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Dive Pirates launch Virtual Challenge to celebrate diving while landlocked



In its 16th year of celebrating life after injury and changing lives through adaptive diving the Dive Pirates Foundation found a fun way to continue one of its trip traditions while awaiting the lifting of travel restrictions which delayed the annual trip to Cayman Brac.

This year we’ve kicked off the ‘Virtual Deep Down Challenge’ asking our recipients, members, and anyone who would like to play along to take a picture of how they are celebrating diving while landlocked, be creative with it, and use it to launch their own online fundraiser,” said Dive Pirates President and Co-Founder Sophie Wimberley.

Usually this time of year the Foundation hosts a large trip to Cayman Brac Beach Resort and Reef Divers II with its annual recipients (adaptive scuba divers), returning recipients, friends, supporters and family; a total crew of approximately 75 people of all abilities welcoming new recipients to the fold and rallying around them as they complete their open water certifications and explore the underwater world uninhibited by mobility issues on land.

Leading up to the trip, trip-goers rally to fundraise to pay the adventure forward and dedicate one dive to honor the pledges received in their name.  This year the Foundation is keeping connected with its base while inviting the world to join in the fun.

There will be a prize for the most creative picture, so make us laugh!  Be sure to include #DivePiratesWanderlust, and we just ask that if you use your shower, tub, sprinkler, etcetera to be safety conscious, and by all means remained clothed,” Wimberley mused after taking to her pool last week with fins on, Dive Pirates rash guard, head phones and a strategically- placed laptop to take conference calls.

The challenge runs now through July 16, 2020 and prizes for playing include:

  • Best Photo: $100 coupon to the Dive Pirates Store.
  • Raise $250 or more: Receive a Dive Pirates mask to cover your booty!
  • Raise the most by July 16th: Win an Aqualung i200c Dive Computer.
  • Raise the most as a team: Win a limited run trip shirt honoring the 2020 postponed trip. (teams up to 12 people allowed)
  • Participate in any way and receive 10% off the Dive Pirates Store.

Those participating are creating individual fundraisers on their Facebook Pages, using the virtual dive event fundraiser on the Foundation’s Facebook page, or uploading their photos and pledges on the Dive Pirates Foundation website.

The following dive centers have Dive Pirate recipients who will directly benefit from this effort:

  • Diventures (SSI) – training TSgt. Melissa Nueva and Jennifer Radil and their adaptive buddies
  • WaterDogs (PADI/HSA) — training Jared Davis and is adaptive buddy team
  • GR8 DIVN (SSI) — training  Sgt. Kamron Lopez, Jason Kelly and Sean Conroy and their adaptive buddies
  • Ocean Enterprises (PADI/DDI/HSA) — training Lance Cpl. Kenta Otawa and his adaptive buddy
  • Dive Pirates Training School (RAID) — training Gabriel Yammine, Scott Dunkel, Debbie Taylor, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Darrell Taylor
  • Dive Masters (RAID/SSI) — training Scott Wilson and his adaptive dive buddy
  • Denver Divers (SSI) — training Cpl. Jim Roos and his adaptive buddy
  • International Scuba (PADI/HSA) training Dr. Danni McMahon and Joshua Hamilton and their adaptive buddies
  • Dive Georgia (PADI/HSA) — training SSgt. Derrick McMillon and his adaptive dive buddy

For the stories behind these amazing men and women who have overcome so much and strive to enjoy a fulfilling life with their spouses, family and friends, and about the dive centers who welcome them into the mainstream world of scuba go to


Book Release: Diving the Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Guide to a World War II Shipwreck



Diving the Thistlegorm is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s best-loved shipwrecks. In this highly visual guide, cutting edge photographic methods enable views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo which were previously impossible.

This book is the culmination of decades of experience, archaeological and photographic expertise, many hours underwater, months of computer processing time, and days spent researching and verifying the history of the ship and its cargo. For the first time, Diving the Thistlegorm brings the rich and complex contents of the wreck together, identifying individual items and illustrating where they can be found. As the expert team behind the underwater photography, reconstructions and explanations take you through the wreck in incredible detail, you will discover not only what has been learned but also what mysteries are still to be solved.

Find out more about:

  • One of the world’s greatest dives.
  • Incredible ‘photogrammetry’ shows the wreck and cargo in a whole new light.
  • Meticulous detail presented in a readable style by experts in their respective fields.

About the authors:

Simon Brown is an underwater photographer and photogrammetry/3D expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia. Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”. Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.

About the book:

  • Release date 25 November 2020
  • Limited run of Hardbacks
  • RRP £35
  • ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5
  • 240 photo-packed pages
  • 240 x 160 mm

Available to pre-order now from, Amazon, online, and from retailers.

Check back on for a review of the book coming soon!

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Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society



Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience.

Paul Rose, Deptherapy’s Vice Chair, and a world renowned explorer, author, broadcaster, who is a former Vice Chair of the RGS said: 

“This is a huge achievement by Richard. His Fellowship is richly deserved, and a direct result of his steadfast commitment to preserving our oceans through Deptherapy’s very powerful ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ Programme.  I know the top team at the RGS are looking forward to welcoming Richard into the Society.”

The RGS was founded in 1830 to advance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, as well as by advocating on behalf of the discipline and promoting geography to public audiences.

Paul Toomer, President of RAID, said:

“I have been close friends with Richard for many years and his passion for our seas, even at 70 years of age, is undiminished.  Deptherapy are the world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching and are our much valued partners.  Taking UK Armed Forces Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges and engaging them in major marine biology expeditions, is to most of us beyond the realms of possibility.  The skills these guys have to develop is just awesome.  This is a great honour for Richard, a great honour for Deptherapy, and also for us as their partners.  The diving world must come together to celebrate and acknowledge Richard’s achievement.”

Richard joins some distinguished Fellows of the RGS.  Former Fellows include Ernest Shackleton and many other notable explorers and geographers.

Richard said:

“I am both honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. When I was invited to apply for a Fellowship, I was, which is very unusual for me, lost for words.  I hope it will allow me to take our message of Protecting Our Oceans to a larger audience and to further develop our programmes.  The Fellowship is a recognition of the charity’s work to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans.  The credit belongs to a group of individuals who have overcome massive challenges to let alone qualify as divers but now to progress to marine biology expedition diving”.

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit

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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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