Sport Diver - - Contents -

Si­mon Chance talks about a diver who faced her fears to be­come a PADI Pro­fes­sional and re­veals the lat­est read­ers to achieve MSD sta­tus.

Jo­hanna Mcmanus was pre­vi­ously ter­ri­fied of deep wa­ter, the re­sult of a poorly con­ducted snorkelling trip over the Blue Hole, in Da­hab.

De­spite this, the allure of aquatic in­ter­ac­tions was suf­fi­ciently strong that Jo­hanna de­cided to chal­lenge her fears in 2012, while on hol­i­day in Turkey, set­ting, as her goal, the sight of tur­tles swim­ming freely. While there, her In­struc­tor helped Jo­hanna take things a step fur­ther, try­ing a full Dis­cover Scuba pro­gramme; so suc­cess­ful was this ex­pe­ri­ence that Jo­hanna went on to com­plete fur­ther Dis­cover pro­grammes there, purg­ing the legacy of her pre­vi­ous bad ex­pe­ri­ence and set­ting a new course in her life.

Com­plet­ing her PADI Open Wa­ter Diver certi- fi­ca­tion later the same year, Jo­hanna then faced any re­main­ing de­mons head-on, re­turn­ing to Da­hab for her Ad­vanced Open Wa­ter Diver pro­gramme as some­thing of a Christ­mas present to her­self, and sur­round­ing it with nu­mer­ous - though still some­what ner­vous - plea­sure dives, redis­cov­er­ing the abun­dant charm of­fered to divers at this famed Be­douin vil­lage.

From there, Jo­hanna’s love for div­ing just grew and grew. A peek into re­vealed Bolton Area Divers just a few miles along the A58 from her UK home, so on her re­turn to England it was back into the wa­ter for her Dry­suit cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, which then opened fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties to dive year-round - and is de­scribed by Jo­hanna her­self as the day that changed her life. Spend­ing ev­ery week­end in the wa­ter with PADI In­struc­tors fos­tered an in­ter­est in help­ing oth­ers dis­cover their own new ex­pe­ri­ences and, from join­ing the ranks of PADI Pro­fes­sion­als as a Dive­mas­ter in Septem­ber 2013, Jo­hanna achieved full PADI In­struc­tor cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in the Sum­mer of 2014.

And Jo­hanna has been us­ing that cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to great ef­fect; al­ready a PADI “Elite 50” In­struc­tor be­fore 2015 be­gan, she spent the early months work­ing to achieve her IDC Staff In­struc­tor cre­den­tial, help­ing to sup­port and en­cour­age new PADI In­struc­tor can­di­dates in prepa­ra­tion for their In­struc­tor Ex­ams. Back in Egypt for the sum­mer - “what other job”, asks Jo­hanna, “can you do in your swimwear, in a nat­u­ral aquar­ium, with new things to see all the time?” - Jo­hanna is now work­ing to­ward Master In­struc­tor cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, with a Side­mount In­struc­tor cre­den­tial on the, er, side.

The story doesn’t stop there, though; al­though a long-term suf­ferer of Crohn’s dis­ease, Jo­hanna’s con­di­tion is now in re­mis­sion, off med­i­ca­tion with­out re­lapse, which she firmly be­lieves is due to div­ing. Just how cool is that?


Si­mon R Chance,

man­ager, PADI Div­ing So­ci­ety and PADI Re­tailer & Re­sort As­so­ci­a­tions

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