Torchbearer Spotlight: Dmitry Knyazev & Adaptive Diver Open Water Challenge


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We sat down with Dmitry Knyazev, a passionate PADI Teacher, Disabled Divers Worldwide Teacher and PADI AmbassaDiver. We spoke about his motivations and keenness for adaptive dive coaching, upcoming adaptive diver Open Water Problem Undertaking and a few of his proudest achievements.

What impressed you to get into Adaptive Diver Coaching and begin the Adaptive Diver Open Water Problem Undertaking?

I began diving in 2000. I turned a Divemaster in 2006 and a PADI Instructor in 2013. As you possibly can see, I used to be in no hurry. Once I was taking my teacher course, I didn’t anticipate this to be my enterprise. I noticed this course as a affirmation of my qualifications in entrance of myself.

In 2015, my contract with the Moscow Metropolis Corridor ended, and my spouse and I made a decision to spend a number of years in Egypt (Hurghada) spending extra time with our youngsters as they grew up.

I made a decision to solely work with college students with disabilities for 3 primary causes;

  1. Hurghada is a mecca for divers with no less than 200 high quality PADI Professionals. I knew these dive leaders can be enough of their business, and I needed a brand new problem. 
  2. Coaching for divers with disabilities was knowledgeable problem for me. That was one thing I felt compelled to pursue.
  3. I needed to convey tangible advantages to individuals, so I went into an space within the diving business the place there are fewer specialists, and the place my skilled contribution would matter most.

What do you take pleasure in most about incorporating your adaptive diving work with PADI’s diving packages? 

I solely work with adaptive divers, and solely as a volunteer. Furthermore, if a diver with a incapacity has taken a PADI Open Water Diving course with me, then I don't train a PADI Superior Open Water course for him. Moderately, I ship him to collaborate with one other PADI teacher whom I belief! (Fortunately there are numerous). By way of my management and keenness, I need to present that a scholar who has mastered the PADI OW course doesn't want an unique teacher specialised in disabled divers. She or he can proceed their research with any teacher who has expertise working with college students with disabilities.

In fact, I proceed coaching for these divers who can't meet all the necessities of the PADI OW course and who want further help underwater, to make sure most security and duty. Via (DDI) Disabled Divers Worldwide, I practice Assistant Divers within the DDI packages to raised help divers who want extra consideration.

Earlier than the arrival of my first paraplegic scholar from Russia, I additionally purchased a wheelchair and went to examine the inns and diving facilities in Hurghada for accessibility for friends with disabilities: Assessing The Accessibility Video.

What challenges have you ever confronted when main adaptive diver packages?

Throughout my experiences working with adaptive diving packages since 2015, many options have been discovered for a few of the challenges we face. Throughout this time I witnessed an excellent lack of correct info shared, and spent a lot of my time in search of the right options. To make it simpler for instructors who're impressed by the concepts of diving for individuals with disabilities, I share detailed blogs about our tasks. Proper now these blogs are in Russian and hope to share my story with the world by means of new retailers. I shoot movies and publish them on my YouTube channel, in addition to take photographs and contribute to one of many largest adaptive diving databases to encourage others. 

Nonetheless, I nonetheless see two points that want options;

  1. There's a lack of available medical experience to find out the protected capability of an individual with a incapacity to interact in diving. If an individual with a incapacity needs to go diving, what physician can conduct an examination for him and provides an goal opinion?
  2. A enough variety of available diving facilities, boats, and resorts are accommodated to obtain divers with disabilities. However as soon as a diver with a incapacity undergoes a coaching course and receives a certificates, it isn't all the time clear the place they will go to dive for enjoyable? There's a want for extra consciousness of the place adaptive divers can truly dive.

What are your objectives for the longer term?

I see extra instructors working with adaptive divers. At the moment, I'm occupied with what our college students will do after they full the course. The place will they dive and who can be their buddies underwater. Extra divers have to be educated to be Assistant Divers who may be buddies for these adaptive divers who want some help underwater.

Extra diving websites (diving facilities, diving boats, diving resorts) must be tailored to accommodate divers with disabilities. I hope to create higher assets to showcase extra adaptive diving pleasant diving places.

Inform us about your upcoming journeys?

The subsequent journey of the Open Water Problem staff will happen in November 2021. We'll go to Roots Red Sea, Egypt. Roots Purple Sea was created by divers for divers. In recent times, Roots have been very pleasant for divers with disabilities. My dream is to deliver Russian divers with disabilities to Roots Purple Sea and shortly it will come true. We now have an intense coaching program of PADI Open Water, PADI Advanced Open Water, and PADI Rescue Diver programs, as our workforce consists of divers with totally different ranges of expertise.

However my plans usually are not solely about journeys. There are a whole lot of issues to do at residence, in native waters. Presently, we're engaged on adaptive drysuit methods for paraplegic divers. We reside in a rustic the place a lot of the our bodies of water are chilly. For paraplegic divers to have the ability to dive extra typically the place they reside, and never solely on uncommon journeys to heat seas, they have to be assured in utilizing a dry go well with. 

Are you able to share any particular tales about your experiences?

One among my goals is to arrange a dive course for a quadruple amputee scholar. I appeared for a candidate for six months. I had despatched out many invites and searched on the web. Lastly, I used to be fortunate: Dmitry Pavlenko agreed to do an intro dive. He got here to the pool together with his spouse Olga. I had requested the trainer lady prematurely to be able to make the PADI DSD program for Olga. I advised to Olga that whereas my colleagues and I have been doing the dive with Dmitry, she might do the DSD program with one other teacher. 

Olga agreed. On the debriefing, once we mentioned our impressions and future plans, Olga stated: ‘That is what we (with Dmitry) can do collectively.’ Immediately Dmitry is a DDI Superior Open Water Diver who has set the world report for depth of unbiased scuba dive for quadruple amputee divers.

See more pictures of Dmitry’s incredible adventures here.