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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics, Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Veterans

Mission: AQUANAUTS ADAPTIVE AQUATICS was organized to provide aquatic therapy and training via swimming, snorkeling, and SCUBA diving to benefit people with disabilities, military veterans, and other special needs groups for the purpose of rehabilitation, life enrichment, and social interaction. Also, to provide support for other charitable groups with similar missions.

Target demographics: people with disabilities and military veterans

Direct beneficiaries per year: train a multitude of volunteers to assist the disabled in an aquatic setting, and assisted many other nonprofit groups in water activities

Geographic areas served: Fort Lauderdale

Programs: aquatic therapy and training via snorkeling, and SCUBA diving for the purpose of social interaction, life enrichment, and rehabilitation.

Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6 Karen311

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics has been an integral part of my recovery. Diving with them helped me cope with my PTSD/anxiety disorder symptoms and helped me deal with chronic pain, insomnia, depression, and agoraphobia. Aquanaut's method of teaching and sensitive approach to different forms of disabilities allows a sense of trust in the organization. Instructor Worth O'Brien's work ethic, extensive knowledge, experience, and professionalism are all amazing qualities exhibited through training. Aquanauts is solely dedicated to provide support and share the benefits of adaptive SCUBA with the intent to help others feel the power of control over their limitations. As an alternative to a myriad of other therapies, adaptive SCUBA provides a wholeness approach to healing and recovery. SCUBA provides a wonderful therapeutic tool that can provide relief to different disabilities or limitations. I strongly recommend Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics as a legit and professional organization working to provide effective services that work.

Comments ( 1 )

serena3 Thank you. You are a wonderful volunteer. We appreciate you taking the extra time to share our mission with others and for taking a moment to write this in-depth review. We look forward to seeing you at the next event.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics from its inception. Having had personal experience with non-profits in the past I was extremely impressed with Serena and Worth's commitment to helping the disabled and our Veterans through the benefits of scuba. They spend an inordinate amount of time training volunteer and perform miracles for the disabled. I have been at several trainings, dives, and events and am constantly impressed at Worth and the volunteers patience and depth of knowledge and more importantly seeing the changes and exhilaration of the participants. These scuba experiences seem to make the participants come alive and forget their disabilities. This non-profit is run professionally and all efforts go to helping the disabled and Veterans. It is one of the finest young organizations I have been affiliated with. They deserve the highest praise for their work.

1 Anna V.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a new volunteer, having everything squared away prior to diving take much of my anxiety away and allows me to relax and focus on safety and assisting others.
With the Aquanauts the attention to details and care is world class and the individuals I've met were so diverse and interesting.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working with divers with disabilities for a decade now. It is wonderful to be a part of helping individuals with disabilities experience SCUBA Diving. SCUBA Diving is a phenomenally therapeutic activity. It is ideal to help individuals with spinal cord injury, PTSD, TBI, the list goes on and on. Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics understands the volunteers are their lifeblood and truly appreciate all their efforts in making every event a safe and fun time for the participants.

Comments ( 1 )

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serena3 10/29/2018

We can't do it without you!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Aquanauts is alway involved in, not only, helping to keep out marine life safe and with a clean habitat, but also offering disabled veterans with an opportunity to get out into the ocean and provide them with a better quality of life!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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serena3 10/29/2018

We appreciate you taking the time to post a review about our program. The more people hear about what we do, the more lives we can positively affect. Thank you.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that touches many lives, from veterans to children and across the spectrum of all abilities .

The personal dedication of the founders and their professional reputation, and their consistency stand apart.

If you’re looking for a quality charitable, educational, scientific, group of individuals that deliver not only a service to the community but also care about you; I couldn’t recommend more to become part of the Aquanauts’s experience and family.

Comments ( 1 )

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serena3 10/29/2018

We rely heavily on volunteers, and you are a great asset to the program and the lives it touches. Thank you for being part of the Aquanauts family.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Aquanauts is such an amazing organization! The care and compassion that they give to adaptive divers is so heartwarming. Aquanauts professionalisms and dedication to divers of all levels no matter there physical limitations just elevates us all as human beings.

Comments ( 1 )

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serena3 10/29/2018

We are glad to have you as part of the Aquanauts family! Hope to see you soon.

2 Polett

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has taken me diving and made my dream come true over and over again since start. Without my scuba, I would go crazy dealing with people and life in general. You guys rock !!

Comments ( 1 )

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serena3 10/29/2018

We miss you on the dives. Hope to see you in the ocean again soon! Your time in volunteering to help us spread awareness and make the events a success are greatly appreciated.

Previous Stories
7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Instructor O'Brien taught me to dive. His patience and extreme understanding for my abilities and disabilities gave me back the one place in which I'm truly free: the ocean. He then took it a step further and showed me how beautiful AND colorful the underwater world is at night. In each dive during the past 3 years he's slowly taught me how "control" is not something only found through physical strength, but also through my ability to trust and face challenges to the best of my capabilities. As a c4-c5 quad, that is not an easy lesson.
As if that was not enough, he made me an Advanced Diver, a learning experience that I'll never forget. .. How could I when I dove a wreck down at 110 ft deep... Another wreck at night seeing it come to life in a way that words cannot describe... Learning more about our environment and the wonders of marine life, among other things.
All I can say as I wrap up my babbling is that Instructor O'Brien (AND the dive buddies I've had the honor to dive with) are not only amazingly trained, but also made it a point to understand me as a person rather than a disability. Thanks to them I feel confident and free when I dive, forgetting how over 80% of my body does not work... I'm at 100% happiness as we submerge.
Scooba Dooba!!!

