Is there an age where you might be too old to dive? What about kids? What age is too young for SCUBA training? Of course there are set limits. PADI says you have to be at least 10 years old to get an Open Water certification. And Dan (Diver’s Alert Network) states that divers over 50 are considered ‘old.’ But every once in a while we are treated with stories of divers who break out of the conventional norm. These intrepid souls are unstoppable and unsinkable. These people are the oldest and youngest divers, and they have stories to tell…
Scuba, the Sport of Grandparents!
Our first stop on this interesting ride is at a website called Undercurrent.org. In an article from August of 2016, the author discusses how it there are many older divers out there who love to enjoy the sport as a couple. While the distinction of the oldest diving pair might be an elusive one, Undercurrent lists a few candidates and others who might deserve honorable mention. The takeaway is that there are many more ‘senior’ divers than you might expect.
What It’s Like … To Be the World’s Oldest Diver
This story was from December, 2011, so the title of the oldest diver has changed by now. However, is it still educational to hear Norman Lancefield’s story, and how he describes in his own words how he managed to still dive in his nineties. Norman, in describing his love for diving, provides us with many gems about the sport. One thing that really sticks out to me is that Norman was diving on the same equipment he’d gotten in 1970. That’s amazing. It’s also amazing that he keeps himself in great diving shape, swimming 500 meters three times a week!
San Diego Boy, 12, Becomes One of Youngest PADI Junior Master Scuba Divers
How does it feel that a 12 year old can dive better than you? Maybe he can’t. Maybe you have a higher certification, but did you do it at twelve? Tennessee Cumming is a 6th grade student and he is also one of the youngest persons to ever be certified as a master diver. He is also an inspiration to everyone who has had challenges in life. You see, Tennessee has several developmental disorders, including ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, oppositional defiance disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, as well as a processing disorder.
A Dive for the Ages
What is it like to witness one of the world’s oldest divers buddying up with one of the world’s youngest? In the spring of 2013, that very thing occurred. In the Sulawesi region of Indonesia, and more specifically, Wakatobi Resort, Dr. Herb McCoy, 92, made an unlikely connection with Max Maeder, age six. Dr. McCoy says it best: “I’d stopped diving [at age 90] because I felt I was using too much air and my vision wasn’t as good as it used to be,” he says. “But when I heard that Max was about to do his first dive, I changed my mind. I guess you could say I came out of retirement.”