Dive Industry personality Watson DeVore has joined the dive training agency, RAID.
“What I enjoyed most about my time as Director of Education for SSI Globally was feeling like I was part of a family. When I left the dive industry, I thought it was for good, but I guess once you are in the dive industry for as long as I was, almost 26 years, it’s hard to leave something you are so passionate about. I am really excited to be back and most of all, I feel like RAID has put the family back together again.
Paul Toomer (former Director of Technical Training for SSI), Mike Wells (former Director of SSI Freediving), Jim Holliday (former CEO of SSI Australasia), Col McKenzie and his team from SSI Australasia and Mark McCrum (former Manager SSI Australasia) are all part of the team at RAID HQ. I working alongside them for years. I am also excited to be working with many of the former SSI distributors, now RAID around the world again.
It has also been great to see the rest of the RAID Executive team assembled. It’s almost like a whose who of the global dive industry. Colleagues include Terry Cummins (ex PADI VP) and James Rogers (ex PADI UK Director), and rebreather expert Paul Haynes. All these guys are committed to making some big changes in the dive industry and it will be wonderful to be part of something so new, yet based on an unbelievable wealth of industry experience.
Having personally co-authored and written more manuals than most people in the dive industry, I know the challenges with getting them right, especially the first time. For example, by the time you print a student manual, the information can be out of date. So with the 100% digital solution that RAID offers across 60 different courses, you will always have the most current information at your fingertips.
I did not make the decision to come on board with RAID lightly. I took a good look at how the programme was put together, and the way it handles quality control is simply unbelievable. The way the skills are taught in the water at the beginner level is not a re-write of old ideas or concepts, but rather a totally new way to teach. I believe this new way will improve the quality of diver training for years to come.
I also saw what RAID has been able to achieve corporately in such a short period of time since their re-launch early this year. Regional offices already in Australia, Asia, Africa, Italy, Korea, Philippines, Middle East, Latin America, UK and now the USA – You have to agree that this is impressive in anyone’s language and a testimony to what this global team is capable of achieving.
And again, one of the main reasons I have chosen to become a part of RAID is the fact that I will be working hand in hand with my longstanding family and friends from around the world.”
The 2014 BSAC Diving Conference was held on Saturday 25th October at the Birmingham NEC. Attending delegates enjoy a packed and informative programme of BSAC news, diver training updates and open forums.
During the conference BSAC announced the full list of BSAC Diving Conference 2014 award winners:
COLINS & CHAMBERS OWI AWARD
– for the most meritorious candidate on the Open Water Instructor course
- Winner: Lee Evans
ANALOX AI AWARD
– for the most meritorious candidate on the Advanced Instructor course
- Winner: Chucky Kane
FIRST CLASS DIVER – awarded to the successful 2014 candidates
- Alan Brown
- Dai Atkins
- Dominic Robinson
- Duncan Reed
- Robert Sewell
- Simon Child
- John De Lara
- Joli Riley
AP DIVING AWARD
– awarded for the most admirable performance in the First Class Diver exam
- Winner: Simon Child
– awarded to the successful 2014 candidates
- Maria Harwood, Martin ‘Smudge’ Smith
– awarded to the person who performs most meritoriously in the National Instructor exam
- Winner: Martin ‘Smudge’ Smith
– awarded for the most admirable performance in a BSAC nationally assessed examination
- Winner: Martin ‘Smudge’ Smith
BSAC SAFETY AWARD – presented in recognition of endeavouring to save a life without involving diving techniques
- Winner: Colin Hill
ALAN BROADHURST AWARD
– awarded for the use of good diving lifesaving techniques
- Malcolm Avis
- Claude Carletide
- Mark Edmunds
- Zack Halim
- Jim Hallyburton
- David Horton
- Natasha Scott
- John Sharp
- Martin Smith
- Ian Stirling
- Fraser Sweeny
HEINKE TROPHY 2014
– for the branch judged to have done the most infurthering the interest of BSAC and its members
- Winner: Bradford SAC
- Commended: London No 1 Branch
BSAC EXPEDITION TROPHY – presented to the organizer of the most significant British diving expedition of the year
- Winner: Darwin SAC
COLIN MCLEOD AWARD
– to the person/s who in the opinion of the BSA Jubilee Trust has contributed to international cooperation and harmony in diving and associated activities
- Winner: Dr Ian Calder
SCUBAPRO COUSTEAU AWARD
– for the BSAC member who goes that extra mile in the promotion of the club’s aims and objectives
- Winner: Margaret Baldwin
BSAC WRECK AWARD (new for 2014)
- Winner: Severnside Sub Aqua Club
– report on the SS Baygitano
- Guildford Sub Aqua Club (HMT Pine)
- Chester SAC (A tale of two trawlers.)
