Heli-Diving: Embrace your inner adrenaline junkie
The helicopter hovers about 7 feet over the reef. You’re in full scuba gear, hanging on to the door strap for the “go” signal. Adrenaline pumping, heart racing you look up to see the pilot’s fist raise in the air, the ultimate green flag in diving, and you let go, plummeting into the depths below. The entry is exhilarating, then you look around you at the pristine reefs and riot of fish, and your adrenaline peaks again. This is going to be a very memorable day.
Helicopter diving, or Heli-diving, is slowly but surely increasing in popularity. For one thing, it makes getting to a dive site a snap. At places like the Great Barrier Reef it replaces a 90-minute boat trip out to the reef with a quick 10-15 minute scenic flight. The view over the reef before the dive is incredible, giving you a bird’s eye glimpse of the coral maze below. And, of course, there’s the accompanying adrenaline rush that few other activities could produce. You’ll have to pay up for the experience; it is definitely not cheap. But, this is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that takes the sport of scuba to a new extreme.
The number of dive operators offering this experience is increasing. You can explore the Great Barrier Reef, Phuket’s Anemone Reef and Phi Phi Islands, and a number of reefs and wrecks in Curacao, to name but a few. If you are looking for a more rigorous experience, Global Rescue offers a PADI course in helo-casting or deplaning (hover exit) from a helicopter for both rescue swimmers and Search & Rescue Divers for the SCUBA industry. No matter how you go about it, it’s sure to be the dive of a lifetime.