Physical Injury & Illness
We work with programme members who have a range of life changing physical injuries or illnesses. many have lost one or more limbs due to IED explosions in either Iraq or Afghanistan. There is a limit to the level of injury we can work with as the programme is focused on certifying the programme member as a PADI Open Water diver who once qualified will be capable of diving with a buddy without support and to be capable of self rescue and the rescue of his/her buddy in the very unlikely event that an incident should occur.
Because of the effects of neutral buoyancy many amputees and those suffering from other injuries report that the only time they are pain free is when they are underwater.
Many comment that they can take part in scuba diving on equal terms with the able bodied. This is why we train to PADI standards and certify programme members as PADI divers. Previously those with severe disabilities were certified by disable diving training agencies and their certification card used the word 'disabled' or 'handicapped' - PADI certification do not use such words, programme members receive the same certification card as the able bodied. Programme members consider this a huge boost.
At what level of injury is it possible to qualify as a PADI Open Water diver? We have qualified triple amputees (who have lost both legs above the knee and the lower part of an arm). A paraplegic providing they can use their arms, or at least one arm and are capable of meeting the standards required could qualify.
Two of our programme members have Stoma bags and have progressed beyond Open Water qualification both aim to become PADI Pros.
A tetraplegic (a high level spinal injury where the individual cannot use arms or legs) could not qualify as a PADI diver nor quad a quad amputee (all four limbs)
All injuries up to the level described should allow a programme member to meet the required PADI standards. Programme members are required to pass a 'fit t dive' medical with a HSE Authorised Medical Examiner of Divers (AMED) and will be personally risk assessed by a senior instructor before you will be alowed to take part in the programme.
Because of the effects of pressure when underwater some medications have enhanced effects. The AMED will need to know what medication you are taking and your daily dosage. Some medications and combination of medications are contra-indicated to diving which means an individual will not be allowed to dive or may be depth injured.
The team will discuss with you your diving potential, we will always be realistic and honest.