Children swim with sharks in giant aquarium tank

Children's diving experience at Skegness Aquarium.
Children's diving experience at Skegness Aquarium.
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Visitors to Skegness have long enjoyed a dip in the sea – and now they can swim with sharks and other tropical fish.

Skegness Aquarium launched its children’s dive experience attraction last week – giving youngsters a taste of scuba diving in its four metre-deep, 340,000-litre main tank.

Diver Jamie Elvidge with one of the young divers

Diver Jamie Elvidge with one of the young divers

Divers have the chance to see the aquarium’s star attraction – a young zebra shark – alongside black-tipped reef sharks, bat rays, unicorn tangs and many other colourful marine creatures.

The site’s head curator, Stacy Adams, said: “The children who tried it out first absolutely loved it. This is really offering something a bit different and we hope many families will come along to experience what we have to offer here.”

Following a briefing with professional diving instructors Jim Scarborough and Jamie Elvidge, where participants are given training and safety advice, they are kitted out with special scuba gear.

Stacy explained: “They get some practical experience in our training pool dive area so they can get used to being underwater. This is just above the main tank.

Youngsters prepare for the dive experience at Skegness Aquarium

Youngsters prepare for the dive experience at Skegness Aquarium

“Once they are comfortable, we take them down where they can swim around the perimeter of the tank with the instructor on hand to guide them and point out various fish and animals.”

The dive experience is for anyone over the age of eight, with adult dives starting soon. Up to four people can dive at any one time. The introductory price is £50 per person.

l Skegness Aquarium recently ran a competition to name the young zebra shark (pictured, bottom right). The winner was eight-year-old Grace Marriott, who chose the name Nudge because of the way the fish ‘nudges’ the divers for food.

The name was chosen out of more than 5,000 entries.

Getting kitted out for the dive.

Getting kitted out for the dive.

l For more information about the dive experience, go online at www.skegnessaquarium.uk.

Entering the training pool area

Entering the training pool area