Two of my favorite things in this world are SCUBA diving and filmmaking… a few months back, they finally met.
I have been working on a documentary project with my friend Chris Godin that has been focused on the work of special needs SCUBA training. HSA Scuba
We have been shooting throughout the Northeast (to my amazement, as a South Floridian, the diving community there is enormous). The people we have met that are training for their certification range from Iraq war veteran paraplegics to multiple sclerosis patients.
On this shoot, I was fortunate to have met Brianna, an 11-year old girl with Down’s syndrome. She, along with her parents and two siblings, are training for their PADI certification. This was the first time they were suited up in open water together (as opposed to a pool).
While Brianna wasn’t quite ready to submerge fully in the inlet, she did practice her underwater breathing and showed absolutely no hesitation in handling the underwater wildlife. (The horseshoe crab and starfish were big hits). Her mother maintains a blog recording her progress at http://briannascuba.blogspot.com/
Her certification will be culminating on the island of Bonaire, where we can all ditch the wetsuits for warmer waters…