SDI Diver News

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5 Tips for a Safe and Fun Night Dive

Diving at night is diving in another world and it should not be taken lightly… even if you have dove the same site, time after time during the day, doing so at night will bring you to a new world, with new shadows and new life.

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Making a Difference, One Vet at a Time

by Shawn Harrsion:
vetI had the honor of being part of an incredible event that took place in Chicagoland on July 11th with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Wounded Heroes Foundation. As a 12 year veteran myself this was truly emotional as I walked around observing the 50 plus veterans participating in activities at various stations; from tennis and strength challenge to javelin throwing; but watching some of these vets experience the thrill of going underwater again, or for the first time, was awesome. Interacting with them I found out they were from all over the country; Georgia, Alabama and as far away as Hawaii, and I was amazed how far these veterans traveled to have the opportunity to come together and help each other

The session was designed as a Scuba Discovery pool experience; groups were broken into six person, rotating teams. They had underwater hockey, underwater swimming obstacles and even a bubble shooting range course set up which was really cool. For a lot of veterans the underwater world is such a relaxing place to be and this really showed with some staying down as long as one hour and asking for more. With the help of the Wounded Heroes Foundation this camp really allows veterans the opportunity to challenge themselves and some even go on to actual competitions. This event in fact has had such an impact allowing vets to connect with other disabled vets that it has filled the camp to capacity for eight years.

What is really exciting is that some of the vets will go on to get scuba certified and even some family members will as well because this is another activity they can do together. I even had some of the vets say to me, “I got certified 3or 6 years ago, I forgot how much fun it really is and I would like to get back into it”. It is comments like this that were the highlight of the event for me.

father son vetsIt was an awesome sight seeing over forty Scuba Diving International (SDI) members, ranging from diver up to Instructor levels, who volunteered their time to help out. Not only did we have multiple family members, fathers and sons, but one pair were both veterans from the same branch with the son ending his tour 3 weeks ago and the dad retiring. This was made possible by the team from DJ’s Scuba Locker who supplied all the necessary equipment for the event. I also would like to thank the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Wounded Heroes Foundation and all the volunteer staff who took their time making this wonderful event possible. As well as Fourth Element for donating custom back zip Thermoclines which made donning a lot easier for the vets.

I asked Dan and Cindy Howard, owners of DJ’s Scuba Locker, what inspires them on events like this, they replied, “We wanted to give back to the community of people who have given so much” and “Making a difference, one vet at a time”.

Here is a Chicago Fox News article on the event.

Please also visit the following links:
http://www.ric.org/
http://www.woundedheroesfund.net/
http://www.djscuba.com/
http://www.fourthelement.com

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Scuba Diving and Helping People

by Dr. Thomas Powell:
Scubility

Scuba diving is a sport in which there are very few strangers. Most divers can remember the fun evenings at the bar or restaurant after long days of diving. Everyone in those memories is smiling, buying rounds, and telling tall tales. Simultaneously, that lone diver seeking a buddy while on vacation rarely has trouble finding someone willing to tag along. The reality is that scuba divers are often a merry bunch of people helping each other out and making sure everyone has a good time.

Aside from the shared adventures, storytelling, and buddy support that divers provide, the dive community as a whole is full of people who work hard to help others. The first example of genuine care can be seen in the disability programs developed and put forth by various training agencies. Scuba Diving International (SDI) maintains the Scubility program that allows individuals with differing disabilities to learn to scuba dive. Even those with quadriplegia, paraplegia, or no eye sight can learn to dive with buddy assistance. As this program grows and more instructors develop education in this realm, more and more individuals will get to experience time underwater. These potential students are individuals who otherwise may never get such an opportunity. The Scubility program is one that opens doorways for people and gives them a shot at a sport that they may have believed was lost forever. SDI is hosting a Scubility Diver and Instructor Program this November just before DEMA!

Find out how you can get involved with Scubility »


The veteran community is another realm in which many individuals face issues or concerns that traditionally may preclude potential students form learning to dive. All around the United States, dive professionals and dive facilities have opened their doorways to veterans and veteran-based programs in an effort to share scuba diving. Essentially, assistance-based programs have been developed and refined to ensure veterans with disabilities get the chance to seek proper medical approval and potentially discover the opportunity to dive. In many cases, these programs are difficult to set up and require dive professionals to spend extra time and effort to ensure that disabled veterans are provided with a quality education option with the support of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. These acts of support are what grow the scuba community and show divers that there are people out there who will help you find a way to learn if the opportunity can be discovered in a safe manner.

