MUMBAI: It’s a birthday gift that Dwit Nandu will cherish for a lifetime. A day after he turned 10 on Thursday, he dived 40 feet off the Puducherry coast, going on to bag the title of “Youngest Junior Open Water Scuba Diver” in the world on Friday. Dwit, whose dad is also a diver, took a deep dive into the Arabian Sea at 8am and was bestowed the title by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). For this, the boy underwent the “junior open water diver” course, for which the minimum age criterion is 10 years, being offered by PADI across the globe.
Dwit told TOI: “It was a thrilling experience when I tried my hand at… proving myself as a junior open water diver… I’m more than happy.”
Course instructor of the association, Riyas Jalal, said: “Dwit has become the youngest junior open water diver after plunging 40 feet under water in the Arabian Sea off Pondicherry at 10 years and one day.”
The boy said he’s inspired by his father, Amit, a professor at HR College of Commerce & Economics, Churchgate, who is a certified deep sea scuba diver. The child’s elder brother is an advanced open water scuba diver.
Course instructor Jalal said Dwit is extremely intelligent. “He picked up all skills quite fast. He’s is the only student I’ve had who kept asking questions about each skill we practised under water,” Jalal said, adding, “And he was excited to witness the underwater world with loads of confidence.”
Dwit had to go through rigorous training in swimming followed by a scuba diving course. As per certification requirements for the PADI junior scuba diver course, one must have sound swimming skills and physical health. The boy, who aspires to become a cricketer, being an ardent fan of Sachin Tendulkar, was trained at Temple Adventures, Puducherry, a PADI-certified 5-Star Instructor Development Centre that conducted the course.
Spokesperson of Temple Adventures, Jayananditha Shankar, confirmed that Dwit was enrolled for the PADI junior open water certification and said he has achieved it successfully. “This has made him the youngest junior open water diver,” said Shankar. Dwit is qualified to dive anywhere in the world.
PADI offers certification courses as Junior Open Water Diver, followed by Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver and Deep Diver etc. Dwit’s course involved learning advanced swimming and being able to swim 200 metres without any aid or support in open waters, studying five modules and clearing a written exam, finishing confined water training in a swimming pool and completing four open water dives.

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