At the young age of fourteen, Nitcharee Peneakchanasak’s life changed forever. While traveling to Singapore to study, Nitcharee was unfortunately involved in a train accident that resulted in the loss of both of her legs. With determination to follow her goals and dreams, and the support of her family and friends, she learnt how to adapt to her new life as an amputee.

Nitcharee dreamed of once again pursuing the activities that she had previously loved, graduating school and showing that she could still live a normal life despite her accident. Today, she uses her own life lessons and personal experiences as a motivational speaker. Nitcharee hopes to help others reflect on themselves in order to improve their own lives.

Motivated by her father who was looking for a diving buddy, Nitcharee learnt to scuba dive. After completing her course, Nitcharee was featured as part of the Thai Colgate ‘Beautiful Smile’ campaign which showed her diving in Thailand. After falling in love with the ocean, Nitcharee is now studying for her PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and Enriched Air Diver certifications.

We sat down with Nitcharee and asked her some questions about her experiences diving so far.

Nitcharee Peneakchanasak - Amputee Diver

What Was Your Biggest Challenge Learning to Dive and How Did You Overcome It?

I am someone who has always loved the ocean and visiting the aquarium. After seeing the beautiful life underwater at these places, it become my dream to have the opportunity to dive down into the ocean and see it all for myself. However, when I had my accident and lost my legs, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to have that opportunity anymore. I then thought, I can do it. I am strong and I am mentally ready. Getting back to living a life similar to the one I had before my accident became my biggest challenge. I changed my mindset and quickly realized that although I do not have legs, I am still capable to dive and I just need to try. When I actually changed how I thought and tried diving, I found that it was possible to do and not as hard as I once thought it would be.  

What Is Your Favorite Thing About Diving?

My favorite thing about diving is that even though I don’t have both of my legs, I can go anywhere under the sea without assistance. I enjoy the freedom, the beauty and tranquility of the sea and most importantly, I love seeing marine animals up close underwater!

What Advice Do You Have for Other Disabled Individuals Looking to Learn to Dive?

Do not limit yourself by thinking you can’t do something. Even with a disability, you need to first try to learn or talk to a profession to see how they can help.

Where Is the Best Place You Have Been Diving So Far and Why?

I love diving at the Similan islands in Phang Nga because it is a very stunning place. The water is crystal clear and there is an abundance of marine life.

The Similan Islands - Thailand

What Are Your Diving Goals for the Future?

I hope to continue learning by completing my next scuba diving certification so I can visit more advanced dive sites and dive overseas.

How Do Your Parents (Your Father in Particular) Feel About You Diving Now?

My father is delighted that I was able to overcome my limitations. I did something that many people might think is impossible and he is thrilled that I am living my life and enjoying diving.

Where Would You Like Your Next Diving Adventure to Be?

In the future I dream to dive in the Maldives because I want to see the countries beauty and also achieve my goal of diving overseas.

w maldives reef

Please congratulate Nitcharee on her diving achievements to date and her continued adventures as she studies for her PADI Advanced Open Water and Enriched Air Diver certifcations. 

Want to learn to dive like Nitcharee? Start your Open Water Diver eLearning course from home with PADI eLearning.

Guest blog written by PADI Regional Manager, Robert Scammell.

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