A team from scuba diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy has returned from another successful Red Sea training programme with three new PADI Open Water Divers, one PADI Advanced and Deep Diver and four PADI Rescue Divers.
The latest Deptherapy programme took place during the last week in October and was the second to take place this year at Roots Red Sea in El Quseir. The Programme Members were all wounded-in-service veterans from the UK Armed Forces suffering from life-changing mental and/or physical injuries, including several with acute PTSD.
The instructional team included Deptherapy Ambassador and PADI AmbassaDiver Chris Middleton, who was one of the very first Deptherapy Programme Members who learnt to dive. Chris may have lost both legs in Afghanistan but refuses to be defined by his disability. He is now a fully qualified Divemaster and will take his instructor course next year in order to realise his ambition to become the world’s first double-amputee PADI instructor.
Chris was recently featured alongside fellow Deptherapy Ambassador and PADI AmbassaDiver Gary Green in a BBC3 Amazing Humans documentary that has so far achieved almost six million views: https://www.facebook.com/bbcthree/videos/10155229543295787
Among the Programme Members on this trip was triple-amputee Josh Boggi, a former Royal Engineer and now an award-winning Invinctus Games cyclist in training for the 2020 Paralympics. Josh achieved his Advanced Open Water, Deep Diver and Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty, adapting his trim to sidemount to compensate for his injuries. Deptherapy will continue to work with Josh to help achieve his Rescue Diver qualification.
Former Signaller Adam Deans of the Royal Corps of Signals pushed through his battles with acute PTSD, OCD and extensive knee damage to partake in the programme. He said: “Literally until the moment that we were checked in, I wasn’t sure I was going to go on the trip. I am so glad that I did. The diving made me feel good about myself and I have regained my confidence. I – and my family – have noticed a huge difference. I’ve caught the diving bug now and cannot wait to do my Advanced course!”
The Deptherapy team is now working towards finalising their 2018 programme to satisfy both rapidly increasing demand from prospective new divers as well as professionals who wish to learn the skills required to teach adaptive diving techniques. Already planned are two Red Sea training programmes, a UK-based Deptherapy Education Pros course and Mental Health First Aid course, as well as a ground-breaking expedition to Truk in August.
Once again, Deptherapy passes on its grateful thanks to its Corporate Sponsors and Individual Members whose generosity ensures both the continuation and expansion of the charity’s life changing work.
For more information, visit the new website: www.deptherapy.co.uk
Photographs by Dmitry Knyazev