United States veteran, helicopter pilot, advocate and friend (David Ortiz) is officially a PADI Open Water Diver along with overcoming his fear of diving with sharks! Chief Warrant Officer Ortiz was co-piloting a Kiowa Warrior helicopter during a mission in Khost, Afghanistan on June 21, 2012, when engine failure caused a horrific crash, leaving David paralyzed from the waist down and forced to live life from a wheelchair.

This incredible (inspiring) young man immediately decided to face the challenge and “get on with life.” He says, “he doesn’t feel that anyone ‘owes’ him anything and is proud to have served his country!” Instead, he wants to continue to serve his fellow veterans through advocacy and finding ways to help them overcome the physical and mental scars of war. We were honored to play a part in helping David to conquer his “biggest fear…………diving with sharks.” He starting his first step, completing his PADI Confined Pool, Knowledge Development and his first open water training dives at the Denver Downtown Aquarium with A-1 Owner and Instructor, Scott Taylor.
He then finished his two remaining open water dives with General Manager/Instructor, Shane Taylor at Chatfield along with Tracy from KYGO. Next step, back to the Downtown Aquarium to do his first official shark dive!

His final step was a trip to the Bahamas, diving with Stuart Cove Dive Operation in Nassau, Bahamas which allowed him to suit up in chainmail and feed the sharks! Way to go David. Thank you for letting us be apart of your inspirational adventure!