In February, Emperor Divers launched the Covid Diver Heroes initiative, aiming to recognise eight people who have stepped up in the pandemic with free liveaboard trips in the Maldives and the Red Sea.
They received hundreds of nominations and left it up to a varied panel of loyal staff to sift through the entries. All inspired, many amazed and some brought tears. What is clear is that divers are awesome, and it came as no surprise that within the international underwater community there were so many selfless, empathetic heroes. The Emperor panel have made the final choice for the eighth liveaboard prize, this time for a trip of a lifetime in the Maldives. Nominated by his cousin, Alex Chan, this is his story:
“There will be no greater reward for this selfless cousin of mine to win a liveaboard trip to the Maldives, where he can find solace in scuba diving, the holiday activity he enjoys most. I have not seen him physically for more than a year nor did his parents because he has isolated himself for fears of inadvertently bringing the virus home.
“I, Alex, nominate KK Tan, 38, a doctor from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for his tireless efforts as a supporting role to the Frontliners during this time of pandemic. By day, he takes up the administrative role to procure quality medical equipment and ensure proper distribution to health facilities throughout the country, an uphill task in view of the rising number of cases in my country. By night, he would return to his former hospital to help out with the outpatient cases there. If not working on weekends, he would visit a couple of old folks home to provide encouragement, free medical consultations as well as deliver medications where able. He tells me always “Since I cannot go diving in the sea, I might as well dive in the sea of COVID-19. There are many beautiful things to see here too.”
Alex has been in contact with KK and told us “He was ecstatic! Thank you for selecting my nominee for the final winner for the liveaboard. I'm sure it will be a beautiful light for him at the end of the tunnel.”
As a round-up, here is the full list of winners who will enter our Covid Diver Heroes Hall of Fame:
Deboraha Brabham, UK
Noam Har-Tzvi, Israel
Megumi Gotada, Germany
Phuong Cao, USA
Ingrid Stubelius, Sweden
Lily Lancaster, UK
Susana Garcia, Spain
KK Tan, Malaysia
The Emperor Divers team have even been lucky enough to meet Susana Garcia already, she has just been out on a liveaboard trip in the Red Sea and they were able to give her a trophy as well as spend time with one of their Heroes.