Dubai: 12-year-old dives 70ft in the Gulf of Oman

She attempted the advanced licence at the minimum eligible age



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 14 Jun 2022, 3:32 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Jun 2022, 9:13 AM

A 12-year-old Indian expat from Odisha, Tisya Panigrahi, has become the state’s youngest junior advanced open water scuba diver after diving 70ft in the Gulf of Oman.

On June 8, her 12th birthday, she dived into the sea at the Martini Rock dive site on the UAE’s east coast. She attempted the advanced licence at the minimum eligible age.

She is also one of the youngest in this category in the UAE to have done this. While undertaking this bold feat, she was accompanied by her father Priyadarshee, who is also a certified scuba diver.

Tisya who has always been rapt by underwater, while speaking to Khaleej Times, explains all this is not for recreation alone but for a purpose.

“Once I am older with my diving licence, I would like to explore and promote preservation of the ocean and help clean-ups. I don't want to just explore I want to do something concrete for the ocean. It's extremely important and it already does so much for us. So, it would be wrong to just exploit it. I would like to promote the idea sometime in school as well. I want to raise awareness about ocean, and everything related to marine conservation. I would want to encourage my friends to pursue scuba diving,” explains the Grade 6 student of Raffles World Academy, who wants to grow up to become an astrophysicist.

She explains her initial predicament when she started out on an e-learning platform.

“At the beginning when I was reading textbooks, that time I was really scared about decompression sickness and the technicalities pertaining to moving up slowly. There's something called a decompression stop (time). I was really interested in knowing how it is calculated and how it would keep us safe. The textbook made it sound really scary, but it is actually really easy to avoid,” says the girl.

Tisya, who completed her course at Al Boom Diving Al Aqah, Fujairah obtained her Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Junior Open Water Scuba Diver license at the age of 10.

Being a junior open water diver, she was allowed to dive up to 12 metre/40 feet initially.

But keen to explore further and to be able to dive to 18 metre/60 feet she really looked forward to turning 12, to be able to do the junior advanced course and dive up to 21 metre/70 feet like adults.

“So, I started training when I was 10. But I first got motivated, because of my father. He is a scuba diver himself. When I was younger, he used to show me videos and photos from his experiences whenever he would go diving. I really liked watching the videos and I wanted to experience it for myself. So, I did the course and that's how I got into this,” she added.

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