- Calshot Sub Aqua Club (Sunderland Flying boat)
- Richard Scarsbrook BSAC member individual entry (SS Stassa)
- Folkestone Sub Aqua Club (HMHS Anglia)
- Mauritius Underwater group (HMS Sirius)
Thank you awards:
- Chris Odell
- Colin McCarthy
- Jamie Heptonstall
- Andy Botten
- Steve Capes
- Roy Evans
- Kevin Holmes
- Dave Bell
- John Gibbon
More photos and news from the BSAC Diving Conference 2014 can be found here.
IMASS has confirmed that tickets for the 33rd International Shipwreck Conference are now on sale. IMASS (International Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Society) organise this event as a forum for divers, explorers and shipwreck enthusiasts.
- Leigh Bishop – Sierra Leone Expedition 2014
- Neil Dobson – SS Central America
- Richard Keen – Roman wrecks in the Channel Islands
- Richard Larn OBE – the wreck of the Admiral Gardner
- Dave Parham – the Swash Channel wreck
- Rich Walker – Project Tiger
The date for your diary is Saturday 7th February 2015 and it will be held at the Robbins Centre, University of Plymouth. Tickets are priced at £25 each. For more information and to book tickets to the International Shipwreck Conference 2015 click here.
BREAKING NEWS – KISS launch a new rebreather.
Named after pioneering Brit cave explorer and diver Jack Sheppard, this is a true lightweight bailout rebreather with at least a 1.5 hour capability.
We believe it is going to be showcased at the Las Vegas 2014 DEMA Show.
The Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) has announced the six new Members who will constitute the Class of 2015:
- Wendy Benchley
Marine Conservation Leader, Ocean Conservation Governmental Policy Advocate, Shark Conservation Spokesperson
- Cecilie Benjamin
Pioneer Scuba Instructor, Ocean Conservation Leader, Marine Environment Education Program Advocate
- Amanda Cotton
Underwater Photographer, Cave/Tech Diver, Educational Outreach Program Creator
- Meg Donat
Pioneer Scuba Instructor, Hyperbaric Chamber Instructor, Diver Medical Technician, Ocean Advocate
- Lieutenant Grace Landers
USN: Diving Medical Officer, Submarine Medical Officer, Medical Pioneer and Innovator
- Amy Slate
Scuba Instructor, Ocean and Environmental Conservation Leader, Educational Outreach Advocate
These extraordinary women will be officially inducted into WDHOF on 28th March 2015 at the Beneath the Sea (BTS) Awards Banquet in New Jersey, USA.
The WDHOF was founded in 2000 to recognise the contributions of outstanding women divers.
Members are drawn from many fields including; the Arts, Science, Medicine, Exploration and Technology, Marine Archeology, Business, Media, Training and Education, Safety, Commercial and Military Diving, Free Diving, and Underwater Sports.
The WDHOF also offers financial assistance and mentorship to women and men interested in pursuing diving careers. They currently support 13 annual scholarships and training grants.
About a million years ago, to be precise December 1998, a new diving magazine was launched in the UK called ‘Dive Girl’. It had a short life, but it is still remembered with affection by some divers. I didn’t know it at the time, but writing an article in the debut edition would help launch my writing and PR career in scuba and technical diving.
This is the first piece I wrote. I could write about any piece of diving equipment I liked. I chose my Aquion Pro Harlequin drysuit. It had taken me three years of hard saving to get this suit, and when it arrived, I was that excited, I almost slept in it on the first night. I can get very attached to my diving equipment. Whilst I don’t dive this suit any more, it still makes me smile every time I open the garage door.
Sixteen years on, it is also great to see the other lady featured on this page, Mary Tetley, is likewise still involved with scuba diving too. Today Mary is the CEO of the British Sub Aqua Club.
In Spring 2010 Aqua Lung purchased Whites Manufacturing; a company that specialises in the development and manufacture of Diving Drysuits. Whites Drysuits are dived by recreational, military, public safety, and commercial divers around the world.
One of their most popular suits is the patented Whites Fusion Drysuit. The unique design of this suit has changed the way that divers view the ‘drysuit’. It offers them comfort and mobility in a lightweight package, that is easy to don and doff.
Aqua Lung has just announced that starting from today (1st October 2014) all drysuits, undergarments, associated drysuit accessories that are produced by Whites Manufacturing, and supplied through Aqua Lung dealers will be branded Aqua Lung.
Image: Apeks Aqua Lung Ambassador Garry Dallas, pictured in his Whites Fusion Drysuit, during the 2014 Anglesey ScubaFest
Credit: Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic