Adults and youth with disabilities dive into new local program

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JEFFERSON CITY – The owner of Scuba Adventure Rescue and Recovery and members of the Mid-Missouri Sheriff’s Dive Team put on their first “Dive with a Cop” event Sunday.

The purpose of the program is to show adults and youth with disabilities what it feels like to be weightless in the water at no cost.

“It’s just a huge group of people that would never think that they could scuba dive, but we’re going to be able to take them in the water and let them see what it’s like to breathe underwater,” said Jeff Adams, the owner of Scuba Adventure.

Event coordinators partnered approximately 24 participants with certified divers. Participants used real scuba diving gear and learned how to breathe underwater.

Eileen Kleva's 15-year-old son participated in the event. Kleva said this opportunity was perfect for him because he likes to swim around with goggles and a snorkel.

"I'm just very grateful.  They were so nice to set this up and come out here and they're really good with the kids.  He's just having a great time," Kleva said.

Members of the Cole County Sheriff's Office, Osage County Sheriff's Office, Maries County Sheriff's Office, and the Belle Police Department helped with the event.

“They’ve just been wonderful to work with, such a great group of people with the law enforcement. I really enjoy working with them,” Adams said.

Adams isn't the only one who said he liked working with the officers.  Andrea McFarland said her daughter benefited from the aid of her officer.

"Carli had an absolute amazing time.  When she got in the water, at first she was a little apprehensive, but her officer Jeff made her feel so comfortable," McFarland said.  "And I think she even gave him a kiss."

Adams also said he plans to continue to work with law enforcment to coordinate the event in the future.

“We’re already talking about the future and doing this as an annual thing because there’s such an enthusiasm with everyone who is participating,” Adams said.