5

Donor

Rating: 5

It is an honor and privilege to be connected with this organization. It is heartwarming to see the visible emotion and lightening of hearts when they experience this life-changing experience. Even more so knowing how much Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics is helping them!

Comments ( 1 )

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serena3 10/29/2018

Without public donations from awesome people like you, we would not be able to make this program happen. Thank you for taking the extra time to post a review.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great group of volunteers make this program great. We are looking forward to many more years of helping our communities' veterans and individuals with disabilities by sharing what a great all-inclusive therapy SCUBA diving is. It's not just recreational. Thank you for your support.

6 ScubaRon

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

From a wheelchair to the water, from wondering to doing it, this organization has helped me realize my goal of getting into the water!

Comments ( 1 )

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serena3 10/29/2018

Thank you so much for your support! We look forward to seeing you in the ocean!

Previous Stories
6

Client Served

Rating: 5

After a spinal cord injury, I thought my future was lying in bed for the rest of my life. This organization came to my rescue and taught me to work through my handicap and explore they ocean while experiencing the healing powers of the ocean, great caring individuals

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The experience, was completely amazing! It has been over 14 years since my last dive, and I was concerned about getting back into the water with my bad back. I met a bunch of others like me, to include a nice individual who has tried numerous times to scuba, but until that day has never made it deeper than 5 feet, but with Aquanauts she made it all the way to the bottom and spent a long time having fun to include summer-salts . The one-on-one training, friendly staff, and incredible fun atmosphere made it a truly amazing day. A friendly tip for those with facial hair. Trim the mustache to a #1 or bring some Vaseline with you. It helps keep the water out of the mask. A small container is more than enough. Thanks Aquanauts. You are truly the Best!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been diving since 1985 and this team is by far the most professional and knowledgeable I've been out with. I have two teenage sons who dive with me and the message of Worth's Team comes across "loud-and-clear"! Safety, Safety, Safety, and communications underwater! High quality rental gear and wet suits were ready to go. The Aquanaut Team reviewed our gear setup and made sure they answered all of our questions.
The Aquanaut Team provided us with the best diving experience since I learned to bottle-dive in Tampa Bay in the 1980's. We were briefed on what to look for and saw an abundance of sea life; schools of fish, sharks (only a Marine Recon Diver would show us how and invite us to pet a shark-even if it didn't have teeth), lobster, eels, and turtles.
Aquanauts and Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics are our Dive Team of choice.
Steve Kirtley

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been diving with Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics for four years now. As a C7 incomplete quadriplegic adaptive diver, I always feel safe and comfortable while diving with AAA, AAA's founder Instructor Worth O'Brien and the competent trained buddy divers. Worth runs a fun tight ship. He is well aware of each diver and their needs and makes sure everything runs smoothly. He is an excellent instructor able to clearly present the material and make learning fun. I recently had the privilege of taking my AOW course with AAA. With the instruction and patient help of Worth and my skilled buddies, I was able to hone my skills and become a better diver diving to greater depths.

Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics, Inc, Instructor Worth o"Brien and the magnificent buddy divers make this nonprofit organizations one of the best in South Florida. Keep up the good work. Lets hear a loud and vigorous Scooba Dooba for AAA!!!

5 Lourdes E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was certified up to advanced open water with Insteuctor Worth O'Brien, and I have been present for many of the Adaptive Scuba dives. He is very professional and very educated in his field, with many years of experience. The Adaptive Sucuba program is an amazing opportunity for disabled people to be able to explore and be part of ocean adventures, it's a great opportunity to be part of a different world! Instructor Worth O'Brien helps divers believe that there are no barriers when it comes to diving and having fun doing it!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hard to pick a place to start with this organization it's rare to find similar places with as must client care and consideration as this one. everyone was very professional and helpful I felt very comfortable as soon as I showed up, I give them 10/10 and recommend all my friends to go here I will def come back

6 Linda310

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5


This is a great program that has the potential to help many people with all types of disabilities. I have been fortunate in knowing Instructor O’Brien and applaud his work ethics, caring, and professionalism in this program.

6 Instructor O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For many years as a Volunteer finding an organization that is professionally operated has been very difficult to find. I am happy to say that working with AQUANAUTS ADAPTIVE SCUBA PROGRAMS has been a rewarding experience. All of the activities that I have participated in have been 100% sponsored for both participants and volunteers for scuba training, boat trips, and social events. Volunteers and participants have also had many opportunities to be involved with several similar organizations both out of state and local forming great relationships. I am proud to be part of such a universal organization!

5 Melina D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went through the open water course and have had the wonderful opportunity to have known the instructor, Worth O'Brien, for many years. His passion for helping those with disabilities is contagious. His patience and knowledge makes it for an amazing experience for the divers and gives them the freedom and confidence to do something they oftentimes didn't think was possible!

5 Serena B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have seen many of the wonderful programs conducted by Adaptive SCUBA programs, and they are uplifting to observe. this organization currently has no paid employees, and the funds go strictly towards items necessary for running the program.