Diving is our passion, and divers are our family. It doesn’t matter what language they speak or where they live: we know what it means to be a diver in difficulty and regardless of our differences, we support them in every way.
Getting the right help,
at the right time
The Claudius Obermaier Fund bears the name of a young German diver who died during a technical dive. When needed, the fund steps in to help those who have been affected, directly or indirectly, by a diving-related incident. Over the years, the Fund has financed:
- Special medical care
- Medical evacuation following serious accidents
- Special means of transport for tetraplegic
- School grants for orphans of deceased divers
READ THE STORIES
While on a diving holiday in Cambodia, Belgian diving instructor Adriana K. got involved in a terrible bus accident.
She was badly injured, while some other passengers died. She was left laying on the ground for two hours, and was finally transported by car to the Bangkok Hospital. As a result of the accident, she had her back broken in three different places, and had to stop teaching diving. She was left without any personal income.
The COF stepped in to help, providing her with a special orthopaedic bed and kinesitherapy treatments.
"Yesterday was a day to remember or to forget. We took a bus from Sihanoukville to Trat Thailand to teach an IDC in Koh Chang... The bus had no breaks at all and with great speed the driver tried to keep the bus on his wheels. It looked for a second like he regained the control but then the bus swung to one side balanced to the other and then fell on his right side and skidded down the hill... I helped Adje to leave the bus by one of the roof exits. She was bruised all over and had serious back pain...I stayed behind to help. First I took out a 2 year-old girl... A guy was standing over a girl trying to reanimate her. We took her out of the bus and I began CPR... A friendly German living in Cambodia wanted to help us get to the border, so we took a taxi to Pattaya and went to the Bangkok Hospital."
"Thank you for the medical bed I received from the DAN COF. I have been sleeping there for just one week, but the reasults are already very good: I have recovered a 80% of mobility in the morning. I can also sleep a whole night, which has not been possible since the day of my accident. Thanks again."
In 2013, Portuguese diver Jorge B. died during a dive, leaving a wife and two daughters. The Fund supported Jorge's family by donating € 5.000, to be used for the education costs of the younger daughter.
The donation took place during a public event, in September 2014 in Lisbon.
"When those we love practice risky activities, which technology makes us consider a controlled risk, we can never imagine that a dive, a goodbye, like many others, may be the last one.
Only when we face a loss, we realise that everything which seems impossible to happen, can actually happen.
The loss of Jorge was sudden and abrupt, and neither I nor our daughter Margarida were prepared to face such a harsh reality. It was a very difficult year for us, during which nothing could alleviate the pain. Without a chance of a farewell, it was even harder to bear.
For me and Margarida, having been received at the Claudius Obermaier Fund ceremony in Lisbon was like a balm that helped us remember with harmony the great passion of Jorge for diving, and made us feel the warmth of the large “diving family”. For Margarida in particular, stimulating her admiration for the father and for his profession, and feeling the consideration of all present at the ceremony, was very important for her emotional stability. As for the economic side, what to some may seem a tiny help, to those who experience so many adversities like us, it makes the difference.
I have no words to describe how important it is to feel the presence of the missing ones, through the gestures of those who remain and, in solidarity, alleviate the pain that, although always with us, is less arid and harsh.
Thank you all for your support.”
On April 16th, 2013 in Koh Tachai, Thailand, when a storm suddenly hit the area, the dive boat Little Princess started to sink. Some of the divers present chose not to abandon the ship until the others were saved, crew included.
The Fund profoundly recognized the heroes for their exemplary courage and altruism, and to show its appreciation financed the purchase of new equipment after it was lost saving the lives of others.
"You have helped all of the instructors and the Thai crew that were onboard on this unfortunate day. It means soo much to everyone and from myself. I personally will be happy to continue my membership as long I continue to teach in the future as everyone has been so helpful and fantastic during this difficult time. Please relay my thanks to your team and their support that they all have shown.
(A DAN Member who survived the shipwreck)
On Dec. 26th 2004, a destructive tsunami hits the Indian Ocean, leaving death and destruction behind. In the first months of 2005, one task force, lead by the Department of legal medicine of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, directs a mission financed by The Claudius Obermaier Fund.
During two different searches, 180 buried bodies are identified in 92 different islands, with utmost respect for the local customs, which are particularly strict regarding the exhumation of bodies.
"The Disaster Victim Identification Team has high regard for the Maldivian authorities whose hospitality knew no bounds and experienced full cooperation in a friendly atmosphere. The team has gained incalculable experience in the process of international disaster victim identification and established liaison between our High Commission in New Delhi and the Maldivian authorities".
(The DVI Team)
"I was so impressed by the energy of the Thai people. I think that positive thinking is exactly the right word to explain their mentality. They said, 'Let's think about the future!'. Everyone started reconstruction work with smiles on their faces. I truly respect their attitude. I said to my friend Thaies, 'let me know if there's anything I can do to help". But he said, "You have your own job to do. Please invite lots of divers."
(Seiji Atsuta - Instructor/ DAN Japan)
Good job DAN! Still the best choice for all divers; this story only proves that DAN is more than an insurance... DAN has a heart!"
(Tom S., via Facebook)
"DAN did more than they had to do. That's a rare thing these days."
(Hugo B., via Facebook)