Kathleen Frizzell, Independent
PADI OWSI Instructor

Kathy Frizzell grew up on Long Island New York born to an Irish American Mother and a German American Father, who was also a proud United States Marine .Although she did not herself join the military, she learned from her father the values he held sacred from his military service….honesty, hard work, integrity and an enormous respect for the sacrifices our veterans have given for us all.

Armed with these edicts, she went out in the world on her own at the age of sixteen, working many diverse jobs and learning many skills and lessons as she put herself through school. She wound up in New Paltz New York pursuing a degree in art and sculpture. While attending SUNY New Paltz, she got a job at a busy 24 hour deli/convenience store that would eventually shape the direction of the rest of her life. Using the values instilled in her by her Marine Father, she was eventually able to purchase the store. Long hours, hard work and sacrifice paid off, and made it possible for her to “retire” at 54 years young.

She now was free to explore hobbies, dreams and passions that seemed unattainable to her younger self.

One of these secret dreams was inspired by Jacque Cousteau and his amazing underwater world. she had always told herself that someday she would see these wonders herself.

Someday ended up being 1995 when she became a fresh, new open water diver. Warm water vacation diving was enough for her for many years, but eventually she found herself less inspired. She began asking ‘Is this all there is? how many times can you see the same fish before boredom sets in?” With nothing to challenge her, she almost gave up on diving.

In 2015 she finally gave in to friends repeated suggestions that she try “cold, dark northeastern diving”. Expecting to not enjoy it she began to dive locally in upstate New York, and when she found Alexandria Bay and the Thousand Island region with all its wrecks and beauty she was hooked! It gave diving new dimension for her, new skill sets to learn and challenges to conquer. She began exploring other aspects of diving, caves and caverns, deep tech dives, anything that would pose a new experience. She quickly realized she wanted more.

In 2017 she became a divemaster and was surprised to learn she loved to teach and help others find the joy she felt in diving. She eagerly sought to put her divemaster skills to good use.

While seeking out trips and groups to join for adventures and to hone her skills and craft,

she came across a trip organized by Wayne Miller, a meeting that would have far reaching inspiration for her. Wayne was then organizing his Trident Warrior project, his passion and enthusiasm for the project was everywhere! Inspired by him, she was eventually able to join him on a trip with 16 other divers while he taught combat veterans new  dive skills .To her delight he asked her to help him with some skills and classes. She knew right away she had found an exciting new venue to spread her love of diving while also honoring her late Fathers Military legacy.

Seeing Wayne’s fulfilment in building his Trident Warriors project, and inspired by his desire to give back to our service men and women, Kathy decided to take the next big step. In the summer of 2023 she  will be traveling to Utila to work with the Utila Dive Center toward her dive Instructor certification. She is looking forward to working with Wayne and his Trident Warriors as an instructor, hopefully showing combat and PTSD suffering veterans an underwater world full of calm beauty and soul healing peace.