Dive Aid

What we've done so far

Last Updated: 17-Mar-2005, Dive Aid

Thank You All

Since its inception on Thursday 30th December 2004 we at Dive Aid have been humbled and amazed by the response of complete strangers to the events of Boxing Day. On many occasions I for one have echoed the sentiments coming through in emails, namely that "I am proud to be a diver."

The website has become more than we hoped. In the earliest days it became a focal point for divers and a vital tool for getting news of survivors of the tsunami to friends and families. Relief at our friends' and colleagues' survival soon turned to horror as accounts started coming through of what they'd seen and endured. Very soon, however, both friends and people I had never met or heard of began phoning me, many in tears, asking how they could help. Accounts were set up allowing people to send cheques and donate online and other help and expertise have since been offered and gratefully received.

We have not been able to help everyone of course, but I am told by friends who have been back to Thailand that your money and good wishes have made a big difference, helping locals who lost everything get back on their feet. They include:

Thai residents of Khao Lak, aid distributed by Su Hedelin:

  • Khun Peileen, Similana Spa
  • Khun Kai, Coral Grand
  • Khun Veechai, Takeang
  • Khun Peung and Khun Sai, Liquid Adventure
  • Khun Tip, Khao Lak Tailors
  • Khun Non, Longtail owner Taplamu
  • Khun X, owner of Pakking Pharma
  • Khun Aod, Coral Grand

We mention these people specifically for the benefit of westerners who lived in the area, so please note that financial aid has gone to many many others also.

We have also been helping those whose homes were in Thailand but who were forced away by the tsunami. They include, amongst many others:

People arriving just after the Tsunami, primary aid to buy clothes, food and transportation:

Whilst we will continue to send whatever we can to affected areas the emphasis is now shifting somewhat to helping divers get back to work. This means providing equipment to replace what was destroyed. We are trying to find suppliers of secondhand equipment or manufacturers who will donate quality seconds/surplus stock or at least give us a good price on these. I am sad to report that thus far corporate reaction to our appeals has been pathetic. Responses have been along the lines of "we can't help everyone" but to be honest we know of nobody who has been helped by them. I am desperate to be proved wrong on this count and I issue the challenge to manufacturers here: If you want a solid gold Public Relations opportunity, then donate to Dive Aid. We will put your details on the website and guarantee you divers who are so grateful for your support that they will recommend your equipment exclusively for many years to come.

We must also mention Koen De Wit, a good friend and colleague who sustained terrible injuries in the tsunami. He recently left hospital in Bankok but now has to pay for an appartment locally so that he can return every 2 days as an outpatient. Because Kay, as we call him, was not actually teaching diving at the time he was hurt he does not qualify for an insurance payout. At the last count his medical bill had reached $15,000 US. We are appealing to anyone and everyone to help us reduce or clear this burden. Again, corporate sponsorship would be more than welcome and Kay himself tells me that he is now ready to accept film roles as Frankenstein's Monster. Well done for keeping your spirits up Kay!

We have tried to thank as many people individually as possible for their donations. If we haven't contacted you we are sorry but please be assured that you have helped immeasurably.

Special thanks also go to the following people:

  • Zoe Graham - For returning to Thailand and helping numerous people come to terms with shock and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Marcel Bruijs - Marcel has been fundraising on his own in Holland and has raised an extraordinary amount of money which he took to Thailand and used to help people get back to work. We take no credit whatsoever for his incredible achievements but we think it very important that his friends, family and other divers recognise his amazing efforts.
  • Sally Pearson and everyone who took part in February's Diveathon. Diving Leisure, London (Contact [email protected]), for providing enough tanks to keep everyone underwater for up to 24 hours. Check www.chrisbean.com for a great write-up and some particularly fine photos. For the money you raised, we can't thank you all enough.
  • Craig McCulloch - For collecting and sending equipment and clothes. Postage alone must have cost a fair bit!
  • Theo Gray - For getting the website up and running at incredibly short notice and for giving his own time to update it on an almost daily basis. This could not have been done without you - and don't you dare delete this bit!!
  • Diver magazine for getting the Dive Aid message to so many people.
  • Dahab divers for their generous donations. Shokran!

To all divers, their families and friends who have selflessly donated to Dive Aid. I am sorry we cannot take the time to mention all your names but you know who you are and hopefully now, that you have helped.


NB. If I have missed anyone, please email and tell me so I can make amends.

Guy Venner, Jorgen Svedberg and Andy Krant.
11th March 2005

PS. A Dive Aid benefit gig will be held later this year. Please check the Events page in the future for details.

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