Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Scuba centre accused of leaving man adrift

Scuba centre accused of leaving man adrift

Scuba centre accused of leaving man adrift

A Malaysian life insurance CEO has accused the Scuba Nation Diving Centre in Preah Sihanouk province of leaving him alone at sea while on a snorkelling trip last month off Koh Rong Sanloem Island.

Johnson Chai, the CEO of Cambodia Life Insurance Plc (Camlife), reported the company to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Chai told The Post that he and his friend signed up with a Scuba Nation PADI-certified instructor named Juan Pierre Hoffman on October 30.

“At the second snorkelling spot, I was left alone after I was dropped off the boat with no information. I was all by myself for 30 minutes and I was panicked and freaking out in the sea because I do not swim at all and had made that known to the operator before I signed up,” he wrote.

Chai said the life jacket had only one working buckle and he had to hold on to it hard. He said he cramped up due to anxiety.

“To make matters worse, when the boat returned, I was greeted arrogantly by Juan Pierre who did not feel a bit sorry for his irresponsibility. I questioned him about my safety and he was so obnoxious to reply that I should be OK with my life jacket,” he wrote.

Chai said he reported the experience to the owner of Scuba Nation. He said the owner, whom he identified only by his first name Kelvin, responded promptly but in a very light manner without taking responsibility, although he casually apologised.

“This is a very serious matter and I urge PADI to evaluate the situation and take stern action against Juan Pierre Hoffmann if he is licensed by PADI. If he’s not, then he deceived us,” he wrote.

He said he hopes to hear from PADI on the assessment of this incident and the actions to be taken against Hoffman and Scuba Nation.

Chai said he hopes this unfortunate experience will not happen to another person. He also said that as a resident of Cambodia he has an obligation to safeguard the tourism industry.

Scuba Nation Diving Centre Cambodia did not answer The Post’s phone calls for comment, but in a text message it said: “Please send email to us, we will reply. Happy to help you. Thanks.”

The Post sent questions via email to the firm, but it did not reply.

Scuba Nation advertises itself as Cambodia’s premier diving provider.

Its website said: “[We] have been safely satisfying the scuba diving needs of tourists, ex-pats, embassy personnel and locals since 2002. As the first PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre in Cambodia, Scuba Nation has accommodated thousands of beginning and experienced divers from hundreds of countries.”


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Manet touches down in Beijing for high-level meetings

    Prime Minister Hun Manet arrived in Beijing on September 14 for his first official visit to China, where he is slated to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and meet other leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Upon his arrival, Manet laid a wreath at the Monument

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former