The Good Life Orphanage holds a place close to my heart. I have volunteered at events supporting the charity since it opened in 2008, and there was no question as to which charity I wanted the fundraising of my sponsored shark dive to go to.

Mary-Anne prepares

Ciaran was also participating in the sponsored shark dive, organised with the help of the University of Edinburgh’s MEDRAG, and chose to donate his sponsorship to the charity after seeing the remarkable work previously carried out by the charity. We’re happy we have managed to make a decent contribution to the charity with the donations of family and friends.

Ciaran & Mary-Anne

Walking around Deep Sea World before the dive, nerves began to set in, but with all the sponsorship I’d received there was no backing out now! I had never dived before, so they started by kitting us up and teaching me how to use the breathing equipment and it was soon time to go in the main tank with the sharks…

Sharks 01

Once I’d got over the amazement that I was breathing underwater, I moved around the tank taking in the experience. It felt so surreal with all the fish swimming around me, and I’ll never forget the fear and then relief of a 3m shark swimming over my head without eating me!” Mary-Anne

Diving 06

“As a friend of Mary-Anne, I had heard about The Good Life Orphanage in the past and all of their incredible projects. After reading about their ethos and dedication, when the opportunity arose to do some charity work, there was really no question as to who I should fundraise for!

Diving 02

Unlike Mary-Anne I had done some diving before, so my nerves were held at bay for a little longer. However, I don’t think any preparation could have prepared me for the size and sheer power of the predators in that tank! As soon as you descend into that freezing water, you know that you are in their home now and you’d better play by their rules – but we knew it was all for charity, and for that reason we pushed on.

Diving 04

After an initial friendly meet and greet with the smaller fish and creatures of the tank, we settled down on the bottom to be investigated by the sharks. When they arrived they came from all angles, including a heart-stoppingly close encounter with the largest of them – a 3m whopper of a sand tiger shark!

Diving 08

Shortly afterwards we left the sharks and fish to their home, happy to be back on dry land but relieved that we’d got through the experience and that a truly deserving charity would shortly be receiving our sponsors donations.” Ciaran

Diving 07

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