Deptherapy Expedition Postponed For a Year But Training Continues at Home

deptherapy training 1000

Deptherapy Programme Members Chris Ganley and Dan Phillips measure coral on the Shinkoku Maru in Chuuk Lagoon (Photo: Dmitry Knyazev/Deptherapy)

Ongoing travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have led to a temporary pause in Deptherapy’s expeditions, but divers from the rehabilitation charity have been engaged in home-based training in preparation for the recommencement of programmes in 2021.

In 2019, Deptherapy, in partnership with the Endeavour Fund – established in 2012 by Prince Harry to help wounded members of the armed forces achieve sporting and adventure challenges – secured a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to cover two marine ecology courses in 2020 looking at coral cover and fish assemblages. A ten-day Red Sea liveaboard would follow during which Deptherapy programme members would compare the coral and aquatic life on two historic wrecks from the Second World War – the iconic and much-dived SS Thistlegorm and the less well known and rarely dived SS Turkia, a transport ship sunk in the Gulf of Suez in May 1941. The courses and liveaboard have been rescheduled until 2021 and 2022.

The marine ecology courses are being led by Dr Deborah McNeill and Guy Henderson of the Open Ocean Project, which operates the Open Ocean Science Centres in El Quseir and Dahab in Egypt. Deptherapy's participating members have been issued with supporting materials in advance of the course and the team has been active in a private online group, to broaden their general base of knowledge before training begins in earnest. The practical components of the course will be held at Deptherapy's Egyptian base at Roots Red Sea in El Quseir, and the expedition on Roots' new accessible liveaboard, Big Blue.

Along with the education in marine ecology, Programme members who wish to participate in the expedition will be expected to be certified as Advanced 35 level divers by Deptherapy's dive training partner, RAID,and divemaster level participants will be required to qualify as RAID Advanced Wreck Divers prior to the liveaboard.

deptherapy raid rescue

Deptherapy has partnered with RAID as its training agency of choice (Photo: Dmitry Knyazev/Deptherapy)

The results of the comparative wreck study will be shared with the Hurghada Environmental Protection & Conservation Association (HEPCA) and Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS). A formal presentation either to the Egyptian Embassy in London or at the British Embassy in Cairo is also planned.

'The Marine Ecology courses that Deptherapy has introduced are really exciting,' said Deptherapy Ambassador and Divemaster Trainee Tom Oates, who will begin a degree in marine biology at Hull University in September. 'My knowledge has increased massively since the courses were announced and being part of the expedition will be a once in a lifetime experience.'

Dr Deborah McNeill, who is based at the University of Glasgow, said: 'I’m very excited about running these field courses for Deptherapy. The courses are designed
to develop a specific set of scientific skills, but they also represent an excellent opportunity for team building. 'We’ve already made a promising start on the academics and it will be brilliant to see these skills put into practice in the amazing classroom that is the Red Sea.'

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit



Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

New Upright Gift Banners 300 x 600 px

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...