Hawaii diving company gets high-profile customers: VP Pence and wife Karen

By Kimi Andrew
HNN Summer Intern

KEWALO BASIN, OAHU (Hawaii News Now) — A local scuba shop got a couple of high-profile divers on Thursday: Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence.

The couple went scuba diving off of Kewalo Basin along with six Secret Service agents.

Aqua Zone owner Devon Merrifield was on the boat with the Pences.

"They told me to try to create the experience as if they were customers but that was pretty hard to do with the Secret Service around," Merrifield said.

The day started out differently than most of his scuba tours, with the client driving up in an eight-car motorcade along with four police vehicles and an ambulance on hand.

The Aqua Zone boat was also escorted out into the basin by four armed U.S. Coast Guard vessels.

There was a lot of planning that went into the day on the water.

"They had to do all their checks, make sure our equipment was good, and I guess they liked what they saw," Merrifield said.

Merrifield said they were able to chat freely with the vice president and his wife, who were scuba-certified divers.

The scuba shop has a location on the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, where Mr. Pence is staying, which Merrifield says is the reason why the vice president chose Aqua Zone.

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