One of the beautiful things about diving is the diversity of the people who are passionate about the sport. People with all different points of view and life experiences can be found donning fins and masks to take that plunge in another world. While diversity is one of the things that makes diving great, it also makes it all the more impressive when divers unite to solve a problem like shark finning. The FINathon hosted by Patriot Scuba was a perfect example of this. They are a small shop in Occoquan, VA with a big passion for the ocean. So when they heard about Project AWARE piloting a program to raise money to help stop shark finning, they wanted in. Spear headed by the shop’s retail manager, Caitlin Hale, Patriot Scuba launched it’s month long FINathon campaign last November. All month long, Patriot staff and divers spread the word and collected donations, even swimming laps themselves to raise funds.
“I’ve been really impressed with the amount of support our divers have shown over this cause. They tend to be a very loyal bunch but this support has been above and beyond what we expected. We really owe them a debt of gratitude,” said Merial Currer, owner of Patriot Scuba. The support was truly impressive as Patriot divers managed to not only meet but exceeded all of the shop’s fund raising goals. They even managed to swim over thirty miles in the course of their fund raising efforts, the distance from the shop to their nearest training quarry.
“Having seen the effects of shark finning first hand in Thailand, it was really important to me to get involved and all of this has really shown me just how dedicated to the cause so many of us are,” said Caitlin. “There is still so much more to be done but if we band together like this, we can really make a difference. I’m just glad that all of us here at Patriot are part of the solution.”