The excellent work of the Miss Scuba International programme is spreading across Europe. This week Pharaoh Dive Club were delighted to welcome to Roots Miss Scuba Netherlands, Jessica Wohrmann, who came to learn more about the Red Sea and the environmental issues facing it.
Jessica is a keen diver and has a lot of experience diving and teaching in the Dutch Antilles but had never been to the Red Sea.
The Pharaoh Dive Club team had some questions for Jessica:
PDC: We asked Jessica what her hopes and goals are for her year as Miss Scuba Netherlands…
JW: “Firstly I want to encourage more young people to take up this great sport. It is very apparent in my country that it is considered a ‘mature’ activity with an ageing active base; I don’t know why! When I can get my pictures across various media, I hope that younger people will see that it’s not a macho or mature world. Although I am a model and Miss Scuba Netherlands, they will also see it’s not a glamorous sport, but it’s a fun, relaxing and exhilarating experience, that virtually anyone can do and get the most amazing memories from.”
“The second thing is I want to help make the public aware of the damage that we are all doing to our seas and what the long term result will be. I don’t think it is an inevitable disaster and irreversible but we need to act now. I know that sounds like I am on stage at a pageant saying what everyone expects me to say, but I have already won the title – now it’s about really making a difference no matter how small.”
PDC: Why did you come out to Roots?
JW: “My colleagues from Miss Scuba United Kingdom had told me about the fantastic and educational time that they had competing for their title with Pharaoh Dive Club. How they had been involved with school visits getting the children interested in completing a beach clean-up with them. How they had been given a background course on Marine Biology at Open Ocean Science Centre. They also were glowing about the friendly staff and of course how amazing the diving was.”
“I thought as I hadn’t been to the Red Sea which is undoubtedly the best diving location close to Europe, lets go. I contact Pharaoh and they were delighted to extend the warm welcome they gave to the UK team.”
PDC: And now you are here, how has it been?
JW: “I was warned that this time of year is still a little chilly. I think they were worried I was a delicate flower, but I have been totally amazed by the quality of the reefs and the fish life. It has given me the confidence to promote my message to the younger potential dive set that you don’t have to either be a hardy north sea diver battling weather and cold nor do you need to travel to the Caribbean to enjoy our fabulous sport. There is world class diving four hours away!”
PDC: What about the environment?
JW: “Yes, I got involved with a beach and reef clean up, but to be fair the reefs close to Roots are pretty clean as they are adopted under the Project Aware programme; however, further afield the plastics and general rubbish issue was very saddening.”
“I saw the work the dive team did with the local schools to educate the kids about the environment, which is great, but it doesn’t address the real issues and I don’t know if there is an answer other than to keep picking up the litter.”
“The problem is clearly a relatively new one, Egypt didn’t really have plastic bottles 10 years ago, Coke was sold in glass returnable bottles. That stopped for the sake of progress and now the country is littered with the results. It’s a little ironic that Europe is now back to returnable bottles. The companies that produce the rubbish are ultimately the ones that need to resolve the issue but that’s a long way off in Egypt.”
PDC: What’s next for Miss Scuba Netherlands?
JW: “When I go home I will be attending dive events to promote my goals. I will also do that with my social media presences which is quite strong. Then I really need to go and do some diving with some local clubs too, let them know I am serious about helping rejuvenate the diving in the Netherlands. Hopefully I will also be back at Roots later in the year and see the reefs in full bloom with warmer water.”