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His underwater dream

Having been blessed with family support and talents, Andrew hopes to make a difference, as he pursues his underwater dream.

From the tender age of 3, Andrew Lim was in love with marine life. His parents often took him on snorkeling trips, as they were avid scuba divers themselves. 

The first encounter with marine life that left Andrew, now 21, in awe was when he was 4 years old. He was watching an underwater documentary about marine life. 

"It really impressed me because at that point in time, I only knew how to snorkel. You see from the surface and you can't go close [to the animals]. But from the documentary, I realised how intimate and close I can get to marine life through diving," Andrew recalled. 


The moment he turned 13, the marine life enthusiast took up scuba diving and soon received his license. 

Andrew was able to achieve his dream of getting up close with marine life and admiring them from deep within the sea. But things did not stop there. 
THE 21-YEAR-OLD HAS FINALLY MANAGED TO GET HIS HANDS ON SCUBA DIVING AND NOW HE IS AN UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHER!
PHOTO CREDITS: ANDREW LIM
He often dived with a family friend and William Tan, 49, a local underwater photographer. 

"I found it amazing that William could spend the whole day shooting photos of one animal. He would dive for an hour and once the oxygen ran out, he would surface and rest for a bit. Then, go back down to the same spot and continue shooting the same animal," he said. 


JAWFISH ARE MOUTH BROODERS AS IT STORES ITS EGGS IN ITS MOUTH UNTIL THEY HATCH. 
PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREW LIM
The experience changed Andrew's perspective of his diving experiences. Previously, Andrew often returned from his trips and told his friends how amazing the diving trip was. 

But, he realised the fantastic experiences and the sea creatures were indescribable with words alone. 

Andrew said: "Photos were a better representation of my experience, so I looked into it and my parents were kind enough to support my decision. That's how I started underwater photography."


LOOK AT THE BEAUTY OF THIS VIEW FROM UNDER THE WATER!
PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREW LIM
At 17, Andrew learned how to control his buoyancy underwater while shooting photos of an animal. The external factors affecting a shot are crucial. As the sea creature and the photographer are moving at the same time, getting the perfect shot requires patience and effort. 

Slowly, his hobby developed into another dream, to publish a book by the time he turned 25. So he started preparing for his coffee table photo book, Silhouette of Serenity. 

However, just two days before he was about to embark on his photography project in Manado, Indonesia, last year, Andrew met with an unfortunate accident.
 
While he was loading his bicycle unto the boot of a taxi, another taxi had rammed into him from behind. 

"My left leg was the only point of contact between the two cars, so it cushioned the impact, but the impact was so hard that it dented both bumpers of the cars," Andrew said. 

Miraculously, he only suffered a severe bruise and minor bone injury, and had no broken bones. 

One month after the accident, Andrew was back up on his feet with a limp. He made his way to Manado for his mission to complete his book, this time with nothing in his way. 

The passionate photographer stayed in Indonesia alone and scuba dived with his diving master for a month. He returned after photographing the marine wildlife that he needed for his book. 


THIS LAZY CRAB HITCHHIKES AND TAKES A RIDE WHILE SEEKING PROTECTION FROM THE CASSIOPEIA, ALSO KNOWN AS THE UPSIDE-DOWN JELLYFISH.
PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREW LIM

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of his book, which will be launched on next Saturday, will go to Prison Fellowship Singapore.

Andrew explained: "I have been very blessed to be born in a good home. My childhood was amazing, all my experiences made me who I am today and it helped me grow as a person. The children, whose parents are in prison, don't get that nurturing from their parents and it's very sad. It's a very important stage of their lives that they are missing out."


THE PROUD AUTHOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER OF 'SILHOUETTE OF SERENITY'.
So, with the dream of publishing his own book achieved, what is his next dream?

Andrew wants to spread awareness about marine life conservation.

He said: "We are already draining the resources of this earth and taking full advantage of it without sparing a thought for the long run. My hope for this book is to spread the appreciation of marine life. Only when people start appreciating it, then they start thinking of conserving it. They will start to have a heart to protect it."