Scuba Cats dive in to campus

Nick Cappy began scuba diving when he was 15 years old, living for a brief time in Grenada. “I fell in love with the sport,” he said, and life since then has been an international experience — underwater.

Cappy’s scuba journeys have taken him from Belize, to the Bahamas, to California and everywhere in between, finally landing him at the land-locked University of Kentucky.

Not that that stopped him.

Cappy, a junior double majoring in economics and marketing, is the president of the recently formed Scuba Cats.

“We tried to start it freshman year,” Cappy said. “It officially became a club last spring, and we started holding meetings this fall.”

Scuba Cats is seeking to recruit members. The group attended the Discover Scuba Diving class, put on by UK campus recreation.

On Monday, 40 people came out to Lancaster Aquatic Center to learn the ropes of breathing underwater.

“It was a great time,” Cappy said. “We had a lot of people come out.”

Interested students hopped in the water and learned crucial scuba skills, such as mark removal and taking out their regulator. After a 30-minute class, the fledgling divers had a chance to go underwater and scuba dive in pool.

“It went really well,” Erin Engler, a biology freshman and club member, said. “We had a really good turnout.”

The event, which was sponsored by New Horizons Diving and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, will be a reoccurring event each semester.

The Scuba Cats meet the last Wednesday of each month, and Cappy has bright plans for the future.

“We want the club to grow in numbers,” he said. “We want to do trips — start locally and go as far as North Carolina or Florida.”

Cappy sees scuba diving as a unique way to explore the world.

“I hope that (people) are introduced to the sport and hopefully travel and learn about other places in the world,” Cappy said. “(Diving) is something we all share.”

Engler hopes students use Scuba Cats as a way to expand their horizons.

“Water makes up 70 percent of the world, and it’s a world that most people don’t see,” she said. “It’s good for people to get out and see that.”

If interested in joining Scuba Cats, meetings are on the last Wednesday of each month, from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. in Student Center room 205.

Students can also look into KHP 117, aptly named Scuba, should they wish to learn about scuba diving and scuba safety.

Whichever method, Cappy hopes more people come out and explore the world in a whole new light at a whole new depth.

“We want to get people out there, get people wet. Most have a good time and want to do it again.”