Dive with Sharks to Raise Money for Muscular Dystrophy Research
(Diverwire) The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and the Blue Planet Aquarium in the UK have teamed up to give scuba divers of all skill levels a chance to swim with the sharks.
The Blue Planet Aquarium hosts the largest shark collection in Europe, with over 100 living displays, and is located in Cheshire in the UK. The shark dive event, a collaboration between the two groups, will help to increase attention and funding for muscular dystrophy. The event itself takes place on Sunday, March 23rd of 2014, taking three groups of six divers into one of Blue Planet’s live displays.
The event will begin with instruction, teaching the basics of diving, scuba equipment use, and safety protocols. Blue Planet is a PADI certified “Discover SCUBA” institution, and its instructors are fully trained and certified as well. The shark encounter begins right from the jump – the SCUBA lessons are actually taught with real live sharks in the water for company. No cage stands between man and sea life, offering a rare chance to encounter animals like sand tiger sharks, lemon sharks, jacks, stingrays, and nurse sharks right up close.
Fins aren’t required – rather than being a swimming event, divers walk along the bottom of the tank, and are even encouraged to pick up any discarded shark teeth they find in the coral sand that lines the bottom of the display. Divers must be over 16-years-old, and will spend roughly 30 minutes in the tank.
Spectators are given a one-hour tour of the attraction, and are encouraged to watch the divers take their “swim.” The shark dive display has an Aquatheatre and underwater safari area that allows non-participants to watch the entire tank from beneath.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign funds research on the rare but debilitating neuromuscular condition, and works to not only fund research to combat the disorder, but also to spread information and offer emotional support for the afflicted families.
For more information, including how to join the dive, check out the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s website.