What is the difference between a PADI Open Water Diver and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver?


The open water diver course is your gateway to the world of scuba diving. It gives you the knowledge and practical skills you need to become a scuba diver and explore the underwater world safely and comfortably.

The course will open doors of adventure to beautiful underwater world for you to enjoy the excitement of scuba diving. This rating allows you to hire or purchase scuba equipment, get air fills and participate in scuba diving activities to a depth of 18 meters or 60 feet at any dive location worldwide.

• To enroll in the PADI Open Water Diver Course, you must be 10 years or older.
• Tread water comfortably for 10 minutes
• Swim 200 metres/yards with no aids or 300 metres/yards with mask, fins and snorkel.


Unlike Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver course is a course that you can take after obtaining your PADI Open Water Diver certification. The PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course aim to take your scuba diving experience, skills and knowledge to the next level.

You will learn how to stay safe underwater, improve your scuba diving skills, expand your knowledge and perfecting your buoyancy skills making you even more comfortable and confident with diving.

The Advanced Open Water Course consists of 5 different adventure dives. You’ll make 2 compulsory core dives, Underwater Navigation and Deep Adventure dive, these orients you to the fundamentals of advanced diving and complete the course with 3 adventure dives of your choice based on your interest.

Upon completion of the Advanced Open water course, you will be able to dive deeper to depths of up to 30 meters or 100 feet diving.

• To enroll in the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course, you must be 15 years or older. (12 years old for Jr Advanced Open Water Diver)
• Be a PADI open water diver or equivalent

More information on

PADI Open Water Course

PADI Advanced Open Water Course

Dive Sites in Mabul, Semporna

Situated only about 20 minutes by speedboat from Sipadan, and 40 minutes from mainland Semporna, Mabul is recognized as one of the world’s best “muck-diving” sites, has a shallow reef profile with sandy bottom and patches of sea grass and also one of the richest single destinations for exotic small marine life in the world.

The coral reefs of Mabul at first glance do not look very picturesque and inviting, however it is the diversity of macro animals inhabiting the coral rubble and sea grass sites that put Mabul on the diving map. Flamboyant cuttlefish, blue-ringed octopus, mimic octopus, gobies and frogfishes are everywhere, as are moray, snake eels and practically the whole scorpion fish family. There’s no doubt about it, Mabul is a magical macro site! The beauty of Mabul will also appeal greatly to non – divers as well.

Dive sites in Mabul area such as: –

Eel Garden

Ray Point

Panglima Reef 

Lobster Wall

Crocodile Avenue

Froggy Lair

Coral Reef Garden

Paradise 1

Paradise 2

Mamutik Island – Smallest island of TARP

Mamutik Island – Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

The 15 acres island makes Mamutik the smallest of the park. Despite being the smallest, Mamutik island offers good beaches and the coral reef behind the island offers excellent diving experience for both novice and experienced divers.  Facilities provided by the park includes changing room, toilets, picnic shelters and tables.  Fresh well water and electricity are available throughout the day. Mamutik Island offers best in terms of logistics (8 minutes by speed boat and the closest to the emergency medical facility), Scuba Diving courses, snorkeling destinations, light jungle trek and ideal space for team building activities. 

Borneo Divers have been operating in Mamutik Island since the 1992 and have developed Mamutik Island as a supreme destination for snorkelers, divers and non divers alike.  Because of its pristine water and gentle slope, it has become the most ideal location for PADI Courses / SCUBA diving certification.

Borneo Divers have been successful in pioneering and developing programs on Mamutik Island for youth with the collaboration of Raleigh International, Camps International, Kids Scuba Malaysia, Hong Kong International schools, Jabatan Belia dan Sukan Sabah and Jabatan Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Sabah.

Camps International 2019 | PADI Open Water Diver Course In Mamutik Island.

Congratulations !

Well done to all the Camps Borneo International 7 July – 20 August 2019 participants on successfully completed their PADI Open Water Diver Course with Borneo Divers Dive Academy and Leisure Centre.

The Camp Borneo Scuba Expedition program offers participants to experience the culture and way of life in rural Sabah. Participants spent 4 weeks in Borneo, engaging in community work, environmental project work in rural village and taking up the challenge of learning to scuba dive on PADI Open Water Diver Course with Borneo Divers in Mamutik Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (TARP), Kota Kinabalu.

