Dive professionals and business owners know that DAN is always available to help if trouble arises. But there’s a lot more to DAN than the Emergency Hotline. In a new video series, dive industry professionals share in their own words why they support DAN and rely on its products and programs.
The new Pros Choose DAN video series features 20 interviews with dive industry leaders including Richie Kohler, Stuart Cove, Michael Aw, Tec Clark, and many more. Their reasons for choosing DAN’s programs, products, and services are different, but each person has a story about why they put their trust in Divers Alert Network.
Whether it’s reliable advice, lifesaving evacuations, or protection against financial losses, DAN offers the support that dive professionals need. Many dive pros and businesses renew their annual liability coverage in June each year — if you’re in need of liability insurance for yourself or your business, you can be confident in the coverage offered by DAN Risk Retention Group. In addition to professional, group professional, and general liability insurance, DAN now offers commercial property insurance and boat and vessel insurance.
“Over the years, DAN has reinvested more than $100 million in dive safety,” said DAN president and CEO Bill Ziefle. “We have operated the 24/7 emergency hotline since 1983, and we provide a host of other essential safety services including student medical coverage, the Medical Information Line, and risk mitigation programs. Divers and dive industry professionals know that we will stand by them in times of need — we’ve demonstrated that for over 40 years.”
The underlying principles and core values that have driven DAN’s operations for decades are the cornerstone of DAN RRG’s liability insurance program. It’s recognized by all major training agencies and provides coverage worldwide. Plus, DAN RRG offers affordable annual premiums, and financing is available for group professional liability and general liability insurance plans. To find out why more dive pros and businesses are trusting DAN for their liability insurance coverage, explore our website, email us at LiabilityInsurance@DAN.org, or call us at +1 (919) 684-2948 today.
Want to share your story of why you choose DAN? Contact us at Marketing@DAN.org.
British freediver sets new national record with 112m dive
British freediver Gary McGrath has set a new national record at the prestigious Vertical Blue freediving competition in the Bahamas.
Using only a monofin for propulsion, Gary swam down a measured rope to a depth of 112m (367ft), returning to the surface to receive a white card from the AIDA International judges to validate his dive.
Gary, 41, held his breath for three minutes and 13 seconds to complete the dive.
Freedivers descend underwater on a single breath of air and the atmospheric pressure on their bodies increases as they go deeper.
At 112m deep the pressure is 12 times greater than the surface, meaning the air in Gary’s lungs would have shrunk to less than a twelfth of its original volume – around the size of a golf ball.
Freedivers train to cope with the physiological strains placed on their bodies by their sport, and Gary uses his background of yoga and meditation to help his physical and mental preparation for deep dives.
He has also had to overcome physical challenges after contracting Covid last year during preparations for a previous national record attempt.
Gary said: ‘Diving below 100m is a totally unique environment, it’s my therapy.
‘This year has been extremely challenging for my mental health and freediving has helped me overcome that for sure.
‘At depth I have complete isolation from the everyday world we live in. Down there it’s just me and nature. It’s that escape that all freedivers crave.
‘There are moments of extreme mental clarity and purity that I can only achieve when underwater. The flow state that a deep dive allows me to experience is unique and addictive.’
Gary, originally from Twickenham, began freediving in 2006 and has been competing since 2008.
A former tree surgeon, he became a professional freedive instructor in 2014, and he and his partner Lynne Paddon run Yoga and Freedive Retreats in Ibiza.
Remarkably, he completed his 112m national record dive on Tuesday (August 9) despite being forced to compete wearing a borrowed monofin which was a size too small for his feet.
His entire kit bag containing his monofin, bifins and two wetsuits was lost by an airline as he travelled to the competition.
Despite his careful preparation, Gary said he suffered nerves on the morning of his national record dive, and relied on a phone call to his partner Lynne, who helped him focus on breathing techniques and visualisation to calm his nerves.
Speaking immediately after his dive, he said: ‘That was all for Lynne – this whole week has been about her. I could not do it without her. I hope that everyone finds someone they can click with, it’s the most magical thing in the world.’
Gary also thanked supporters who helped him to crowdfund to raise the money needed for him to travel to the Bahamas and compete.
Vertical Blue is considered one of the most elite events on the freediving calendar and has been dubbed the ‘Wimbledon of Freediving’.
Owned and run by world record freediver William Trubridge, the event takes place in a 202m (663ft) deep sinkhole known as Dean’s Blue Hole, off the coast of Long Island.
The previous British national record of 111m was set by Michael Board in 2018, also at a Vertical Blue competition.
All Photographs courtesy of Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)
Film Review: Thirteen Lives
Ron Howard’s recreation of the 2018 rescue of a Thai junior football team is impressive. Even though we know what happens in the end the tension and drama played out is palpable.
On 23 June 2018, 12 members of a Thai junior football team, the Wild Boars, and their coach became trapped deep in the Tham Luang cave system by rising flood water. The film details the incredible international rescue efforts that ensue. And Ron Howard has judged the tone perfectly. There is no Hollywood glitz and glamour and the two leading actors: Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen, who play John Volanthen and Rick Stanton respectively, capture the intensity of the situation perfectly.
The diving scenes are claustrophobic in the extreme. Although I suspect that the visibility was even worse than the film depicts as you have to be able to see something in the dramatization! All the way through the film I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at the extraordinary feat these divers pulled off. The skill and bravery required still impresses after watching films, hearing them speak in public and reading about the rescue.
I loved that, whilst the divers took centre stage in the film, the heroic rescue efforts of the water engineer and his team was also given the attention they deserve, as well as the incredible Thai Navy Seals and the thousands of people that flocked to the region to help.
Thirteen Lives is a must watch movie about an incredible cave rescue. It’s sober tone hits the mark. The cinematography is skilled and creates an impressively tense experience. It is available on Amazon Prime right now.
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