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Get ready for BLUE 2014

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BLUE

Ocean and Industry Celebrities, Artists, Explorers, Policymakers and ‘Eco-preneurs’ to gather at BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit November 3-9

BLUE 2014 draws an ecosystem of ocean all-stars: Jeremy Irons, Sir Richard Branson, Sylvia Earle, David Doubilet, Kelly Rutherford, Kathy Castor, Jenifer Austin, Don Walsh, Cousteau family members, and many others

The power of BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit (BLUE) to catalyze cultural change and to shift global consciousness has drawn an A-list of ocean stars from all walks of life. Extraordinary people, stories and discoveries will take center stage at BLUE 2014, November 3-9 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

BLUE is a unique public event with global reach, where advanced ocean technologies are showcased in concert with inspiring films, and an amazing and diverse collection of other venues. Founded in 2006 by Debbie and Charlie Kinder, it has become internationally renowned for its unique ability to spark important discussions in areas of ocean science, conservation and exploration, and as a platform for professional development among industry leaders, students, and marine enthusiasts all over the world. “BLUE is a unique gathering of filmmakers, storytellers, and technologists who come together to figure out how to ignite public passion for the ocean,” said Jenifer Austin, Manager of Google Ocean Program.

The weeklong event includes Jeremy Irons’ presentation of documentary feature Trashed, James Cameron’s film on his death-defying 7-mile solo submersible dive, Fabien Cousteau’s 31-day underwater living experiment in the Florida Keys, remarkable new images from Google Ocean Program, Sylvia Earle’s presentation of documentary Mission BLUE, screening of Island President under the stars, workshops, special events, professional roundtables, and surprise appearances.

BLUE 2014 Highlights:

  • Academy Award winning actor and advocate Jeremy Irons will host a special screening of his award-winning ocean pollution documentary, Trashed.
  • Opening night special screening of James Cameron’s DeepSea Challenge 3D. The Oscar Award- winning director’s journey to fulfill his lifelong dream of diving to the deepest part of the ocean will be showcased in 3D, ultra high-definition, at The Mahaffey Theatre. The expedition team will be on hand and James Cameron’s actual diving sphere will be available for viewing throughout the event.
  • Presentation of Making Waves Award to Sir Richard Branson.
  • An address from Katherine Anne “Kathy” Castor, U.S. Representative for Florida’s 14th congressional district.
  • 75 International Fulbright Scholars by special invitation from the U.S. State Department.
  • Rising Tides: Sea Level Symposium with guest speaker Dr. Gary Mitchum, oceanographer at University of South Florida St. Petersburg, who will lead an important discussion that is close to home in Florida and everywhere around the world.
  • Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31. The first grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau will share footage from his recent expedition living 31 days submerged in the Aquarius, the world’s only underwater marine habitat, located off the coast of the Florida Keys.
  • Special screening of Mission Blue, which follows Dr. Sylvia A. Earle around the globe on her life-long mission to protect the ocean. Widely recognized as one of the world’s most influential ambassadors for the ocean, Dr. Earle has been called a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and the first “Hero for the Planet” by Time Magazine.
  • Exclusive goliath grouper exhibit and slideshow by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet. Doubilet has produced nearly 70 stories for the National Geographic Magazine since 1971, is a feature columnist, author of twelve books, award recipient, and founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP).
  • Renowned Australian photographer, explorer, Senior Fellow at ILCP, and author, Michael Aw, will be exhibiting photographs and giving workshops throughout the festival. Aw was named one of the world’s most influential nature photographers by Outdoor Photography.
  • Sir Robert Swan, the world’s first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. Sir Robert Swan will deliver the keynote, “Leadership on the Edge.”
  • Google Ocean Program and Catlin Seaview Survey will present an exclusive preview of new StreetView images from the Florida Coast.
  • Environmental journalism workshop hosted by Poynter Institute.
  • Other speakers include Dan Basta, Director of National Marine Sanctuaries, Paul Baribault, VP at Disney Studios, legendary underwater filmmaker Stan Waterman, Mote Marine Laboratory’s founder and pioneering scientist Dr. Eugenie Clark “The Shark Lady,” and more.
  • Special appearance by “Gossip Girl” actress, Kelly Rutherford.
  • Screening of 150+ films, Q&As with famous ocean celebrities, art exhibits, the prestigious BLUE Carpet Awards, fun family activities, Ocean Voyagers, a special collaborative screening and live score presentation by The Florida Orchestra, and much more.

Registration and schedule here.

For more  information about 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, visit www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org.

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New academic study to confirm rehabilitative benefits of Scuba Diving

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A new study into Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy’s approach to supporting Armed Forces veterans with psychological injuries such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through the medium of scuba diving has been carried out by Petra Walker in conjunction with Hanna Kampman of the Posttraumatic Growth Research Unit at the University of East London.

This study, which used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), demonstrates that scuba diving has rehabilitation benefits beyond those found in other forms of sporting rehabilitation exercise.

IPA is a qualitative methodology that examines the experiences of participants and has been used in previous studies of Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in para-athletes.

Petra is an experienced diver herself and was exploring the wellbeing aspects of scuba diving as part of her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology when she came across a previous study on Deptherapy. Past studies have mainly focused on the medical aspects of diving, so the opportunity to examine the mental health side of rehabilitative scuba diving was impossible to ignore.

