Zombies are everywhere these days ― even underwater.
From the premiere of George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” in 1968 up through “The Walking Dead” of today, the question has been asked time and again, “What would you do if the zombie apocalypse became a reality?”
PADI master diving instructor Woody Tinsley has helped add another layer to the zombie mythology by offering scuba divers the opportunity to navigate the water while simultaneously fending off the undead in his Zombie Apocalypse Diver course.
“I cease to be an instructor and take on the role of a leader of a group of survivors trying to escape the zombie apocalypse,” Tinsley told Yahoo News in an interview from central Connecticut where the course takes place. “We cover areas like supply gathering, fishing and medical first aid.”
Tinsley has been using the PADI system of diver certification for years but says he came up with the unique course after he and some friends challenged themselves to come up with new and creative certification courses.
“I’ve liked zombies since before they were cool,” Tinsley said. “It’s a very challenging course but very fun and exciting.”
For the training course, Tinsley created a 28-page instruction manual and a certificate of completion. He enlists experienced professionals who dress up as zombies and pursue divers from both above and below the surface of the water.
“We use black lights underwater,” Tinsley said. “And we use a capture-the-flag method. If your flag gets pulled by a zombie, you’ve been infected.”
Participants work their way through a number of skill challenges, including swimming through hoops that have zombie body parts dangling from them.
Tinsley, who works full-time as a police officer, said the course covers essential diving areas including first aid. But he also designed the course to include skill stations that a lot of other scuba certification courses skip over, including buoyancy control.
“It entices a younger crowd to come in,” Tinsley said. “It may convince some people to come in just to get this certification.”
In fact, because the course has proven so popular, Tinsley has reluctantly given other diving schools permission to hold their own zombie diver courses. He said classes are being held in Kentucky, Arizona, Hawaii and Guam.