Even within the public safety community, efforts are made to help others. Many public safety dive teams provide community education days where children are invited to see and touch dive gear in an effort to help them understand how public safety personnel, especially divers, can help the community. The truth of the matter is that public safety divers are always working to help others. These divers volunteer to dive in terrible conditions to help perform rescues, solve crimes, or even protect the environment.

The reality behind divers helping others is that it starts at the local diving level. In recent months, I had the opportunity to see two local dive master candidates partake in a shop-based scavenger hunt. The two divers worked hard to recover plastic coins that could be traded for merchandise during a raffle. When the time came to cash in, the two divers selected items that they could give to a local young lady who suffered from various disabilities. Once others realized what they were doing, an instructor candidate at the dive site walked to his truck and retrieved a megalodon tooth to give to the young lady. Similarly, the dive shop employee running the raffle took all of the merchandise not selected in the raffle and handed it over as a donation. In an afternoon, four divers who could have had fun and earned some “swag,” chose to give instead. This attitude is what is great within the diving community.

In a similar instance in recent months, I watched a dive shop owner provide a FREE wetsuit to a young lady in need, and a renowned professional photographer provided time and photos for a family he did not know in his free time. The scuba community is one where there are no real strangers. Divers at all levels love to share knowledge and experience. Similarly, the community often bands together to support causes, friends, and those in need. The objective should be to expand this mindset and work to make the dive community even more open, friendly, and accepting. As you travel, explore, and continue your dive adventures, ask yourself how you can help others, and make diving that much better for those who love, or may one day love, the sport.


– Dr. Thomas Powell
Owner/Instructor Trainer – Air Hogs Scuba, Garner, NC

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Sharing Technical Diving Lessons with the Sport Diver

by Rob Bradish:
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It is a discussion heard all of the time. The sport diver saying he doesn’t want his diving that rigid. They just want to stick the thingy in their mouth and go see the fish. Meanwhile, as technical divers, we are so consumed with doing things in a particular way, that we sometimes forget that, adaptability is also a skill. No wonder the two camps sometimes have difficulty finding common ground! That said, people often overlook a fundamental truth. There is no such thing as Technical Diving! It is all recreational and both forms have common roots. Lessons were learned, and passed down through the learning process that were provided, typically via another diver’s mishap, and possibly at the expense of their life.

Knowing that, let’s look at some of those lessons, often spelled out in technical training manuals, and see how they might apply to the sport diver.

