Wounded Warrior and previous diver Ron Kellogg was joined by first timers Samantha Fletcher, Nicole Stieglitz, James Pressly and Jeff Currer, retired Navy and owner of Patriot Scuba and executive director of Patriots for Disabled Divers.
The divers enjoyed their weekend with the sharks and were pleasantly surprised at the generosity of the Outer Banks community. They offer their many thanks to both Joe Lamb Jr. and Associates and Slice Pizzeria for their generous donations.
The weekend of multiple dives were led by Assistant Dive Safety Officer (ADSO) and Guest Dive Coordinator Jason Sheremeta and Dive Masters L’erin Pierce and Shaun Mordo. Both the Warriors and Patriot Scuba staff experienced diving with 12 sharks and more than 100 fish in the Aquarium’s 285,000-gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit. The divers were amazed at the close proximity of some of the sand bar and sand tiger sharks. Fletcher, who served with previous diver David Weiner, signed her name under Weiner’s on the Aquarium’s Wounded Warriors’ flag.
In addition to hosting the dive, ADSO Jason Sheremeta completed his training for Handicap Scuba Instructor, thanks to a generous donation from Patriot Scuba and the help of Currer, Stieglitz and Pressly. The Aquarium is fortunate to have two Handicap Scuba Instructors and two Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) Dive Buddies on site and takes pride in being one of three facilities nationally recognized to accommodate divers with disabilities.
The Aquarium looks forward to the next Wounded Warriors visit set for Sept. 19-23. Community organizations and individuals that would like to help support Wounded Warrior visits can contact Assistant Dive Safety Officer/Guest Dive Coordinator Jason Sheremeta at the Aquarium at 252-473-3494, ext. 239, or by email at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified divers interested in taking part in the Shark Dive program can call the Aquarium, or visit http://www.ncaquariums.com/roanoke-island/aquarium-shark-dive. Certified divers interested in the Aquarium’s Volunteer Dive Program should contact Volunteer Coordinator Shannon Brooks at 252-473-3494, ext. 254.