Anna Chouler wrote to us about a fund raising dive she completed whilst diving with Emperor Divers in Sharm El Sheikh. Read Anna's story of how she raised money for Guide dogs for the Blind...
"I was away with Deep Blue Pirates dive group from Whitley Bay, Newcastle Upon Tyne, diving in the Red Sea with Emperor Divers. I completed a 26 minute dive at a max depth of 15.1m, accompanied by my dive buddy Rachael Mckendry. The reason was to raise money and awareness for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Currently my total is at about £750, more information at www.justgiving.com/blindscubadive.
I am not blind so I had a blindfold on top of my dive mask to replicate what it would be like. Both myself and my buddy are experienced divers. Emperor Divers were a great help on my dive, running through the health and safety and encouraging me 100%. The local staff, although confused by why I would go into the water blindfolded, were great at helping me in and out of the water.
Divers will realise how hard this was as I couldn't communicate by voice and needed to know from my gauges how deep I was, how long I had been diving and most importantly how much air I had left. I worked with my dive buddy to create touch communication so she could tell me the information I needed.
The Guide Dogs Charity makes a big difference to thousands of lives across the country. There is no government funding so they rely completely on donations from the public. It costs around £50,000 to breed, train and support a guide dog throughout its working life. There are currently 180,000 blind and partially sighted people that rarely leave their home. Guide Dogs are commited to change this.
The dive itself I really enjoyed and wasn't stressed at all - I think my buddy was more worried than I was; I found it very peaceful. My senses were definitely on overdrive, especially hearing; I could hear the other divers breathing in the water and any boats going overhead. I had no idea what direction i was going in. I felt myself going up and down at the end of the dive but in between I had no idea and had to completely rely on my buddy to lead me around.
I was out in Egypt as part of a group of 20 divers from Deep Blue Pirates who have supported me through the preparation and dive with advice and as photographers and videographers and raised over £100 through the Deep Blue Pirate dive club members (www.deepbluepirates.net). Thanks to all who helped me achieve this and raise more money for a very good cause."