[Written by Stephen Wright]
A new scuba diving company on the island aims to help people safely explore local waters while encouraging them to become advocates for the environment.
EcoDive was launched in March and offers recreational, after-work and nighttime dives and snorkelling excursions to individuals and groups of up to four people.
A Scuba Diving International [SDI] training and certification centre, EcoDive is the brainchild of Sam Bennett, who started scuba diving aged 11 and is the youngest divemaster and instructor on the island.
The 27-year-old said EcoDive is not just a dive centre; it is a place to explore the reefs, caves and marine life while learning how to preserve and protect the natural beauty of the island.
“I was inspired to not only start a company that offered diving-related services but use them as a platform to teach and educate people about the ocean environment,” Mr Bennett told Bernews.
“One area we’re focusing on is plastic pollution. We do clean-ups on every single dive excursion.
“Divers are given mesh bags to collect rubbish from the ocean. We also spend ten minutes cleaning up the environment around us, whether the beach, the woods, or wherever.
“We want to leave each location in a better condition than how we found them.”
Mr Bennett said he fell in love with scuba diving after his “first breath underwater” and believes Bermuda – the shipwreck capital of the Atlantic Ocean – has some of the most stunning dive sites in the world.
“Bermuda has the most northern reefs in the Atlantic Ocean and some of the most unique corals I’ve ever seen,” said Mr Bennett, an on-water safety diver for SoftBank Team Japan during the America’s Cup in 2017.
“We have some amazing fan corals the size of buses. It’s just gorgeous. Half a dozen stunning limestone arches have naturally formed just off Elbow Beach. You can swim through them and see lots of different types of fish. It’s phenomenal!”
Mr Bennett, who moved to Bermuda from the UK as a ten-year-old, said EcoDive, a mobile operation, offers several courses, including recreational, continued education, technical and professional.
“You turn up, and we bring the equipment,” said Mr Bennett, who previously worked as an in-water safety trainer for SailGP.
“It makes life easier, and we get to explore various locations around the island.”
For more details, visit www.ecodivebda.com.