Thursday, October 22, 2009

11-year-old Earns 'Master Diver' Certificate

Yes, you read that correctly. 11 years old.

Like many girls her age, 11-year-old Mee Rae Firkins will be taking part in a pumpkin carving contest this October. But unlike other girls, Mee Rae will be carving her pumpkin underwater, wearing 50 pounds of scuba equipment.

Firkins, a sixth grader at Burton Street Elementary, recently became a “master diver” at the age of 11. In doing so, she became the youngest scuba diver ever to achieve that distinction from National Aquatic Service, a Syracuse company that has taught about 36,000 students since it was founded 50 years ago.

To become a master diver, Mee Rae had to finish 50 dives and take classes in stress and rescue, night and low visibility diving, navigation, boat diving and dry suit diving. Since April, she has completed over 80 dives.

Last year, Sue Firkins wanted to get her entire family involved in a new activity. The entire Firkins family took classes in the fall, and waited until the weather was better to be certified. The family went to Little Cayman in the Caribbean for their certification, where Mee Rae dove with eagle rays, stingrays, barracuda and turtles.

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Our hats off to you, Mee Rae.

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