  • Lesson One – Every dive is a decompression dive.
    The lesson is actually in every Open Water Diver class, but sometimes only gets a cursory look. While there may seem to be differences between Non Stop Diving limits and Decompression Dive Plans, they are really the same thing. In both cases, whether by computer, table or some other method, the diver is examining time at depth, and then building an exit strategy that allows the gases dissolved in our body’s various tissues, to escape before becoming large enough to be a problem.Failure to recognize that, and plan and act accordingly, is just waiting for an incident to occur.
  • Lesson Two- Any Diver, Any Reason, No Questions Asked
    As a part of a technical team, it is our job to show up prepared and ready to function at 100%. That said, sometimes a diver may be 20 minutes into a dive before they realize they are not hitting that goal. It is the job of the diver to know when to make that call. It is so important to the team, that the mantra has been adopted in an effort to make that decision even easier, eliminating embarrassment or ridicule as a concern.A favorite buddy, a sport diver to his core, used to word it a little differently, but the message is the same. “As much as I enjoy diving, there is not any single dive worth all the joys in my life going forward”.
  • Lesson Three- Stop Learning, Stop Diving
    Recently, another diver stated they had perfected a style of diving that worked for them and that they saw no need to alter it going forward. As a technical diver, we are often told that a critical part of the post dive meal was to discuss, at least a few, points of possible improvement. This is in recognition that, during every dive, there is room for improvement and growth. We don’t stop training. Whether through self-study, mentorship, or quality class material, there is a recognition that things change, and when change occurs, so to must learning.In all things, there must be a realization that failure to continue learning in any dynamic activity could contribute to failure at a later time.
  • Lesson Four- The Trip is often more important than the Destination.
    Technical Diving is full of stories about people that achieve some feat. It is also full of stories about people who fail while trying to achieve some feat. Those who achieve a tough goal rarely do so without a lot of forethought and planning. It is also a part of the training described in Lesson Three, as well as combined experience and lots of practice. When failures do occur, there is often an after action discovery. Frequently, reasons cited include exceeding ones skill set and abilities.Preparation is rarely rushed, and doing so often leads to skipped steps. Taking time in that preparation is a valuable use of time. In most cases, that destination will be there tomorrow!
  • Lesson Five- You carry a Submersible Pressure Gauge for a Reason.
    In Technical Diving, running out of gas can, and likely would, be a life threatening event. It is simply not acceptable. We plan for it, and we plan for contingencies, to insure we do not run out of gas. Yet somehow, there always seems to be some person, returning from a sport dive trip, and boasting about how they used every bit of gas in their tank, like they should be applauded for their skill!!Sorry folks, running out of gas, or even getting close, except in cases of mechanical failure, is unacceptable, period.
  • Lesson Six- When spending peanuts, expect monkeys.
    Diving at a technical level can be more expensive than recreationally. Redundant systems and extended training cost more as a function of keeping the diver safe!! Even so, the technical diver will likely spend more on any one individual device than the sport diver. Technical divers are frequently reminded that their gear is not scuba equipment, but life support equipment. Quality has an associated cost. Remember the old adage, “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”? This applies to repairs, training, and product purchases, and often, we know it when we see it.If a product or service is undervalued, it will very likely be under delivered as well. While quality may cost, shortcuts in training or services always cost more.
  • Lesson Seven- There are NO shortcuts!
    If an Indy Car racer wants to win the Indianapolis 500, he will drive thousands of miles in practice to get to the winners circle. Diving should not be any different. Many planning a technical dive will do “mockup” dives ahead of the actual dive, planning and re-planning for contingencies and spending hundreds of hours just in preparation. A sport diver can often recognize the “old Salt” at the back of the boat. They breathe gas more efficiently, they move more gracefully through the water and the always seem to have a great time. When you look at their log book, frequently they have logged many dives and hours underwater, typically far beyond the norm.Fact is, experience does matter. Can’t get to the boat this weekend because of rough sea? Head to your lake or quarry. While it may not be what you were looking for, rarely does a person not see benefit from a little practice.

There are many lessons to be learned but these seven can help provide a solid core. Technical diving may not be on a diver’s goal list, but its lessons have been hard fought and should not be treated lightly. To do so would be to forget another lesson found in the quote of George Santayana. “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it”. With so many Scuba Diving lessons learned through the mishaps of another diver, it would seem foolish for a person to want to repeat that lesson. Most importantly, we have these lessons and know they work. The only risk in applying them, therefore, is to have more enjoyment, both for today’s dive and those in the future!!


– Rob Bradish, who refers to himself as “a sport diver with Technical Interests”, has been certified since 1981, and crossed over to “the Dark Side” as an instructor with SDI/TDI. He is the owner of Sub-Aquatix, in Clayton, North Carolina.

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4 Qualities Successful Diving Educators Share

by Harry Averill:
Instructor

We expect a lot of professional diving educators. Right out of the box, we want instructors to:

  • Understand and follow training standards religiously.
  • Serve as a role model for everything from equipment selection and use to adhering to safe diving practices.
  • Support their dive center, training agency and fellow diving educators.

This is the minimum we expect from any dive professional. So what qualities set the most successful diving educators apart from others? Here are four key ones:

  1. Focus — The most successful diving educators are able to give their students their complete and undivided attention. No matter what else is going on in their lives, the best instructors make students feel as though they are the center of the instructor’s universe.
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  3. Commitment — The most effective diving educators are driven. Being the best instructor they possibly can is essential to these individuals’ sense of self worth. It is the instructors who demand the most from themselves who always seem to get the most from their students.
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  5. Patience — The potential frustrations diving educators face can range can from problems with equipment, pools and boats to students who seem to take an impossibly long time to master even the most basic concepts and skills. Yet, despite this, the best instructors never lose their patience. They make students feel as though, no matter what, their instructor is not going to give up on them.
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  7. Empathy — The most successful diving educators can relate to what their students are feeling and experiencing. They listen as much as they talk. They can see things from a student’s perspective and, as a consequence, make the task of learning easier.

If you think you might have what it takes to be a truly successful diving educator, contact your local SDI Dive Center. They can help you take the next step towards leadership.

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Adventure and Education Despite the Odds

by Dr. Thomas Powell:
Kennedy
Earlier this year readers of the monthly Scuba Diving International publications had the opportunity to read about a young lady named Kennedy. For those who do not already know, Kennedy was the 2014 Children’s Miracle Network Champion for North Carolina. One of her dreams was to have the opportunity to spend some time under the water and enjoy the subsurface world. A local diver to her area named Tim Kintner contacted his local dive shop and asked if any help could be provided to young Kennedy. He made the connection that sparked a whirlwind of fun. For a few months, dive professionals came together to work with Kennedy, volunteering time and effort to make sure she received a quality education. Ray Wickham, Robert Bradish, and Josh Norris were a few of these professionals. Eventually, Kennedy was able to become certified as an SDI Open Water Scuba Diver. Her Journey did not end with earning her certification.

Shortly after becoming certified, staff members from Dive Rite had the opportunity to meet Kennedy during a shop event outside of Raleigh, N.C. During the first weekend of June those staff members and the crew at Dive Rite invited Kennedy to High Springs, Florida to dive. She was welcomed with open arms and got the chance to dive in some of the clearest waters on Earth. According to her mother, Kennedy was “excited and nervous, but she loved it.” She spent the weekend diving Ginnie Springs and Manatee Springs just having an all-around good time. In fact, Kennedy’s very first dive away from her local quarry was with Lamar Hires himself just inside the entrance to the Ginnie ball room. Throughout the weekend, John McCain and Bre Grant spent time going back over dive education and making sure that Kennedy had the opportunity to experience everything she could while in “cave country.” Simultaneously, Peter Lapin spent the weekend shooting beautiful images for Kennedy and her family to remember forever. Cave Country Dive Shop even donated gas to keep Kennedy in the water. All-in-all it was an amazing first experience away from home.

A short two weeks later, Kennedy was once again invited to Florida. This time she was invited by Sean Harrison and the staff at International Training to experience her very first salt water dives. That Friday, Kennedy and her family toured International Training headquarters and met every staff member in the building. The following morning, the entire International Training crew and all of their families met Kennedy at the Blue Herron Bridge to hit the water. During her first ocean dive, Kennedy was able to see at least ten different octopuses, a sea horse, a bat fish, and a flying gurnard. Again, Peter Lapin was following along recording everything for future memories. Following the dive, Peter Friedman of Stuart Scuba provided one of his facilities for everyone to eat a lunch rounded up by Jon and Lauren Kieren. Finally, on Sunday, Jon and Lauren Kieren took Kennedy out on a private boat provided by Peter Friedman to experience her first wreck dive just off of Stuart, Florida. Goliath groupers showed Kennedy just how big marine life can really get.

This entire experience to date shows the heart of the dive community. Time and again, individuals and groups took personal time to spend with a young lady who has a passion for scuba. Similarly, equipment, and resources were provided at the drop of a hat. Divers, dive professionals, and friends came together to make each experience as wonderful as possible. A young lady has now truly become a part of our diving community and has been welcomed at all levels by those she can now call friends.


– Dr. Thomas Powell
Owner/Instructor Trainer – Air Hogs Scuba, Garner, NC

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World’s Largest Underwater Clean Up


SDI/TDI/ERDI is proud of our very own Ahmed Gabr for achieving another new Guinness World Record, the World’s Largest Underwater Clean-up which was recorded in Egypt on June 5, 2015. Ahmed organized the world’s largest underwater clean-up at the marina of the Hilton Plaza Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt. The official Guinness World Record is recorded as “The Most Participants in an Underwater Clean-up (Single Venue)” with 614 people, beating out the previous record of 300 people.

Ahmed was was originally planning to set the record with 400 participants, but many more divers came out to support him and the cause of giving back to our oceans in celebration of the World Environment Day. The event was greatly supported by the Egyptian government; the Minister of Tourism, Khaled Rami, as well as the governor of ‪‎Red Sea,‬ Mr. Ahmed Abdullah, who both participated in the event.

Ahmed Gabr is an SDI/TDI Instructor Trainer, and former Egyptian Army officer. He is also the only ERDI Instructor and certified US Combat Diver in the Middle East. He also holds two other world records for Deepest Scuba Dive (male) and Deepest Sea Dive.

For the purposes of this record, an underwater clean-up is defined as a continuous operation in which divers wearing breathing apparatus search an underwater area for man-made waste products with the aim of removing them from the natural environment.

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Coral Reefs: An In-Depth Description

coral reefs
Coral reef habitats play a major role in the ecosystems of the world’s oceans. These thriving marine environments create biodiversity and provide homes, protection and a food source for ocean animals as well as protect the coastlines and contribute to the world’s health, medical, tourism and recreation industries.

Biodiversity
Reefs are among the most diverse and valuable ecosystems in the world. They support more species of fish, plant life and aquatic animals than any other marine environment. It is estimated that nearly 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of coral and millions of other undiscovered types of nature live in and around the reef systems of the world.

Marine habitats
Perhaps the most important aspect of reefs is the protection and shelter that they provide for marine animals. The colorful coral, hidden nooks and intricate swirls of brain coral, anemones and plate coral give fish, shrimp, eels and seahorses a place to live and eat, raise their young and hide from natural predators. Likewise, reef fish and mollusks provide food for millions of people a year.

Contributions to the world
In addition to playing a major role in the environment of the ocean, reefs contribute a great deal to the world itself. Reefs protect the coastline from strong currents and waves caused by storms, hurricanes and tsunamis by slowing down the waves before they get to shore. Barrier reefs do just what the name suggests. They provide a barrier between the water and the shore. This results in protection from on-shore erosion and property damage. Reefs also protect the wetlands along the coast, as well as ports and harbors.

Corals also help control how much carbon dioxide is present in the ocean water. When coral polyps turn carbon dioxide into calcium carbonate, the sediment falls to the floor as limestone sediment. Over time, this process may raise up from the floor as dry land or be dissolved back into the water or air as carbon dioxide. Without this chain reaction, the amount of carbon dioxide in the water would rise, which would affect every living thing on Earth.

A variety of drugs have been developed from reef plants and animals for use as treatment in areas such as cancer, viruses, arthritis and other conditions. Secosteroids, used by corals to protect themselves, have been used to treat inflammatory issues such as asthma and arthritis. Bivalves are being studied to learn more about the aging process, metabolic activity and certain environmental stressors. Yondelis, or trabectedin, is a soft tissue sarcoma treatment derived from the marine organism Ecteinascidia turbinata, a sea squirt found in the shallow waters of Florida, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Gulf of Mexico.

Scuba diving
Since reefs are located in exotic and desirable destinations around the world, including the Pacific, the Florida Keys, Southeast Asia, Hawaii and the Caribbean, it is only natural that their tourism draw would be an asset to the local economy. Travelers are contributing to the economy and providing jobs to local people by participating in diving tours and fishing trips, booking hotels, dining at restaurants and visiting other businesses near the reefs.

Consideration of the delicate reef ecosystem is a top concern when scuba diving in any area of the world’s oceans. The buoyancy compensator worn by divers allows them to get close without actually touching the coral, which could potentially harm the coral polyps. Be aware of where the boat anchor is being dropped, or use reef mooring buoys if they are available.

Plunge below the surface of crystal clear water into a world filled with the brilliant colors of anemones, blue sponges, chili sponges and firecracker coral set against intricate spirals and wavy spires of bleached white tree and plate coral. This magical setting is inhabited by urchins, seahorses, crabs, yellow tang, gobies, parrotfish and clown fish as well as neighboring marine animals such as sea turtles and sharks.

Whether it is a natural, man-made or artificial reef such as a ship wreck, coral reefs provide some of the most breathtaking scenery a diver will ever experience.

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Vancouver’s First Major Artificial Reef

by Rick Wall – Director, Communications – The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia:
HMCS AnnapolisVancouver BC, 12 May 2015. The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) successfully completed its latest project on 4 April, 2015 when the former Canadian warship ANNAPOLIS was finally sunk in the Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park, creating the first major artificial reef in the Vancouver area.

Since 1989, the ARSBC has sunk more ships to create marine habitat than any other non-profit group in the world. The ANNAPOLIS Project which started in 2008 with the purchase of the former HMCS Annapolis (110 metre helicopter-carrying destroyer-escort) from the Canadian Government turned out, however, to be the most complicated and controversial project ever undertaken by the Reef Society. Financial issues, changing federal government regulations, emerging environmental concerns and legal challenges all forced the Project timelines and costs to be extended. In the end, the work to prepare ANNAPOLIS took almost seven years to complete, involving more than 1,000 volunteers from the local dive community and consuming almost 20,000 person-hours. Once all the federal permits had been issued and legal challenges put aside, a six-week window was identified to complete all the final preparations for the sinking. A dedicated team of specialists agreed to come onboard and complete this work, which included:

  • Detailed surveying of the ship to assess the stability of the ship;
  • Identifying locations for explosive charges;
  • Identifying requirements for venting arrangements;
  • Mapping diver access arrangements;
  • Preparing towing arrangements for moving the ship to the sink site;
  • Preparing anchoring arrangements at the sink site to ensure accurate positioning of the ship; and
  • Ensuring safety for all spectators.

annapolisThree days before the sink day, the ship was moved to Halkett Bay and positioned over the small shelf that had been designated as her new home and final preparations completed. With tide conditions deemed optimal, an air horn sounded and the bay echoed as fourteen charges were detonated in the ship. Two minutes later, all that could be seen was a cloud of smoke hanging over the water where ANNAPOLIS had been floating. Society President Howie Robins commented:

“This was by far the best executed sinking operation for the Reef Society. Divers are already enjoying the experience”.

Divers started visiting the ship on 6 April, after it had been inspected by the safety divers. To date it is estimated that 95% of the ship`s interior has been explored. Here are some common comments that have come back to us (courtesy of Sea Dragon Charters):

“The Annapolis sits perfectly upright on the bottom at about 105 feet. This is great as it allows for extra bottom time compared to some of the other artificial reefs in BC”

“The Annapolis has a multitude of swim-throughs – all at various deck levels. This is exciting, even if you are not wreck certified. You can safely see inside the wreck without entering”

From Deirdre Forbes McCracken, owner of Ocean Quest Dive Centre, who has made two dives to the ship:

“On our second trip back to the ship, the school shiner perch had grown to be several hundred! Tiny shrimp now hopped along the exterior decks of the ships in numbers far too great to count! On our first dive out, other teams of divers had reported seeing red rock crabs at the base of the stern, and now we find more crabs taking up residence [in the operations room]! In just a few weeks to see so many creatures already finding this new reef home was a very rewarding and emotional moment!”

ANNAPOLIS is the most comprehensively prepared naval ship in the ARSBC fleet of artificial reefs and has been designed for the enjoyment of divers of all skill levels. Equally importantly, though, is that after only one month ANNAPOLIS has already begun its transformation to a viable marine habitat.

Acknowledgements:

This project was truly a team effort, involving a large number of people, without whom it would never had been completed. In addition to the long hours put in by the volunteers from the local dive community in preparing the ship for the various environmental inspections, additional thanks must go out to those specialists who contributed both their time and unique expertise in executing a text-book perfect conclusion to a long and complicated endeavor. Those companies include:

Crosby Marine Services, Gibsons, BC
Reliant Marine Services, Gibsons, BC
Mountain Towing and Recovery, Maple Ridge, BC
Pacific Blasting and Demolition Ltd, Burnaby, BC
Damet Services Ltd, DeWinton, AB
Accurate Energetic Systems, LLC, McEwen, TN
Dyno Nobel Industrial and Mining Explosives Manufacturing
Artificial Reefs International, Key West, FL
Derek W. Davis, Inc. Naval Architect, Victoria, BC
Seaspan Marine Corp, North Vancouver, BC
Sea Dragon Charters, West Vancouver, BC

See photo and video footage here:
Article & aerial pictures
CTV Newscast – 4 Apr 15


Rick Wall – Director, Communications
The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia
c/o Vancouver Maritime Museum
1905 Ogden Avenue
Vancouver B.C. V6J 1A3
Web site: www.artificialreef.bc.ca
E-mail: rwall@artificialreef.bc.ca

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7 Reasons to Get Scuba Certified

by Dr. Thomas Powell:
SDI certified divers
Around the world, individuals, friends, couples, and families often look for new and exciting activities. These activities may involve sky-diving, hiking, camping, or even game night at the house. Certain activities may even fall into a category some colleges choose to refer to as “life-sports.” Life-sports are activities that a person can learn, develop, and perform throughout a lifetime. One such activity is scuba diving. Scuba diving is a sport that allows people to first learn about the sport, and then carry education and experience down various pathways of adventure. So the next time you or your companions are considering trying something new, take a moment and look into what it takes to become a scuba diver. You may find the one new activity that keeps you happy and smiling for many years to come. Here are seven reasons why you should consider becoming a certified scuba diver.

