It is two days and counting until the UK diving event of the summer! This Friday (15th August) sees the start of the Anglesey ScubaFest.
The weekend event, now in its third year, showcases British diving, and to this end brings together like-minded divers from all agencies to enjoy some great diving, trial new equipment and techniques, tuck into some great food, listen to some live music, and just generally have a good craic over some apres-dive beers. Download the packed 2014 Anglesey Scubafest Schedule here.
For non-divers this ScubaFest is the ideal opportunity to learn all about scuba diving and meet key people from the leading diver training agencies; BSAC, PADI, SAA and SSI.
For certified divers, there is a packed schedule of diving with plenty of shore diving on offer. If you want to boat dive, there are still a handful of RHIB diving spaces left – go to the website to secure your spot.
You can also try something new. Curious about freediving? There are four Static and Dynamic Apnea Freediving clinics running morning (10am) and afternoon (2pm) on the event beach. All you need is a wetsuit and a pair of socks to take part. Everything else will be provided.
The same goes for sidemounting. Sidemount supremo Garry Dallas will be running Sidemount workshops and will be bringing rigged cylinders, harnesses and regs a-plenty
In between times you can refresh your rescue skills by getting up to speed with CPR!
There is plenty to keep the kids occupied with BSAC running Beachcomber and ‘Beach Snapper‘ events on both days. And children aged 12 and under get free entry into theAnglesey Sea Zoo during this ScubaFest. Just say the two magic words at the ticket office; “Anglesey ScubaFest”!
Representatives from manufacturers including Apeks Aqua Lung, Huish Outdoors, Liquid Sports, Mares, Suunto and Weezle Diving will be on the beach at Porth Dafarch near Trearddur Bay, or Newry Beach in Holyhead (final location dependent on the weather), and will have plenty of shiny new gear for you to take for trial dives.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a snapper, then the Northern Underwater Photography Group (NUPG) has a special category for The Anglesey ScubaFest sponsored by AP Diving. This is free and anyone can enter. Simply take images of the ScubaFest event, i.e. divers getting ready, equipment, people having fun along the shore or at the event. You can enter a maximum of 2 images by 6.30pm on Saturday evening at the Outdoor Centre.
There is still some space for camping at the Outdoors Centre – check out the website for details. Of course no ScubaFest would not be complete without some great entertainment. Two fabulous live bands are lined up to play on Friday and Saturday night, so come and grab a drink and dance the night away.
For more information, to book your accommodation, a band ticket or space on a RHIB dive, check out:
BREAKING NEWS – Overnight Diving Unlimited International, along with their European partners, Bts Europe AG and CCR Sp. Z 0.0. has announced the acquisition of Ocean Management Systems.
The new company will be called Ocean Management Systems GmbH and will be based in Germany.
“The OMS brand is recognized worldwide with a solid reputation”, said Susan Long, DUI’s President & CEO. “Our goal is to bring divers the quality products they have come to expect from OMS combined with DUI’s reputation for exceptional customer support. Our partner, BtS, will do the same for divers throughout Europe. We will be working hard over the next couple of months to streamline the OMS product line with a release in early 2015.”
DUI will be distributing OMS throughout North America, Central and South America, Australia, Korea and Japan.
BtS will be distributing OMS throughout Europe, Russia and China.
International DISTRIBUTORS interested in OMS should contact Thomas Dederichs.
It was the perfect place to dive. The obvious choice. Back in 1992, my debut sea dive was underneath Dorset’s Swanage Pier as I cautiously made my first ever night dive. A day later my first ever wreck dive was out of Swanage. So when a couple of friends hatched a plan to take me on my first UK sea dive on my Poseidon rebreather; the ideal solution was of course Swanage!
Swanage is actually quite useful as a ‘first sea dive’. You can take a dip beneath the magnificent Victorian Pier to ensure your weighting and buoyancy are correct, before doing something more adventurous. We duly walked down the wide stone steps and did pre dive checks before gingerly stepping over, on and around the submerged rocks.
Experience is a good teacher. You quickly learn how to minimise risk to yourself and your kit. Walking into deeper water at Swanage is not that easy and there is a high chance you can fall over and hurt yourself or damage your equipment. As soon as we could, we gently dropped onto our knees and used ‘pull and glide’ techniques to get us into deeper water, where we could make a proper descent beneath the pier.
After a quick non-descent (yes please I do need another 2 kilos), we gently dropped beneath the Pier. It looked to me as though the seabed was covered in tossed Marks & Spencer salad being gently washed about by the current. There was a good smattering of Sea Lettuce wafting in the water. I played with my buoyancy whilst watching a feisty Velvet Crab demand that I take it on. One of the things I really love about my Poseidon is how quickly I can get to grips with my buoyancy and get a reasonable position in the water. I have found that this skill is not so intuitive on other units.
