Amir Mousavipour, Master SCUBA Diving Instructor, wreck diving specialist and underwater photography and video expert, has developed a former taxi office on Byker Bridge into the new Aqua Pursuits training center and shop, offering diving instruction for complete novices through to those working towards the very highest qualifications.
Amir, who has dived all over the world including the Philippines and Micronesia, where he studied the sunken Japanese World War II fleet at Truk Lagoon and the wrecks of Germany’s First World War battleships at Scapa Flow in Orkney, discovered his love of diving as a student at University in 1984. He joined the university diving club and it quickly became his passion.
“I worked in management for another North East sub-aqua company for 12 years, but I had always wanted to set up my own business to pass on my own love of diving and share my experience,” said Amir.
Just as he was inspired to start diving as a student, Amir is aiming to attract clients from the city’s two universities and schools around the North East. Aqua Pursuits’ location was specially chosen because it is close to new student accommodation.
He said: “Newcastle University has an excellent marine biology department, where diving is an essential skill.
“Plus, 80 per cent of teenagers taking a gap year now head for South East Asia, where the seas are clear and full of fish, the diving is excellent and they can earn money as a dive guide if they have the right qualifications.”
Amir’s latest innovation is a unique corporate team building experience, where participants work on communication skills underwater, which he hopes will become popular with firms looking for something outside the norm to encourage team work together.
He is a certified instructor in First Aid for adult and children, with internationally recognised providers and works in partnership with a local training provider for Powerboat training and boat radio communication.
Amir has also been certified to work in specialist support with paraplegic divers. Surprisingly, he’s obtained all his qualifications, including degrees in physics, electrical engineering and as a graduate teacher, while suffering from dyspraxia – a condition he has fought against since childhood which means that he finds it difficult to write things down. He is great believer that there should be no barriers in learning, some of his divers have gone on to become Master Instructors and work as a professional diver in the UK and around the world.
Aqua Pursuits also works with experienced divers offering technical diving instruction and mixed air diving, a complex process to ensure divers can survive at great depths when a specialist oxygen mix is required. The Centre also sells diving equipment as well as offering teaching facilities.
Amir said: “Diving is the most amazing pastime, but it’s so important to learn the right techniques to ensure your safety. Learning the basics, whether you’re going on holiday or just want to do it occasionally for fun, doesn’t actually take that long – you can complete a course in as little as two to three weeks. But the most important thing is to do it safely.”
Amir’s passion is to share his knowledge and expertise. He also organises diving holidays in places such as the Malta, Turkey, Egypt, Persian Gulf, Philippines and Thailand, as one of his student’s, Janine Swail comments, ‘I completed a scuba review and Advanced Diver with Amir in preparation for my first dive holiday in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt – a wonderful trip organized by Amir, who knows the dive sites off the coast of Sharm just as well as the cooler northeast of England. I look forward to my next trip with Amir and his great team of experienced, fun-loving divers.’