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

University of Miami running back Mark Walton was rolling — until he got rolled on, or stepped on. Wa ...

University of Miami safety Sheldrick Redwine got to wear the gaudy (but beautiful to Canes and their ...

For those concerned about the apparent on-field struggles of graduate transfer Dee Delaney, an All-A ...

This week’s Top 25 college-affiliated football polls, released Sunday afternoon, agreed on how to ta ...

A few quick thoughts (or second thoughts) after 14th-ranked UM’s 52-30 win against Toledo on Saturda ...

UM students fan out across South Florida to help local neighborhoods rebound from the impacts of Hur ...

Classes resume on the Coral Gables campus after the removal of 4 million pounds of landscape debris. ...

Students living in residential housing are returning to campus and classes with renewed resolve. ...

UM’s student-run ’Canes Emergency Response Team puts their training into action to assist with recov ...

UM students recount how they rode out the storm called Hurricane Irma. ...

Walton rushes for career-high 204 yards and Rosier has four touchdowns in Miami's comeback vict ...

Junior golfer Dewi Weber highlighted second round action for the University of Miami women's go ...

The Miami Hurricanes swimming team wrapped up its opening weekend of competition at the All-Florida ...

The University of Miami volleyball team outlasted Virginia, 3-2, in Atlantic Coast Conference action ...

Sunday, Sinead Lohan became the first person in Miami women's tennis history to win the singles ...

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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.