Club/Intramural Sports, Sports

UM SCUBA club ventures out on world-class dives

Jacki Coffey keeps an eye on her dive computer during a routine safety stop in 90-foot waters near Jupiter, Fla.  The UM SCUBA Club – which has more than 300 members – will go on a diverse range of dives this year, including ship wrecks and lemon shark dives. Photo Courtesy Patrick Nichols

Past T-shirts for the UM SCUBA Club boast that it is an organization “where wet dreams come true.” The scuba club provides students, faculty, employees and alumni a chance to dive at reduced rates in some of the best dive spots in South Florida, so for passionate divers, the slogan may not be too far off.

As one of the biggest student organizations on campus with more than 300 members, it also offers discounted open water certifications and advanced rescue and divemaster certifications.

“We want to continue to go on the best dives in South Florida and continue to get word out about what we do,” said Michelle Penkrot, a co-president and four-year SCUBA club member.

To do this, the club has ramped up its social media efforts with the addition of a new Facebook page. The club is accomplishing its goal so far, as the first meeting brought in 91 new divers who enrolled in a certification class.

Club advisor Nevis Fregien links the increase in new divers and members to the impressive manner in which the club is run, as well as the types of people it attracts.

“The word got out that the SCUBA club is a good club, it’s a good group of kids, responsible kids,” he said.

Some highlights this year include live grouper spawning dives, lemon shark dives, a dive in the Living Sea Aquarium at EPCOT and dives at wrecks in Key Largo. While many of these are for advanced open water divers only, there are still many unique dives for other members, too.

One of these dives is the Blue Heron Bridge dive in West Palm Beach.

“The Blue Heron Bridge dive is arguably one of the best shore dives in Florida, if not the United States,” Penkrot said. “It is definitely not one to miss.”

For students both new and old who are looking for ways to get involved in an activity and meet new people, SCUBA Club is a great place to start. It offers opportunities for what Fregien describes as “world-class diving” and a chance to visit and experience our current home in South Florida underwater.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a very different experience and something that you will never get to experience again,” co-president Lee Qi said. “You cannot get this anywhere else.”

One of the greatest aspects of the club is the community that it builds.

“During my first dive, I didn’t know anybody but now some of my best friends are from SCUBA club,” Penkrot said.

The strong relationships she built through the club are not uncommon. Fregien believes that “when you dive together, there is a certain kinship that you have.”

The club is open to divers and non-divers regardless of experience. Club membership is $40 for a semester and $65 for the year. Dives are $35 for a two-tank dive and members must bring their own masks, fins and snorkels. All other dive gear is available for rent at no additional cost. Open water classes and certification take place at the beginning of each semester.

Meetings are held every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in Cox 126. More information on the SCUBA club and the certification process can be found at umscuba.org or at Facebook.com/UMScuba.

October 21, 2012

Reporters

Lucy Hartwell


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Could the once forlorn University of Miami be closer than some think to extending that national-reco ...

Some UM football nuggets on a Friday: • Evan Shirreffs is an amiable, well-mannered, studious young ...

A few media notes on a Thursday: • As has been the case most years, ABC has decided to televise the ...

Most of the University of Miami student body is on Summer break; but the Hurricanes football team is ...

University of Miami football great Cortez Kennedy, a Pro Football Hall of Famer remembered for his w ...

A new study reveals that mindfulness training, but not relaxation training, benefits college athlete ...

Frenk delivered his inaugural lecture Wednesday, officially joining the most prestigious group of Me ...

Victor Oquendo, BSC ’09, is following in his parents’ footsteps. ...

The Rosenstiel School’s final lecture of the 2017 Sea Secrets series focused on using science diplom ...

Researchers believe they have found a new way to monitor the intensity and location of hurricanes fr ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team cemented her name in the record books S ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba posted a 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 victory over Mia Horvit Saturday, becoming the fourth ...

Due to anticipated inclement weather, the ACC Championship has adjusted the scheduled for games and ...

Shakima Wimbley and Aiyanna Stiverne punched their tickets to the 2017 NCAA Men's and Women ...

Photos from the Canes 5-2 win over Wake Forest. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.