A Deptherapy Blog

Josh Boggi - The World's First Triple Amputee PADI Rescue Diver

by Dr Richard Cullen

Posted on October 28, 2018 at 17:38 hrs


So a brilliant week on our October Expedition in Roots Red Sea. I had Internet problems but we will be publishing a BLOG of each day of the expedition. BUT i wanted to share the headline news.

The six students on the PADI Open Water Course, Adam, Louis, Graeme, Keiron, Harry and Mary did brilliantly to qualify as open water divers and to rack up a few additional dives.

The Advanced and Deep Courses saw Tom (Swarbrick) Jason, Trev, Adrian and Tom Oates all pass, with some style their Advanced and Deep course. I must make special mention of Tom Oates who had to overcome some really bad demons to be part of the programme and to see him smiling again was all that we could ask.

The Rescue Course saw Michael, Deptherapy newbie and single leg amputee Joe Humphrey and Josh Boggi complete their EFR and Rescue Courses.

There are many in the diving world and society generally, including many in the area of diving medicine who doubt the ability of those with life changing mental and physical challenges to succeed or even be safe as scuba divers.

In Deptherapy we treat this discriminatory behaviour very seriously and our students are pushed to achieve PADI standards + so that those naysayers in the industry can see that it is possible for those with high level mental and physical disabilities to achieve and above all be safe, capable and competent divers.

Those critics mumble and murmur, not in our hearing, that we must breach standards for amputees etc to achieve PADI standards. The opposite is true, those we work with are challenged to achieve to the highest level.

Certified divers with disabilities are often turned away from dive centres, they are seen as not 'good enough' or requiring specialist help. Such behaviour by dive centres is a disgrace to the dive industry and breaches equal opportunities legislation.

So when triple amputee Josh Boggi said he wanted to complete his Rescue Course we knew that many doubters would be out there. I can just imagine the words "Impossible", "rubbish", "they have just given him his cert to look good".

Really? Well if you can dead lift a thirteen stone (86kg) man out of the pool one handed just let me know. Few understand the huge upper body strength that amputees like Josh, Chris, Ben and Andy have developed. Josh lost both is legs above the knee and his right arm below the elbow but he has huge physical strength and determination. He doesn't understand the words 'no way' and 'can't' just like all those we work with he pushes himself to the limits and beyond.

So Martin Weddell (PADI MI and one of the charity's trustees) was running the Rescue Course and because of the volume of naysayers in the industry he asked that the other 3 MIs in the dive team for the expedition join him in assessing Josh's skills, ability and most all of that he met and exceeded all of PADI's standards. So it was a Rescue Course assessment by panel, a serious version of Strictly Come Dancing. Doubt one of us you doubt the four of us.

I was the victim for a lot of the course's exercises and we took videos of everything, just to make sure we had the evidence.

The attached video is of a perfect and controlled lift by Josh, of PADI DM Simon Reed, from the bottom on the Roots' House Reef, the control is perfect, the speed of ascent excellent and you can see how Josh clamps his stumps on to the cylinder. This is a better lift than I have seen many PADI Pros perform.


Want to doubt the ability of those who have suffered life changing mental and or physical challenges to be safe, capable and competent divers then watch the video and eat your words.

In Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education we aim to eliminate the discrimination that exists in the diving industry around diving with disabilities.


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Featured images:

Red Sea, Egypt • May 2017 - photo by :Kevin Kollyer

Red Sea, Egypt • May 2018 - photo by Dmitry Knyazev

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