Diving With One Leg – Amputee Diving

Amputee Diving

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When I was in college, I started studying history and by my end of my freshman year, I narrowed my focus more in conservation and environmental science. As I made the transition into environmental science, I also began a minor in organismic and evolutionary biology as a secondary field.

I took a course on in invertebrate biology with two wonderful professors at Harvard and the course included a trip to Panama. We went during spring break and I did a lot of reed biology research and snorkeling. On the last day of our trip, we were scheduled to go diving. I’ve never dove before and I was really excited and also a little nervous. However, I went to the class and did a diving exploration and I got hooked.

After the class ended, I went back to the continent of Zanzibar and decided to get my introductory level open water certification. Shortly after I did my advanced which requires a night dive, deep dives, wreck dives and more. One of my favorite dives was in Iceland. We dove between two tectonic plates, the Eurasian and the North American plate.

Diving is a passion of mine and I look forward to eventually getting rescue and my masters but it’s challenging as an amputee. You have to either decide if you want to dive with your prosthesis or if you want to dive without it. I’d with it which means I have to account for the air or water that goes inside it. One time I dove in a drysuit that was full of air so that you don’t get wet. My prosthetic leg also filled up with air and I floated straight to the surface upside down. I spent awhile fumbling at the top while everyone’s trying to empty my leg of air. So you go through some challenges like this.

At this point, I feel completely comfortable with diving. I think many amputees don’t dive because they don’t feel comfortable in the water. But you should because it’s doable!  Know that anything is possible and once you get past the learning curve, diving is incredible – the best feeling!

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