The Divers Alert Network Europe has launched a new, multifaceted campaign to encourage, celebrate, and support local diving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly restricted divers’ ability to travel internationally.
According to DAN Europe Marketing Director Cristian Pellegrini:
“PADI has led the way and we’re happy to join them along with our industry partners and agencies to encourage divers to explore local diving opportunities. Given the public health situation we find ourselves in, local diving is one of the things that will hopefully help boost our industry’s recovery.”
Identified by the hashtags #divelocal and #divesafe, the campaign, which kicked off with a new feature article in Alert Diver — “#Divelocal: How Diving Is Getting Its Groove Back” — is meant to help local dive centers and their clients rediscover and get the most out of their local diving sites. Planned components include collateral materials for dive centers; stories featuring local diving in Alert Diver and the DAN Europe blog, talks and social media, tools to help local divers connect with others, as well as continued safety recommendations.
DAN Europe says it is also working on new insurance products, with the intent to meet the evolving needs of the diving community — particularly now with the emphasis on local diving, and reflecting the ever-changing situation of the market. The insurance will supplement divers’ national healthcare system coverages, which generally do not provide the specialized knowledge and assistance required for diving injuries or fully cover hyperbaric therapy. Details of the new plan will be announced soon.
The new insurance product will complement DAN Europe’s basic 25-Euro membership package, which provides 24/7 access to the DAN hotline and diving medical advice, access to MyDAN, and the App on Google Play and iOs.
In addition, DAN Europe announced it is planning to support and participate in local diving projects of its own, following a recent successful citizen science project at the Pescara Springs Natural Reserve located a little more than a half an hour drive from one of DAN Europe’s operations offices in central Italy. There, the team joined marine biologists to survey the autochthonous freshwater crayfish living in the Springs.
DAN Europe Vice President Laura Marroni, who was part of the team of volunteer research divers, says:
“That’s the beauty of local diving. You can find unexpected treasures and wonder in your own backyard.”
Check out a video of that citizen science project below.