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Still Scuba Diving ... At The Age Of 91 !

"Age is no barrier when you’re doing something you enjoy and appreciate!"

This is the case of the 91 year-old Norman Lancefield, who considered to be the oldest scuba diver in the UK.


Hitting 91 has not deterred Norman Lancefield from taking on adventures in life. Despite taking up the hobby relatively late – aged 58 in 1978 – Norman has racked up hundreds of dives. His diving career has taken him all over the world including Mexico, Malta, Turkey, and several times to the Red Sea.

Norman has been a member of his dive club for more than 30 years and still attends training sessions at the same school every week. Russ Phillips, training officer at Barry Sub-Aqua Club said: “We have children as young as eight who learn to snorkel and then go on to learn to dive with us and Norman is a terrific inspiration to them. He is a very positive person and a great character".

Scuba diving is accessible to all ages and Norman is proof that age is no barrier when you’re doing something you enjoy.

Do you think you're too old to dive ? Think again !

According to the Diver’s Alert Network (DAN), older divers are defined as those over the age of 50, and in recent decades, these older divers have constituted an increasingly large percentage of the global dive community.
Many of the reasons experts once advised against diving at an advanced age have since been disproved.

For example, doctors previously thought that the general decline of the lungs over time would make older divers less able to cope with pressure changes and breathing compressed air. Particularly, scientists hypothesized that elderly lungs would retain dangerous levels of carbon dioxide. However, studies conducted by Duke University Medical Center showed that older divers did not retain levels of gas that were significantly higher than those in younger test subjects.

Many of the problems that once affected senior divers can now be mitigated, too; while age typically slows metabolism and creates susceptibility to hypothermia as a result, this problem can easily be solved with a thicker exposure-protection suit. Similarly, poor vision can be corrected with contact lenses or prescription masks. In fact, diving is increasingly becoming accepted as a healthy form of exercise for seniors, thanks to its low impact and the relief of painful joints granted by the weightlessness of water.

Nowadays, as long as a person is physically fit enough to pass the standard swim tests and medical questionnaires requested of all students, they are capable of learning to dive. Equally, as long as a person maintains the required level of fitness and goes regularly for health check-ups, there is no reason why they should not continue to dive for as long as they wish to do so.

Age affects everyone differently, which is why when it comes to diving, age really is just a number. Need some motivation to give scuba diving a try ? Look no further than the most famous diver of all time — Jacques Cousteau continued to dive until his death at the ripe old age of 87.


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1 comment:

Deborah Richards said...

Despite all of these apparent advantages, recreational scuba also has its drawbacks. padi open water