Meet Charlotte Burns – the youngest scuba diving junior master in the world aged just twelve. The schoolgirl, from Biggin Hill, Kent, has been diving since she was legally allowed to at the age of 10 and has already completed more than 70 dives. Coming from a family of divers, Charlotte was always likely to be a natural underwater, but even they are surprised at her development.
In just 16 months she has gone from trying her first dive, to enduring fierce storms in Cyprus and freezing temperatures of -4C in Scotland. She recently went back to Larnaca, Cyprus, where she completed examinations to become a fully-qualified instructor.
Charlotte, who has undertaken helicopter underwater escape training and ice climbing, also had to take further tests to show her scuba diving knowledge and skills. A spokesman for her family said: “She’s a tough little girl but her feet are firmly on the ground.”
Charlotte has taken the title from her brother Will, 26, became the youngest PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Junior Master Scuba Diver in the world at the age of 14. And her passion has also had a positive effect on her mother Louise who had to overcome her fear of diving so that she could become her daughter’s diving buddy.
The spokesman added: “Louise is now an advanced PADI diver and has just completed her wreck diving speciality training in Cyprus.
“Charlotte always mothers her mother when they dive together, keeping her safe”.
Ironically, Charlotte learned some of her skills from one of the world’s oldest scuba diver – Ray Woolley aged 90.
“When people look at her they cannot believe it.
“She’s been described as phenomenal and I hope by reading her story people will be inspired by her,” the spokesman said.