British scuba diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy will be recommencing its international scuba diving training expeditions this October with a small group trip to Egypt.
Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have meant that training so far this year for Deptherapy Program Members has been mostly limited to online academic study. Now, the charity will be able to take a group of six beneficiaries for practical training, and to enjoy the restorative effects of scuba diving in the clear, warm waters of the Red Sea.
This expedition is funded as part of a grant from the Veterans Foundation. The Deptherapy team will be heading to Hurghada, Egypt from London Gatwick on October 10th onboard an EasyJet flight, before travelling down the coast to the charity’s international base at Roots Red Sea in El Quseir.
Roots Red Sea re-opens the day before the Deptherapy team arrives after an eight-month closure. It’s one of the few dive resorts to have passed the Egyptian Government’s stringent inspection and to have obtained the necessary permits and license to operate under strict COVID-19 conditions.
During their seven-day stay, Deptherapy will be running a RAID Advanced 35 course and a RAID Master Rescue Course. One of the program members who is joining the expedition is a 20-year-old who was involved in an accident during basic Armed Forces
training. He is a paraplegic wheelchair user who has been particularly affected by lockdown.
The Deptherapy team has been working with him closely to keep him optimistic about his diving, socially engaged and psychologically well.
According to Deptherapy Chairman Richard Cullen:
“We would have liked to have taken a larger group to Egypt, but many things have mitigated against this. The requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt has meant that most of our beneficiaries and instructional team are unable to travel at this time. The difficulty in obtaining ‘fit to dive medicals’ is also a factor which means that sadly, no potential Open Water students have been able to obtain the necessary approval to dive. We are also limited by practical logistics as Roots is operating at a reduced capacity in order to be open at all BUT, we are hugely excited to be able to take this small group to Egypt next month and thankful to The Veterans Foundation for their funding which has made this expedition possible. The Deptherapy Board was strongly of the view that we should, even with reduced numbers, get beneficiaries back in the water, fly the flag that the charity is still very active, and not further delay our plans until 2021.”
For more info about Deptherapy, go to www.deptherapy.co.uk.