Jan 27, 2009

Diving deep: Students explore mysterious waters

by Anthony Barone, News Reporter

Adventure seekers who missed the first opportunity for scuba lessons will soon have another opportunity to acquire and practice scuba diving skills.

The two-week course, taught by Master Scuba Diving Instructor J.D. Emerson, will be held at the LaHaye Student Center Pool at North Campus.

Sessions will be held at LaHaye on Feb. 17, 19, 24 and 26 with open-water classes Feb. 28 and March 1.
The inaugural class of 10 had its first open-water instruction at a lake in
Blanch, N.C. this weekend.

They are also getting ready for their upcoming written and physical examination.

Each session has taught students a variety of diving skills in a controlled environment while preparing them to dive in the outdoors.

“My family has taken lessons on cruises before,” Ryan Preacher said. “This is much more informative and in-depth.”

Emerson has been a diving instructor for 30 years and owns and operates BCXtreme sports in Danville, Va.

BCXtreme sells scuba equipment, plans trips and organizes classes.
Students spoke highly of their instructor and said they have learned a lot so far.

“It’s been an awesome experience that I’ll never forget,” Associate Director of Facilities and Aquatics Joshua Goodman said.

The classes are part of the Ultimate LU initiative, which provides students with recreation opportunities outside of the classroom.
Emerson spoke of his passion for scuba diving and his reasoning behind teaching the course, noting some practical benefits of scuba diving.

“When you go fishing, you get the fish that bites,” Emerson said. “With (scuba diving), you can pick the fish you want.”

Emerson hopes to have the class approved and accredited for this fall.
All registered students are required to provide their own diving mask, fins, snorkel and boots during each session. Equipment can be purchased through Emerson for a discounted price.

Other necessary equipment includes oxygen tanks, regulators, wetsuits, gloves and weights, which are provided, according to the Liberty Journal.

A doctor must approve students before they can participate.
Students who succeed in passing the course and examination will receive a PADI Certification.

The course costs a total of $450. A $50 deposit is required to sign up for the class.

For more information or to register for the course, inquire at the front desk at the LaHaye Student Center, or contact Josh Goodman at jfgoodman@liberty.edu or call (434) 592-3281.

Contact Anthony Barone at


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