SHE has been diving in Hampshire since she was just 10 years old.

Since then Charlotte Burns has completed more than 130 dives and clocked up 25 diving qualifications – including becoming the person to complete the PADI Jr Master Scuba Diver rating in the shortest time, two days after her 12th birthday.

Now, the13-year-old, who trained at Andark in Swanwick, is preparing for the underwater challenge of a lifetime.

The teen, who helps with the eight to 12-year-olds’ Aquanauts class at the dive centre, will become the first child to dive between the Silfra Tectonic Fissure in Iceland – breaking a world record.

The Silfra Fissure is the only place across the globe where divers can swim between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia.

Charlotte will become the youngest person in history to reach out and touch two continents while diving under water, having received a special waiver from the Icelandic government to complete the dive while under the minimum age of 18.

The expedition will be filmed with the support of Coventry University and British explorer Monty Halls for a documentary that will be used in schools.

The trip will become the latest in Charlotte’s long list of achievements that also include being the only civilian in the world to complete a police diver training exercise in San Diego, diving under US aircraft carrier The USS Midway.

She is also a fully trained marine mammal medic and has completed helicopter underwater escape training with Andark.

Charlotte, from Biggin Hill in Bromley, Greater London, said: “I’m looking forward to being between two tectonic plates. It’s really rare to get two tectonic plates that you can dive between and the gap is getting wider so you won’t be able to touch both plates at the same time in the future.

“I will be under water for 40 minutes and I will do two dives.”

The youngster hopes the expedition will inspire other young people to learn to dive and to take an interest in geology.

She added: “I remember when I was in Year 7 and I was learning about tectonic plates. We were watching videos of people in the 80s that I didn’t think I could relate to but if it was a 13-year-old girl I think I would have been able to relate more.”

But before the pupil of Newstead Wood School in Kent heads off for the challenge she will be speaking at a special event at the Hampshire pool she first learnt to dive in which aims to encourage more women to take to the water.

Charlotte said: “I’m hoping to explain to women that they can dive even if they don’t have the equipment.

“I see an underwater world that I wouldn’t be able to see without diving. Diving for me is not just a hobby, it’s a passion and that’s why I keep diving.

“The fact that, at 13 years old I can do it puts across a clear message that no matter what age you are, anyone can rise to the challenge and get used to diving. It works with anything, no matter what age you are and no matter what you want to do, anyone can do anything.”

During the Women’s Dive Day event at Andark Diving and Watersports Charlotte will be officially named as the Professional Association of Diving Instructors’ first ambassador.

Also at the event will be underwater camerawoman Jess Gamble and diver Jane Maddocks from Gosport, who was part of the team that excavated the Mary Rose from the Solent.

Women are invited to join the diving centre for a free action-packed day of diving activities on July 18 including a chance to try scuba diving in the indoor pool, explore diving equipment designed for women and listen to talks by Charlotte, Jess and Jane.

The event will be at the diving centre in Bridge Road, Lower Swanwick.

For more information call 01489 581755 or visit

To sponsor Charlotte’s dive team, visit: