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Active and Veteran Military Members Celebrate Force Blue’s Unprecedented Upcoming Deployment and Mission

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More than 70 active and veteran military troops joined close to 100 members of the SCUBA industry to recently celebrate the announcement of FORCE BLUE’s inaugural deployment at an event held at The Ocean Institute, Dana Point, CA.

FORCE BLUE, the only non-profit specifically created to aid former combat divers and Special Operations veterans in their assimilation back to civilian life by giving them a new, positive mission to help the planet, recently announced its inaugural deployment with six Iraq/Afghanistan veterans. Team members will be taught how to adapt their skills to rebuild and preserve coral reefs off the coast of Grand Cayman.

“The outpouring of support we received, not just from the veteran’s community, but from the dive industry, environmentalists, artists, marine conservationists…It’s truly humbling,” stated FORCE BLUE Co-founder and Executive Director Jim Ritterhoff.  “People came because they believe in our mission and want to play a part in its success.”

Military veterans interacted with SCUBA professionals while they enjoyed live performances by country music star Cliff Cody and the eclectic music of singer, songwriter and US Recon Marine Brandon Mills; Rock-n-Roll icon, Ian Astbury of The Cult, his wife, Black Ryder lead singer Aimee Nash and IMAX Head of Content Jamie McCabe were just a few of the notable guests who attended the 3-hour event.

Attendees learned more about FORCE BLUE’s origin and mission from co-founders Jim Ritterhoff, Keith Sahm and U.S. Recon Marine Master Sgt. Rudy Reyes.

Drew Richardson, President and CEO of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Worldwide, spoke of the organization’s commitment to support FORCE BLUE and his belief in the team’s mission. He presented a $2,500 check to FORCE BLUE co-founders to be put toward its initial deployment.

National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) Worldwide, Scuba Diving International (SDI), SCUBAPRO, Diver’s Alert Network (DAN), Oakley, Ritz-Carlton luxury hotels, jetBlue, Mission Volant, SUUNTO and Wyland Galleries donated more than 40 items to the silent auction to alleviate the cost of the video production of the inaugural dive.

While dining on a mouth-watering menu of hors d’oeuvres including a delicious gourmet sausage tasting by Mad Mike, a fellow veteran and his company Mad Mike’s American Gourmet Inc., attendees also had the exclusive opportunity to meet veteran military members of the first FORCE BLUE dive team including: U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Geoff Reeves and FORCE BLUE co-founder U.S. Recon Marine Master Sgt. Rudy Reyes.

Tonight was a special night for FORCE BLUE. The event provided us the opportunity to connect face-to-face with fellow military troops so they can learn of this great opportunity to still have an important mission in civilian life,” Sgt. Rudy Reyes said. “It also reaffirmed the potential we have to rally people behind our cause — helping our veterans as they help the planet. One team. One fight.”

FORCE BLUE gives former military trained combat divers and veterans of Special Operations Forces an important new mission: to experience and explore one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet–and to adapt their training and teamwork to rebuild the fragile ecosystem and aid in its protection. FORCE BLUE teaches veterans: their skills and training are transferable and can still make a positive difference, camaraderie does exist after combat and helping can be the antidote to harming. FORCE BLUE welcomes the support of people and organizations who see the value in this unique mission and want to play a part in its success. Visit www.forceblueteam.org to learn more.

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WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that the Philippines have been recognised as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 27th World Travel Awards. In the article it states how many islands make up the Philippines… how many are there?

Is there:

  • A) 7,209
  • B) 7,532
  • C) 7,641

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Beuchat Air Light Bag December 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Beuchat and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 13/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Quick Scuba Tips #1: How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving (Watch Video)

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How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving. Can’t I just take my new mask diving straight out of the box? Well, actually, no. It needs a little work to make it dive ready.

In this, the first in our new scuba diving quick hints and tips series, I’m going to show you how to prepare a new mask for scuba diving with three quick techniques, all aimed at stopping your scuba mask from fogging.

Yes, this link is an affiliate link. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Dive safe, dive often!

James


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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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