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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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Found this on www.scubadiving.com. As the father of a beautiful Downs daughter this struck a chord.

Also noted that this was in the UK but posted on a US board.

Maybe one day I`ll go diving with my laura...



Kay's diving to new depths

May 15 2003

By Colin Birch, Windsor and Eton Express

A CHANCE meeting at the seaside has given diving belle Kay Smith a new lease of life.

The 24-year-old Down's Syndrome girl was visiting Swanage with her folks when they bumped into two scuba divers by the pier.

They were giving diving lessons to another young lad with Downs and Kay was desperate to have a go herself.

Thanks to her persevering parents and the help of experienced divers Paul Biggin and Jerry Casey, Kay got the chance to learn and has taken to the sport like the proverbial duck to water.

The Langley College student was back at Swanage last August where, on two dives under the pier, she spent 35 minutes and later 38 minutes in the water.

Mum Lynda said: "The first thing she said when she came up was 'when am I going to do it again'."

The water wonder from Blandford Road South, Langley, dives every week at Watford swimming pool and has enjoyed a couple of seaside adventures diving to a depth of 15 metres.

"She has done brilliantly," Lynda added. "She is now using a full face mask and is used to the bit in her mouth.

"I knew she would be able to do it because she loves water. So many people were disinterested and would not give her a chance. But she has proved them all wrong.

"The two guys at Watford have been tremendous. It was pure coincidence that we met them by the pier that day.

"We can't thank them enough for all the work they have done with Kay."
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Kirky
thats a lovely story, thanks for posting it. How old is your daughter and do you think she would get something out of diving if/when the time comes. Its great to hear how some people have such depths of kindness that it makes you proud to be a human being.

Matt
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Thumbs up to you Kirky and I hope your daughter gets her wish.  A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to take part in one of the first BSAC disability awareness instructor courses in the NW, which was extremely interesting and made you look at the positives and not the negatives of anyones ability.  

Last year I went on a boat called Undersea Explorer from Port Douglas and we visited the outer reefs such as Osprey, the boat conducts research which is partly funded by tourists anyway on the boat was a large group of Yanks, the usual not the best people you want to share a boat with, one of the group was a girl with learning difficulties she was with her Mother in law, who had taught her and although she didn't actually dive much on the trip (probably not the best trip when you haven't been in the water for 12 months) but she very much enjoyed herself.  Divers of all abilities sometimes just need someone to beleive in them.  

So if you don't belong to one, find a good club with positive instructors, they are out there.  Good luck to her.
 

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A nice story indeed! I'm glad to hear that divers with disabilities get well looked after in the UK. The situatoin is not so good here in Sweden, probably because they are so few.You may have read my posting on the DIR thread in the Surface interval section in which I mention my hemiplegic buddy. He has real problems finding someone to dive with. The people in his own club seem to avoid him like the plague. They always have some excuse when he rings and asks if they want to dive. He has always dreamt of diving in the tropics, so I went to Hurghada for a week with him in Janaury last year and he loved it. Diving with handicapped buddies is not to be taken lightly. You need to be very confident of your own ability to take care of yourself if problems arise and think over and discuss with your buddy how far you would be prepared to go to rescue him or her, but it certainly has its rewards.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi John, sorry to be ignorant but I had to look up your Buddies condition, as for buddying we talked about maybe diving as a three therefore one person would actually buddy the less able diver and then a third person would oversee the situation and should the situation arise then the 3rd person would take responsibility for the rescue.  Before someone says that diving a threesome is not the best way to dive and especially here in the UK with poor viz, the system is designed for safety of all the divers.

Hope you and your buddy enjoy many more overseas trips.
 

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We do try to arrange a threesome when Andrej is with us diving here in Sweden but it's not always possible. I spent half the time towing him on the Red Sea trip as we had currents a lot of the time. We both enjoyed ourselves though. That was a cheap, last-minute trip, so I didn't mind playing the good samaritan but I wouldn't want to do it on a more expensive trip, where it would be a case of wanting to get as much out of the trip for my hard-earned pounds/dollars as possible. He probably wouldn't want to do the long trip to Asia or America anyway, though.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Agreed, a very heartwarming post.
As for disabled diving, I've never dived with a disabled person myself but I've been told by folk who have that they tend to have impeccable buoyancy skills as they think more about what they're doing than other divers.
Chee-az
Steve
 

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<font color='#333399'>Saw the young lady mentioned in Kirk’s post [Swanage pier]
she had just come out of the water from one of her dives under the pier.
Big smile on her face and looked like she thoroughly enjoyed her dive.
Kay’s parents can be real proud of her. Lots of guts and determination there.

Kirky
Hope you get to share the same experience with your daughter.
Kay proved it can be done.
Cheers
Bob
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'Kirky'
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My Laura is 16 - sharp as a button but very immature. One day I`ll try a pool dive with her on hols just to see if she likes it (she loves swimming).

I think Kays story is a great example to us `normal` folk and I applaud her parents. More so, The 2 guys who took the time (and patience) to support Kay should feel prouder than anyone - it takes special people to make others feel special. If anyone knows these guys, pass on our thoughts to them - they are, in my mind - proper divers. Next time I feel crappy at 25m in crap vis I`ll be thinking of Kays smile.

Nuff said
 
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