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Paralysed Josh Davies qualifies as scuba diver months after accident

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A man who was paralysed from the waist down when he was crushed by a falling tree on the family farm has qualified as a scuba diver.

Josh Davies, 21, from Pontlliw, Swansea broke his spinal cord in two places, aged just 19, in February 2011.

But he has fought his disability and already got one diving qualification with the British Sub-Aqua Club.

He is hoping for another on a trip to Lanzarote for warm water training later this year.

Mr Davies said the water sport has given him something to look forward to and is helping him to come to terms with life following the accident.

He was cutting down an old ash tree with his stepfather when the tree fell on him.

“I broke my spinal cord in two places and had to be airlifted to hospital by helicopter. I’m now basically paralysed from the belly button down,” he explained.

“I used to play rugby and all sorts of sports and have always been an outdoor sort of person. I was absolutely devastated when I found out that that was it. I was paralysed and would never walk again.

“Then one day I woke up and thought I had to make the best of a bad job and get on with my life.

“While I’m still learning how to simply survive in a wheelchair, I’m getting there and diving has certainly helped.”

Mr Davies has passed his Ocean Diver certificate while training at the BSAC’s Llwchwr branch, and is working towards one in sports diving.

“I absolutely love it in the water and diving is brilliant when you can see fish and marine life,” Mr Davies said.

But because of his disability he soon gets cold in the water and that is why training in warmer water is needed.

“It’s going to be amazing. It should help me with the water being so much warmer. I’m really hoping I can pass my Sports Diver qualification while I’m there.”

Another problem he has is keeping his balance following his accident, but the club uses an underwater scooter which they weight on one side to help him.

Club training officer Dai Mathias said Mr Davies was an “absolute inspiration”.

“I’ve never met anyone so determined to succeed. I can honestly say he performed better than many able-bodied divers and passed the theory with a 100% score,” he said.

Instructor Mark Thomas said he had done brilliantly in pass his Ocean Diver qualification without any special treatment.

“He had to do exactly the same as any other diver despite his disability.”

 

Source: www.bbc.co.uk/news

Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… IDC’s and what to expect

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Looking at becoming a PADI Instructor? Why would you not, it is the best job in the world! Getting to become a PADI Instructor though is sometimes a scary process… or so I have heard…. It really isn’t, trust me! It’s actually pretty fun. 

The first thing I always like to get people to remember is their Open water course. When you started did you know everything about how the equipment worked? Did your instructor expect you to know all of the skills before they showed you them? No? Well, guess what, the IDC is a course too. It is about preparing you and working with you to give you the tips and tricks to not just pass your Instructor Examination (IE), but to prepare you for teaching your own students. 

I am well aware that there are courses out there that just teach you how to pass, and I am by far not saying that I have the best IDC in the world. I don’t, and I learn all of the time myself. There’s always an instructor that comes along in the dive season doing something a different way that I pick up and use. We learn all of the time, and is the only way that we ever get better. So to clear up that misconception, the IDC is not just a stepping stone to the IE and you are not expected to know everything before you come along. 

So, what does the IDC actually involve. Theory… obviously. You are going to need to have a knowledge of physics, RDP and all of the other topics that you will have covered throughout you diving levels. The theory side is the ‘boring’ part… I mean, we all dive for the water, no?! But, it is an important part and it’s going to help you be able to explain how to use the equipment, how it actually works, and the other questions that your students are going to be curious about. This section is all about developing your knowledge of those sections.

The water side then, confined water and open water. The fun parts! In short this is where we are going to go through the course skills and see how everyone does them. There is no perfect way for this… you do not have to play Simon says on the course… your way may be better than everyone else! What we will do though, is work with you to make sure that the demonstration is clear, concise and controlled to demonstrate to your students. Again, there is no expectation to be perfect before you come. We want you to ask questions, we want you to make mistakes… because that is how we learn, and most of all, how we get better. 

The other part of the in water activities, aren’t just about the skills though, it is also about your control under the water. We want to make sure that when you head out with your own students, that you are comfortable and can control the situation. Not something that comes to us all naturally straight away, but with coaching on the IDC, I am sure that you will get to this point before the end!

Last but not least, the course standards, content and rescue scenarios. All of this is in place to make sure that you understand the syllabus for each of the courses that you are going to be able to teach, and just as importantly, you are able to effect a rescue if the situation ever presented itself. A gloomy but important situation to think about. 

And after all that… voila! Thats it, the IDC! After completion there is then the ‘scary’ IE with the PADI examiners… they aren’t actually that scary, I promise! The two day IE basically covers what you have learnt in the IDC. No surprises, you are assessed on exactly what you have covered.

So stop putting off your IDC. If you love scuba and want to make it your career. Do it! 


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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Final few days to enter the OrcaTorch Search for Atlantis photo competition

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You have until the 1st June to enter this unique underwater photography competition that only allows images that depict cave or wreck diving. This unique competition encourages underwater photographers to get creative with their lighting and will be judged by a team of OrcaTorch Brand Ambassadors.

After the final round of entries this week, the competition will move to the second phase where the public can vote for their favourite images, via the OrcaTorch Facebook group, to narrow the field down to the final 10 for the judges to deliberate on.

OrcaTorch are offering a range of their diving lights as prizes for the winners.

For more information about the rules and how to enter the competition click here.

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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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