Caledonia Secondary students got an extra kind of credit this year, with the addition of open water diving and partial level one scuba diving certification.
Jason Larson from Deep Sea Adventures worked with Caledonia’s recreation teacher Ben Mattheis on instructing the students in both theory and practical diving.
Larson said while he has been working with the recreation class for three years now, this is the first time students have had the opportunity to work towards actual certification.
“What they’re doing is a program that allows them to get a certification and credits through school, and after it they can do two open water dives in the ocean and then they get their certification,” Jason said.
Larson spent time at Caledonia teaching students three out of five chapters on the open water diver Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) course, before taking them out for three visits to splash around in the pool at the Terrace Aquatic Centre.
“Jason has put in a lot of time doing the class lessons and visits to the pool,” Mattheis said.
The next step for students who wished to continue was an open water dive in the ocean by Kitimat.
Ranja Blut is an exchange student from Cologne, Germany, who participated in the ocean dive.
“I think its a different experience to do it in the ocean than in the pool,” Blut said. She had never been diving in the ocean before and so it was something she wanted to try.
“It was definitely a good experience,” Blut said, adding that depending on feasibility she would like to try diving in other oceans in the future.
According to Larson, the students got to see Dungeness crab, Herman crab and star fish.
“They loved it,” he said.
Mattheis said this experience was one of the best additions to the recreational course this year.
“The students are not only experiencing scuba for the first time but also learning skills with subsequent visits, which will ultimately lead
to a Scuba Diver certification,” he said adding the process also develops confidence in the water and gives students something to be proud of.