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Thread: Scuba

  1. #1
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
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    Scuba

    Has anybody had any experience scuba diving post injury? We're looking for places in Florida, prefer the Keys. Experiences, recomendations, etc. I did a search,but didn't find what I was looking for. I know its been discussed before.... .
    My son's T12 para, very agile, but never dove pre-injury. My husband and I are both certified (Naui), but its been a while since we've dove. (dived?)
    BeeBee

  2. #2
    Senior Member lurch's Avatar
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    exactly which aspects of diving do you wish to discuss?

  3. #3
    I've done several dives off Florida. Many of the dive shops are happy to assist those in need, getting off or on the boat.
    Pennekamp state park has several options to take from snorkeling to SCUBA.

    Unfortunatly I haven't been In FL for several years now, so I have no current recommendations.

    Oh.. dont get lobsters from under any docks.. it's illeagal.. or so I'm told.
    Rick Brauer or just call me - Mr B

    http://www.riseadventures.org

  4. #4
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    News Flash
    KEYS DIVE OPERATORS STRIVE TO MAKE UNDERWATER REALM MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR DISABLED VACATIONERS

    Reinforced ramps provide access to the main deck of the dive boat Tranquility.


    A power lift on Tranquility lowers a diver into the water as his HSA-certified dive buddy prepares to help.


    KEY LARGO, Florida Keys - The two people sitting in wheelchairs on the deck of the 30-foot boat Tranquility are not spectators. They are partially garbed in dive gear, waiting for the boat to anchor at one of Key Largo's shallow-water reefs.
    Soon a dive buddy, certified by the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA), will help put on the rest of their equipment - including weight belt, buoyancy compensator, mask and snorkel.
    Fins are not necessary. The divers have no use of their legs.
    Instead, they will wear webbed gloves to help them move and stabilize in the water. More importantly, they will put their complete trust in their HSA-certified dive buddy.
    In Key Largo and throughout the Keys, water sports attractions, from kayaking to snorkeling, diving and fishing, are becoming more accessible to handicapped vacationers.
    "With significant injuries or disabilities, only about one out of five people attempt to resume a near-normal lifestyle," said Bill Gordon, a dive instructor and licensed boat captain who lost his leg in March 2000.
    Gordon was helping another dive operator fill scuba tanks with air. Without warning, an 80-cubic-foot aluminum tank exploded. The blast took out the wall of the concrete barrier where the tank was being filled. It also blew Gordon out of the fill room and took off his left leg.
    A year later, Gordon returned to diving.
    Gordon is part of a small but growing group of water sports operators working to make the Keys more accessible to the disabled. For more than 23 years, Gordon operated Admiral Dive Center in Key Largo. He closed the store a few years ago and now books dive trips and training sessions through a small office located near his home.
    With his wife Susan taking on the responsibilities of running the commercial dive operation, Gordon has formed a nonprofit organization called Admiral Handicapped Scuba Adventures to focus on training the handicapped to dive and learn to enjoy the variety of water sports available in the Keys.
    One of his first tasks has been to recruit facilities, build a Keys-wide network of hotels and motels, restaurants and bars, fishing and diving charters, kayak tours - any water sport that can be adapted to serve disabled vacationers.
    In the Upper Keys, three dive operators have already started to accommodate disabled divers. Captain Slate's Atlantis Dive Center, mile marker 106.5 oceanside in Key Largo, offers a Tried Scuba introductory course sanctioned by the International Association of Handicapped Divers. The in-water training takes place at Jacobs Aquatic Center in Key Largo. The facility has a heated therapy pool equipped with a ramp for wheelchair entry.
    Captain Mick Nealey, an experienced Keys captain and guide, and victim of polio at age 2, operates an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant boat in Key Largo to take disabled vacationers diving, snorkeling and fishing.
    Gordon also uses an ADA-compliant boat while he is refitting his 65-foot dive boat for use by disabled divers. Certified by the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI), Gordon guides new divers on PADI-sanctioned Discover Diving expeditions from classroom to pool to reef. He is also an instructor for the Handicapped Scuba Association, the oldest organization training disabled divers and certifying dive masters as "dive buddies" to accompany disabled divers.
    But his greater goal is to open the entire stretch of islands from Key Largo to Key West to disabled vacationers.
    "I was always the type who'd open the door for a little old lady," said Gordon. "Now they open the door for me. But they can't open it any better than I can because I have strength and my mobility is pretty good." For information about diving for disabled visitors in the Keys, contact Admiral Handicapped Scuba Adventures at 305-451-1114 or toll free 1-800-346-3483, or e-mail info@admiralcenter.com. Tranquil Adventures can be reached at 305-451-2102 or toll free at 1-866-451-2102, e-mail info@tranquiladventures.com Atlantis Dive Center can be reached at 305-451-1325 or e-mail dive@captainslate.com.

    http://www.fla-keys.com/news/news.cfm?sid=1404

    You could also contact the HSA
    Foolish

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  5. #5
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lurch
    exactly which aspects of diving do you wish to discuss?
    He would need training, and recommendations on where to go.

    I think we'd really like the keys - thanks, Foolish for that link. I emailed them! Maybe spend a couple of days in Key West, as well. Foolish: I'll let you know if we do this, and maybe we can have lunch or something.
    BeeBee

  6. #6
    I did my training at the local Y with everyone else in NY. The Dive Master was a teacher w/ HSA.

    I did my open dive test in the Keys with no problem. Ok, I swallowed alot of water as my buddy's regulator wasn't what i was used to, but I'm used to drowning! LOL!

    have fun!!!!
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeBee
    He would need training, and recommendations on where to go.

    I think we'd really like the keys - thanks, Foolish for that link. I emailed them! Maybe spend a couple of days in Key West, as well. Foolish: I'll let you know if we do this, and maybe we can have lunch or something.
    That's a bet! (lunch or something). Holla! Most visitors come to the Keys in the winter, but a local secret is that summer is the time to be on and in the water. A good day has water as smooth as glass and visibility to depths exceeding 100 feet. The days aren't that much hotter than winter, but the nights don't get cool. Of course, you can catch a big blow that will force you to leave. Vacation insurance is gaining popularity with summer visitors, especially those who come from abroad.
    Last edited by Foolish Old; 06-28-2007 at 12:57 PM.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

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