  1. Adventure
  2. Often, when people try something new, they hope it carries them to unique places and allows for interesting experiences. Over 70% of the Earth is covered in water, so the odds are pretty good that scuba diving may allow you go to new places. Almost any place a person travels will have some sort of water-filled environment that will allow for a little adventure. Similarly, scuba diving is a sport that allows a person to explore new places as that person continues his or her education. For instance, if a diver learns to safely dive with mixed gases, that diver may choose to venture to wreck sites at deeper depths. Or if a diver partakes in cave diving classes, he or she may be able to adventure in the watery passage ways below the ground’s surface. Essentially, scuba diving opens the doorway for adventure and excitement, and with more education, this adventure never really ends.

  3. Relax and Eliminate Stress
  4. Every day as we all walk around, we experience the effects of gravity gluing us to the ground. Scuba diving changes that daily weight on our shoulders. Under water, divers get the opportunity to experience a near weightless environment where there are no cellular phones, television shows, or office meetings. Instead, divers hear the sounds of moving water, aquatic life, and peace. Many divers view scuba diving as a release from the normal work world. Every time they submerge below the surface, the only thing in the world is the water and the current dive. For this reason, if someone is looking for a new activity or hobby, scuba diving may be the perfect release from the daily grind.

  5. Explore New Places
  6. As mentioned earlier, roughly 70% of the world is covered in water. Scuba diving is a sport that people can use to go places and see things that they have never before experienced. The underwater world is one that will open up to a new diver. New coastlines, reefs, lakes, rivers, and springs will be available to experience in a whole new way. No longer does a person need to look at the water from the surface, or swim down with snorkeling equipment for a quick glance. Now, a diver can take time to see what is down there, and develop new experiences.

  7. See Creatures Outside of an Aquarium
  8. Many people have only seen aquatic life from the side of a boat, at the end of a line, or walking through an aquarium. Scuba diving allows a person to delve into the realm of aquatic life and see interesting new creatures in their own backyard. Fish, sharks, rays, eels, and hundreds of other creatures can be seen in their natural environments. As you travel the world, new and interesting creatures may even be visible in each new place. Scuba diving takes the creatures and the visitor outside of the aquarium and allows the visitor to really see how marine creatures exist in the underwater realm.

  9. Develop New Friendships
  10. No matter where scuba diving may take you, divers are never alone. Scuba diving is a unique sport in which the participants always seem happy, excited about the most recent adventure, and willing to share stories. For this reason, at the end of a diving day, divers can often be found together at the local watering hole, restaurant, or by the water waiting on tomorrow. The scuba diving community is one in which new friends can be made and new adventures can be shared.

  11. Get Outdoors
  12. One of the greatest things about scuba diving is that the sport requires people to get outdoors and get wet. Whether you are exploring a new cave in a jungle somewhere or simply visiting the local quarry, scuba divers get outside and exercise. This sport is one that encourages participants to be fit and to get out of the house. Whole families can get outdoors and spend days enjoying local dive sites or simply discovering new places to get wet.

  13. For You
  14. Lastly, scuba diving is sport you should take on for you. Scuba diving can take you to new places, show you new things, help you make new friends, and get you outdoors. Despite these great advantages to scuba diving, you should only take on this sport if it is something that excites or intrigues you. Do it because you love the idea of sinking beneath the waves and doing something that few people can. Along the way, you will realize that a life-sport of this type will keep you excited and happy, but do not do it just because someone tells you to. Instead, look into what it takes to become a scuba diver and take the plunge because you want to be a diver.

There are many reasons a person may choose or desire to become a certified scuba diver. The best way to better understand the sport is to visit your local dive shop and talk to the staff about what it takes to become a diver, and how they can help you begin your new adventure. Just remember that scuba diving will take you on an interesting adventure should you allow the sport into your life, and it just may become something you really love to do with the people you care about.


– Dr. Thomas Powell
Owner/Instructor Trainer – Air Hogs Scuba, Garner, NC