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2014 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

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Polett

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!!!

1

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!

1

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

1

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!!!

1 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!

1

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

2

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

2 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.

1 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!

1 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!

1 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.

2 Casey E.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a great experience! Received the open water certification course for my birthday and could not have been more excited. The knowledge and personal attention I received from Instructor O'Brien was top notch. I now dive frequently and confidently thanks to Aquanauts.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My Father in Law was part of a similar nonprofit in NJ. It enabled him to participate in something active, while improving his morale, health and his entire outlook on his life after becoming disabled. A true blessing.
I personally know the people involved in this wonderful undertaking and am, also, a donor. I highly recommend Aquanauts Adaptive Aquatics!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The most rewarding experience of my life has been volunteering to help disabled divers!