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   James Lapenta - Scuba Instructor for SEI,CMAS,SDI/TDI

     Now you are asking, "Why should I train with you? What are your qualifications?" These are questions you should ask of any instructor. I was first certified as an Open Water Diver through the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) in 2004 and over the next two years advanced to the rating of Divemaster. I hold specialties in Nitrox, Deep, Wreck, Underwater Navigation, Drysuit, Rescue Diver and Equipment Specialist.

     In 2006 technical training was taken with the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) earning certifications for Intro to Tech and Helitrox (entry level Tri-Mix)  with technical dives taking place in Lake Erie and other freshwater locations. In the fall of 2007  I began crossover training through the YMCA Scuba Program and received my Assistant Instructor certification, followed by Silver Instructor status in May of 2008.

     The philosophy of that agency and comprehensive training methods drew me to seek Instructor status with them. Their ethical and moral standards were a perfect fit with my own. When the YMCA closed the program in the summer of 2008 Scuba Educators International Diving was formed and the transition was made to it in the fall of that year. In 2009 my Ice Diving Certification with SEI was earned. Following that CMAS - Confederation Mondiale des Activites Subaquatiques- 2 Star Instructor in 2010. 

     Your training should be based on your needs and interests and so I look for quality training without regard for the agency it is through.

     In addition to formal training I have over 900 dives in conditions ranging from warm, clear water in the Florida Keys to the cold, dark depths of Lake Erie. I've dived the Florida Springs, reefs in the Keys and off of the Caribbean islands of Bonaire and Jamaica. In 2010 I traveled to Puerto Rico to complete a student's open water training. Ask me about doing your training in a warm location!

     Wrecks in the St Lawrence River, Florida Keys, and Lake Erie are recorded in my logbook. Cold water diving experience ranges from Monterey Bay in California with its 54 degree water temps to 40 degrees in Lake Erie and under the ice in Indiana and Ohio with water temps as low as 36 degrees. Many training, and just plain fun dives, have been conducted in lakes and quarries in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well as night and low visibility diving.  I have certified or assisted in the certification of over 200 students from Jr Open Water to Divemaster. 

     I have also authored a course in Underwater Navigation and developed a new Advanced Diver course that contains skills and knowledge previously found only in some Technical Diving courses. In 2011 I was asked by SEI to contribute to the development of a new Search and Recovery course. Scuba is a dynamic activity; with new knowledge comes new opportunities to create new courses or update and revise current ones.

     Course development is a large part of UDM Aquatic Services and tailoring a course to the individual diver is always an option with me as your instructor. 

     In 2010 I began work on a new book to address what I saw as deficiencies in Scuba training today and a lack of fundamental information being posessed by new Open Water divers. 

SCUBA: A Practical Guide for the New Diver 2nd Edition 

      Is now available from Amazon and on Kindle. Well reviewed by many dive industry leaders, it is the first in a series.  More of my essays and reviews on equipment may be obtained by contacting me. 

     I specialize in working with younger people and those needing extra attention. Patience is key and I have a great deal of it for those who are willing to persevere. As a program partner for the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania I have clearances from the GSWPA, Pennsylvania Child Line, Pennsylvania State Police, and the FBI.  You can trust that your children are being trained by a professional with the proper clearances for your peace of mind.

     As an SDI/ TDI Instructor and former Scuba Educators International and CMAS instructor, I am required to continually increase my skills and knowledge through additional training and the study of issues related to diving. I'm a factory authorized technician/technician instructor for HOG and Edge Gear and Deep Six Expedition Dive Gear 

     Oceanic, Sherwood, ScubaPro, MARES, and Aqualung are other brands I have experience with.  I hold certifications in CPR/AED, First Aid, and Oxygen Provider for the Professional Rescuer.  My diverse experience and extensive training allow me to guarantee you a comprehensive education as a SCUBA diver. 

     In 2012 I completed a crossover to SDI/TDI to offer my students additional courses that SEI and CMAS do not yet have in their catalog.

     These include, but are not limited to: SOLO Diver, SDI Deep, Computer Nitrox Diver, and Wreck Diver.  The TDI courses I am now authorized to teach are Edge/HOG Equipment Service Clinic, TDI Nitrox, TDI Intro to Tech (for those who are considering a technical diving path). 

     Also now available are TDI Advanced Nitrox, Decompression Procedures (to 150 feet), and Advanced Wreck with penetration! NEW - DEEP SIX EXPEDITION GEAR SERVICE INSTRUCTOR!

     As an added service to my students and divers worldwide, UDM Aquatic Services also offers the full line of Edge Gear for recreational divers and HOG Equipment for the technical diver. I have also added the Manta Industries/Highseas Millworks line of technical diving equipment. These items are available through this site. Simply click on the "Shop" heading.

     To serve the dive community and general public,  I have developed a number of presentations on Underwater Navigation, Buddy Skills, Diver Responsibility, and other topics that I would love to present to your group or club. Feel free to contact me to arrange a presentation that will be informative and fun.  While based in the Washington/Pittsburgh Pa area I travel to West Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and just about anywhere else the student is willing to bring me to offer quality skills and education based SCUBA Diving Training.

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          UDM Aquatic Services

                  Hours By Appointment:  Mon. thru Fri. 4-8PM, Sat. and Sun. 9AM - 5PM


615 McNary Ave. # 2

Canonsburg, PA  15317