We've faced Jaws for Charity and Survived!!
Article by Arlene Davidson
When Arlene Davidson and Derek Kelly from Black DIamond FM arrived at the Deep Sea World Premises, ready to take on the Sharks in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust, words could not have described their apprehension.
Once guided through the saftety and assured they would not be eaten and could be saved quickly by Graham one of the staff members at Deep sea, they then set their fears to rest.
After donning their dry suits and wet suits on top of their own clothing and covering themselves, the dressing area and staff in talcum powder, they were ready to go.
Claire at Deep Sea world helped them into the water and advised them to lie back and float, once achieved now they were encouraged to carefully stand back up, Arlene verneer killed a large Ray in the process but they all got safely back up right.
Then it was time to feel like man mountain as the breathing appparatus and weights were added onto them. Complaining of back strain Arlene and Derek smiled through this process and were advised by Megan and Claire the professionals, that once they were under the water that the packs would feel a lot lighter.
The next part was the training to breathe under water and taking out their respirators, easily said but in reality a strange one to get your head around. However, all the guys achieved it first time to the satisfaction of Claire and were promptly given a round of aplause, under water. Lastly, the guys had to learn to let some water in their mask, pinch the top of the mask, look to the so called sun or Tinkerbell, which ever happened to be there and exhale through their nose in order to clear their mask. Derek and Arlene had especially been apprehensive about this but they knuckeled down and again with the guidance of Claire, they got it first time.
The training had taken and hour but to Arlene and Derek they were still unconvinced of their readiness as they were escorted towards the rope, which would help to lead them down into the depths. Until this point, Arlene had done everything first but she took great delight in pushihg Derek into first place when It came time to meet with Jaws himself or Tinkerbell and buddies as they are known at Deep Sea World.
As you were escorted down the rope, you were advised to pinch your nose or swallow for the air pressure, much like in a plane, but as Arlene also realised with all that going on you had to also remember to breathe.
Derek took to the whole experience like a duck to water, Arlene was described by friends and family as looking terrified for the first couple of minutes, then once she got used to her surroundings and waved to friends and family, she was more than at home on the bottom of the sea.
Both Derek and Arlene floated along on the bottom of the sea bed as it were, surrounded by marine life and the freezing cold, filtered, water from the Forth. Waving to friends and family as they pasted and clapping the odd Sting Ray and Tiger Shark when it was safe to do so. Up above unbeknown to them were the monsters of the deep; Tinkerbell and her buddies but thanks to the tunnel vision of the masks, Derek and Arlene had no more mind about the Sharks, it was basically a case of out of sight out of mind, until later in the dive.
The last part of the dive before getting out the tank was to be thrown rather unladylike or gentlemanly like over a small rocky area. Derek had went and now it was time for Arlene, so for the first time, up she got from her knees and was standing upright, the next thing Claire pointed to TINKERBELL and Arlene had to quickly, with a little help from Megan get back down on her knees and as she stared at the sand, she could see the large fish like shadow of Tink as she floated past just inches above her head. However, soon she had passed and it was safe for Arlene to get launched over the rock also.
A little more photos and kneeling about and it was time to go back up the rope and back into the training pool, both Arlene and Derek couldn't believe the adventure was over and after taking off their masks, promptly hugged for the waiting photographs of family and friends.
Arlene ' It was a really strange sensation, i didn't think I would be able to do it at first, I can't believe I have done it and I am just so happy that we have more than doubled our original donnation to the Anthony Nolan Trust'.
Derek ' It was just great, I am glad we done the dive together, seeing all our family and friends on the other side of the glass was amazing, I am so glad I have done it and we have raised a great amount for the good work that the Athony Nolan Trust do.'