The 15th of July marks PADI Women's Dive Day, an incredible annual event that aims to celebrate inclusivity within the scuba diving community. There are a ton of ways that you can get involved, from reflecting on your own experience as a scuba diver to joining in with a special women’s dive day event in your local area.
Keeping with the spirit of reflection and celebration, we’re keen to highlight all of the fantastic female scuba divers that have paved the way for this kind of event. Each of these incredible women demonstrate exactly what Women’s Dive Day is all about, having all made a truly inspirational contribution to the scuba diving community.
First on our list is Dr Sylvia Earle, an amazing American-born meteorologist who has been on some incredible adventures over the years. She was the captain of the first all-female team to live underwater in 1970, achieved the record for the deepest walk on the sea floor in 1979, and won the coveted TED prize in 2009. When it comes to scuba diving, Sylvia has been there and done it all and still has time to dedicate to preserving and protecting the ocean and marine life as a member of Ocean Elders. We simply couldn’t have created this list of inspiring female scuba divers without having her at the very top.
Not many people would’ve turned down the lure and glamour of offers to become a Hollywood star, but that’s exactly what Lotte Baierl Hass did back in the 1950s. A talented diver as well as photographer, Hass forged a successful career as an underwater photographer after her work started to attract attention when she became the first person to film manta rays and whale sharks. She fought time and time again for women to be involved in dive expeditions and her fighting spirit was recognised with an induction into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in 2000.
Dottie Frazier was a true pioneer of scuba diving. Her status as a woman in the diving community is rare today, let alone in the 1940s and 50s when she first entered the scene. Dottie was a woman of many firsts, thought to be the first female scuba instructor, one of the first female dive shop owners, and the first female hard-hat diver. Though she sadly passed away in 2022 aged 99, we are certain that her legacy will inspire future generations of female scuba divers for many years to come.
Sarah Richard is the founder of Girls That Scuba, an epic online community for female scuba divers that extends the spirit of Women’s Dive Day to all-year work. Back in 2016, Sarah was the only female divemaster working in Micronesia and decided that greater diversity in diving was needed. She wanted to create welcoming and inclusive spaces for inspiring female scuba divers to interact with each other and Girls That Scuba rapidly became the world’s largest online scuba diving community for women. Girls That Scuba is constantly growing thanks to Sarah’s fantastic work, cementing her place on our list of inspiring female scuba divers.
Last but certainly not least is Gemma Smith. Gemma is a truly inspirational female scuba diver who has achieved an extraordinary amount in just over a decade! After learning to dive when she was 17 years old as an escape from her busy teenage life, she quickly got stuck into the technical and cave-diving side of things. Gemma was involved in a freak car accident in 2019 that put her in hospital for two months but quickly got back into the water thanks to the help and support of the wider diving community. Now, she uses her experience to promote everything that Women’s Dive Day is all about, breaking down barriers to entering the water and encouraging aspirational female scuba divers to be fearless.
If you are feeling inspired by these incredibly female scuba divers, it’s never too late to celebrate women in diving. Get in touch with Aquanauts today to discover how you can follow in their footsteps and get involved with Women’s Dive Day.
The new Garmin Descent MK3range has been so popular we sold out in the first week. Taking pre orders for our next delivery now, order soon to get your hands on the most exclusive dive computer this winter!