SCUBER SURPRISE: Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell were the first paying customers to ride the scUber at Heron Island when it launched to the public yesterday. They are pictured next to the helicopter they took to the island and the official scUber Tesla driver Domenico Galluccio.
SCUBER SURPRISE: Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell were the first paying customers to ride the scUber at Heron Island when it launched to the public yesterday. They are pictured next to the helicopter they took to the island and the official scUber Tesla driver Domenico Galluccio. Matt Harris

'Sensational': Couple make scUber history at Heron

GLADSTONE couple Terry and Kym Purcell have made history by becoming the first paying customers to ride the scUber submarine ride on Heron Island.

The trip was a complete surprise for Kym, with Terry organising the trip under the guise of "going out for coffee".

"Kym asked why are were getting an Uber for coffee," Terry said.

"We did go for a coffee ... there was just a helicopter trip and a dive at the reef thrown in as well."

Launched last Thursday to a flock of national and international media, scUber, the world's first ride-sharing submarine, was developed in partnership between Tourism and Events Queensland and Uber in order to showcase the Great Barrier Reef to the world.

But for Terry, his love for the Reef and wife Kym was what motivated him to book the trip yesterday morning.

"My passion is diving on the reef and my wife has never been able to share that," he said.

"My wife has a medical condition and can't get her diver's certificate. I've dived all my life on the Great Barrier Reef and I love it and just really wanted to share my experience I've had at the Reef with my wife.

 

Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell were the first paying customers to ride the scUber at Heron Island when it launched to the public on May 27, 2019.
Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell were the first paying customers to ride the scUber at Heron Island when it launched to the public on May 27, 2019. Contributed

"It was about her getting to enjoy my passion in our own backyard that we live in.

"It was sensational.

"To see the smile on my wife's face it was worth every minute of it."

Fingers at the ready, Terry logged in to the Uber app yesterday morning to book the trip once bookings went live at 7.30am.

"I set the alarm for 7.15am so I wouldn't forget ... I think I had it booked in about 20 seconds," he said.

"I then got the phone call to say we would be the first riders so I was a little bit shocked by that."

 

Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell were the first paying customers to ride the scUber at Heron Island.
Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell were the first paying customers to ride the scUber at Heron Island. Contributed

Terry said it wasn't his aim to be the first paying customer in the world to ride scUber, but it was well worth the $3000 price tag.

"It was spectacular - words just fail me on how amazing it was," he said.

"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you 'wow factor' - which is a submarine on the Great Barrier Reef."

The scUber trip was only one part of the Purcells' unique experience as the couple were picked up in the official scUber Tesla car, driven to Gladstone Airport and flown to Heron Island by helicopter before plunging into the gorgeous depths surrounding Heron Island.

 

Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell pictured next to the helicopter they took to Heron Island and official scUber Tesla driver Domenico Galluccio.
Gladstone couple Terry and Kym Purcell pictured next to the helicopter they took to Heron Island and official scUber Tesla driver Domenico Galluccio. Matt Harris

"When you scuba dive you can't talk to each other, but while we were down there we could point out (fish), interact with the driver and each other while we were 20 metres under the water," Terry said.

Kym, who had only been snorkelling in the past, had no apprehension going under the water.

"It wasn't claustrophobic at all. The glass was really clean so it looked like you were actually under water. It was fantastic," she said.

The scUber experience is available at Heron Island for a limited time before moving to Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas from June 9.

For more information visit: scUberQueensland.com.



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