About a year ago I blogged about mermaid diving and its rising popularity, not only among divers, but attracting more people to diving in new ways. Even if you didn’t see that post, you’re likely aware of mermaid diving because it’s getting lots of media attention.

One of the attractions of mermaid diving is that it is a way of bringing fantasy to life – making something whimsical real – at least to a degree. But, I doubt anyone foresaw that circumstances would take this a step farther, turning the fantasy of being rescued by a mermaid into reality.

More About the Rescue

According to news reports, PADI Instructors Elaina Garcia, Elle Jimenez and Great Chin Burger made this happen on 23 October, when they rescued an unresponsive scuba diver at Catalina Island, California. Jimenez was teaching rescue protocols to PADI Advanced Mermaid students (Garcia, a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor, and Burger, a PADI Freediver Instructor were among the students) when divers surfaced nearby with their buddy blacked-out and not breathing. Immediately going to the divers’ aid, the mermaids initiated rescue breathing and gear removal, towing the stricken diver to quickly to shore, where CPR was performed for about 10 minutes before he began breathing on his own. Following recompression the diver has fully recovered, and the news coverage says EMS credit the mermaids’ rescue with saving his life.

This incident highlights that mermaid diving is diving. It’s not just swimming in a costume, but its own form of diving. While beautiful, artistic and expressive, those like Burger, Garcia and Jimenez who excel at it, do so through training, experience and dedication – just like every other form of diving. Yes, almost anyone who can swim can enjoy mermaid diving, but mermaiding at their level is an accomplishment that’s harder than it looks. It demands core strength and athleticism applying mastered skills that include choreography and breathhold diving – not to mention carrying out diver rescue wearing a mermaid monofin.

Since the rescue, there’s been a lot of coverage about it – beside the links above, go here and here to see just a few of the stories. And if you’ve yet to trying mermaiding yourself, ask your local PADI Dive Center or Resort about the PADI Mermaid programs. You may find yet another way to be part of seeking adventure and saving the ocean.

Article written by:
Drew Richardson
PADI President & CEO PADI Worldwide

Related Readings

Benefits of Being a PADI Mermaid

How to Save the Ocean as a Mermaid

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