Young diver, the creator of NEMO33
" Do you remember when diving was dangerous and sex was safe "
Do you remember the long training sessions in (not so clean) swimming pools during the late evenings when the pools are even more dirty, finding balls of hair, band aids and snots, and that on top of all you have to stay long periods in those cold waters?
And after you finished your course in confined waters, you had to go and do several dives in a lake or "carriere" where water temperature is 5°C or maybe 10°C ! They used to tell you you were a "real man" because you had no fear of diving under those conditions and lack of visibility!
In 1996, John BEERNAERTS who has been diving for over 20 years, traveled and discovered new waters. At the other end of the world, men learn how to dive in a blue lagoon ... Learning to dive was easy, feeling the pleasure was immediate, and to discover the underwater world did not require suffering, it was possible to enrich youserlf intellectual and emotionally without any risk .
One evening, while waiting for a friend, John drew on a tablemat the first contourns of a unique and deep pool. The objective: recreate the conditions of Bora Bora in Brussels !
Three years of study were needed to define the boundaries of the project. Twenty-one versions were tested. It was not only to create conditions that were unknown but also to propose a global concept with different priorities :
- The first priority was the SECURITY. Still today, is the most important word in NEMO33 in all its aspects! During 6 years it has been demonstrated (nearly 200,000 dives and ZERO accidents!).
- The second is the COMFORT of the users. All the concept, from its architecture, the water's quality (+30°C, transparent, clean, drinkable and without smell of chlorine), the way that things work, and the best diving materials (AQUALUNG) have been thinked to guarantee the confort of our visitors.
- And finally, the project should be sustainable, and profitable, it would be an opportunity to check if the dimension CSR have a meaning. The "SOCIAL ROLE OF BUSINESS" has been integrated with all its components.
- The respect for the ENVIRONEMENT is also guaranteed with the low energy consumption, (NEMO33 consummes less than the half of a traditional pool and at the same time is warmed 5°C higher!).
- The HUMAN respect and multiculturality. At NEMO33 there are workers of 12 different nationalities.
- ETHICS and RESPECT for sustainable commerce (NEMO33 favors fair trade products and small-scale producers).
Four long years of work, full of surprises and many technical challenges. Nobody had ever built such a pool. No experience on which to rely. Then finally the opening day: 1 May 2004. The date of the entry of Slovenia into the European Union. Two lovely Slovenians were in the line. A sign of the beginning of an international interest.
Today NEMO33 is an achievement that Belgium can be proud of!
Many tourist-divers choose Brussels as the destination of mini-trip.
In the life of a diver, NEMO33 has became a must! All serious instructors agree when considering teaching their diver students at NEMO33, where there are no risks for beginners.
On top of all the warm water at NEMO33 has a relaxing effect, breathing deeply and feeling the lack of weight are powerful anti stress .
Even some say that NEMO33 is aphrodisiac...
Photo: John BEERNAERTS creator of NEMO33.
The history of NEMO33 is full of anecdotes and rumors. Allright, the arrival of NEMO33 will change some points of view of a discipline that is only around 50 years old. Moving from prehistory to refinement and comfort was surprising or disturbing. And it is interesting to see that some people spend their energy and time inventing nonsense rumors...
- RUMOR#1 : While digging down the basement for the construction of NEMO33, a house fell down and an old lady died !
- REALITY : It is true that during the construction of the basementes we proceed to a a drawndown of 4mts but any no harmful effect made itself felt in the surroundings. No homes have suffered the slightest crack The closest houses are located at a minimum distance of 80m... So there was no little old lady under the rubble.
- RUMOR #2 : During the digging of the main pit, the work led to such movements in the basement that the rails of the nearby public transports moved and a tram derailed crushing on ... an old lady! The STIB had to stop working!
- REALITY : None of this even remotely resembles the reality. There has been no movement in the basement (the method used did not alter the soil's pressure), there was no derailment, and not any old lady crushed. But what is all about old ladies?
- RUMOR #3 : The NEMO33 project is in bankruptcy. The works are stopped!
- REALITY: It is true that the work had a long overdue. The reasons were technical and administrative. Never financial. At no time the fundings for the project were interrupted. Not even if the most difficoult times.
- RUMOR #4 : Someone had died at NEMO33 !
- REALITY : It is true that a serious accident took place at NEMO33. A Dutch military has suffered a double puncture of the lungs by not respecting the ascent speed limits. His condition was worrying. But thanks to the competence of doctors from the military hospital, he escaped without any consequences! In this particular context, the Dutch army rents the infraestructure of NEMO33 and organize its exercises with its own protocols and security standards. They move even with a hyperbaric chamber on their truck. You can imagin ethat the type of diving that they do is not "tourist diving" but serious "extreme" diving. The accident was serious and required the intervention of the Belgian emergency services. We still thank them for their diligence and competence.
- RUMOR#5 : The diving Federations have boycotted NEMO33 !
- REALITY : Instead, very quickly after the opening of NEMO33 the federation LIFRAS recognized NEMO33 as a suitable site for diving exercises. Even before the recognition of PADI and IDEA. In NEMO33 everyone takes advantage: Beginners who are better trained, instructors can improve their education by devoting more time to their students and overall security is increased. All divers find in NEMO33 comfort and adventure. NEMO33 is a wonderful tool to learn and practice diving.
- RUMOR #6 : The certifications obtained at NEMO33 are not valid !
- REALITY: It is possible to obtain several certifications of different federations at NEMO33. You can find all the information in the section COURSES. It is not anymore necesary to learn in dirty pools and freeze in cold waters to obtain a diving certification!
#7 : NEMO33 is a french-speaking company.
: It is true that not all our staff is bilingual (french-dutch) but we count with dutch native speakers in key posts. In the reception in the pool and in the restaurant: Jolanda, ... Actually, if you are a dutch-speaker who is interested in working with us please look in the section HOME / JOBS.