DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — Like-minded scuba diving women in Destin joined forces Saturday for the annual PADI Women’s Dive Day 2022. The group of 19, including all-female dive masters and instructors, toured the Destin bridge rubble 1 mile off the coast on July 16.
The women ranged in age and skill level from beginner to life-long divers. Scheuermann said this was Emerald Coast Scuba’s first all-female dive for the celebrated day.
“My goal was basically to just get a cool group of ladies out on the water and have a good time socialized topside and have a good dive under the water and we did that and then some,” said Scheuermann. “I think everybody made a lot of new connections that will hopefully last a very long time. Everybody met some new dive buddies and it was nice to be the majority instead of the minority for a change so it was cool.”
Scheuermann has been diving on the coast for more than 10 years and has seen a big shift in genders over the years at the shop.
“Most of the time I was the only female on board any boat that I was ever on and now that ratio over the past 10 years, the ratios have balanced out to almost 50/50,” said Scheuermann. “At this point whenever I’m on a boat now I’m with at least a few other ladies.”
The 2021 PADI Worldwide statistics showed a steady pace of male and female certifications. A bigger change has been seen in the age groups getting certified.
“So yeah, it definitely is cool to see the influx of females in the dive industry and that we’re seeing it exactly in our local area,” said Scheuermann.
Evelin Potter, 14, was just certified with Emerald Coast Scuba and participated in the first Women’s Dive Day.
“It was great,” said Potter.”I didn’t have to feel self-conscious ’cause there aren’t any boys around. Mostly just ’cause there was a lot of friends there and also the waves weren’t as choppy as the first time I did an ocean dive.”
Potter shared her favorite thing about scuba diving with WKRG News 5. “Mostly just being able to see everything that’s got that God created and like all the fish and I really like the starfish, it was really cute too,” said Potter.
Emerald Coast Scuba offers year-round classes for scuba diving and certifications. For those that have never tried it, a discover dive will test out if the sport is right for you.
PADI operates in more than 186 countries and territories in the world with more than 6,600 dive centers.
More about PADI Women’s Dive Day:
PADI® Women’s Dive Day has grown into the most celebrated day of diving on the planet, transforming lives and opening the door to the underwater world. For eight years, the dive community has rallied together to encourage divers of all genders, ages, races, backgrounds, and abilities to confidently explore and protect the ocean.PADI Women’s Dive Day