a deptherapy blog

25 Aug2018


by Dr. Richard Cullen | 25th August 2018

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Deptherapy's 2018 expedition to Truk (Chuuk) Lagoon

by Dr Richard Cullen | 25th Auust 2018
This is the first of a series of BLOGS we will be publishing about our 2018 expedition to Chuuk Lagoon part of the Federated States of Micronesia.


Our expedition to Chuuk Lagoon shows that Deptherapy exemplifies the Royal Foundation's Endeavour Fund mantra:

Ambition - Adventure - Achievement

13 UK Armed Service veterans, all suffering life changing physical and/or mental injury were taken half way round the world, to dive the iconic wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon, after undertaking an exhaustive two year build up programme and sponsored by the 2016 Chancellor of the Exchequer's Libor Fund. Diving the wrecks of Chuuk is pretty much the dream of every diver but few actually dive the world's largest wreck graveyard.

At this early stage we wish to acknowledge the HM Treasury and the Ministry of Defence in sponsoring the expedition. The support and encouragement of the Royal Foundation's Endeavour Fund, the Veterans' Foundation, PADI, Roots Red Sea, Apeks and Coral Cay Conservation. These together we our chosen travel consultants Dive Worldwide made the expedition possible.

We also wish to say thanks to our amazing photographers on the expedition Dmitry Knyazev and Stuart Green

We achieve on all three aspects of the EF's mantra by:


I think the photo of Chris Middleton and Josh Boggi floating in Chuuk Lagoon with their stumps up, after diving a wreck typifies what we do. This is supported by a photograph of Chris hovering with a Bat Fish during a safety stop.

We know that we change the lives of programme members, their partners and families in some cases we have saved lives.


We support the local communities around our base at Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt .

We extended this to supporting the communities of one of the islands in Truk Lagoon. Inspired by Ben Lee we took, books, pens, games, sweets, gags, sunglasses, toothbrushes and reading glass to distribute to children and adults. This exciting part of the expedition was the brainchild of the 2018 Endeavour Fund's Recognising Achievement Award. Ben is also one of Deptherapy's Trustees and an Ambassador for the charity.

The photo taken in the grounds of the church really grabs the atmosphere after the children and adults left church to receive the gifts.


Deptherapy encourages practical and educational work to protect our oceans, by educating people about the effects and impact of human pollution to our oceans. In Truk Lagoon we spent a whole day on the Shinkoku Maru a huge ship where we surveyed the bio mass of aquatic life and mapped the health of the coral on the ship. The first photo shows single arm amputee Chris Ganley and Dan Phillips who has a severely damaged back, both have PTSD diving with one of the quadrants used to map the coral.

The second photo shows bilateral amputee Andy Searle and Jon Beever who suffered multiple fractures and brain damage, swimming with a quadrant. Below them you can see a quadrant placed on the Shinkoku Maru.

The data was collated and has been submitted to Tom Dallison, the Head of Science at Coral Cay Conservation, for analysis.

In May the team had been trained at Roots Red Sea by Tom Dallison in coral conservation, coral mapping and fish identification.

Ben Lee made the metre x metre square quadrants used to identify the sample area within which the coral was mapped


We are the best in the world at delivering adaptive teaching training to PADI professionals and others.

There were lots of amazed faces when other divers saw the skills and attitude of our divers who had suffered life changing injuries. We were showing people that disability does not define what an individual may achieve, especially as a scuba diver. The photo shows Ben Lee, Andy Searle on a safety stop at the end of a dive.

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Deptherapy is all about: MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE - POSSIBLE