After her children grew up, Sue pursued a new hobby of scuba diving, and, following her move to Charleston, she joined the South Carolina Aquarium’s volunteer dive team. In her fourteen years as a volunteer diver at the South Carolina Aquarium, she has watched thousands of young lives be transformed from her vantage point inside the Great Ocean Tank.
Occasionally when Sue dives, she takes on an additional challenge that most scuba divers will never experience: she becomes a different person. Sue holds the privilege of being the South Carolina Aquarium’s first ever Scuba Claus, as well as being beloved children’s character SpongeBob SquarePants.
Diving at the South Carolina Aquarium gives her a new perspective. Some of the young people who visit have never imagined that a diver would swim in those waters alongside hundreds of animals. “When the little children come to the window of the Great Ocean Tank, their reactions are amazing. Their expressions say, ‘Wow, there’s someone there!’ Some are a little afraid, some are blown away, and some give an excited high-five.”
Especially when she dresses as a familiar character while diving, Sue sees magic sparked in the youngest guests’ eyes. Outwardly, the dive shows may seem like pure fun for these young people, but they also open the doors of discovery and serve as a teaching aid. “There’s such a connection,” she says. “You can see and feel the energy they have.”
Lynne and Dennis Gettelfinger
Hilton Smith III
Jennifer and Shane Woolf
Briged and Callan Potter
Bob Harris, Jr.
Scott and Jordana Snider
What’s Your Story?
Over 15 years we’ve heard stories about the lives the Aquarium has influenced and now we are asking for your help to capture these amazing stories and share them with the world.
Share your story with us by submitting below through e-mail. If you’d prefer to tell us your story call us, (843) 579-8508.
Thanks for making us a part of your life.