Amputee learns to scuba dive with one leg
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.”
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.
Marine Life & Conservation
Watch The Real Watergate from Live Ocean Foundation (Trailer)
Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke established Live Ocean Foundation out of their deep concern for health of the ocean and the life in it. Through their sport they champion action for the ocean, taking this message to the world.
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Marine Life & Conservation
World Oceans Day: Fourth Element and Love The Oceans join forces
FOURTH ELEMENT AND LOVE THE OCEANS JOIN FORCES TO CELEBRATE WORLD OCEANS DAY AND ADVANCE MARINE CONSERVATION WITH A NEW PARTNERSHIP
Fourth Element, a leading provider of high-quality dive gear, and Love The Oceans, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine conservation, have announced their new partnership on World Oceans Day, June 8th, 2023. This collaboration represents a shared commitment to protecting our oceans and promoting sustainable practices within the diving community.
Love The Oceans is widely recognized for their exceptional work in marine conservation and their dedication to community development in Mozambique. The organization’s approach involves not only protecting marine wildlife and habitats but also empowering local communities to become guardians of their own environment.
They place a strong emphasis on empowering women in the field of marine conservation. The team actively supports and encourages women to participate in their research programs, providing opportunities for training, leadership development, and career advancement, inspiring a new generation of female scientists and conservationists.
Love The Oceans seek out passionate individuals within local communities and provide them with training and resources. Fourth Element will then support these champions to become divers and ambassadors of the ocean, spreading awareness, implementing sustainable practices, and inspiring others to join the movement.
“We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Love The Oceans,” said Jim Standing, co-founder of Fourth Element. “Our shared commitment to sustainable practices and marine conservation makes this collaboration a natural fit. We believe that by joining forces, we can amplify our efforts to protect our oceans and inspire positive change within the diving community.”
Francesca Trotman, Founder and CEO of Love The Oceans, expressed her excitement about the collaboration, stating, “We’re thrilled to be working with Fourth Element, a brand that aligns with our values and ethos. This partnership will enable us to get more local community members scuba diving in Mozambique, monitoring our reef systems, and striving for better protection of our marine world. Working together, we’re conserving Mozambique’s coastline for generations to come.”
For more, visit www.fourthelement.com
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