A paralysed scuba diver from Grantham who suffered life-changing injuries in two separate road crashes will be attempting a new world record this year to raise money for three charities and organisations.
Dan Metcalfe, 34, was paralysed in June 2014. He lost the front wheel of his motorbike when it hit gravel going round a bend on his way back from Bourne to Corby Glen.
Unfortunately, his friend following behind accidentally crashed into him and MAGPAS Air Ambulance attended the scene. After fixation of his spine, Dan was left a T8 complete paraplegic (from the bellybutton down), so he has no core/trunk muscles or use of his legs and is wheelchair-bound.
After recovering in hospital, the former builder developed a new passion for hand cycling and progressed to 5th in the UK, as well as also swimming in a shark tank at Skegness Aquarium.
Dan was then involved in a second crash in June 2018 when a car hit him on the A607 at Harlaxton while he was completing the final 14 miles of a 600-mile charity bike ride challenge. This left him with a neck injury, affected the nerves in his left shoulder, and he was diagnosed with PTSD.
Despite these two life-changing incidents, Dan continues to have a can-do attitude and takes part in several charity events as he strives to break barriers and also give back to those who have helped him over the years.
On September 28, Dan, who is nicknamed Wheelsdan, will be attempting a 5km scuba dive swim without surfacing at Stoney Cove Dive Centre in Leicester. He will dive to a depth between six to eight metres and as he can’t move any of his lower body he’ll be swimming with his arms only for around six hours.
He is waiting for verification from Guinness World Records for his attempt at a new record of ‘fastest fresh water 5k scuba dive, arms only’.
Dan now works at Draft Wheelchairs in Huntingdon and has also been a scuba driver for four years, working his way up to the position of Assistant Instructor.
Dan is determined to raise more awareness of scuba diving with a disability, as well as vital funds for charity.
Dan The Lincolnite: “Being in the water is almost like hydrotherapy, it’s been a rehabilitation for me.
“I was already a qualified gym instructor and know swimming is good rehab. I’d already scuba dived before my second crash and felt the love for doing it, and the relief from not being in the wheelchair.
“Scuba diving helped reset me and is a big release, putting my mind in another world.
“My drive in life now is pushing the limits of what I can physically do being disabled and pushing the boundaries and minds of people who say things can’t be done.”
Dan is already receiving support from several people and organisations, including Northern Diver International, Ocean Reef, Nammu Tech, Midlands Diving Chamber, and Stoney Cove Diving Centre.