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Try scuba diving at the Pittsburgh Zoo (but not in the shark tank!)

Kristy Locklin
July10/ 2019

Kids can literally immerse themselves in fun at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium this month.

On July 19, 20 and 21, One Wild Place will host the Go Dive Now Pool Tour, giving kids who are at least 10 years old and 54 inches tall a chance to try scuba diving. The experience is free with zoo admission.

“Keep in mind, the Earth is 70 percent water, you can see so many different things while diving, from shipwrecks in Lake Michigan to the Cayman Islands’ crystal clear waters,” says “Big Wave” Dave Reidenbach, pool tour coordinator.

Diving Equipment & Marketing Association, the trade organization for the international scuba diving industry, produces the summer road trip each year. At each stop along the way, crews set up a 30-foot, 15,000-gallon pool staffed by professional instructors from four local dive centers. It’s a fun and easy way for kids to get a taste of scuba diving.

In Pittsburgh, the heated tank will occupy PNC Pavilion outside of Water’s Edge. Hours are 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. each day. Kids who want to give it a try should bring a swimsuit and towel. Divers who are ages 10 and 11 also need a grownup with them in the water, too. A changing facility and dive gear will be provided.

Reidenbach learned how to scuba dive at a scouting event when he was 14 years old. Since then, he’s barely had his head above water. He’s been teaching the sport for 40 years and is happy to train novices via the traveling show.

“Most people drive by a dive center every day, but they don’t make a stop until they’re interested in going on vacation,” he says. “We’re showing them in a non-intimidating environment how to dive.”

“Big Wave” Dave anticipates several hundred people will try scuba over the July 19-21 weekend at the zoo.

Kristy Locklin

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