Two students from the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre who completed their PADI Open Water Diver Certification participated in a dive with stingrays for the first time on 10 June.
Nathaniel Stewart and Suyapa De Leon were able to experience a diving phenomenon that draws tourists to the Cayman Islands from all over the world.
After a briefing from boat captain Este of Don Fosters Dive bout the history of Stingray City and some safety information about the stingrays, Nathaniel and Suyapa were able to jump in the water and spend just under an hour playing with the animals, as well as feeding them.
Both Nathaniel and Suyapa learned how to scuba dive this year through the Learn to Dive arm of the government’s Extended After School programme, which aims to provide students from CIFEC, John Gray High School and Clifton Hunter High School with more opportunities to get involved in sporting activities. A total of six students have completed their Open Water Diving Certifications this year thanks to the Learn to Dive Programme.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity for young Caymanians to learn how to scuba dive and has opened up a whole new world to them,” said PADI Scuba Diving Instructor Fiona Walker. “Some of the students who have successfully completed their Open Water Diving Certifications this year have ambitions of working in the diving industry of marine sciences in the future, so hopefully this will be the first step towards reaching their goals,” she added.
The Learn to Dive programme will continue into the new school year from September 2012.