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FreediveSafe Offers Safety Training

July 25, 2021, 3:46 PM HST
* Updated July 25, 8:38 PM
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FreediveSafe, a nonprofit that works to provide lifesaving freediving and spearfishing safety training to all of Hawai´i’s local communities, announced it has launched an essential free community program to ensure everyone has access to critical freediving/spearfishing safety training.

With more than 50 percent of all Hawaii resident ocean fatalities related to spearfishing and freediving, the goal of FreediveSafe’s comprehensive initiative is to prevent freediving- and spearfishing-related deaths in Hawai´i.

“Our sole goal is to ensure important modern safety training – proven to mitigate the dangers of this sport – is available to everyone who needs it,” said Niki Stepanek, Founder. “ We provide freediving/spearfishing safety training and presentations throughout the Hawaiian Island chain to ensure everyone’s safety and security. This safety training is critically important to all those — especially youth — who freedive or spearfish as it could be lifesaving in a difficult situation.”

In fact, FreediveSafe’s training is the minimum level of training required to safely participate in the sport of spearfishing. That is why FreediveSafe will be hosting its next event for local spearfisherman between the age of 12 and 22. The event will be hosted in Kailua-Kona on July 31 and August 1, 2021, with a maximum of 20 students led by local Freediving Instructors International (F.I.I.) certified freediving instructors Heidi Hoover and Sandra Hammel with gear support provided by Kona Freedivers.

Most freedivers and spearfisherman often underestimate the safety risks of the respective sports. Depth is only one of the many variables that defines how taxing a freedive can be on a diver’s oxygen. While most people strive to dive within their limits, one of the first symptoms of mild hypoxia (low oxygen) is confusion and faulty judgment. In other words, divers never really know for sure if they are within their limits while freediving/spearfishing — proving that a formally trained buddy is key to staying safe. The FreediveSafe! safety program ensures everyone can enjoy freediving and spearfishing responsibly and help ensure every diver comes home safe.

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For more information, contact Niki Stepanek [email protected] or call 808-900-331.

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Interested students can register for the event at www.freedivesafe.org.

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