We are happy it was another successful Camp International Summer Camp Program.  Wishing all the students the best in life and hope to see them in the future!

 “Most of the student never dived before, it was good to see them certified as divers” PADI Course Director, Mr Chong Hiong Hoak

“Some students were doing great and some needed a little motivations. Generally they had fun with professional guidance.” Dive Instructor, Marilyn.

“My expectation is that the students will learn and discover how important and beautiful is underwater world especially the coral and marine life.” Dive Instructor, Jonathan.

Camps International is a social enterprise which runs educational and impactful expeditions for school groups.

International Coastal Cleanup Day (21.9.2019)

Borneo Divers’ crew kicked start beach and shore clean-up at 8:15 in the morning in Mabul Island. 40 staff from all departments gathered for 1 hour to support International Coastal Clean-up Day.

Beach clean-up in progress.  Every inch we clean!

Happy faces during clean-up session, everyone was working hard to make the beach clean from garbages!

Meanwhile clean-up team also concentrated to collect garbages from the shallow water. It was a cold cloudy day but our team never gave up.

For the first session of 1 hour beach clean-up, the team has collected 488kg of garbages! We has exceeded our target of 150kg!

Second session started at 4pm and underwater clean-up team getting ready to clean underwater near to the jetty.

The clean-up team determined to clean the House Reef – Paradise 2.

Garbages were removed from the ocean for good. A Total of 11kg of garbages collected from the ocean.

Overall it was a fruitful day, we have collected a total of 499kg of garbage today.  Glad for the effort and contribution in making our beach clean.  Until next time!

7th Borneo Divers’ Celebration of Sea Turtles in Mabul 2019 (post-event) Press Release

Borneo Divers and Sea Sports (Sabah) Sdn. Bhd. in collaboration with the Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and its various agencies (Sabah Wildlife Department; Sabah Tourism Board and Sabah Parks); the Borneo Marine Research Institute of Universiti Malaysia Sabah; the Dive Unit of the Royal Malaysian Police; The Borneo Connections Sdn. Bhd; and The Flying Dusun Sdn. Bhd. organised the very successful ‘7th Borneo Divers’ Celebration of Sea Turtles in Mabul 2019’. This Ecovolunteerism and Outreach event was held from 11 to 14 November 2019 at the Borneo Divers Mabul Resort.

The objectives of this event were:

C – Conservation

A – Awareness

R – Research

E – Education

During the course of the programme, Dr. Pushpa Palaniappan from UMS and the team of volunteer Research Assistants photographed, measured and tagged 74 sea turtles caught in their natural habitat in Mabul by the expert dive team (including 19 Marine Police divers) in 15 dives. The two schools in Mabul Island – SK Mabul and School of Hope were also invited to participate in the educational activities held during the event.

The Opening Ceremony, held on 12 November 2019, was officiated by Datuk Christina Liew, the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, who was represented by Mr Augustine Tuuga, the Director of the Sabah Wildlife Department (Figure 1). Highlights during this event include the following:

  1. A NEW record of a third species of sea turtles in Mabul waters – an olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) (Figure 2).
  2. A NEW record of catching a juvenile green turtle (Figure 1) on a biannual basis TWELVE (12) times consecutively for biological research since May 2014.
  3. Dr Ai Yin, the Wildlife Rescue Unit veterinarian from the Sabah Wildlife Department sent two green turtles to the rehabilitation centre in Mabul – the former was slightly emaciated and covered with algae (Figure 3) and the latter had signs of the skin cancer, fibropapillomatosis (Figure 4)

Figure 1: Mr Augustine Tuuga, Director of the Sabah Wildlife Department releases the juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas) that was caught 12 times consecutively for biological research since May 2014.

Figure 2: A new record of an olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) in the waters of Mabul Island.

Figure 3: An adult male green turtle (Chelonia mydas) that was sent to the rehabilitation centre as it was slightly emaciated and covered with algae.

Figure 4: A juvenile green turtle (Chelonia mydas) with signs of the skin cancer, fibropapillomatosis.

Let’s Go Kota Kinabalu

Borneo Divers welcome 53 winners of Sapil Intense “Let’s go Kota Kinabalu” contest with Gold 101.3fm from Dubai, United Arab Emirates in Mamutik Island on 3rd November 2019.

Group registration at Star Marina jetty. Getting ready to go to mamutik Island.

