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Blind Diver Gets Scuba Certification

Robert Ainsley-Raffel of Hexham, UK, has been blind since birth. But he's determined to achieve the goals that he's set for his life, including becoming a qualified plumber and a certified diver:

Robert passed his dive theory test with a flying 100% mark and is now looking forward to his first open water dives en route to a full Ocean Diver qualification.

Robert – who takes a white stick under water with him, saying that “it stops me banging my head” – is undaunted by his disability. He says: “I haven’t got a problem being blind – it’s other people that aren’t prepared to step outside the box and find a way around problems that I have the biggest trouble working with.”


Link -via Blame It on the Voices | Photo: Journal Live

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I'm blind, 100%, and yesterday I just finished my Advance Open Water diver + Nitrox. The sky is the limit for me. I will fight any authorities that will try to prevent me from doing this!
I'm not diving with a stick, and my body diver tells me what ever I need to know, like air, depth, time...
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Vikya- I'm sure he has a sighted buddy and dive leader with him to stop him from accidentally whacking a coral reef.

I am interested to know how he measures his oxygen, whether a buddy can signal him if the buddy is in distress, and how he assembles his gear. And how he communicates with other divers underwater. I've been NAUI certified for ten years, I think it's wonderful that the sport is expanding to include more prospective divers.
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By poking around with his stick, he will probably damage coral and other slow-growing reef animals. Clueless divers of all degrees of sightedness are currently destroying divable reefs by their careless actions with their hands and fins; I hate to think how many centuries of coral growth you could kill with one poke of a stick. I wouldn't dive with him (I am PADI certified), and if I had a dive business he would only get to dive in quarries. "Because you can" isn't always a good reason to do stuff.
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