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Support Deptherapy Veterans in 24 hour Dive Fundraiser

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A team of UK Armed Forces veterans is preparing to give back to Deptherapy with a 24 hour dive to raise much-needed funds for the scuba diving charity.

The 24 hour dive, which will take place from midday on 16th March to midday on 17th of March 2019, is the brainchild of Deptherapy Programme Members Ben Lee and Tom Oates.

Tom Oates and Ben Lee at Robin Hood Watersports. Photo – Deptherapy.

Deptherapy Trustee Ben Lee at Roots Red Sea, Egypt. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev.

Former Royal Engineer Ben Lee lost both his legs whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2011. Despite an extreme fear of water stemming from a near-fatal childhood accident, Ben was introduced to scuba diving through Deptherapy on a training programme in Egypt in 2016, and credits the experience with changing his life. Ben was awarded the prestigious Recognising Achievement Award by the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund in 2018 and inspires others to overcome their challenges as a Trustee of Deptherapy.

Tom Oates was in the Scots Guards when his vehicle was struck by an IED in Afghanistan. When he returned home, he was crossing the road with his girlfriend when she was hit and killed by a car. Tom suffers from complex PTSD, has tried to take his own life, and needs a high level of support, but underwater his demons disappear. Through Deptherapy, Tom is achieving his dream of becoming not only a Scuba Diving Instructor but also a Marine Biologist.

Ben says: “Deptherapy is an amazing charity that does so much for so many, with so little in the way of funds. From the minute I learnt to breathe underwater, Deptherapy set me on an incredible scuba diving journey that has opened up a whole new world to me. Many of the charity’s Programme Members would not be here if it were not for the support of the Deptherapy family. With this 24 hour dive, we hope to raise a significant amount of money to allow the charity to help as many other injured veterans as possible.”

Well-known dive centre and retailer Robin Hood Watersports has pledged their support for the Deptherapy 24 hour dive and the event will take place at their swimming pool in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire.

A team of around 30 divers including veterans, Deptherapy volunteers and ROHO staff is expected to complete the 24 hour dive. They aim to raise in excess of £5,000 for the charity, and the money will be used to help fund a Deptherapy expedition or training course for new veterans in the Red Sea.

Tom Oates with Deptherapy MI Andy Alfred diving in Egypt. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev.

A special fundraising page has been set up for the Deptherapy Dive Team 24 Hour Dive at Just Giving. Please link to the page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/deptherapy24hour.

Please donate and help support the excellent work of Deptherapy, changing and saving lives through scuba diving.

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

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Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.


Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)

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Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.


Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.


For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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