizing, completing confined water sessions and finally diving in the beautiful waters of Malapascua. Max, Terry and Julian were always ready to help us understand the works of diving and to calm us down when we panicked. I especially was very thankful to have them around and to ease my fear of the deep ocean (thanks guys!)

Another friend of ours did her leisure dives and here is a shout out to her dive masters, Penny and Tata. She enjoyed the experience thoroughly and felt completely at ease with them.

TSD is a great place for a first time diver like myself. A little on the high range in terms of cost but the experience and comfort make up for it. I am glad we chose them over the rest and will definitely go back to explore other sites. We enjoyed the service and the arrangements made throughout our 4 days there.

The icing on the cake is certainly seeing thresher sharks which are iconic in Malapascua. Max was very accommodating and took us though our deep dive theory before we set. No cutting corners as you can tell. Reliable and professional! I would definitely recommend diving with TSD and will ensure this wasn't my only dive with them!

Thank Manju_Manoharan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 16 June 2016 via mobile

Awesome dive experience with the threshers abd at gato island. The dive boat is the best I've been on in 50 dives. Friendly staff. Very safe with their proceedures. Good gear. Recommended if you have money to blow but there are cheaper dive shops on island.

Thank Daniel-James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 15 June 2016

This guys redefine what "smooth" means! They are incredibly organised. You are sized for you equipment the day you sign up and all your equipment goes into a box with your name on it -this means that you get to use the same equipment when you dive.

They also set up your equipment before the dive, in between dives and dismantle and clean your equipment after your dive! Their dive boats are huge bangkas that are extremely comfortable even for the slightly longer Gato Island trip with ample boat space for everyone!

Their equipment is pretty good and they are all maintained well! They keep their dive groups small and based on the level of experience! For instance, I chose to dive Nitrox for the Thresher Shark Dive and I was buddied up with the other person diving Nitrox and we had a divemaster who was also diving the same profile!

Coming to the Thresher Shark Dive -these guys are the people you want to go with! Unlike a lot of other dive shops on the island who make you kneel at about 26 m behind a rope, TSD take you to a slightly different site. Don't be worried, you still see plenty of action here! Here you swim about and you see plenty of the famed Thresher Sharks! On my dive, the visibility was great and I saw about 6 sharks at about 5m distances just swimming about. As an added bonus of being allowed to swim about, we got to see 2 reef sharks and some Harlequin Shrimps as well!
Word of Advise- if you have a Nitrox/Enriched Air Certification, this would be the place to use that! The Nitrox tanks are an additional PHP 350 and are definitely worth the added price!

Make sure you also do the Gato Island trip that these guys do! They do two dives at Gato Island and one of which involves the swim through the cave system which Gato Island is famous for! Flashlights are available for hire at an additional cost!

In terms of cost, they are neither the cheapest nor the most expensive dive shops on the Island. I am sure you will find cheaper dive shops, but given the comfort, the organisation and professionalism of TSD, I'd say they are well worth the price! I found that the more expensive dive shops on the Island also didn't offer anything more than what TSD did. Also they have better prices based on the number of dives you do -the more you dive with them the better deal you get!

I would definitely recommend diving with TSD!

Thank Meghaj17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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