It’s no secret that I love to dive. I am probably my happiest 10 to 20 metres underwater. If you’ve ever been diving, or are an active diver, this will ring true.
In 1996 Sue Austin found herself wheelchair bound. But, that didn’t stopped her from learning to dive. And now she has, with the help of a dedicated team, created a wheelchair that enables her to not only dive but also, seem to dance, underwater.
Diving is not off limits to people with physical limitations. In fact, there are many dive groups and courses designed to help the physically disabled learn to dive. Fraser Bathgate, a diver in the UK, became the world’s first, fully qualified paraplegic dive instructor.
This remarkable invention uses a propeller to move the wheelchair. It has customised fins positioned at the back of her legs to help her steer through the water. All this is operated by her foot as she does not have the physical strength to steer with her arms. After multiple prototypes, the ocean going wheelchair has been created.
Austin is now performing underwater, wheelchair bound performances across the UK.
Quite simply, it shows that nothing is impossible.