Yonkers Teen Briana Darcy's Passion for Diving, Oceanography, and Shark Conservation
A Yonkers teen gets up close and personal with everyone’s favorite ocean predator.
Briana Darcy on a diving excursion in the British VIrgin Islands
Forget texting, Facebook, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber; 15-year-old Briana Darcy’s main interest is sharks. The Yonkers resident, who attends Our Lady of Good Counsel in White Plains, is especially passionate about shark conservation, as well as diving, oceanography, and underwater photography.
“Sharks are magnificent and graceful creatures,” says Darcy, who attained the Junior Master Scuba Diver rating in 2009, allowing her to dive down 130 feet into the ocean, the maximum allowed to recreational divers, who, of course, are usually adults. Her interest in diving came about when Darcy was four, when her father, a dive master, took her diving during a family cruise to the Caribbean. “I was hooked,” she says. “It’s a whole different universe down there.”
Two years ago, while volunteering at a marine careers booth at the Beneath the Sea dive show in Secaucus, New Jersey, Darcy met shark diver Joe Romeiro, who went on to teach her how to dive with blue and mako sharks off the Rhode Island coast. “Sharks are much less abundant than other types of ocean life and so you have to be more attentive to spot one,” she says.
Briana's photo of a blue shark off the coast of Rhode Island
Armed with a $5,000 Nikon D90 with Aquatica Housing, Darcy shoots photos for Briana’s Oceanic Adventurers, the newsletter she writes for American Underwater Products’s website. (AUP is a sponsor of Darcy, providing her with dive equipment.) Darcy’s favorite shark is the great hammerhead shark. “It’s unique, like me,” she declares. And adds: “I hope my photos and writings will show the world how precious the world’s oceans—and sharks—are.”