When you hear the phrase "mermaids save people", what do you think of? You're probably thinking of the scene from Hollywood's The Little Mermaid where Ariel saves Eric from drowning. Wherever your mind takes you, it's 2022, mermaids still exist, and you can be one too. PADI has developed a mermaid training program that includes floundering as part of it. Sometimes the acquired knowledge came to be tested in practice, how trained these lovers of the underwater world are, who swim with one flipper, called a mono-flipper, and what they were capable of in underwater rescue operations.
Diver Pablo Avila, who is 62 years old, lost consciousness in the water while diving off Catalina Island in California and was rescued - a mermaid gave the diver the kiss of life.
Mermaids on a rescue mission
On one fateful day in November 2022, a Mermaid training class convinced the masses of divers to believe in fairy tales. Mermaids are real and save people. And if you're lucky, a mermaid can save your life. To the three lovely ladies from California who were involved PADI Mermaid in the course training, the diver training program, managed to show the world that they are well trained for adaptation in water, because they saved the diver's life.
A group of three girl mermaids were practicing first aid training in open water near Catalina Island, California, when they heard a man calling for help. "We were already in rescue mode," says Elaine Garcia (33), who is an instructor and taught PADI Mermaid, First aid mermaid lesson. “It was such a crazy moment.”
Swimming to him, the group helped remove Avila's gear and bring him to shore while giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and taking him to waiting paramedics.
“We also had a freediving instructor, Chyna, who assisted in the rescue of the diver. There was a mermaid instructor in the water, a freediving instructor and both with Elaine wearing mermaid tails during the rescue.
The three women found a group of scuba divers, one of whom, Mr. Pablo Avila, was unconscious, foaming at the mouth and not breathing. Everyone worked together to help remove the 73-year-old diver's scuba gear, get him breathing air and swim him to shore.
Longtime diving friends find themselves in trouble
62-year-old Javier Claramunt met Pablo Avila 46 years ago while attending scuba diving courses. Since then, the two have been diving together. They are both experienced divers: Claramunt became a PADI Divemaster, then a diving instructor. Avila was once president of the scuba diving club. “We've been diving for a while,” he says.
In October, Avila traveled from her home to visit Claremont at his home in Mission Vieja, California. On October 23, the two men went diving with Claremont's son Joshua at Casino Point, an underwater dive park on Catalina Island.
Claramunts says that during the dive he checked the pressure gauges of each diver's air balloons and decided that it was time to go to the shore. He signaled to his son, the son signaled back. His friend was still exploring the area. "I went behind him and pulled him," says Claramunt. “I asked him to rise above the water and he agreed. That's the last thing he remembers."
Claramunt believes Aviles went too fast on the ascent and may have held his breath, or maybe there was a problem with the scuba he had rented. Not long after they surfaced, Claramunt saw foam coming from Avila's mouth. "He said, 'I can't breathe,'" Claramunt remembers -- then Aviles lost consciousness.
"I immediately grabbed him, removed the mask, turned him around, cleaned his mouth," Claramunt recalls. He and his son began pulling Avila to shore, yelling for help and asking people to call 911. Claramunt recalled that they were about 80 feet from the ladder in the water when three mermaids arrived.
Mermaids on a rescue mission
As soon as the 26-year-old PADI MSDT scuba diving instructor and mermaid Elaine Garcia heard cries for help, "I got up," she says. “I ran as fast as I could with all my mermaid tail.”
When she reached the three divers, she saw foam coming from the mouth of one diver, Avila. "The situation was very dangerous," Garcia says. "It was quite serious. He was completely unconscious, completely not breathing. I provide first aid on the water”
“After I gave him his first [saving] breath, I started counting,” she says. As a certified scuba instructor, she is trained in water rescue. Since she only had a mermaid tail and a mask, she just had to remove her scuba gear.
“I could be very fast,” she says. “I gave him his first breath, I undid some of the buckles on his diving gear.”
The other two mermaids, Elle Jimenez and Chynne, took off the diver's scales. “I gave him another breath,” Garcia recalls. “I gave him one more breath and then continued to swim to shore.”
The rescued diver's friend appreciated the mermaid's help
"Her (Mermaids, diving instructors ed. note.) did a very good job,” says Claramunt. "It was a great relief for me. Because when saving a person, if you do both breathing - CPR and swimming, then you are not doing anything right. It's much better to have two people doing it, one doing CPR and the other pulling.”
Emergency personnel transported Avila to a hyperbaric chamber to treat his air embolism. “I didn't think he was going to make it at first,” says Garcia. "When you see someone without a pulse, don't breathe. I think it's pretty rare that you come back from that." The near-death experience led Avila to reconnect with her estranged daughter and even meet her grandchild, Claramunt says. "It was a crisis that nobody wants, but thank God it turned out well and then it was the catalyst that made his stay here very positive in the end."
The mermaids were happy and relieved to see Avila alive and well, according to the local news. “He looked like a corpse and after seeing him recover, he just looked so happy. We are so happy that he can live a longer life,” says Jimenez. "It's been a really, really amazing and magical moment."
WHAT IS TEACHED IN A FREIDIVING COURSE?
PADI Freediver, the freediving training course consists of three stages – knowledge development, closed water sessions (when possible) and open water sessions. As you progress, you'll learn how your body reacts to holding your breath and how water pressure affects you as you descend. You will also learn about diving equipment, important safety rules and safety procedures.
In a confined water, such as a swimming pool, you learn how to breathe, then train your breathing forces by holding your breath (static apnea) and swimming (dynamic apnea). You will also practice basic rescue techniques and learn safety procedures.
During at least two open water sessions, you engage in scuba diving, breathing, either by pulling yourself along the line first (free immersion) or by following a line (constant weight). You learn to gradually increase your depth by relaxing and enjoying each dive. Rescue practices are another key component of open water sessions.
Where to apply for diving training in Latvia?
🤿😀 If you are looking for advice or help on the theory of cold, the sport of diving with or without balloons, call a PADI diving instructor t. 220-77-202 (Whatsapp 220-77-202) to find advice on proper human survival in water and freediving related training.