Find below Jetty Dive’s Accessibility information. If you would like any more information, please contact us!
Accessibility – Table of Contents:
If we had it our way – everybody in the world would be diving. But there are many factors that can influence everything that we run. Having a disability, or an impairment, (as this can be so broad) does not automatically exclude you from scuba diving or joining us for any experience or activity.
Our top priority at all times is safety. If your impairment/disability would cause a potential risk to yourself or others this is where we must look at it more closely to determine how we could remove, or mitigate that risk. This is often something that needs to be assessed case by case.
If you want to learn to scuba dive, or even just go on a whale watch, we want to help you get there! We are more than happy to work with you to determine how we can make that happen. Please get in touch with any more information if you’d like us to chat specifically about what you may require. Otherwise, read our information below about accessibility and get in touch with any extra questions. Thanks for choosing Jetty Dive 🙂
Dive shop/ retail store
There is accessible parking directly in front of the dive centre/retail store. This is not owned or controlled by the dive centre and is the only accessible park for the whole Jetty strip. There is a large open dirt field next to the dive centre which is approximately 500m away from front entry. This surface is rocky and uneven.
The entry doors are spacious and wide, and the floors in the retail area are smooth and carpeted. The retail store is wheelchair-friendly. There are also areas which can be used for seating in the retail store.
There are small inconsistencies in the concrete in the section of the shop used for courses, rental gear, and learning.The bathroom ammenities are not wheelchair accessable, and there are no handles in toilets or shower. There is a step in the shower.
Our larger boat, “Mega Wild” is a tour boat designed for whale watching and for scuba diving. MegaWild is wheelchair friendly, It has a back entry gate with a small downward step from the floating wharf onto the boat. We estimate the distance of downward step would be 20-30cm depending on the tide. We can assist you in entering and exiting of the boat.
For our Whale Watching Trips or Eco Tours, we require all customers to remain seated whilst the boat is in movement. The boat has space for a stroller or pram to be stored, but due to our requirements whilst the boat is in movement the pram or stroller can not be in use on board.
There is adequate space for a wheelchair to be parked on our boat. This space is of course limited, so get in touch with your wheelchair dimensions and we’ll confirm space. We have made a video to show the space for the wheelchair, which you can view to the right (or below if viewing from a mobile phone!) of this section. We will measure dimensions to make this process easier, and will update here when available.
When boarding with a wheelchair we have an alternate arangement that allows for a wheelchair to directly wheel onto the boat. This is what is pictured in the youtube video on this page! This must be arranged prior with staff. Get in touch – we’d love to have you join us!
Our boat “2 Wild” is a “rigid hull inflatable” this gives us quite the advantage for accessibility, however wheelchairs cannot board this boat. The inflatable sides can be sat on, with one’s legs being swung to the inside of the boat to allow boarding. Our staff are more than happy to help out wherever required or desired to assist you. Our boats feature twin ladders for boarding. Our staff can help lift your gear up individually prior to helping you get up the ladders back into the boat if you wish, to save the strain of walking up the ladders with the gear on your back.
Boarding of boats
We get you to meet us at Coffs Harbour International Marina for the Whale Watching Tours, which has ample parking (click here to check it out on google maps) and a ramp leading down the floating wharf to where you are to board the boat. We can assist you wherever required or desired.
As mentioned earlier, when boarding with a wheelchair we have an alternate arangement that allows for a wheelchair to directly wheel onto the boat. This must be arranged prior with staff.
Courses / Learn to dive
We have taught many people who have different mobility requirements! There are certain physical skills you must complete to become an Open Water Scuba Diver, and we will do our best to get you there! These skills are required for your safety in an emergency, and if there is not an easy alternative that achieves the same outcome, we may not be able to certify you. One requirement of the Open Water Course is to swim 200m unbroken, without stopping. This is again for safety in emergency situations. If your mobility requirements mean that you would not be able to swim this 200m unbroken, without stopping, we will not be able to certify you.
We have certified a gentleman who is a paraplegic, so do not think that your physical limitations necessarily prevent you from diving! Contact us if you would like to get some information about your particular situation, and whether you could learn to scuba dive.
