CAP cadets participate in ‘Discover’ SCUBA program

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Eleven Civil Air Patrol cadets participated in the recent ‘Discover SCUBA’ program in Huntsville, Ala. Photo submitted

Civil Air Patrol cadets and senior members from Smyrna Squadron TN005 participate in Discover SCUBA program in Huntsville, Ala., on May 10.

Eleven cadets ages 14-18 and five senior members traveled to Huntsville for the Huntsville Space Museums “Discover SCUBA” program. Upon arrival, SM Matt Gaston, PA, provided snap medical inspections for all participants, checking blood pressure, vision, etc. After the cadets were approved they were taken to the top of the 10x10 meter astronaut trainer located inside the museum.

The SCUBA safety briefing and introduction was conducted by the program coordinator Dana Kersjes. Cadets were divided into teams of eight, with two cadets for each master drive instructor. Participant were given a brief swim test across the tank to the dive platform then suited up with a dive vest, regulator, mask and oxygen tank.

Master dive instructors trained cadets on proper use of the regulator, underwater breathing, purging the mask and regulator, hand signals, inner ear equalization and emergency breathing from the secondary oxygen supply from the Master dive instructor’s tank.

Teams of three (master diver and two novice divers) descended from the dive platform down the tank ladder, equalizing and providing the “OK” every 2-4 feet. Once they reached the bottom of the astronaut trainer at 24 feet, dive masters led each pair of cadets through a small course of underwater activities, including basketball (using a bowling ball), assembling a tetrahedron, underwater rocket launch and space station simulator.

Participants were then free to roam about the tank, trying their hand at activities, climb the underwater space station simulator and interact with museum visitors through the tank view windows. Each cadet was given a full 30+ minutes of dive time.

The Discover SCUBA program is a half-day interactive program that allows groups to experience the weightlessness of space, while receiving a high quality introduction to the world of SCUBA from master rated divers who volunteer their time to the museum. The Smyrna Civil Air Patrol Squadron meets weekly at Stones River Baptist Church in Smyrna. For more information,visit

Tagged under  cadets, CAP, Civil Air Patrol, Discover, dive, SCUBA, water

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