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Charity and Dive Centre to Grant Scuba Diver’s Last Wish this Christmas

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Deptherapy, the charity that seeks to rehabilitate UK Armed Service personnel who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges, and Crowthorne’s PADI 5* dive centre Divecrew, are teaming up to grant a scuba diver his last wish this Christmas.

When Colin Clements and his friend Daphne Pearson walked into Crowthorne-based PADI dive centre Divecrew, no one expected what was to happen next.

Colin, 60, from Woodley, Berkshire, is suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer that will take his life in the near future. As a committed scuba diver, now forced to give up his much-loved hobby, Colin had brought all his personal dive equipment with him to donate to the charity Deptherapy.

Colin had heard through a friend about Deptherapy, a scuba diving charity that seeks to rehabilitate UK Armed Services’ veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges.

Deptherapy programme members undertaking open water training at Roots Red Sea in Autumn 2016. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev

When contacting Colin to offer his thanks for this brave and selfless gesture, Richard Cullen, Deptherapy Chairman, was made aware that Colin had a dying wish to undertake one last dive. Richard, and Martin Weddell, owner of Divecrew, set about a plan to grant Colin’s last wish.

With a swimming pool already booked for scuba diving training this Sunday, Martin was able to re-arrange the diving schedule so the pool can be available for this very special dive.

Colin’s last dive is scheduled to take place on Sunday 17 December, at Eagle House School, Sandhurst. The dive is currently planned to be a surprise for Colin. Two of the Instructor team from Deptherapy, who are world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching, will be in the pool to assist Colin, alongside two Army veterans from the Deptherapy programme, who have offered to accompany Colin on his dive:

  • Gary Green, formerly of the Rifles, was blinded in the right eye by an IED in Afghanistan and suffers from acute PTSD. Gary is an Ambassador for Deptherapy, a Trustee of the charity, and a PADI AmbassaDiver.
  • Chris Ganley, also of the Rifles, served two tours in Afghanistan. On returning home from his second tour he suffered a devastating motorcycle accident that resulted in the amputation of his left arm above the elbow. He suffered devastating injuries, including bleeds on the brain.

For Chris, the dive will be particularly poignant, as he will be wearing Colin’s donated buoyancy control device (BCD). A BCD was the one piece of dive equipment that Chris was missing to enable him to continue diving. The remaining pieces of Colin’s dive kit will be donated to other divers on the Deptherapy programme.

Deptherapy programme members Andy Searle and Chris Ganley at Roots Red Sea in May 2017. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev

When he was informed of Colin’s donation, Richard Cullen, a Founder and Chairman of Deptherapy, wrote a very touching message to him that included these words:

“I am very sad that your life is ebbing away but through your donation you have helped some brave young men rebuild theirs. A ‘Thank you’ alone, seems a very empty and inadequate word given the circumstances.”

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit their NEW website at www.deptherapy.co.uk.

Find out more about Divecrew –  the UK’s only Gold Star Dive & PADI 5 star IDC Centre – at www.divecrew.co.uk.

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Searching for images to help Save Our Seas

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The Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by The Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) and organised by the Underwater Photographer of the Year opens for entries on 1st November and closes on 7th January 2023. The conservation contest is free to enter and offers cash prizes for the first, second and third placed photographs.

The Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year is open to both above-water and underwater photographs. Photographs must highlight a marine conservation story or theme, with both positive and negative stories encouraged. Freshwater themed conservation images are also accepted.

Chair of the judges, underwater photographer and marine ecologist Dr Alex Mustard MBE said: “Powerful photographs are able to change hearts, minds and attitudes. Conservation imagery is especially important from the oceans, which faces many threats from our activities. However, these issues mostly happen unwitnessed, out of sight of land or beneath the surface. This contest gives these valuable images a huge public platform.”

Dr James Lea, CEO of the Save Our Seas Foundation, said: “Images have a profound capacity to affect how people view the world, and at SOSF we are all about encouraging positive change in how people view and interact with the marine environment. As such we are delighted to partner with the Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year award, which is uniquely placed to highlight issues our oceans are facing and inspire change”.

Previous editions of the contest have attracted entries from photographers around the world, keen to draw attention to conservation issues, campaigns and success stories important to them. The award was most recently won by Thein Nguyen Ngoc from Vietnam, with his aerial photograph “Big Appetite”. The photo shows boats straining the waters for anchovies in the Phu Yen province of his country.

“Salted anchovy is the most important raw material in traditional Vietnamese fish sauce. But these little fish are also a keystone of a natural ecosystem. Despite increased fishing, the catches of anchovies have decreased by 20-30% in the past 10 years. When they are overfished, the whales, tunas, sea birds and other marine predators face starvation and critical population declines.” 

The Marine Conservation Photographer of the Year, part of UPY is an annual competition, that traces its roots back to 1965. The Marine Conservation photographer of the Year is free to enter at www.underwaterphotographeroftheyear.com

The Save Our Seas Foundation has been dedicated to protecting life in our oceans, especially sharks and rays, for 19 years. They have funded around 425 projects in over 85 countries, supporting passionate and innovative researchers, conservationists and educators.

Each project strives for deeper understanding and more innovative solutions in marine research, conservation and education.

Header Image: Thein Nguyen Ngoc

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Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Sofia Tenggrono

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Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The September winner was Sofia Tenggrono.


What equipment do you use?

I work with Olympus TG-6 camera, Nauticam CMC-1, 2 Inon S-2000, minigear snoot dive torch

Where can our readers see more of your work?

https://www.instagram.com/s.tenggrono/


To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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