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Amputee learns to scuba dive with one leg

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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

Competitions

WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!

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beuchat-logo-1-300x58.jpgFor 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 Mexico is to host the first annual Cancun International Boat Show and Marine Expo this year. But when is the event due to take place?

Is it:

  • A) 9th – 11th July
  • B) 16th – 18th July
  • C) 23rd – 25th July

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

Beuchat Air Light Bag February 2021

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 or employees of Suunto Diving UK 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 07/04/21. 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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Miscellaneous Blogs

Jeff chats to… Jill Heinerth – underwater explorer, author and presenter (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jill Heinerth.

Jill is one of the world’s premier underwater explorers, and the first person to dive inside iceberg caves. According to filmmaker James Cameron, “More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill Heinerth has gone right here on earth.”

An acclaimed polar explorer, cave diver, author, speaker, filmmaker, and climate advocate, Jill is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She is the inaugural recipient of the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration and Canada’s Polar Medal.

Jill leads expeditions into extreme environments to advance scientific and geographic knowledge. Her projects have been broadcast on the CBC, BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, and television networks worldwide. Jill was announced as the recipient of the William Beebe Award from the Explorer’s Club and was inducted into the International Scuba Divers Hall of Fame in fall 2020.

Her bestselling book INTO THE PLANET – My Life as a Cave Diver  has drawn acclaim from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and O Magazine. Heinerth details her journey into the extreme world of underwater cave exploration, where she has had to overcome fear in order to go where no one has gone before.

Find out more about Jill and her work at: www.intotheplanet.com


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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