Tampa, Fla. (July 5, 2018) – Neptune Warrior, an affiliate of the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI Worldwide) and a 501c Non Profit based in Idaho, has created a NAUI Instructor Specified Specialty to help veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI).
A result of a partnership between Neptune Warrior and Garrett Metal Detectors, the specialty course teaches veterans how to use and manage metal detecting tools and then follow the hobby on their own. The program is unique and currently the only one of its kind that specifically focuses on mTBI and PTSD.
‘Intense focus on a task when submerged has shown to block chemicals in the brain that produce stress. In our pool environments, we use various games and activities for this. In the lake environment where visibility is often 5 feet or less and no fish are present to focus on, metal detecting provides that focus,’ said Rob Anderson, NAUI Instructor and Director of Neptune Warrior.
‘The sense of ‘mission’ comes into play in these activities filling a void for many former service members,’ continued Anderson. ‘Metal detecting helps our vets who have suffered brain injuries, concussions, mTBI, physical wounds and injuries, etc., because it promotes motor skill movement. Waving the detector works large muscles; and retrieving small objects, adjusting and tuning knobs, and working underwater scoops and tools all improves and promotes muscle growth and coordination.’
Anderson created the program in 2017 after returning from the Scuba and H2O Show in Tacoma, Washington. He built the outline for the program riding ‘shotgun’ between Tacoma and Boise during the 10-hour drive home.
The program currently works with a local chapter of the Gold Prospectors Association of America.
‘Idaho has a rich history of mining and diving has played a role in that. Through membership in GPAA, the divers have access to several mining claims and a few have even found a little bit of gold.’*
One of Neptune Warrior’s goals is to not only create a community of veterans who dive on a regular basis, but a tribe who searches out underwater targets as a weekly or biweekly event. With four metal detectors donated by Garrett Metal Detectors and through other private funding, Neptune Warrior has filled a void for veterans looking for an alternative activity and has managed to successfully utilize scuba diving to help better the lives of those who have served.
*(Neptune Warrior created its own Advanced specialty though NAUI for Underwater Metal Detecting and Prospecting. To be eligible, divers must have completed a minimum 20 dives including certifications or logbook entries in Limited Visibility, Cold Water, Search and Light Salvage, and Night Diving. Once certified, individuals are able to attend dive events to look for items in the local ponds and lakes, eventually purchasing their own gear.)
Founded in 1960, NAUI Worldwide is the scuba industry’s largest not-for-profit agency whose purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world’s underwater environments. As a pioneer in diving education, NAUI has developed many of the programs and concepts accepted throughout the diving industry. NAUI: The Definition of Diving!
Neptune Warrior is 501 c 3 non-profit dedicated to helping wounded veterans, transitioning service members, and local Police, Fire, and EMS professionals dealing with seen and unseen wounds through SCUBA diving.