The full study is currently embargoed until it is published at a future date in an academic journal, but it follows similar academic research into the work of Deptherapy by the University of Sheffield Medical School (2018) and the University of Nottingham (2019).

Richard Cullen, Chairman of Deptherapy commented: “This evidence-based study demonstrates yet again the value of scuba diving and, in particular, the support provided by Deptherapy to severely traumatised people within the Armed Forces community. We await the publication of the detailed findings which we anticipate will be of considerable interest to all organisations who seek to assist in the rehabilitation of veterans through sporting activity, as well as the Scuba Diving world.”

Team Deptherapy returned to the UK last week from their first training expedition since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. A small group of six veterans travelled with the Deptherapy Instructor Team to the charity’s international base at Roots Red Sea to undertake practical Scuba Diving training in the clear, warm waters of the Red Sea.

Joining Team Deptherapy for the first time was 20 year old paraplegic Corey Goodson who had this to say: “I have been made aware of a new academic study about the benefits of Deptherapy. Last week I learned to scuba dive properly with Deptherapy, a huge achievement for someone with paraplegia. Deptherapy doesn’t judge your injury, whether that be physical or psychological; it looks beyond, and it sees the person inside. That person is who they work with, and the Deptherapy programme encourages you to see your fellow beneficiaries in the same light. More important than the sense of achievement during the training, was the support, care, encouragement and love the team showed me. I have found a new family in Deptherapy. I am home now but the support, friendship and banter continue; it is motivating and empowering, it gives me a deep sense of wellness and worth. I look forward to continuing my rehabilitative journey with Deptherapy.”

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

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Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 6

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Join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy for part 6 of his Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Thursday has dawned and it is down to the House Reef with an outgoing tide that is approaching slack so we can get in the water straight away.   Lots of chat about last night’s RAID O2 Provider session with Moudi.  Oatsie is talking about sidemounts and marine biology, Swars is looking forward to his first sidemount session this afternoon.

Moudi is supported by Oatsie this morning and doing some more skill work with Keiron.

Moudi running the guys through the RAID O2 Administrator Course

Corey was asking last night about what it is like at 30 metres, so I have decided that with Michael and Swars we will take him to 30 metres.  We are going to run a narcosis exercise so out comes the slate with the numbers 1 – 25 randomly placed in squares.  Corey’s task, in the dive centre, is as quickly as possible to touch each number in sequence.  He does it pretty quickly and Michael briefs him that he will need to do the same exercise at 30 metres.

Michael briefs the dive and we set off down the beach.  Corey has improved beyond measure and he is becoming a pleasure to dive with.  So we are off to follow the South reef to 30 metres where we will complete the second part of the exercise.

At 30 metres Michael hands Corey the slate; there is a considerable difference in the time to complete the exercise at the surface and at 30 metres.  There are lots of mitigating factors in how quickly you can identify the numbers and explaining a slower time at 30 metres than at the surface does not mean an individual is suffering from narcosis.  Identifying random numbers, if you run the exercise at the surface, several times with an individual over a number of hours can result in wide variations in the time taken to complete the exercise.

We finish the dive with Corey smiling from ear to ear and we have a discussion about depth and air consumption.  The second dive of the morning is a fun dive, then it is lunch in the beach restaurant.  After the burgers I am sure we will need to look at our weighting before the afternoon’s dive.

We will need to look at weighting after this lunch!

Corey and Keiron have got into the habit of recording their dives online using the RAID online log book which is a tremendous facility and as the instructor I can access that data.

Moudi and Keiron are going for a fun dive as are Corey, Oatsie, Michael and myself. Swars is getting kitted up for the first experience of sidemount with Guy Henderson.

Swars getting to grips with his sidemount cylinders

People often look at the relationships that exist between the dive team and our beneficiaries and try to extrapolate a similar relationship to disabled students they might have.  Our relationships are built up over a period of time, in some cases over many years.  We also provide 24/7 support and have chat groups etc on social media; we also meet up socially when we can.  It is somewhat different than a individual coming in to a dive centre and saying ‘I want to dive’. Your relationship is likely to be the same as any other student, you will teach them, they might stay with the dive centre or like many that will go on holiday to do some diving, you might never see them again.

Our main aim is to create a family atmosphere for our programme members, one where they feel secure and they are able to discuss freely with the team and fellow beneficiaries their feelings and needs.

Few dive centres are charities, and owners might want to consider costs of running a course for someone with a disability that might take more than the standard four pool sessions etc.  You may find the number of sessions and the staffing levels have to increase.  Many dive centres, because of their size and turnover are exempt from providing accessibility.  How will this affect someone who is a wheelchair user?  Can they gain access to the dive centre, the classroom, the toilet?  What are the changing facilities, can they get wheelchair access to the pool?

Lots of things to think about.

Roots’ beautiful reef

The reef is beautiful, so much aquatic life and the corals look splendid, especially the pinnacles.

A good day’s diving, Swars has really enjoyed his sidemount.

Lovely way to relax in the evening with the Roots BBQ, a fitting end to a great day.

Last day tomorrow and our final blog!


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

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