Written by Colleen MaidHOF Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:00
Have you ever wanted to become a licensed scuba diver, but didn’t know how? Tiedemann’s Diving Center on 56 Gardiners Avenue in Levittown offers scuba diving lessons for certification.
The scuba shop, owned by Ed Tiedemann and his wife Jeanne, opened in 1981 as a small retail operation to enhance their educational programs, which date back to 1968. Initially most customers were students, but as other divers discovered the center it grew.
Tiedemann, who has been diving for almost 50 years, describes it as “an activity that anyone can enjoy.” He and Jeanne have taught students of all ages for 30 years, and he is passionately confident that his lessons are among the best.
Loyal customer Richard Paye of Levittown, 45, a police officer in the city of New York, agrees. A certified diver for 12 years, he first came to the shop to get his family certified so
they could dive with him. Since then, the Payes have taken several more classes, such as Navigation, Deep Diving, Underwater Photography, and Stress and Rescue.
“I love the feeling of being weightless, and there are amazing things you can see underwater,” Paye says.
From April to October, the Tiedemanns travel with their graduates and other licensed divers to recreational spots around Long Island where ships, automobiles, and other sunk objects have morphed into fascinating reefs. They also visit other beautiful dive locations, in places such as Canada, Dutch Springs, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
In addition to their shop, the pair give diving lessons at local universities, including Hofstra, CW Post, Adelphi, SUNY Farmingdale, and Pace. The programs are taught under the Scuba Schools International (SSI) standards. A course runs $250-$300 per person, including all pool fees, three pool “skill” sessions with an instructor, use of equipment, and academic review sessions. A required student package with a textbook, dive tables, and log book costs an additional $80. Lessons and classes are private or very small, and flexible to your schedule. Extra skill-building in the pool with an instructor runs $50 per session.
Paye, the city cop from Levittown, loves it so much he is now enrolled in the instructor program. “Scuba diving makes me feel at peace,” he says.
Having been caught in a dangerous diving situation not too long ago, Paye knows that water can be terrifying as well as placid. He says that in his trouble, lessons from Tiedemann’s helped save him.
“I had gotten my hoses snagged in a tight section of coral that I was trying to navigate, and I was unable to get myself free,” Paye explains. “I was concerned about how I was going to get myself out, but as I was taught at Tiedemann’s, you are to stop, think, and then react. When I did this I was able to free myself.”
Paye recommends people who have an interest in diving to visit Tiedemann’s scuba shop, calling it among the best of its kind.
For more info, visit /www.tdconline.com/ or call 516-796-6560.