Scuba Diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy is pleased to announce that it is recommencing its international scuba diving training expeditions this October with a small group trip to Egypt.
Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have meant that training so far this year for Deptherapy Programme Members has been mostly limited to online academic study. Now, the charity is excited to be in the position to take a group of six beneficiaries for practical training, and to enjoy the restorative effects of scuba diving in the clear, warm waters of the Red Sea.
This expedition is funded as part of a grant from The Veterans Foundation. The Deptherapy Team will be heading to Hurghada, Egypt from London Gatwick on 10 October onboard an EasyJet flight, before travelling down the coast to Deptherapy’s international base at Roots Red Sea in El Quseir. Roots Red Sea re-opens on 9 October, the day before the Deptherapy team arrives, after an eight-month closure. It is one of the few dive resorts to have passed the stringent Egyptian Government inspection and to have obtained the necessary permits and license to operate under strict COVID-19 conditions.
Deptherapy will be running a RAID Advanced 35 course and a RAID Master Rescue Course during their seven-day stay at Roots Red Sea. One of the Programme Members who is joining the expedition is a 20-year-old who was involved in an accident during basic Armed Forces training. He is a paraplegic wheelchair user who has been particularly affected by lockdown. As part of the Deptherapy family, the team has been working with him closely throughout this period to keep him optimistic about his diving, socially engaged and psychologically well. To say that he is excited to get in the water again on this trip is an understatement!
“We would have liked to have taken a larger group to Egypt,” explains Deptherapy’s Chairman Richard Cullen, “but many things have mitigated against this. The requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt has meant that most of our beneficiaries and instructional team are unable to travel at this time. The difficulty in obtaining ‘fit to dive medicals’ is also a factor which means that sadly, no potential Open Water students have been able to obtain the necessary approval to dive. We are also limited by practical logistics as Roots is operating at a reduced capacity in order to be open at all BUT, we are hugely excited to be able to take this small group to Egypt next month and thankful to The Veterans Foundation for their funding which has made this expedition possible. The Deptherapy Board was strongly of the view that we should, even with reduced numbers, get beneficiaries back in the water, fly the flag that the charity is still very active, and not further delay our plans until 2021.”
In the meantime, Team Deptherapy continues to support its Programme Members in both online study and mental health and wellbeing 24/7, as well as developing some exciting new projects behind the scenes. The charity plans to resume the rest of its international training and expedition programmes as per the ‘new post-COVID' normal from Spring/Summer 2021.
For more information about the work of Deptherapy, visit: www.deptherapy.co.uk
Photo credit: Dmitry Knyazev for Deptherapy