A team from scuba diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy and the PADI dive centre Divecrew have made a scuba diver’s wish for one, last dive come true this Christmas.
Sixty-year-old Colin Clements from Woodley, England is suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer that will take his life in the near future. Knowing he would be unable to dive again, Clements donated his diving equipment to Deptherapy so that other divers could be helped even after he is gone.
When contacting Clements to thank him for his gesture, Deptherapy Chairman Richard Cullen was made aware that Clements’ dying wish was to do one, last dive.
Clements’ last dive took place on Sunday 17th December at Eagle House School in Sandhurst. The dive was kept as a surprise for Colin until the moment he arrived at the swimming pool.
Two Deptherapy program members offered to accompany him on his last dive and travelled to Sandhurst from their homes in Banbury and Bristol. Gary Green was blinded in the right eye by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan and suffers from acute PTSD. A Trustee of the charity and a PADI AmbassaDiver, Green is also a trainee Divemaster and led Clements’ last dive.
Fellow veteran Chris Ganley served two tours in Afghanistan before suffering a devastating motorcycle accident that resulted in the amputation of his left arm and other serious injuries. Ganley wound up receiving Clements’ donated buoyancy control device.
“As a new trainee Divemaster, it was a huge privilege to lead the dive and an absolute honour to dive with Colin. I hope through this dive, Deptherapy and Divecrew, have made Colin’s Christmas special and helped made his passing easier.”
“I thought I had been through some difficult times, but being with Colin was humbling as he talked about his death and what this dive meant to him. I don’t think words can describe what happened this afternoon. It was all so dignified and respectful to be with a man who is facing death with such courage.”
Clements spent about 15 minutes underwater before unfortunately being overcome with tiredness. While his speech is already affected by his illness, he was smiling from ear to ear and said:
“Today I am very happy; I have dived. I couldn’t have asked for any more. Thank you all so much.”
Check out an interview the BBC did of Clements’ final dive below. For more info on the work Deptherapy does with injured British military personnel, go to the organization’s website at deptherapy.co.uk.