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Kinsale couple's sea change pays off as divers plunge in

IN EARLY 2009, Cork husband and wife Anne and Graham Ferguson had no idea they would soon be making a living from what they loved most -- diving.

At that time, Anne was an IT training coordinator with the 4Home retail chain and Graham was an environmental specialist with Pfizer in Loughbeg. By April 2009, both had lost their jobs. By May, they had set up their own scuba diving cruise business, Ocean Addicts.

The couple combined their redundancy packages and a grant from the West Cork Development Partnership to buy Embarr -- the boat used to take divers out to sea.

Their turnover for last year was €65,000, which is ahead of target, according to Anne.

"About 300 divers used our service last year and about a quarter of them came from Britain and Northern Europe. We are making a big drive into Dutch, Belgian and German markets this year. There is huge potential for dive tourism from this area."

Many of the foreign divers come to explore shipwrecks such as Roger Casement's ship, The Aud, and UC42 -- a German U-boat.

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