Dive Pirates invade Cayman Brac

| 18/06/2010

(CNS): A group of adaptive divers who make an annual week-long trip to Cayman Brac are returning tomorrow (Saturday 19 June), this time with  a total of 83 people. The Dive Pirates, a non-profit organization based in Texas, gives people with disabilities and their dive buddies diving lessons and scuba gear, and then sponsors a vacation for them and their support teams at the Brac Reef Beach Resort. The DPF is funding nine new divers this year, including those who have suffered combat injuries, car accidents or illness, while six adaptive divers and their companions are self-funded.

The adaptive divers in this year’s group include 2 paraplegics, 5 quadriplegic, 4 amputees, one with partial paralysis, one closed head injury, one with burns and fused ankles, and one diver with an injured back. DPS says that this year the group will learn underwater photography with David Haas, enter various contests, and concoct “acts of piracy” during the week.

The Dive Pirates have been making annual trips to the Brac since 2004, bringing larger groups each year. The 2010 group of 83, which fills the resort to capacity, is the largest so far and the DPF may bring two groups next year, they say. The Brac Reef hotel, which was rebuilt after it was demolished in Hurricane Paloma, now has three rooms that are fully wheelchair accessible from the poolside, with all furniture, fixtures and fittings designed to accommodate wheelchairs, and boardwalks in the old property have been replaced with wheelchair-friendly concrete walkways. All dive staff at the resort’s dive operation, Reef Divers, are certified SSI Adaptive Specialty Instructors.

Last year, even though the resort was still in the construction process, the Dive Pirates made their annual trip, this time with 63 divers, 15 of whom were divers with disabilities. The group stayed at the new Alexander Hotel and at Breakers condominiums and dived with Reef Divers.

While the Brac Reef’s efforts to accommodate adaptive divers had been driven by their association with the Dive Pirates, Viers said they were also beginning to get other disabled guests who had heard of them through the DPF.
 

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Comments (3)

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  1. peter milburn says:

    I agree what a wonderful thing to be doing to help those less fortunate than ourselves.Something positive and heart warming for a change.Kudos to ALL involved.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I’ve heard of the Stay Focused program which does the same thing and think they’ll be in Grand Cayman in the coming weeks. 

    They’re also attempting to hold a race (run) where paraplegics would be allowed to race (apparently only one person was allowed in a race last year), but because they hardly allow groups to close off roads for these races on-island, for now they are unable to participate.

    I hope the community really jumps on board and supports these awesome programs!

  3. what a mess says:

     Awesome! It is nice to read something positive for a change. 🙂

     

    Very refreshing.