Scuba diving is one of the most exhilarating and immersive ways to experience the beauty and diversity of South Africa’s marine life. At the Two Oceans Aquarium, our PADI Dive School is the ultimate diving destination for all levels and all ages. Divers are spoilt for choice, with the I&J Ocean Exhibit being one of the most popular exhibits.
Evanne Rothwell, who volunteered at the Aquarium for 12 years and is a lifetime member, has proved that scuba diving never gets old! Evanne is 78 years young and recently completed a PADI Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course in the I&J Ocean Exhibit. Tersia Greenstone, Dive School Coordinator and Instructor, thinks Evanne may be the oldest Aquarium member to complete a DSD course!
Evanne’s diving experience is an inspiring one. As a child, she had a traumatic experience with water and developed a lifelong fear of drowning. With this in mind, you wouldn’t expect Evanne to be particularly keen to try scuba diving! However, she decided to dive in (literally) and conquer her fears.
Part of the reason for Evanne’s dive was her son, Andrew, visiting South Africa from overseas after not seeing his parents for several years. Andrew qualified as a Deep Water Dive Instructor in America and was keen to dive in Cape Town. The Aquarium’s I&J Ocean Exhibit was top on his list of dive spots in Cape Town! “After lots of headwork, I decided I would scuba with him and try to overcome my drowning fear,” says Evanne.
Tersia took Evanne through the basics of diving before she and her son entered the water. The PADI Discover Scuba Diving Course is designed to give novices an enjoyable and closely supervised experience. To ensure this, the first part of DSD includes vital knowledge like hand signals, gear checks, and safety aspects. According to Evanne, “Tersia was the most amazing instructor – so patient, kind and understanding. She played a huge part in my having the courage to dive”.
The dive itself was short but sweet! Tersia didn’t guide Evanne too deep into theI&J Ocean Exhibit as she wanted Evanne to acclimatise and enjoy the experience without feeling stressed. Evanne had time to marvel at the magnificent stingrays, some brightly-coloured fish, and the turtles undergoing rehabilitation. After around 10 minutes, the cold prompted her to exit. “But I did it!” says Evanne. “I am so proud of myself as I have broken some of my fears by going far out of my depth and comfort zone.”
Evanne proved to herself that she could overcome a significant fear and showed her children and grandchildren that they could do the same! Her story of courage is a reminder that everyone can do things they never thought they could.
Discover Scuba Diving allows new divers to enjoy the underwater world for a short time and in the safest possible environment: the perfect experience for new (or nervous) divers! The I&J Ocean Exhibit is the best choice for budding divers – the water is much warmer than the other exhibits, the marine life is spectacular, conditions are always ideal, and our expert Instructors are with you at every step!
Evanne says, “I had done what I wanted to do, and now I know that even at my age, you can overcome a lifelong fear”.
What are you waiting for? Dive in, just like Evanne!
Everything our Marine Wildlife Management Team needs to disentangle Cape fur sealsThe Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation’s Marine Wildlife Management Programme (MWMP) regularly disentangles Cape fur seals in the V&A Waterfront precinct. Let's find out how!
Our birthday Trash Bash was the best yet!What better way to celebrate the Two Oceans Aquarium’s 28th birthday than with the last Trash Bash beach cleanup of 2023? On Saturday, 13 November, our incredible Aquarium family gathered on Muizenber...
It's our birthday! The Two Oceans Aquarium turns 28Join us in celebrating the Aquarium's 28th birthday with us, as we look back on some of our highlights over the years - and look forward to creating more special moments!