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.
The Dive Immersion Program is conducted in the Georgia Aquarium’s 6.3 million gallon Ocean Voyager exhibit with a minimum of 16 events per week. Many of the guests have come from countries around the world for the opportunity to Dive or Swim with four Whale Sharks, four Manta Rays, Great Hammerhead Sharks, Sand Tiger Sharks, the largest collection of giant grouper and more than 55 species of fish with more than of 6,000 animals. The Georgia Aquarium’s Vision is “To be the World’s Most Engaging Aquarium Experience”. The Dive Immersion Program, Journey with the Gentle Giants meets this vision by conducting the Journey with the Gentle Giants in two formats, a Dive and a surface adventure. Guests with and without disabilities experience first-hand the amazing and undeniable connection we all have with our aquatic environment.