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“Fantastic dive shop”

Searobin Dive Center
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Attraction details
Owner description: We specialize in offering private SSI & PADI dive courses to the best locations in the area on a variety of boats to suit everyone.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Washington DC
1 review
“Fantastic dive shop”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

One of the major highlights of my trip to Thailand (10 days & 3 cities) was by far the day I spent diving 3 sites with Searobin. Our instructor David Fullerton was absolutely fantastic. Even though I have been an open water diver for a number of years, I only dive about once a year, so there's always a slight sense of nervousness. David reminded us of the basics, walked us through what to expect before each dive and the sea life we might see. He was very knowledgeable, experienced and just a great guy overall. The dives were very well planned. We had excellent equipment, underwater photos, and plenty of food & drinks throughout the day. I really appreciated that given our tight schedule, he went out of his way to make sure that we dove the best sites in the area. If we had more time in Thailand, I would have loved to do my advance certificate with this particular dive shop.

Thank you David and the crew for an absolutely amazing & memorable experience!

I hope to dive with you again soon!


Visited November 2012
Thank leafy78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Overcome water phobia with diving!”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

I had a phobia for water and had a very bad discovery diving experience in Maldives. However, at Searobin, Koh Samui, they helped me took my first step towards my OW PADI certification with lots of patience and I had a very enjoyable dive trip that started me off on a wonderful journey underwater. Their emphasis on safety first strengthened my confidence in diving. With their understanding of how an unpleasant beginner's dive journey can change a person's perspective of diving forever, they took me down to my first 12m depth for my OW dives slowly. Ron and David are great instructors and motivators for divers! Most importantly, they live by the motto that "Divers are fun people!"

Visited August 2012
Thank Angela_sc_ng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Professional and Fun”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Early September my son and I both went on diving courses with Searobin. My son (20) was on an Open Water course and I was on an Advanced Open Water course. Booking was all very straight forward and Ron quickly responded by email to the queries that I raised before we arrived. Easy pick-ups from the hotel and overall well organised. We had two instructors - 'Mad' Dave and Chris - both excellent instructors - professional and fun. Equipment was good quality and safety was always top priority. The first day's diving was cancelled (due to weather) but the diving was rearranged all very quickly the next day without fuss. Went out to Sail Rock on the last day and saw a bull nose shark – great photo opportunity. All in all a great time, great learning and good value (especially by pre-booking).

Visited September 2012
Thank Minnis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Disappointing dive experience”
Reviewed August 16, 2012

I recently dived with Searobin on a whim as I happened to walk past their office along the beach. The salesperson, Ron, was great, very helpful, friendly, a funny guy and eased any worries I had. Their prices are higher than the dive centre offered at my resort so I figured they must be good. Unfortunately the excellent in-office sales experience didn't translate to the same experience in the water. We went to Sailrock and the water and current was very choppy and strong - for me at least. Sailrock is just a rock in the middle of the ocean so the currents there seem pretty strong. When we got into the water, we were told by our divemaster (Dave) to swim about 300 meters to the dive point. The current was quite strong and I really struggled to get to that point without any assistance; the DM was obviously keen to get under water as soon as possible but instead of assisting and encouraging, was shouting impatiently for me to swim faster against the current. Along the way, the wave was so strong it dislodged my mask from my face and it was lost underwater (luckily the DM had a spare). When I finally got to the dive point (at which time I was out of breath, exhausted and very stressed), I was asked by the DM whether I would like to "go back to the boat because he can't dive with someone that stressed". To say that to a high paying customer was totally unnecessary and even heightened my stress levels even more. Needless to say, it was the worse dive experience I've ever had and to add salt to the wound, I was asked later to compensate for the lost mask. The cost of the mask was quite steep as unbeknown to me, Searobin uses very expensive equipment, which as an amateur diver did not make a difference at all to the diving experience.

Needless to say, the experience left a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps they cater for more experienced divers rather than leisure amateur divers as myself.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Sammytay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
searobin_samui, Manager at Searobin Dive Center, responded to this review, June 20, 2014
First of all we would like to apologize for your experience on the dive trip you had took with last August. When you come to our dive shop I had advised you on two dive trips: One to go to Koh Tao which would be great for you and your non-diver partner. At Koh Tao there are more than 20 dive sites that are great for beginner divers as well as non-diver / snorkelers and we can almost always find a dive site without waves or strong current that would work well for both of you.

You advised me that you are a leisure amateur holding an open water diver Certification. Now for whatever reason your partner decided against coming along and I saw an opportunity for you to go on our half a day trip to Sail Rock. This would mean you get back to Samui quicker to spend time together with your partner. When I looked at you, young, very fit and with advance open water certification I could not have guessed that you would have had any problem with the dive at Sail Rock. I had advised you that Sail Rock is just a rock in the middle of the ocean and showed you pictures of the site as well as the site map.

Conditions at Sail Rock have been very good in the four week period prior to your dive trip and weather forecast was favorable for the dive trip you where schedule on. Unfortunately, conditions on the day where not as anticipated. As diving is outdoor activity, divers need to be aware that site conditions may very due to sea and weather conditions that we have no influence on.

David is a PADI dive instructor not a DM that comes highly recommended as you can see on other divers reviews on trip advisor. He is one of the most passionate I have had work for me in my last 14 years of managing dive centres. Unfortunately with his Scottish background, his effort to get your attention can sound like just shouting at you instead of giving instructions or encouraging. Once you got to the rock David was not sure if you were fine to dive or too stressed to go for the dive safely at that time. Therefore, he had given the option to go back to the boat if you like. It was Davids’ intention to take you 1 to 1 after he had finished the dive with the other two divers.

I believe David shouting impatiently was done as he was very worried about your safety as well as the safety of the other two divers he had. With strong current in the middle of the sea divers can easily get hurt.
I would like to explain the urgency of the situation, due to the current we ask diver not to rest until we reach the safety of the rock. If divers cannot swim they are encourage to hold on to the rope until they catch their breath. I know David very well and he is one of the good guys that really care about the enjoyment and the safety of his divers. In retrospective David believe he should have helped you to the rock, but no one in the group asked for help so he cannot make any assumption as to who needs help or not. It is your responsibility as a certified diver to make the decision as to your ability to dive a specified site.

I believe losing the mask had added to your stress but David clearly had a solution and provided you with his spare mask. From my experience 9 out of 10 instructors will never carry a spare mask and if you lost it on the way they just tell you to go back to the boat and cancel the dive.

Regarding your review of us, I personally feel it was unfair as I thought the matter was closed when we only charged you half price for the lost mask after you explained your experience on the day. Most of our divers do appreciate a nice mask and we here at Searobin are proud of our equipment stock. Unfortunately this means that loss of gear can be expensive.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great place to learn to dive”
Reviewed August 11, 2012

My wife and I spent 4 days with Searobin completing our PADI Openwater certificate. Searobin organised us a package deal including hotel, transfers and the diving. Our instructor Dave was great, we had a great time and he ensured we understood everything we needed to. The diving was incredible, we saw loads of fish and colourful coral. 4 days gave us enough time to complete the theory and enjoy some time on the beach, but we could happily have stayed longer.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank dgoadby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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