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Non-Celebrity Diver: Hannah Thurston–McGowan

ISSUE 9 ARCHIVE - NON-CELEBRITY DIVER, HANNAH THURSTON–MCGOWAN

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Hertfordshire.

QUALIFICATION

AIDA**** Assistant Instructor Freediver.

DIVE CLUB

DeeperBlue, Saltfree.

TOTAL DIVES

25 scuba, thousands of freedives!

MAX DEPTH

35m freediving.

MOST EXPENSIVE PIECE OF KIT

£300 carbon fibre freediving fins; Falcon C4 80’s – the last pair in the world!
Ralf Tech
Non-Celebrity Diver: Hannah Thurston–McGowan

COOLEST THING SEEN U/W

Being circled by five black tip reef sharks in The Maldives who came in closer and closer circles the more still I stayed – they were so curious about me and it was my first ever snorkelling experience.

NON-CELEB MOMENT

Having my photo taken at the grand opening of the Ocean Optics Underwater Photography Stage, in my mermaid tail, whilst being eyeballed by a very realistic plastic hammerhead shark. My life can be so Disney at times!
Non-Celebrity Diver: Hannah Thurston–McGowan

WOULD NEVER DIVE

Never say never!

BBS (BEST BACON SARNIE)

From the burger van at the Chepstow NDAC quarry. The best deco burgers in the world.

BEST BUDDY

Simon Reid and Kate Adams. One taught me everything I know in freediving and the other stops me from being silly with that knowledge.
Aquamarine Silver

WORST BUDDY

The one who isn’t there at 10m when you’re on your way back from a deep dive because they timed leaving the surface wrong.

LIFE CHANGING BIZARRE DIVE MOMENT

I wanted to learn to freedive in March 2007 so that when I travelled to the Bahamas a month later, if I saw any dolphins I would be able to stay down with them and interact with them on their terms. I signed up with DeeperBlue and found myself one drizzly Saturday morning, looking down into the 30m tube below my feet that is the Submarine Escape Training Tank (SETT) in Portsmouth. My first dive that required being ‘buddied’ (someone comes down to meet you at 10m on the way back up) had me falling madly in love with freediving. The sense of peace, meditation, anti-adrenaline and absolute safety when you ride on buoyancy all the way to the surface, looking into your buddy’s eyes for reassurance, blew my mind. A month later in the Bahamas I didn’t see any dolphins but it didn’t matter, there I was with all my new kit, in the silent underwater world with nothing but the sound of my heart beat in my ears. Freediving changed my life; my diet, my training regime and my strength of mind.

FAVOURITE UK DIVE LOCATION

I’m guessing it might be diving with the seals off Lundy Island, if I ever get there. Two trips cancelled due to bad weather... grrr...

FAVOURITE OVERSEAS DIVE LOCATION

Haven’t found it yet – will always keep looking.

STILL WANNA DIVE...

Forever and ever and ever… and a day.

AIR OR NITROX?

No air at all is my preference. Take the same amount down that you come back with.

TANYA STREETER OR MIRANDA KRESTOVNIKOFF?

Neither – Natalia Molchanova – the new freediving constant weight, world record holder with 101m – what an athlete.

MONTY HALLS OR NICK BAKER?

Yep, both. I love meeting people like that.

ANYTHING ELSE?

I model mermaid tails for a USA tail-maker and diving friends who are into underwater photograpphy and are looking for that unique experience. Freediving has expanded my world. Next year I hope to freedive with the 3,500 Beluga Whales that congregate in the Churchill Estuary in Manitoba, Canada.
O'Three

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