Our #WhyWeDoIt campaign is celebrating and inspiring the diving community around the world. As we follow four international divers, sharing their personal stories on camera, DAN Europe explores what it means to be a diver, getting to the bottom of “why we do it”. Diving is a beautiful passion and with our 400,000+ members worldwide, it’s safe to say they all love and care about the Ocean. Our organisation’s mission is to help divers by providing emergency medical assistance, promoting safety, offering first aid courses and training, as well as conducting vital research. And here’s why.
The Jetlagged – Filmmakers and Ocean Conservationists
“When we go diving, we become explorers of the most unknown part of this world. It is beautiful, magical and full of wonders – it is what makes our planet blue. Every time we go there, it feels like coming home.”
The Jetlagged are underwater filmmakers always on the search for new ocean adventures, from the polar circle to the equator. Fascinated by the incredible beauty in the sea, but also concerned about the fragility of the oceans and their unique ecosystems, they decided to become ambassadors of the underwater world and use their cameras and skills to make a difference. With their award-winning films, documentaries and immersive 360 VR videos, they want to inspire other people to explore, enjoy and protect our oceans.
Mario Arena - Diving explorer & DAN member
The sea “is like the biggest museum on planet earth” in the eyes of diving instructor and explorer Mario Arena. His two passions, for the sea and for naval history, run deep within his veins. His mother was a history teacher and his father was a naval engineer. Today, Mario forms part of a team of global explorers who are helping with the retrieval of priceless artefacts from the underwater archaeological site where hundreds of ships sank during the 241 BC Battle of the Aegates Islands.
Jason deCaires Taylor — Sculptor & DAN member
The ocean is “an incredible space where I disconnect”, says Jason. It’s where you can be completely alone with your thoughts and feelings. As an artist, Jason has created a monumental underwater sculpture at the Museo Atlántico (underwater museum) in Lanzarote, Spain. His work draws attention towards various issues and the fragility of our underwater environment. Speaking from the heart, he declares “we are as dependent on the environment as it is dependent on us”.
Alban Michon — Ice diver & DAN member
Alban fell in love with diving at the age of 11. Like many divers, he was inspired by the great Jacques-Yves Cousteau and one cold December day he decided to “see what’s under the lake”. Alban can only describe going under as something “fabulous”, a world of reefs and colours which has made him want to preserve our environment. We can only hope others follow his example. C’est beau!
Justin Carmack — Scuba dive blogger & DAN member
As soon as Justin went on a trip around the world and got scuba-certified in Mozambique, he instantly knew that’s what he wanted to do for the rest of his life — “travel the world”. In his video, Justin explains how there’s always something new to discover underwater, and there’s a whole other world down there that just makes his life “a thousand times better”.
Raffaella Schlegel — Freediver & DAN member
Raffaella’s journeys take her around the world to some of the most extraordinary places. As a photographer, she enjoys the exclusive privilege of being in close proximity to wild sea creatures. The ocean, the light and the energy found underwater has a unique story to tell, which Raffaella manages to capture in incredible ways. When freediving, the deeper she goes, the more she discovers.
Steve Martin — Sidemount Diving Instructor & DAN member
In 18 years of scuba diving, Steve Martin has experienced countless underwater adventures, from exploring the cave systems in Mexico to swimming with manta rays in the Maldives. But nothing gives him more satisfaction than teaching others. Since founding Sidemount Scuba Diving in 2009, Steve has been giving back to the diving community by providing online video courses and raising awareness about environmentally sustainable diving – “the more divers we put underwater, the more people we can educate about the beauty of the underwater world and how to protect it”.