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Photo feature: Campers go diving back in time

Taylor Schoby, 7, goes up for air Monday afternoon as Natchez National Historical Park Ranger Steven Don opens up the hatch on a deep sea diving helmet.

There isn’t 20,000 leagues under the hill in Natchez, but a group of junior rangers got the chance to dive into camp by trying on a deep sea diving helmet, once worn by Natchez National Historical Park ranger Steven Don at Junior Ranger Camp on the grounds of Melrose Monday.

The eyes of Avery Garrett, 8, peer out from behind the glass of the helmet’s front porthole.
The 56-pound helmet worn by Don when he was in the U.S. Navy offered four small portholes from which to look when he walked the bottom of the ocean, sometimes 300 feet below sea level. Don’s Navy diving classmates were the last to use the helmets in the 1980s before they were replaced by lighter fiberglass models. Throughout the week, campers are learning about all sorts of unique outdoor activities, including deep-sea diving.

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