Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dive Immersion shows support for Light It Up Blue

On April 2, 2012, Autism Speaks and the global autism community celebrated the fifth annual United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day. In celebration of this day, Autism Speaks launched an international initiative called Light It Up Blue

It’s a simple idea – buildings, schools, retailers, homes, houses of worship and more turn their lights blue or put signs in their windows to show their support for the autism community. Last year, over 2000 buildings, landmarks and more turned blue. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

US Navy Divers Reenlistment at the Georgia Aquarium

On October 13, 2011 in celebration of the US Navy’s 236th anniversary, The Georgia Aquarium’s Dive Immersion Program had the immense honor of hosting a re-enlistment ceremony for the Navy 2nd Special Operations Unit from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina .The Ocean Voyager Gallery was packed with proud and excited families and friends of the military personnel plus Georgia Aquarium guests.

Shepherd Center Takes A Journey with the Gentle Giants

On October 18, 2011, the Dive Immersion Program, supported by Dive Ops hosted the Shepherd Center for a Swim for six Spinal cord injured individuals. The injuries of the group included paraplegia and quadriplegia. The Swim serves as part of their rehabilitation process in collaboration with the Shepherd Center Therapeutic Recreation Department. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Pyramids Of OhVee

On Wednesday, August 24, the entire Dive Operations and Dive Immersion staff at the Georgia Aquarium took part in forming several underwater pyramids inside the Ocean Voyager exhibit. The feat involved 27 people and was orchestrated by Dive Safety Officer Jeff Reid, Asst. Dive Safety Officer Ron Barbieri, and Asst. Mgr. Dive Immersion Program Susan Oglesby. The standing pyramid was rather difficult to pull off, particularly for anyone not on the bottom level. Standing on someone's shoulders underwater is a tad tricky. The seated pyramid was much easier to do but the top levels tended to be obscured by everyone's bubbles below them.

The Dive Operations and Dive Immersion staff form a pyramid in Ocean Voyager as Alice the Whale Shark swims by

Here is a video of the entire process:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Ocean Voyager Storage Area

If you’ve passed through the Ocean Voyager top deck recently, you’ve probably seen some big changes (and maybe wondered why Dive Ops is building a massive jungle gym).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Surface Supply Class

In most of the exhibits at Georgia Aquarium the divers do not dive with traditional scuba equipment. Instead, the staff and volunteers use a system of scuba diving called surface supply.

Through the Eyes of an Intern: Extrication Drills

The following was written by one of Dive Operation's current interns, Drew Willey:

I am one of the new dive operations interns at the Georgia Aquarium, and although I am only three days on the job I have already discovered the level of expertise that runs behind the scenes here every day. So it is safe to say the Georgia Aquarium staff has to be well organized… and they definitely are just that. From administration to maintenance, the proper standards and regulations are held sacred to the staff and volunteers. The Aquarium is a “well oiled machine” and most importantly well prepared.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wounded Warriors swim with Gentle Giants

Soldiers from Ft. Gordon, Eisenhower Medical Chaplains Group enjoyed a Journey with the Gentle Giants On July 20. They are part of the Georgia Aquarium’s Wounded Warriors/Warriors in Transition Battalion Outreach Program funded by an anonymous donor. The Journey with the Gentle Giants supports existing rehabilitation efforts and in some cases serves as an adjunctive therapy in assisting the soldiers with their transitions.
(L-R) Spc. Shaketa Rodgers, Divine Mason, Arturo Lopez, 
Ch. Luis E. LopezColon, James Cooper, 1st Lt Desmond Davis          

Centennial Olympic Park Family Fun Day

Volunteers Andrew and Diedre Agustin
share their experience with others. 
On Saturday July 23rd, the Georgia Aquarium participated in Centennial Olympic Park’s Saturday Family Fun Day. The theme of this week’s event was “All About Sports”, so our volunteer divers represented our SCUBA Diving Program. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Through the Eyes of an Intern

The Dive Operations department takes on a couple of interns for three to four month periods.  Working in this department as an intern requires plenty of hard work and dedication. However, the internship itself is very rewarding.   The following was written by one of Dive Operation's current interns, Sophie Gaze:

Photo by James Drobny
 Most people hear the word “internship” and might picture a frazzled college student running around an office organizing papers and making coffee for the boss. Well my bosses are highly qualified dive professionals who operate with such a high level of technical expertise the demands they make on their interns go way beyond unexciting tasks like making coffee. Therefore, as a Dive Operations Intern at Georgia Aquarium my responsibilities are a bit different than an average “internship.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Accessible dive location for a life changing experience

Let's go diving!

The Georgia Aquarium Inc. Dive Immersion Program began operation in 2008 and the facilities were planned to accommodate Divers and Swimmers of all abilities and meet ADA requirements. The very first guests were wounded warriors from Eisenhower Medical Center. To date more than 12,000 guests have participated in the Dive Immersion programs which included many guests with disabilities. Working with Warriors in Transition at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, the Dive Immersion Program has been part of their Wounded Warrior rehabilitation process. The Dive Immersion program was awarded the Eisenhower Medical Center’s metal of excellence for this activity. Wounded warriors from Fort Bragg, South Carolina and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA have also used the Dive Immersion Program as part of the rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord and other injuries.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Handicapped Scuba Association Instructor Training class

Recently, several members of Dive Operations and the Dive Immersion Program went through the Instructor certification class for the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA). This class introduced existing Dive Masters and Instructors to the skills and challenges required to certify people with disabilities as Open Water Scuba divers. The Dive Immersion Program has several groups of guests with paraplegia, quadriplegia, and visual impairments that dive with us on a regular basis so it is imperative that the staff be prepared to accommodate these guests and make their dives enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Swimming with a group from the Shepherd Center

Front L-R: Trey Bradbury, Travis Cox, Marlos Chenault, Gail Yordy
Rear L-R: Nakuma Brown, Angie Pihera, Tara MacCaughelty, Cecilia Rider
On Thursday, April 14, a small group from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta came to the Georgia Aquarium to swim with the gentle giants. The swimmers included Travis Cox, Marlos Chenault, Trey Bradbury, and Gail Yordy. The Dive Immersion staff used their recent Handicap Scuba Association training as the four swimmers were wheelchair users and required assistance getting geared up and entering and exiting the water.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An impressive start to the new year: Dive Ops successfully isolates a significant leak

What a way to start 2011! Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, a significant leak developed in an outlet pipe of Ocean Voyager. The leak’s placement was such that it could not be isolated using only valves, so Dive Ops was called in to install a flange plate onto the end of a 54” pipe.

You're a Diver?

"So, what do you do for a living?" It's a common question and we tend to use it to understand someone we've just met. Your job, in many regards is simply that...a job. It fills the time between those pesky nine-to-five hours when watching the clock becomes a large part of the day. However, we often forget that in many ways, it is the work that we choose to do which defines a good portion of our personalities.