Dive Paradise Staff (Temporarily) Blinded During Training
Fourteen Scuba instructors and divemasters from the number one dive operator on Cozumel Dive Paradise were temporarily blinded July 14-17th while going through rigorous disabled dive training with the Diveheart organization. The unusual exercise was designed to help dive professionals learn first-hand some of the limitations physically-challenged divers have to endure during training.
“For years Diveheart has been bringing divers with disabilities here to Hotel Cozumel to enjoy the warm clear waters of Cozumel. It was after one such trip that I thought it would be beneficial for Dive Paradise instructors & divemasters to go through the Diveheart training and get certified in working with divers with disabilities”, said Apple, Dive Paradise General Manager.
“The Dive Paradise Staff, to a person, was incredible to work with,” said Jim Elliott, President/Founder & Instructor Trainer for Diveheart. “Over the years their instructors & divemasters have always been empathetic & professional with our divers with disabilities and it was a pleasure to get the opportunity to train them to work with a wide variety of individuals with disabilities, including blind, quadriplegic and cognitive disabilities’” he added.
“We were so impressed with the Diveheart operation that we added ten wheelchair accessible rooms at the resort,” said Alejandro Graniel Novelo, Director of Sales at Hotel Cozumel & Resort. “I know it is a Diveheart goal to bring the disabled dive industry up to the level of the disabled ski industry in the next ten to fifteen years, and as one of the most popular dive destinations & resorts in the world it is our goal at Hotel Cozumel to be an example for dive resorts around the world, showing them that serving divers with disabilities is not only the right thing to do….but it’s good business”, he added.
“It’s amazing how enthusiastic and pumped the staff was after their Diveheart training”. “Our instructors and Divemasters are in the water every day problem solving dive situations with customers and I consider them some of the best around. So when they confessed to me that they felt that they were better divers and instructors after the Diveheart training, I was really impressed”. Apple added.
“The vast majority of individuals with disabilities don’t even realize that scuba diving is an option for them as a recreational activity or a future career path. One of the fastest ways for the Dive industry to grow is to embrace disabled diving”, Elliott said. “ Imagine, if we could take all the sedentary hours that people with disabilities spend doing little or nothing, and convert those hours into a passion for diving and help them focus on a cause like reef restoration, overfishing or a career in the marine sciences….it would be a win, win situation…..the individual would benefit as would the aquatic environment. Who knows, maybe the next Jacques Cousteau will be an individual in a wheel chair”. Elliott added.
Now groups of divers with disabilities as well as individuals with disabilities can travel to Hotel Cozumel & Dive Paradise and realize that they will be served by an empathetic, knowledgeable staff who will give them a safe and exciting dive experience when visiting Cozumel.
To view a video of Diveheart training in action and find out why scuba diving is the most powerful sport in the world for individuals with disabilities simply click on the Discovery Jones Cozumel video, under Diveheart videos ……
or visit the Diveheart website for more information.