Help Save a Diver! - Media Ride-Along

St. Petersburg, Fla. (May 13, 2008) – The SCUBAnauts, an organization founded in 2001 to introduce teenagers to underwater exploration (, will stage a dramatic demonstration of techniques for rescuing a missing, unconscious scuba diver in open waters May 17. The operation will be carried out with the cooperation of the U.S. Coast Guard, the University of South Florida College of Marine Science faculty and graduate students and the U.S. Geological Survey. Members of the media will watch and record the demonstration from an 80-foot yacht sailing with the rescuers.

“The SCUBAnauts students have been involved recently in classroom and pool exercises in SCUBA Life Saving and Accident Management, a YMCA dive certification,” said Jennifer DuPont, a graduate student at the USF College of Marine Science. “On May 17, our exercise will simulate the rescue of a missing unconscious diver. The SCUBAnauts students will have to first find the diver, bring the diver to the surface, and meet a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and rescue boat.”

The SCUBAnauts program was founded by Captain David Olson, who will take part in the rescue mission. The U.S. Coast Guard is providing an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter that will drop a rescue swimmer into the water to assist.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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