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12-Year-Old Tobias Hochstetler Emerges as World’s Youngest PADI Rescue Diver Following Maui Training

August 22, 2023
Maui, Hawaii

In a remarkable feat that has captivated the global diving community, 12-year-old Tobias Hochstetler has secured the prestigious title of the world’s youngest PADI rescue diver. This accomplishment was achieved through an intensive rescue diving course set against the breathtaking backdrop of Maui, Hawaii.

Tobias’ journey into diving began with his passion, leading him to earn his open water certification and progress to advanced dive training at the renowned Sani Blues Dive Center in the Red Sea, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt as well as completing research diving in Simons Town, South Africa, helping to preserve rare pajama sharks and also to understand why kelp forests have been so sustainable near the Cape there, while rapidly deteriorating in northern California.  Tobias helped to capture photos, which are fed into an artificial intelligence software and processed by Cape RAAD Research and Development Center.

Beyond exploring the ocean’s depths, Tobias is an active member of the advanced rock-climbing team at Gravity Vault in Novato, California. His age-defying successes highlight his mature approach and sense of responsibility, essential qualities in rescue diving that demand quick decision-making, precise execution, and unwavering composure.

Following his training, Tobias expressed his deep love for diving, which he sees as a serene sanctuary connecting him with nature. He extended heartfelt gratitude to his mentors and supporters for their role in his ongoing journey.

During his time in Maui, Tobias showcased his compassion by volunteering for three days. He dedicated his first day to the Maui Humane Society, caring for pets displaced by a recent fire. Additionally, he assisted in distributing essential supplies at Lahaina Gateway, providing much-needed aid to those affected by the fire. Alongside his accomplishments, Tobias is a 7th grader and volunteers alongside his brother Isaac, a 5th grader. Isaac’s passion for helping animals complements Tobias’ diving achievements.

Both Tobias and Isaac are students at Marin Montessori School in Corte Madera, California.

Tobias Hochstetler’s exceptional achievement not only solidifies his position as a prodigious diver but also serves as an inspiration for young diving enthusiasts worldwide. As he continues to push the boundaries of accomplishment at his tender age, the world eagerly anticipates his journey characterized by adventure, compassion, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence.

PADI®(Professional Association of Diving Instructors®) is the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organization, operating in 186 countries and territories, with a global network of more than 6,600 dive centers and resorts and over 128,000 professional members worldwide. Issuing more than 1 million certifications each year, and with over 29 million certifications to date, PADI enables people around the world to seek adventure and save the ocean through underwater education, life-changing experiences and travel.

For over 50 years, PADI is undeniably The Way the World Learns to Dive®, maintaining its high standards for dive training, safety and customer service, monitored for worldwide consistency and quality. With a longstanding commitment to environmental conservation, PADI is leading the way for millions of people to actively explore, steward and protect the ocean through its course offerings and partnerships with like-minded, mission-driven organizations.

PADI embodies a global commitment to ocean health with its mission to create a billion torchbearers to explore and protect the ocean.

Marin Montessori.  Since Marin Montessori School’s inception in 1963 as the brainchild of 11 families, the physical structure of Marin Montessori School has evolved immensely, but its commitment to AMI Montessori pedagogy has remained steadfast.

Our first accommodation was literally a school “house” with 18 children in a converted San Rafael home. As the student body grew, MMS moved to larger sites throughout the 1960s. It finally found its current home on Paradise Drive in 1970, thanks to the generosity of MMS parents Jim and Nancy Kelso.

Situated next to the bay with a living marsh, a large field, and teaching gardens, MMS’s Paradise Drive site offers an exceptional environment for indoor‐outdoor education.

Three primary classrooms were built throughout the 1970s with a fourth classroom added in 1984. MMS accommodated the burgeoning elementary program by purchasing the Domes on the east end of the grassy field in 1984. A few years later an after‐school program was added.

By 1991, MMS was ready to enroll toddlers in the new Sandpiper classrooms. MMS completed its vision for elementary education by constructing the upper elementary building in 1995.

Two decades after moving onto the Paradise Drive location, MMS went from a preschool for 3‐to 6‐ year‐olds to a school that educated children from 18 months to 12 years of age. This thoughtful and progressive evolution inspired an ambitious building project completed in 2005 that created updated classrooms, administrative offices and conference facilities that serve the entire MMS community.

In 2009, after many years of planning, MMS launched its junior high program at St. Vincent’s in San Rafael, serving students from 12 to 15 years of age.

Tobias taking a certification photo.

Tobias volunteering by loading ice into cars of Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii fire victims.