Pirates Converge on Blue Lagoon for DiveapaloozaMemorial Day weekend filled with training exercises to prepare adaptive SCUBA divers for upcoming trip that celebrates life after injury
What started as a weekend for a few divers to finish their open water certification has grown to a full scale training extravaganza as the Dive Pirates Foundation trains adaptive instructors, divers and buddies at one of their favorite watering holes, the Blue Lagoon, near Huntsville, Texas.
"Thanks to SSI and their generosity to donate more training materials, we can now do more than just train our adaptive recipients and buddies to dive, we can now take it a step further and include stress and rescue, CPR, NITROX, and continuing education," said Barbara Thompson, co-founder of the foundation that trains injured military and others with physical disabilities to SCUBA dive. "So our simple training weekend grew with the number of people we could train, so in good pirate style we're going to make it an event."
During the weekend, 9 people plan to train to be adaptive instructors, with the help of some of the pirates' certified adaptive divers volunteering to be their students. Concurrently some of this year's recipients and their adaptive buddies will be completing their open water training, while others will be honing their skills with stress and rescue and CPR, as part of their adaptive buddy training.
"As a DAN instructor I will be teaching CPR/First Aid/O2 administration, while next door Buccaneer Barb will be teaching Stress and Rescue, and Mark Parker will be down at the lagoon conducting open waters," explained foundation co-founder Sophie Wimberley. "We'll keep a rotation throughout the 2 days, and then gather around the campfire each night for a few tall tales, grog and vittles! "
Including volunteers and other foundation members coming to dive and celebrate the pirate community, more than 50 people will take in the weekend now dubbed Diveapalooza.
"We'll have the most qualified adaptive buddy teams ever, increasing their knowledge and safety of the sport, which we hope will make it that much more enjoyable for them," Wimberley continued. "We couldn't do this as a foundation without the donations of SSI and the generosity of The Blue Lagoon, who've allowed all of those training for the weekend safe and complimentary passage."
On the heels of this training the group will take its 2012 recipients to the Cayman Brac June 23-30 to experience open water diving. The trip includes this year's 8 new adaptive recipients, 10 returning adaptive divers, with a total of more than 80 people making their way with the group as divers, foundation supporters, etc. for a week of great diving and fun welcoming adaptive divers into the mainstream diving community.The Dive Pirates Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing scuba diving to persons with disabilities and joining them with mainstream divers. Its vision is to create a community of adaptive divers that will dive and travel in the mainstream world of scuba diving through education and overcoming obstacles.