Ramakanta Biswas

Dubai-based Odia father-daughter scuba diving duo Priyadarshee Panigrahi (47) and Tisya Panigrahi (12) have created a memorable moment. 

Priyadarshee, who is a Certified Open Water Scuba Diver since 2012, dived 100 feet into the sea at Redang Island, Malaysia on April 29. He successfully qualified for PADI’s Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver license on April 30 after completing five certified dives and finishing his knowledge reviews.  

PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) with its headquarters in California, USA is the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organisation, operating in 186 countries and territories. 

With this PADI Advanced Open Water Scuba diver certification, the father-daughter duo is now qualified Advanced Scuba divers. It is believed that they are among the very few advanced father-daughter scuba diving duos in India.

Tisya became Odisha’s youngest scuba diver in 2020 at the age of 10 and also Odisha’s youngest advanced diver in 2022, when she turned 12. Priyadarshee was an Open Water Scuba diver which allowed him to dive up to 18 metres only. 

As per sources, Tisya’s feat inspired him to go ahead to train and secure an Advanced Open Water license for himself. An advanced license now allows him to dive up to 30 meters (around 100 feet) depth. 

"This Advanced Open Water Scuba diver license gives me joy. With this license, I keep pace with my daughter’s diving qualifications and look forward to her turning 15, when we both can dive up to 100 feet together. The ease with which Tisya did her advanced course and my desire to be able to dive with her to the same depths have inspired me to go for this course and dive up to 100 feet in my certification dive," said Priyadarshee. 

The dive sites were off the Malaysian island of Redang, on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia in the South China sea. Redang is famous for its marine life, crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. Redang offers 80% of species found in the 'coral triangle' (an area bounded by the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea known to have the highest number of marine species in the world). 

Tisya, who was born in Sambalpur, happens to be the granddaughter of former Minister and eminent Congress leader late Sriballav Panigrahi and educationist late Sunanda Panigrahi. Tisya is also the granddaughter of former MLA from Sambalpur, Dr. Raseswari Panigrahi.