Diving at 80
Meet Merlin from the UK, he is doing just that – diving at 80.
Travelling to the Whistler Mountains in Canada for skiing and to the Maldives for diving is definitely not what an average 80 year old would do right?
I have met only two 80 year old divers. Ruth from Kenya celebrated her 80th birthday with us under water in 2017. The second person is Merlin from the UK who dived with us at Brennia Kottefaru in 2022.
Here are a few things you should consider when diving at 80.
As a doctor is not always available on tourist resorts in the Maldives, here it is common practice for a diver to fill in a medical self-declaration form when checking in for diving. This form has about 20 questions regarding your health which you have to answer with either yes or no. The older we get the more likely it is that we have to tick one of the questions with ‘yes’. In that case it is still possible to dive if a doctor declares you ‘fit for diving’. For your own peace of mind and safety, as well as for your dive buddy and guide, before your diving trip, do visit a doctor back home to make sure you are good to go diving.
Diving at 80 and diving insurance
In 2017 when we tried to take out a one week DAN diving insurance for Ruth, the insurer declined the policy due to her age. When Merlin contacted us last year, I advised him to try find a diving insurance other than DAN. He discovered that Insure & Go in the UK covers for scuba diving but not for skiing which they finish at 66.
Long distance flights
If you are from Europe and are planning a dive trip, most likely it will be a long distance flight. And with the risk of me sounding like your mum or your doctor, here is some more advise:
- It is easy to become dehydrated as the air inside the plane is very dry. The one bottle of water supplied by the flight attendant is not enough. I carry my own water bottle but remember you can only fill it once you are through the security check. All airports have water fountains, usually near the washrooms.
- Avoid alcoholic or carbonated drinks, as they will only add to dehydration.
- Dehydration impacts your blood circulation which then increases the risk of blood clots.
- Do some exercises in your seat but also stand up, stretch and walk around at least once an hour.
- Buy compression socks or stockings, they help to prevent blood clots.
- Take off your shoes as ankles tend to swell up at high altitudes.
- Choose an aircraft of newer generation that offers more space.
Now I stop with my recommendations & advice and hope no matter what age you are, you arrive fit and healthy here in the Maldives for your next diving holiday with us. I hope you enjoyed our diving at 80.