Connect with us
background

News

Amputee learns to scuba dive with one leg

Published

on

Having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, explored China, Jordan and trekked around Madagascar, it was an accident which left Sue Wright with a 5% chance of survival and a leg amputation that saw her horizons rapidly shrink.

But five years on she is close to completing her scuba-diving qualifications giving her a new underwater world to explore.

Miss Wright, 52, from Ickenham, west London, suffered life-threatening head, organ and leg injuries in March 2008 when a van driver mounted the pavement she was walking on.

She said: “I suffered a brain injury because my head hit the van with full force and it caused my brain to bleed. My left leg was later amputated above the knee and the other leg was very badly smashed up from the calf down and several times during my stay in hospital I was close to death.

“I’m not anywhere near recovery but earlier this year decided I’ve got to get out and do things because if I can swim and explore I’m not missing out.”

After doing some research she found her local Sub-Aqua Club in Eastcote and signed up but found there were challenges to overcome before she even got in the water.

“People are scared anyway about breathing underwater without all the injuries and once you’ve faced a near-death experience it makes you very cautious because you know life can be over in a breath.

“The first day I went it was snowing and I’d only just started walking on my prosthetic leg.

“I had to take my leg off and get to the side of the pool on my bottom and it was so embarrassing because people sometimes don’t know how to react so you see disgust or pity, but they were lovely and really understanding.”

Miss Wright was paired up with instructor Nigel Ealand who said that in more than 20 years he had never taught anyone with a disability and told Sue “between the two of us we’ll have to figure it out”.

The biggest and most pressing problem they had to work on was Miss Wright’s balance.

She said: “With the leg missing I felt I was going to flop over and there was a motion missing when I kicked and I had to get used to that.”

The solution, it turned out, was to add weight to her body, but not where you might think.

Mr Ealand said: “One side of her body is a lot lighter and so she tended to end upside-down in the water so you’d think you’d put the weights on the side of the missing leg, but it didn’t work and we have discovered it needs to be on the other side.

“There were also difficulties when we taught mask cleaning in the shallows. The normal thing would be to kneel on the bottom, but Sue can’t do that so in the end we got her to lie down and prop herself up using her elbows.

“You’ve really got to throw the whole rulebook away.”

Sue has so far completed the theory and pool sessions for the BSAC Ocean Diver course and just needs to undertake an open water dive which she plans to do next year when the water is warmer.

For more on this story, click here.

 

Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news

News

Euro-Divers opens to guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

Published

on

In celebration of Euro-Divers’ 50 Years of Diving with Friends in the Maldives, the team have opened a new PADI 5 Star Dive Center at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives retreat lies at the northern edge of the Maldives in the tranquil Raa Atoll, reached via a panoramic 45-minute seaplane voyage from Male. The island has 80 all-pool-villas, 36 of which are over water with a private pool for your enjoyment and 44 beachfront villas designed seamlessly to immerse guests in the natural surroundings. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt Earth Check operating standards, integrating their environments’ natural, physical, and cultural elements.

Raa Atoll is well-known for the excellent scuba diving it offers. The underwater landscape of Raa Atoll is characterized by a high number of thilas scattered inside the lagoons. These underwater coral mountains are magnets for marine life including huge schools of tropical reef fish, a generous splash of colour, iconic bucket-list-must-see marine creatures including sharks, mantas (appearing during the entire year), turtles, and uncrowded dive sites—a perfect diver’s heaven for beginners and experienced divers. We offer a full range of PADI courses for different levels. From November till March, the Manta cleaning station is located 15 minutes away by boat.

The team from Alila Kothaifaru Maldives look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find out more at: www.euro-divers.com/alila-kothaifaru-maldives

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

Published

on

Ocean charity makes initial grant of $90,000 to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.

Ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organisations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.

To improve ocean governance, Blue Marine uses a combination of top-down intervention and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities at the front line of conservation. It will work together with the DCNA to help marine-park organisations protect the unique and threatened biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean.

The new partnership is an important development in the successful management of marine conservation parks in the Dutch Caribbean. The UK-based charity has established a small-grants fund to provide rapid access to support for critical conservation projects run by marine parks.

The individual projects and their local partners are:

Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.

The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.  The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.

Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.

Blue Marine’s Senior Project Manager Jude Brown commented: “Having recently visited two of the islands, I witnessed first-hand how special this region is. Diving the waters off Saba I saw huge Tarpon swimming amongst shoals of blue tang, and hawksbill turtles feeding on the seagrass beds. I also witnessed the challenges these islands are facing from coral disease to issues with coastal development. It is an exciting opportunity to work in the Dutch Caribbean, bringing expertise and funding from Blue Marine to join with the wealth of knowledge already on the islands, to work together to protect the important marine life arounds these islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DNCA commented: “The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile. The coming week we will be in The Netherlands to present a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean to emphasize the urgent need for a climate smart future for our islands.”


Photo: Coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean- Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast- all rights reserved

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular