Starting in 2015 we will be spotlighting a new diver each month!
We want to give our divers a chance to share their lifestyle, what they love about diving and inspire others to get in the water with their scuba stories! Rum Runner Dive Shop "Diver of the Month" will be selected based on their passion and involvement in the diving community. Basic diver or dive professional; any diver qualifies. The “Diver of the Month” will be announced via social media, our website and through our shop emails. Plus, they will be given a gift certificate when they are noticed at our monthly Dive Club Meetings.
We love our divers and want to motivate all of our scuba family to blow bubbles often! To nominate a diver email email@example.com.
January – Dan Drake
20 years ago Dan Drake had an interest for diving, but it wasn’t until last summer when he had a business meeting with Rum Runner Dive Shop owner, Pete Wagner, that he realized it could become a reality. After participating in a Try Scuba, he knew diving was for him.
“Rum Runner has a great approach to introduce people to the sport.” Dan continued, “The instructors are great. Being able to rent and use gear while you are learning is great so you don’t have to invest until you know diving is for you. It’s not overwhelming and there is a lot you can get involved with once you begin diving.”
By the end of the summer Dan earned his Basic Open Water certification through SSI. He continued diving and training every chance he could. Dan has completed his Nitrox, Zen of Buoyancy, Deep Diver, Limited Viability/Night, Dry Suit, Navigation and Advance courses so far.
Dan says he enjoyed the Zen of Buoyance and Nitrox classes best, “Zen gave me the ability to improve my buoyancy skills and be a more confident diver. Nitrox refined concepts of dive tables and is beneficial to any diver as well.”
Dan continued by recommending Zen of Buoyance as “an essential class after Basic certification” because he believes it is worthwhile to be comfortable underwater and good buoyancy control will change how you dive.
What’s next for Dan? He says his goals, once it warms back up, is too see more wrecks off the N.C. coast.
Dan is excited for more opportunities through diving. He just returned from F.L. with Rum Runner and is already talking about taking another trip back down to the Sunshine State. He said the dives were wonderful and the trip gave him a great opportunity to meet others divers.
One thing Dan likes about diving is that there is a range of opportunity. You can be a basic diver or a cave diver. Regardless, diving is diving and you can find a place to fit in and enjoy the sport with others.
Diving is easy to get into and when you are with Rum Runner you feel welcomed and can stay involved. Dan gave kudos to Tyler Boruff, his instructor through all of his training, and the Rum Runner staff.
“The staff goes out of their way to welcome new people in and bend over backwards to ensure divers get the training and pool time needed to be successful.”
Dan lives in Winterville with his wife and six children. His two oldest are already interested in diving just like their dad. Dan works at Vidant in the corporate Quality Department.
Rum Runner Dive Shop would like to thank Dan Drake for his love of diving and being an enthusiastic addition to our dive family over that last several months!
March – Ed Lowthert
Ed Lowthert is no stranger to adventure; it’s his fuel. He has always had a love for water and no fear when it comes to trying something new.
Ed explained, “I’ve always been drawn to the water. I dove for the first time when I was 16 and knew it was for me.”
Several years later, in ’93, Ed earned his certification and began diving. However, at that time he was in the military and he did not have much free time to dive.
In the Marine Corps, Ed did Military Free Fall School where he would jump out of aircrafts from 10,000 feet. During the week he would do training jumps and on the weekends Ed and his buddies would sky dive. He was accustom to never having his feet on the ground.
In 2002, during a skydiving accident Ed experienced a 100 feet free fall that left him dead. His friend, who was medically trained in Combat Life Saving techniques, rushed to his side and revived Ed. The accident left him paralyzed. The doctors told him he would never walk again, let alone dive.
A Marine Corps Force Recon Veteran, Ed spent 13 years serving his country. After the accident, he was medically retired from the Marine Corps.
Ed refused to be grounded though. He didn’t spend time believing the doctors. Instead, he began a journey to walk again.
For anyone who was ever told they couldn’t do something because of a disability, Ed encourages, “Do it! Find a way!”
Ed is now a walking paraplegic. Moreover, he dives, drives, enjoys riding motorcycles and continues to defy his injuries daily.
Once again, Ed’s feet are off the ground.
Ed said, “I feel better in water. There is no pressure on my body – not having to stand on anything. I have more mobility. I am free in the water.”
Ed is looking to move into dive leadership in the future and he would also like to start spearfishing more. He is currently taking the Science of Diving Class and says it is his favorite course so far.
Ed urges divers to, “Make sure you are comfy in the water and take time to learn about the physics behind diving. More divers should understand dive physics, how your body responds to breathing gases at depth and getting more knowledge past just basic diving. It really helps when you can link information you learn to reality as you dive.”
Ed also suggest getting involved in the dive community because everyone is friendly. He recommends talking to professionals in the industry, always staying open to learning new things and trying new dive sites every chance you get.
This May Ed will be joining Rum Runner for the St. Lawrence Seaway Trip to Canada. One of his long-term travel plans is going to Truk in 2017.
Ed is a regular at Rum Runner Dive Shop and come late spring he will join our staff. So come hang out with him and get to know a wonderful diver. Meeting Ed is an adventure of its own, we are so happy he is a member of our scuba family and we are excited to have him join us.