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Fundraiser launched to cover medical costs for freediver Pim Vermeulen following heart attack



We at team Pimster have created a campaign to help our freediving coach, mentor and dear friend, Pim Vermeulen, to raise funds for an urgent heart valve replacement surgery. Pim collapsed on January 31st while boarding a plane in Berlin. He was rushed to the DRK Klinik Berlin Westend Hospital and placed in emergency care where it was determined that he had a malfunctioning aorta valve. Pim is still currently in hospital and cannot leave due to the state of his health.

Pim has been trying to get his surgery covered by his insurance company but unfortunately they will only cover the emergency costs (€5000). His surgery + rehab costs reach more than €40,000. So far he has managed to borrow partial amounts through personal loans to cover the expenses but it isn’t enough to pay for the full surgery and to cover rehab and living costs. Pim needs to raise 30,000 euro in order to get this urgent surgery. He cannot leave the hospital or return to regular life until the surgery is performed and the hospital cannot perform the surgery without full payment.

We are asking everyone who knows Pim to help us raise the €30,000 so that he can recover and get back to coaching and training the freediving community.

Pim Vermeulen is a long standing AIDA coach, instructor trainer, judge instructor and executive board member. He is also the owner / operator of IMMERSION Freediving in Dahab. Pim has always been an incredibly hard worker and a very giving person. He has coached and mentored numerous freediving students over many years and has always demonstrated a great willingness to help everyone around him. It’s our time now to help Pim.

The funds we are collecting through this campaign will help Pim undergo this very much-needed surgery and allow him to recover without undergoing any further financial stress. Pim will be unable to work for some time after surgery as he recovers and will need assistance, as well money to stay afloat until he can return to work.

We are reaching out to everyone who knows Pim, the global freediving community and all students, athletes, clients and friends of Pim, to help out and donate whatever they can to ensure that Pim receives the medical care he needs. We need him back in good health so that he can get back to what he does best; teaching freediving.

Please give what you can. Every bit is much appreciated.
Thank you.

If you want to help Pim, you can donate here.

Steve Millard is a leading UK based AIDA and PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer who is the owner of Apneists UK freediving group - Currently Press officer to the British Freediving Association and Performance mermaids lead coach.


Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap



The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)



It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!


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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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