The Herald Bulletin

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Community

January 17, 2014

Beginners dive into scuba basics at YMCA

Gym offers course for swimmers to get certified

ANDERSON — With her black flippers fluttering behind and water all around her, Megan Farver inhaled and exhaled at the bottom of the pool.

“You’d be surprised how much your ears pop,” she said. “You’re not that far down.”

Farver and five other beginners got a hint of what it’s like to scuba dive at the Anderson YMCA on Monday night.

The newcomers were introduced to some of the basics of diving during the YMCA’s “I Tried Scuba.” The organization is offering an eight-session class Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m. At the end of the course, participants will be eligible for open water certification.

“I Tried Scuba” was originally scheduled for Jan. 6, but the snow storm and travel restrictions pushed it back a week.

At least six people need to be registered for the course, instructor Les Hiatt said. The number of people and when they register will determine whether the course will start Monday or Jan. 27.

The course costs $175 for YMCA members and $225 for non-members. It’s open to anyone 12 years of age and older.

Hiatt, who is an instructor with Scuba Educators International, said he knew of three people taking the course and if three more don’t register, he will likely hold another “I Tried Scuba” event.

“You can experience whatever you want in the ocean,” he said.

But before the simmers go into the water, they have to dive into the pool of scuba knowledge.

He started Monday’s lesson by passing around two teeth from carchordon megalodons, a shark that’s been extinct for millions of years. The 4- to 5-inch teeth, which Hiatt found in Florida, are just an example of what people can find while scuba diving.

“I’ve seen a lot of Dorys and I’ve seen a lot of Nemos,” Hiatt said, referring to two of the main characters in the aquatic Disney animated film “Finding Nemo.”

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