Wow, popular RJ Naizal and RJ Binju from Gold 101.3fm all the way from Dubai is in the house to update activities live in Kota Kinabalu.

Peace! Upon arriving to Mamutik Island. Our guest was mesmerized with the beauty of Mamutik Island.

Perfect weather plus comfortable open air seating area for our guest to settle down, chit chatting and enjoying seaview.

Creating memories in Mamutik Island, our guest participated in Discover Scuba Diving program. Exploring the beauty of the underwater world of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.

It’s lunch time, our guest enjoying Borneo Divers’ luxurious buffet spread in Mamutik Island.

So lively! After lunch, snorkeling session continued. Everyone enjoyed their time.

Give your best pose!

It was indeed a wonderful day with Let’s go Kota Kinabalu group. Let’s take a group photo for a wonderful remembrance.


Borneo Divers in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) hosted the SEVENTH celebration of Mabul World Turtle Day 2019 event from 29 April until 2 May 2019 at the Borneo Divers Mabul Resort in Mabul Island, Semporna. This programme will contribute towards the on-going sea turtle research activities in Mabul as well as to educate the residents and visitors to Mabul Island about marine conservation.

The event was officiated by YB Tuan Assaffal P.  Alian (Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment Sabah), on  30th April 2019 and Puan Jamilah Binti Abdul Halim (Director of Tourism Malaysia Sabah), Puan Norasmah Binti Jaafar (Director of Kolej Komuniti Semporna), Ms Doreen Dominic Munting (Assistant Product Manager of Sabah Tourism Board) and Mr Jon Taran (Officer from Wildlife Department Tawau) attended the opening ceremony.

There are 2 working groups comprising  diving team and research teams. The diving team headed by Ms Christine Perroud (The Borneo Connections Sdn. Bhd.) and Mr Subuh (Honorary Wildlife Warden from the Borneo Divers Mabul Resort) were responsible for capturing the turtles underwater and the research team headed by Dr Pushpa Palaniappan from Borneo Marine Research Institute of Universiti Malaysia Sabah was responsible for the sea turtle biological research including monitoring the short-term growth rates.

Students from the schools on the island were having great fun with a variety of games on the beach of Borneo Divers.  There were a lot of presents to be won.  They were excited over their winning prizes.

In the evening of 30th April 2019, Dr. Pushpa held a talk and quiz session to instill knowledge of turtle conservation for students.

A BBQ dinner on the 4th day marked the closing ceremony.  All participants received Certificates of Participation from the organizer, and the donors  received Adoption Certificate for adopting sea turtles.  A total of 15 dives made by the diving team over the 4 days duration, with a total of 79 turtles were tagged.

Borneo Divers took the opportunity to recognize and laud the honesty of the Housekeeping personnel,  Mr Jen Jen Karmin for reporting a lost and found valuable Apple brand watch to the office.  It was indeed a great night and everyone had fun.  Looking forward for Borneo Divers’ Celebration of Sea Turtle Day event in November.

International Coastal Cleanup with Borneo Divers at Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu

Borneo Divers’ staff, families and friends kicked start beach clean-up at 8:30 in the morning at Borneo Divers Mamutik Island compound.

Very Sad! Found all sorts of trash that do not belong to the beach.

Everyone were doing their best to clean the island.

Divers were preparing to start reef clean up at Manukan island in the morning.   Briefing was conducted by Borneo Divers instructor, Marilyn.

Junior divers, Keira & Julia joined the underwater clean up too!

Getting ready in action!

In only 10minutes, 1 full mesh bag of garbage collected.

Julia, the junior diver did not give up and gently picked up the trash that got stuck near the corals with good buoyancy control, trying not to damage the coral.

Thanks to Rachel, Julia managed to pull the trash out carefully.

Oh no! How long has this plastic bottle been down here?

Wonder how did this hose ended down here?

Don’t worry, we got it!

Poor visibility does not stop them from reef cleaning.

No harm having a little fun time underwater right?

Time to bring the trash out from the ocean.

Out from the ocean for good. A total of 60.1kg of garbage collected from the ocean.

Our team at the beach was also doing a good job cleaning up the beach. A total of 90.5kg garbage collected.

Happy to carry the garbage to the garbage collecting centre for measurement.

Overall it was a fruitful day, we have collected a total of 150.6kg of garbage today. Thank you to those who took part in World Cleanup day at Mamutik Island with Borneo Divers.  Until next time.