What is GUE?
Global Underwater Explorers is a non-profit organization that’s been around since 1998. It exists to promote education, exploration, and conservation of all things aquatic. In other words, GUE is not only a training agency. The organization is heavily involved in a variety of projects that range from exploring and documenting previously unknown shipwrecks to conservation work to data collection for scientific research. Many of these projects are conducted on a global scale by a network of satellite organizations.
The diver training programs for which GUE is best-known to the greater recreational diving community were originally developed to train divers so that their skills and education would allow them to participate in any exploration or conservation project that matches their training level regardless of geographic location or, in some cases, without even speaking the same language as the other divers.
These affiliate organizations work closely with various private, public, and governmental groups to achieve whatever it is they all set out to do. In some cases this might involve working with archaeologists to preserve a thousand-year old shipwreck. In others it may mean the removal of derelict fishing nets that continue to capture and kill sea life, or working with scientists and politicians to improve water treatment facilities for a metropolitan area.
“OK”, I thought to myself, “It’s sorta like a scuba club with some pretty lofty goals, but on a global scale.”
This was all pretty neat, but joining GUE and taking off for a 2-month long expedition in the Mediterranean is not realistic for me at this point in my life. As a result, I didn’t really see much value in the average diver taking any GUE classes.
And then my opinion started to change.