Shimla: Bishop Cotton School, one of State’s most premier boarding institutions, has reaped many a talent over the years. Cottonians, as the students of BCS are called, have excelled in various fields in both academics and sports.

Latest to bring laurels to the school and the State of Himachal Pradesh are two brothers Ayush Sardana (8) and Pranav Sardana (10) [sons of a serving naval officer and an adventure frenzy mother], who have become the youngest divers ever to qualify in the Junior Open Water Diver Course and Bubble Maker Course at Planet Scuba Diving Centre in Bangalore.

Pranav, who has also been duly certified by Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) of the USA, successfully completed four open water dives as deep as up to depth of 40 ft, (which is the maximum permissible limit according to PADI Rules for boys below 15 years). Ayush, on the other hand is an equally talented diver, but owing to his under 10 age, he was unable to seek PADI certification but is believed to be satisfied with his bubble maker course for now.

Besides stating that SCUBA diving isn’t really difficult with all kinds of protective gear, Pranav went one to tell us about his preparation and how he attained the feat, saying:

“One has to acquire skills and stamina to swim 200 m at a stretch and remain afloat for 20 minutes before starting to learn diving. Initially, we undertook a 15-day pre-course training in a swimming pool at Vishakhapatnam. Thereafter to have a feel of the sea we were taken to Port Blair where we dived up to 12 ft. In the last leg, deep-sea diving is carried out at Netrani island of Goa.”

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