Meet Samantha Botha, one of Orange County Fire Rescue’s newest dive team members

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — When you’ve loved swimming since childhood like Samantha Botha, learning to scuba dive is the next natural step. Only she’s well beyond looking for tropical fish.


Botha is one of 17 new candidates for the Orange County Fire Rescue dive team, one of the few women applicants.

For the last two weeks, the team has endured an intensive certification program performing underwater rescue scenarios in pools and in murky lakes.

Eyewitness News was there on Botha’s last day to prove herself ready.

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“It takes a special kind of person. These people are usually very highly motivated. They want to go that extra mile, and those are the kind of people we’re looking for,” said Lt. Brandon Allen.

Botha said she got her work ethic from her father, who is an underwater commercial diver.

“So when he became a diver, I got interested in it,” Botha said. “And I got in this field, and I found out they had a program. I was like, ‘Why not?’ And I get to help people with it.”

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OCFR only picks the best.

Botha has already made her mark as firefighter paramedic. She wants to do the same on the dive team.

Botha has just passed her certification and will receive her certificate on Wednesday.

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She could put her skills to the test as early as Thursday.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

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