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Jeff chats to… Jim Elliott and Tinamarie Hernandez of Diveheart (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jim Elliott, Founder and President of Diveheart, and Tinamarie Hernandez, Executive Director, about the new documentary ‘Adapting to Dive’ by David Marsh.

Diveheart, a Downers Grove-based nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, and Los Angeles filmmaker David Marsh will be presenting the world premiere of the documentary called “Adapting To Dive” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Classic Cinemas Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave. in Downers Grove.

Since 2001, Diveheart has been helping youth, veterans, and others with disabilities through adaptive scuba and scuba therapy. Last year, Marsh went on a life-changing Diveheart scuba adventure trip to Cozumel, Mexico. As a result, he experienced a transformational journey while doing the film after losing his son to an overdose just seven days before the trip.

After doing some pre-trip research, Marsh felt he understood the spirit of the Diveheart mission and vision. He had completed backstories on many of the adaptive divers who went on the trip when his son passed. He chose to go on the trip and said nothing to anyone until asked about his experience on the very last day. He then shared his loss and that he had been remotely planning his son’s funeral while filming the documentary.

“David Marsh is amazing and awesome. Despite his loss and grief, he soldiered on and captured the spirit, love, and hope that emerges from every Diveheart trip,” said Diveheart Founder and President Jim Elliott. “He really captured the essence of our mission and shared the real-life experience of what Diveheart does to help those with disabilities experience freedom underwater.” 

In the documentary, every day embraces a theme. One day it is trust. Another day it is about freedom and then finally adapting. Audiences will see how Marsh emphatically listened and translated the feelings of the adaptive divers who shared with him their losses, struggles, fears, and hopes.

“We are so grateful to David for capturing Diveheart in action,” Elliott said. “I’m hoping this documentary will reach many people and give awareness to Diveheart’s mission: to revolutionize rehabilitation by using zero gravity underwater to help those with everything from mobility issues to chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. We help our participants find that self-confidence, personal strength, and independence, and we will continue to do so in the years to come.”

Watch the trailer of the documentary here:

Tickets to the premiere are $12 for general admission and accessible seating. For information about the documentary and tickets, visit this link.


Jim Elliott left a successful career in the media business to launch Diveheart. The not-for-profit organization seeks to instill the can-do spirit in its participants. Diveheart doesn’t discriminate when it comes to working with people with disabilities and serves cognitively and physically impaired individuals worldwide.

Since 2001 Elliott, who is a volunteer with no salary, has initiated Scuba Therapy research with university medical centers around the country, including the first study on Autism and Scuba Therapy and the world’s most innovative Adaptive Scuba Training program for instructors, dive buddies and Adaptive Divers.  He also lectures and trains dive professionals in the “Business of Adaptive Scuba”.

Tinamarie Hernandez grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. She’s always had a love of learning and was the first in her family to attend and graduate college. She has always found a way to give back, be it through candy striping, coaching softball, teaching swim lessons to people with disabilities or teaching Sunday school. When asked what drew her to Diveheart, Tinamarie responded: “I grew up with a cousin who lived his life with both physical and cognitive challenges. Joey didn’t let much hold him back and I just know he would have loved scuba, had he known about Diveheart.”

Find out more at www.Diveheart.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Dive Training Blogs

Tips for… Navigation

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Not the most fun of topics we guess, but pretty important for any diver! Now we are sure that there are some of you out there that steer away from the navigation side and are quite happy to follow along at the back. But if you are one of those divers and the reason is because you think that it is ridiculously hard.. we want to give you a few basic tips to help you!

Now using a compass may look scary but actually there is not much to it. First rule to remember… North is North under the water as well as on land… it doesn’t change! So, with that in mind we can use that pretty easily under the water to at least give us a point of reference whilst we are diving, even if you are not leading it. Knowing the direction that you are going and how deep you are is a good reference and will help you to become more confident. Get into the habit of taking a ‘bearing’ – fancy word for direction – on the surface before going under and check the bearing as you are diving.

Knowing which way is left and right – well, when going right, the numbers increase, and when going left, the numbers decrease… easy! Starting off with turning left and right 90 degrees will start to get you into the habit of making turns. Try not to use complicated numbers when you first start off, nobody likes maths at the best of times, let alone trying to add 273 to 32 under the water! Keep it basic.

Last but not least, navigating is not all about using a compass. If you are not a fan of it and want to keep your dives simple, there is nothing wrong with natural navigation. There are some amazing sites around our coastline that are perfect for this – harbour walls, piers, open sea coves, all allow the point of reference to be followed on one side of your body on the way out and the opposite on the way back. You can also check that you are going the right way on your return as the depth will start to decrease. This is a great way to start building your confidence with navigating if you are new to it, and what is even better, lots of marine life love to congress around these rocky areas!

Other aspects to consider to throw into your natural navigation bag are picking some land marks during your dives. If there is something notable that doesn’t move (fish are not highly recommended!) take a note of this and use it as a reference and pick another. On the return journey, you can use these ‘markers’ to find your way back to the starting point. A nice and simple way to find where you are going.

So, give it a go in a nice shallow bay area and see how you get on… practice makes perfect!


Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… Behind the scenes of a dive centre

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Ah yes, the glamorous dive instructor. Just as you see in the adverts walking around in swimwear coming out of the sea… and as you guys see us, walking into the centre to meet you at 10am and having done two dives, finishing at 2pm and heading home…

Or not. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the job as a dive instructor, more than I could ever tell you. But, it does not come without the negative side as I am sure with any job. 

So first off, let’s get these 10am starts out of our heads. A lot of our dives do meet at 10am, to be honest, that is mainly to give you the time to get to us and avoid the traffic! We are there longggg before this, setting up the boat, making sure everything is working correctly, checking the equipment, paperwork and loading everything up to have a smooth, well planned day when you get here. Oh, and as for the 2pm finish. I wish! Over the summer months you will usually find us here until late at night, if we aren’t out doing late afternoon dives, we will be there cleaning the equipment from the day… filling tanks… and making sure everything is ready for the following day.

Next. What else do you not see us doing on the PADI adverts? Cleaning? The centres aren’t exactly small and take a lot of work for us all to maintain… you know what it is like when you are on holiday and get sand in your shoes and it takes ages to finally get rid of it all? Well times that by 100 and you have an idea! 

But it’s not just about the cleaning and preparation parts of the job. There is also a lot of training. From risk assessment training, to scenario days with the staff, we plan monthly training sessions to make sure everyone is up to date with policies and procedures, any training updates and run emergency scenarios to make sure everyone is safe and prepared. 

Last but not least, the actual courses and guiding that you see us doing. The fun part… and what we all live for. Taking you all into the water whether it is to take your first breaths or to learn how to become an instructor. This is what we do all of the rest of the work for. And, I most definitely would not change this for the world. 

So, all jobs have negatives, and in the grand scheme of things, I can cope with filling some cylinders late at night for a career of exploration and seeing the most amazing sites I could ever wish to see. What are the positives and negatives of your job? If they’re nothing like this… why not become a dive instructor?! 


Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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