How One Spearo’s Death Will Keep Future Divers Safe


I never had a chance to meet Ryan, but his passing was a wake-up call for me. He was an FII certified diver, he dove with buddies, and yet he still didn’t make it home.

Rather than overanalyze how he passed, I think it’s better we look at how we can all be a little safer while spearfishing.

We spear because it brings us closer to nature, provides food for ourselves and loved ones, and brings a sense of comradery within this small community.

That’s why when I heard his widow, Diane Huff, was partnering with the OC Spearos to create a fund to help everyone in the club get certified in freediving. I knew I had to help.

Ryan Huff Memorial Freediving Fund

I’m fully aware that being certified doesn’t safeguard you from shallow water blackouts and other accidents, but to be frank, it does make you a better diver.

We all know guys who’ve been diving for decades who know 99% of what there is to know about diving, and yet they still learned something from the course. I was told by an old diver that a freediving class would actually make me cocky and push my limits to where I’d put myself in a dangerous position.

I waited a long time because of this flawed logic. After I took the course, I immediately realized how bad my diving was, how little I knew about knowing the signs of a shallow water blackout or loss of motor control, and how to feel more relaxed in the water.

That’s why I believe that everyone should take a freediving course if they plan to spearfish. The problem I have with the course is that it’s expensive.

Freediving Scholarship

Money is a factor why a lot of spearos don’t take the course. That’s why Brad Thompson of the OC Spearos and Diane set out to create a charity fund. This fund will help those who can’t afford the course to get it for a discount or free.

The way it works:

  1. You’ll need to be a member of the OC Spearos (worth it for the community too).
  2. You’ll need to apply with your financial hardship.
  3. The OC Spearos will find a way to help you take the course.

It’s that simple. Money should not be an excuse for not being trained. I know that I feel comfortable knowing my dive buddies have been trained.

That peace of mind is priceless.

With that being said, if you have the ability, please consider helping us reach our goal of $5,000 to help any spearo with financial hardships to be able to get certified. Thank you.

How to Support

  1. Donate to the Charity Fund
  2. Diane’s Charity shirts
  3. OC Spearo Fund announcement
  4. Join the OC Spearos
Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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