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Making history in Aqaba: the scuttling of the C-130 Hercules

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Sean Chinn was in Aqaba, Jordan to report exclusively for Scubaverse on yesterday’s historic scuttling of the C-130 Hercules.

The day started nice and early with a 4.30am wake up call for my flight from Amman to Aqaba. Although very tired, I was excited at the prospect of what was in store for the day. A big date in Aqaba’s 2017 calendar – the historic scuttling of a C-130 Hercules to create a new artificial reef for divers in the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea.

I arrived at the hotel in time to check-in, prepare my gear and grab some quick breakfast before I had to depart for the C-130 Hercules scuttling event. Everything was organised and timed perfectly by the Aqaba Tourism Board.

As I arrived at the beach, I realised that I hadn’t anticipated the true scale of the event. The beachfront was packed with people from all corners of the world eager to witness a moment in history. There were also many proud locals looking on at what will hopefully become a major attraction for tourism in the area that brings in new overseas explorers.

The sound of bagpipes and a brass band rang loud and proud as I made my way through the crowd to pick a prime viewing spot. The C-130 Hercules was paraded before the excited crowd on a last trip before its final destination.

I’d heard there was going to be an Air Show but I was in for a pleasant shock as the aeroplanes jetted past with no prior warning. This took everyone by surprise and loud gasps echoed through the crowd as the planes blasted their way overhead. The first opportunity to photograph them passed me by but luckily they continued to make exciting pass after pass, giving me numerous attempts at photographing them.

The scuttling itself started around 12.30pm and in truth didn’t really last that long once the Hercules was hooked up to the crane. The vertical stabiliser stood tall and was the last part to sink beneath the waves. It reminded me of a long, distinctive dorsal fin breaking the surface and sticking proud out of the water. In my eyes, it was almost reminiscent of a Great Hammerhead’s dorsal fin.

After the event, we had a delicious buffet lunch at the Berenice Beach Club before heading back to the hotel to relax. The views over the Red Sea from the restaurant were truly beautiful.

Now I have a couple of days sightseeing planned on land but I’m anxious to get in the water and explore the new, developing dive site of the C-130 Hercules. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Sean Chinn’s scuba diving adventure started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his diving and underwater photography adventure which has become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.

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Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd

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This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.

For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.

Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.

“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”

Jim Standing fourth element co-founder

Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE

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Dive entrepreneur Clare Dutton voted one to watch!

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Director of Duttons Divers, Clare Dutton, has been voted as one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs to watch in the UK, a huge achievement, emphasising her dedication and commitment to the dive industry and growth of the business. 

Clare started diving at the age of 18 and, once qualified as an instructor, decided to start her own business. Having no funds to do so, she took out a business loan to purchase three sets of equipment and a trailer to travel the UK and teach. With a garden shed as a storage unit and her bathroom as a drying room, Duttons Divers was born!

Since then, Clare became the youngest PADI Course Director at the time, and has developed the business into a well established and renowned UK dive chain. With two dive centres, Vivian Quarry, Llanberis and Hafan Marina, Pwllheli, and two dive boats, Little Viv and Sea Quest, the business offers high quality equipment and facilities to offer bespoke training and guided dives.

Clare says: “I am extremely honoured to be selected as 1 of 100 female entrepreneurs in the UK. I have devoted a lot of time to develop the business since starting, and have always striven to ensure that it is at the highest level it can be, whether that be acquiring top quality equipment, having our own facilities or to just showcase North Wales and the amazing diving that we have here. It’s great for this to be recognised and fuel the passion to develop this even further.

“Its definitely not been easy, and I am sure it never will be because I will always want it to develop and not just settle. The ridiculously late finishing, finding out who your ‘friends’ are, working out accounts, marketing, and every other element of a business is massively stressful at times… but then stepping back and seeing what it has all achieved makes it worthwhile. I am very excited for the future of the business and where it is headed.”

To read the full article and the 100 entrepreneurs to watch, go to: https://tgr.ph/partofthe100

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