Diver Saved by Group of Three Mermaids


Jonathan Buscher

Pablo Avila, an experienced Argentinian diver, was scuba diving off Catalina Island, California on October 23, 2022, with both his son and one of his friends when he lost consciousness. Beginning to foam at the mouth and still unconscious, Joshua Claramunt, one of the other divers, said that he and Javier Claramunt tried to pull Avila through the water. However, with all of his diving equipment, they were becoming winded and tired due to the weight. Luckily, Elle Jimenez, a 33-year-old mermaid performer, who is also a diver due to her profession, from Miami, Florida, was on-site to help.

Hearing cries for help while she was teaching an open water diving class, which happened to be about mermaid rescue scenarios, Jimenez and her two other students put on their mermaid fins and swam to aid Avila. Assisted by Elaina Marie Garcia, a firefighter, and one of her students, Jimenez helped to remove the heavy diving gear, which normally weighs around 30 or 40 pounds, but is closer to 65 or 75 pounds underwater. Garcia said that she gave Avila CPR in the water, stating that “My training kicked in, and I had the muscle memory I needed to get his scuba gear quickly and efficiently off,” in an interview with Fox 11 News. The team of mermaids also helped to teach a second diver several breathing techniques meant to calm down panic. Once Pablo Avila was somewhat secure, the mermaid troop brought him ashore to waiting paramedics. 

Surprisingly, shortly after the CPR and rescue, once Avila started breathing, he was instantly back to talking and smiling, just as if nothing had ever happened. The save was also a big step in the mermaid candidates’ training, as it showed that they knew their roles and had responsibility in the real-life scenarios of their training. The mermaids, who were training for the PADI advanced mermaid program, left with a final thought: “It’s not just pretty tails and smiles, but we can save lives too … with grace.”