A Worksop scuba diver has surrendered to a crippling back condition, ending 15 years of adventure in Britain’s seas.
Steve Hall, who has taught hundreds of local people to dive, spent years defying a degenerative spine but can no longer carry the heavy equipment.
The 55-year-old left his Retford diving school, which he set up five years ago, and is now selling his impressive collection of diving gear.
Steve, of Millfield View in Worksop, was a chef and a welder before becoming a psychiatric nurse. He discovered a passion for diving after experiencing heart complications aged 40. He was cured after having pioneering stent surgery, which changed his outlook on life.
“I wanted to challenge myself. Life’s too short - you don’t know how long you’ve got”, he said.
“I took my family on holiday and whilst there I went on a try dive. I got to see a squid and a sea cucumber. That dive got me hooked.”
Three years ago Steve had an operation on his lower spine, but the pain returned.
He was warned that further surgery might lead to paralysis, after being diagnosed with dislocation of his L3 vertebrate.
Divers carry 40kg of cylinders and thermal gear in UK seas, which caused Steve agonising pain when he attempted a dive in Scotland in August. He can still dive in warmer seas which require lighter equipment.
“Last year I was in the Maldives, sat on the seabed. I couldn’t understand why my camera had gone dark, and just then a huge manta ray swam right past me – incredible”, he said.
Steve has dived in Mexico, Malta and the Red Sea, but will miss some of his favourite sites in the UK.
Steve’s condition will worsen until he can’t walk, and then surgeons will risk operating.
His business partners continue to run Nemo Diver Training in Retford.