Dive Shop/Retail Store
Unfortunately, none of our team members know sign language, so we cannot communicate fluently through this method. However, we are more than happy to try and help you however possible.
For those who are sensitive to loud noise or lots of noise, unfortunately the dive shop /retail store can be a very noisy place at times. In the morning when our customers meet up for their dive, we can have up to 37 customers in the dive shop, plus our team. It can be noisy and busy. We run courses too, and when our boats return it is even noisier. We run compressors which are quite noisy equipment, and the sound of clearing air from tanks is also quite loud. If you’d like to avoid the noise, the best time to come into the shop would be between 9:30 and 11am. Usually we do not have the compressors on or large amounts of customers in store between these times. Usually after 4pm it is also quieter, but we may still be filling tanks at this time.
For those who are hearing impared or deaf, as above we do not have anybody on board who knows sign language to assist you with translation. We cover our boat safety brief with physical demonstration in addition to a verbal brief, so we can ensure you will still be safe on board.
For Whale Watching what this means is you may miss our Whale Facts that we share throughout the trip. At request prior to the trip we can provide you will a fact sheet to read (we do not print these out for every customer for all our trips as it would be huge paper consumption, and we talk to you about all the things on the sheet while on the boat) so you still learn with us.
For Scuba Diving, this is a little different. We need to provide you with an overall dive brief as well as a site briefing on the day. These briefings are dependent on conditions, so we cannot provide a written brief as there are too many variabes. We are happy to make notes of the briefing but it would be an easier experience if you had somebody with you who could translate. When we’re under the water, nobody can talk so we all communicate the same!
For those who are sensitive to loud noise or lots of noise the boats can also be quite noisy. Megawild has 4x 300 horse power motors which are at the back of the boat, and the sound of these running can be loud. 2Wild has 2x 300 horse power motors at the back of the boat. Steaming through the water also makes a bit of noise.
On whale watching trips, the whales also make a lot of noise! Humpbacks are up to 30,000kg of weight so when they jump out of the water and slap back into it it can be loud! They also make “huff”y noises sometimes. Also, our customers get quite excited when the whales jump and can make a lot of noise. I would suggest if you’d like to join us on a whale watching trip but are sensitive to noise that you wear earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. This will help dull the boat noises.
Couses / learn to dive
Unfortunately, none of our instructors know sign language. For our dive courses there are lots of things that we need to teach you (outside of e-learning) that are necessary to be able to certify you. If you would like to know more or discuss whether this could be an option for you, please get in touch.
Dive shop/retail store
Due to the nature of the business, we have not made adjustments for visual impariments. Our staff are happy to help by vocally describing anything for visually impaired patrons.
We welcome people on our boats with visual impairments. Out safety brief is spoken and visually demonstrated to ensure your safety.
For whale watching, we provide our commentary on whale facts and behaviour verbally. For scuba diving if you are certified and your visual impairment allows you to safely scuba dive, we provide site briefings verbally. We require you to be able to signal and see hand signals under the water for your own safety.
Courses / Learn to dive
You will have to get in touch with us if wanting to do a course with a visual impairment! As this is such a broad term we would have to assess you individually.
Learning / Mental
We welcome people with all learning and mental ability. We need everybody on-board to be able to understand our safety briefing, so if the person with a learning/mental disability is not able to do so on their own, they must have a carer or support worker present.
For scuba diving, if you are a certified open water scuba diver – excellent! Just let us know if you have any needs, or if there is any way we can help you with understanding our verbal briefing we do on the boat. If you are a certified Scuba Diver (restricted certification) please touch base with us as we have to schedule you with a seperate divemaster to adhere to your depth limits. As with the Open Water Diver, just let us know if you have any needs, or if there is any way we can help you with understanding our verbal briefing we do on the boat.
Courses / Learn to dive
We often teach people with learning/mental impairments or struggles to dive. We need to ensure your understanding of the concepts of scuba diving, nitrogen build up, breathing, ascending and descending etc. in order to ensure your safety while in the water. To get certified as an Open Water Scuba Diver is basically us confirming that it is safe for you to scuba dive without an instructor or divemaster. This depends on what your learning/mental impairment or struggle influences, so get in touch with us to have a chat about what this means for you, and we will let you know what we think.