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Disabled Diver

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by MedFlame03, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. MedFlame03

    MedFlame03 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Hi to all Brother and Sister Divers,
    I was certified in 1997 as an Open Water/Recreational Diver, as well as, A Search and Recovery Diver. I have been unable to dive since June of 2006. Due to I was injured in the line of duty. I am looking at next summer being able to dive again. I will be still a disabled diver, but I am so much looking forward to it. My disablility is approximately 10% use of my shoulder, arm and hand. I walk slower than I use to walk. I also realize, I will have to have help with my gear etc. What does everyone think would be to my best advantage to get back into it. More classes? Refresher? Some one that has been certified as an HSA Instructor? Etc. Also, why do you think I should have that training or help? It would be so much be appreciated to hear what other Certified Divers and Disabled Divers think. God Bless You all. Please take care and becareful out there. Enjoy and have fun Diving.
    Thank You.
    Sister Scuba Diver
  2. 300bar

    300bar ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    What ever YOU decide to do,all the best in your diving career.
    Have FUN,be carefull,dive safe.
  3. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Where in PA are you? I have some experience in the area and may be able to help. There may or may not be an HSA Instructor near you. If not I am currently involved in revising the guidelines for disabled divers for my agency. Not much progress so far due to time constraints but having a student with a condition such as yours might help me get off my butt and get started. Are you able to get in the water at all now, like in a pool? Obviously there would be assistance with this but if your doc gives the ok it would be a start. The pool would also allow the instructor to evaluate your needs and set up a program for you. A standard refresher may not be enough and a regular class too much of a challenge. GO to my website at Welcome to UDM Aquatic Services and get in touch if you are in my area. Even if you are not I may be able to find and recommend an instructor that will take good care of you.
    Butterfly_fish likes this.
  4. Crowley

    Crowley Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Planet Crowley
    Hey MedFlame,

    You've been out of the water for a while and therefore I'd recommend a refresher of some sort anyway. A Scuba Review in a pool might actually give you an idea of what you can or can't do.

    There's no reason you can't get back into regular diving assuming you are phyiscally capable of managing your own dive. If your injuries mean that you struggle to - for example - inflate a BCD or ditch a weight belt or prevent you from doing other skills then I'd recommend re-training via the HSA or IAHD - along with a buddy who will be able to look after you. I beg forgiveness but unless I actually meet you I can't judge the severity of your disability.

    Requiring assistance to gear up or get in and out the water is not an excuse to not go diving :D

    As long as you dive within the limitations of your disability, and appropriately re-train as necessary, you'll be fine. Get a full hyperbaric medical (talk to DAN) just in case there are underlying problems associated with your injuries.

    I don't know JimLap but I have a lot of time for what he has to say, and if I can make a personal recommendation without actually knowing somebody personally, then I'd suggest he's a good man to get in touch with.

    Good luck - I sincerely wish you all the best - like many disabled divers, you may realise that underwater, your condition is almost irrelevant.

    Safe diving,

  5. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    JImLap has pretty much covered the bases. HSA has several instructors in the State, HSA Non-Members Go to their website HSAScuba.com and under Find member you can look up all in the state and find one in your city. IAHD also offers a similar program. Your instructor will evaluate you in terms of retained knowledge and your new body and lay out a plan to get you safely back into the water.

    Why an instructor trained in Adaptive Diving?
    I recently dove with a paralyzed diver who also has MS who was trained by a dive instructor who "has taught several handicapped divers to dive," all without the benefit of being trained in adaptive diving. Can this diver dive? Yes. Can this diver do so safely? I am not qualified to say. This newly minted diver, after diving with an HSA trained dive buddy and observing the HSA Instructor Certification open water training being conducted on the boat that day, concluded they needed more training from someone trained in adaptive diving. The diver is now aware of what they and their dive buddies (trained by the same instructor) do not know, but need to. The items the diver feels they need to learn are unique to the paralyzed and MS community..

    Your injury leaves you essentially a one armed diver, not a major issue but one that will require some adaptations, such as how you put on your mask with one arm (easy once you think about it). You allude to other injuries (walk slowly etc) which may or may not require adaptation. You know you need a refresher course at a minimum. So you are going to take training from someone, why not get the benefit of someone who has taken the extra course of being trained in Adaptive Diving? You may or may not need to draw upon that additional training during your course? If you do, then it is there, if you don’t then no harm done.
  6. ScubaRich

    ScubaRich Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Pennsburg, PA
  7. MedFlame03

    MedFlame03 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pennsylvania
    I would like to pass on some information to you. The scuba board members are planning on a cruise to Alaska. We are in the process of it all. Trying to get things worked out etc. The more people we get the better the price. We are also trying to get things worked out for the ones that want to go diving can. Right now the price is about $400. This does not include the air flight. Price line . com you can get a good deal, with naming your own price. I can get one for around $100 round trip. There will be plenty of time on land to site see. The information will be published as soon as we can. It will be opened to the members, family and friends. Speargirl and myself are setting this up. We would appreciate it if you could pass it on over that way. I hope you all can join in on the fun. Like I said I will be getting the information and will be published within the next couple weeks. :)
  8. MedFlame03

    MedFlame03 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pennsylvania
    I should say it isn't the scuba board itself sponsoring it. it is just some of the members that are. That way things won't get twisted around. :)
  9. Real-Diver

    Real-Diver Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pattaya, Thailand

    We have helped already a few disabled divers to go out scuba diving and it always gives us a very good feeling to see them enjoying themselves in the weightlessness of the water. Also DPV's are a big help for some disabled divers who can not use their legs properly.

  10. AndyA

    AndyA Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Charles Town, West Virginia
    " I am looking at next summer being able to dive again. "

    Unless there is a reason do not wait until summer. Get to an indoor pool and take a refresher/fun pool dives.


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