JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — According to former and current CDA Technical Institute students and instructors, divers are quitting the school and leaving campus in waves.
Action News Jax first told you last week that the Jacksonville dive school is now no longer affiliated with a third diving agency.
CDA relinquishing its own membership was the last straw for these divers.
Several sources close to CDA said student divers have been packing up and leaving the school this week. On Monday, we spoke with a now-former CDA student at a gas station who was on his way home.
He agreed to do an interview with us but did not want to be named.
“It’s just not worth trying to stay there,” the former dive student said.
We asked him what the last straw that led him to leave the school.
“When we heard and got in contact with the director of the ADCI certification, they said that there was no way we’re getting our certification through CDA,” the former dive student said.
Last week, ADCI Executive Director Phil Newsum said no CDA divers would earn their ADCI certification starting June 1.
Newsum sent Action News Jax an official letter explaining the decision.
It states the ADCI made extensive efforts to complete the membership review process, but CDA informed the ADCI of its choice not to proceed with the review process.
The letter also states, with concern for student safety, that the ADCI will not allow any school that is not a member to apply for certifications when it cannot ensure operational and equipment safety.
The student we talked to said he and dozens of others made the decision to leave over the weekend.
“The ones that are there now in my class, they’re there because they have nowhere else to go. The former dive student said they’re still trying to leave, but they don’t have a place to go,” the former dive student said.
He said they’ve been kept in the dark at the school; first, when it came to the student deaths, and now the aftermath.
“All of our information was through the news,” the former dive student said.
Action News Jax received a video of inside the CDA dorms. Most of the rooms are now empty. We are told the number of students there is rapidly dwindling.
Still, today, the CDA website boasts affiliations with ADCI, DCBC, and IMCA, all of which are no longer current.
Also on that list are the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society and the American Welding Society, both of which confirmed they have no current relationship with CDA.
Action News Jax has also been in contact with more students who are trying to leave CDA.
They did not want to speak on camera due to currently having nowhere to go.
We reached out again to CDA to speak to the owner, Ray Black. We did not get a response.
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