Alper Patır, wheelchair user and leader of the Denizli AKUT Team, recently visited Fethiye where he went scuba diving. On reaching a depth of five metres he explored the seabed in his wheelchair. He explained that he was doing this in order to raise awareness.
A group of 40 AKUT members from Denizli and Afyonkarahisar came to the Elite Diving School to go scuba diving. After a training session given by instructors Selami Tuncellı, Aydın Tanal and Önder Diktaş, Alper Patır and members of his team went for a dive in Dalyan Bay. Diving with his wheelchair, Patır explored the seabed at a depth of 5 metres; he also fed the fish. As well as being an instructor Aydın Tanal is also an underwater photographer, and he took some great pictures of Patır.
Alper Patır, who damaged his spinal cord last year when he fell from a tree in Ukraine, stayed underwater for 42 minutes. He said that he takes part in various activities to give encouragement to everyone who has spinal cord paralysis, adding: “Today we’ve had the marvellous experience of diving. To all my fellow wheelchair users, please do not stay at home; keep going strong and enjoy life. Life is wonderful and well worth living. We encourage everyone to do this. During the dive we fed fish and I wandered around in my wheelchair, to raise awareness.”
Patir explained that they had dived to a depth of 5.5 metres together with their trainers and fed the fish in a setting that was not unlike an aquarium. “We are trying to raise awareness among people with spinal cord paralysis, wheelchair users and everyone with disabilities,” he said. “Everyone is capable of participating these activities. All we need is self-confidence. Years ago I used to dive with a harpoon but this is the first time I have enjoyed scuba-diving. Now I’m planning to go paragliding. If the weather is ok I really want to have a go.”
Courtesy of Land of Lights