I glanced over to Lisa to check she was ok, to find her picking up a disc from the seabed. I inspected her outstretched palm closely. Tuppence. And then I spotted one too. We cruised the seabed, giggling as we found more coins. It was a useful drill because we were diving 3 metres / 10 foot. If you can achieve and maintain neutral buoyancy here, then you are in good shape for deeper dives. All too soon it is time to turn for home and head back. I surfaced triumphant gleefully clutching three tuppences. Treasure worth 6 pence.
After a reasonable surface interval debriefing, dive planning and enjoying ice-cream, we jump on a boat to head out to the SS Kyarra. Time to kill some ghosts.
Why the “ghost killing”? There are certain dives that are forever seared into your soul for good, or not so good reasons. My first dive after I had qualified as a diver was a “not so good dive”. I did my four PADI Open Water dives in Stoney Cove, and a few weeks later my five PADI Open Water Advanced dives out of Swanage.
After listening to some very bad advice from an instructor, and not realising at the time it was; my first ever dive, as a qualified diver, was the SS Kyarra. She is considered a classic British wreck dive and she can be an awesome dive. The Kyarra is probably one of the most dived wrecks in the UK because she is so accessible from Swanage, a mere 20 minute boat ride. She was a twin-masted schooner-rigged steamer, built in the Clyde (Scotland) in 1903 and was torpedoed a mere 15 years later on 26th May 1918 by the German submarine UB-57. Today she lies in 30 metres / 100 foot.
30 metres temperate water diving off the UK south coast is a completely different animal to 30 metres blue water diving in Grand Cayman or Egypt. It can be as black as your hat down there, or the wreck can benefit from good ambient light. I have dived it in various light levels. And the wreck can be swept by quite strong currents. It is certainly not the place for brand new qualified divers to go exploring on their own.
My 10th ever dive was with someone vastly more experienced than I. He had 14 dives. And it was back in the day when octopus’ were not mandatory kit. Between us we had a primary regulator each. And then we shared a watch, a depth gauge and the biggest knife we could lay our hands on. Long story short, after a 25 minute bottom time at 30 metres, we were off the dive tables with decompression obligations to fulfil. We didn’t. Instead we made a very fast uncontrolled ascent from seabed to surface in a matter of seconds. To this day I still do not know why either of us didn’t embolise or get decompression sickness. We were very very lucky.
Twenty two years later, not quite to the day, here I am jumping on the Kyarra with my Poseidon. Time to kill the ghost of that dive. It took ages to get down the shot. You can’t descent quite as fast on a rebreather as you can on scuba. The viz was a tad milky and I wondered just how dark it would be on the wreck. We got lucky! The wreck was bathed in glorious emerald green light and the viz was pretty amazing. Ten metres plus. We both confirmed we were “ok” and started to bimble along the wreck.
An opening looked quite enticing. I could see it didn’t go very far, something like two metres, but I was still curious. There was nothing of interest, however I got a little stuck. What immediately went through my mind was, “I have all the time in the world to get out of here.” My Poseidon was giving me just what I needed at that moment. Time! After some gentle wiggling, I successfully reversed into the green sunshine.
The wreck is pretty broken up, however you can still make out some key features on her. Pieces of deck. The cove hatchings around the holds. Bollards and some railings. Time to check my paddle and computer. 20 minutes before I hit deco, and I’d already been down there for 20 minutes. How wonderful to have the luxury of such long no-decompresion time and I marvelled at just what little gas I had used on the dive. I was snug, warm and very happy on my Poseidon.
Ahead of me loomed a vast boiler. I inched closer admiring the ‘furry’ boiler. It was covered in hydroids and small sea anemones. “Is anyone home?” I wondered. I peered in one of the fire doors expecting to come face to face with a Conger. Instead I was greeted by a blue lobster wiggling its tentacles at me.
All too soon we came the end of the wreck as I hit one minute of deco. Time to dispatch my delayed surface marker buoy and head on up. I love how my time machine can allow me to do a 50 minutes run time with pretty much no deco, on a wreck at 30 metres. Pure Poseidon pleasure!
Calshot BSAC (pictured above) have had their £6,000 engine stolen off the back of their RHIB whilst it was in a locked storage facility on a New Forest farm. The incident occurred on or around Sunday 6th July 2014.
This is a Yamaha 150bhp two-stroke engine. Whoever took the engine cut through cables and pipes. (Fuel lines, pipes to the oil reservoir, throttle cables, steering lines and the echo location system).
The Police have advised that two other boat engines were stolen in the same period, and in much the same way. If you have an expensive boat engine stored with a boat, time to be extra vigilant.
They were used to see if microparticles (MP), fragments of cells that accumulate in the blood in response to a variety of stressors, are a good indicator of #decompression stress. The MP measures are compared with the bubble data collected onsite with ultrasound techniques.
The MP assays are completed by Dr Stephen Thom at the University of Maryland. Dr Thom gave a presentation at the ONR-NAVSEA Progress Review Meeting that took place in Durham on 15 to 17 July. He summarised the current status of his research on circulating microparticles (MPs). These are small fragments shed by various cells that have been exposed to stress and can be found in divers after diving. Here is a report on Microparticles and Decompression Stress from ‘The Dive Lab‘.
Pictured here is Divers Alert Network Research Associate I, Jenna Wiley. She is taking blood from a deep trimix CCR diver during Divetech‘s Inner Space.
Mares / Head swim / SSI are currently recruiting for a temporary Area Account Manager in the United Kingdom
We have a long tradition of manufacturing quality engineered products and are considered one of the leading brands within the scuba diving market. Part of The Head Group we have a strong list of brands in a diverse range of watersports including Scuba diving, Spearfishing, Snorkelling, Swimming.
Reporting to the UK category manager, you will be responsible for the development of existing accounts and new business acquisition within our southern sales territory. The initial contract will be temporary to cover maternity leave with the possibility of extension.
The role has a level of autonomy where you will be encouraged to develop and implement strategies to improve the business in your territory to meet the overall business plan. Usual business hours apply but weekend and evening work will be required as candidates will be responsible for, and required to attend, various promotional events.
You will be required to visit a variety of retail businesses to sell all brands in the water sport category including Mares Diving, Snorkelling and Spearfishing, Head swimwear and SSI scuba training. You will be expected to develop sales by effective account management and will be expected to identify and maximise opportunities.
This will be done by appropriate time management, accurate reporting and analysis of sales figures as well as the ability to close a deal, control margins and hit targets. In return you will get a competitive salary, circa £30k OTE depending on experience, laptop, company mobile, car allowance.
Candidates will be educated to a high standard with a strong history in sales and marketing roles. Proficient in the use of excel, word and power point. They should be knowledgeable in the use of equipment in the Head Watersports range. You will need to be a certified scuba diver instructor. You need a full clean UK driving licence and own your own car and should be willing to take a medical.
Please apply in writing with a CV to Richard Corner
It has just been announced by TDI SDI that from 21st July 2014, Sea & Sea Limited will become the UK and Ireland regional office.
Sea & Sea is a leading diving equipment distributor and has been in the dive industry some 35 years. David Millin, Managing Director of Sea & Sea stated, “TDI is a legendary agency that UK divers and instructors have trusted for years to provide top notch training and quality materials. Sea & Sea is excited to be part of the continuing history”.
Brian Carney, President of International Training, acknowledged that the UK diving scene has an interesting history when it comes to TDI. The late Rob Palmer, a much respected cave explorer and a leading light in the fledgling technical diving community, helped set up TDI twenty years ago.
Stephen Phillips, who has managed the UK region for close to 10 years, will remain as a regional manager for the Maltese Islands. Using his experience and knowledge of technical diving and region management, Stephen is looking forward to the challenges of Malta. Stephen Phillips stated, “there is a strong British presence on Malta and there is a lot of opportunity for not only existing SDI TDI members but for other agency instructors as well.”
Mark Powell, TDI Instructor Trainer and member of the Global Training Advisory Panel stated, “Stephen has done a great job in the UK and I look forward to working with him in Malta. I am excited about Sea and Sea picking up the important role of running the region office. They will bring the resources and facilities that we need to support TDI and SDI’s growth in the UK and Ireland.
UK members can email or call Sea and Sea on 01803 663 012.
Are you an Auckland based diver, or live near Auckland, New Zealand? Are you available on Saturday 19th or Sunday 20th July 2014? Do you dive a rebreather or are thinking of becoming a rebreather diver? If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, Dr Simon Mitchell and Dr Neal Pollock need your help. They are conducting a Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Prebreathe Study and need volunteers to assist in this incredibly useful research.
We are delighted to report that the findings from this study will be announced at EUROTEK.2014 in September.
What is the purpose of this research?
Rebreathers which recycle exhaled gas after removing carbon dioxide (CO2) are becoming increasingly popular in recreational diving because they offer advantages such as the conservation of breathing gas. However, they are more complex than normal scuba equipment, and there is potential for operator error in their use. These errors may lead to accidents and death. Several of these potential operator errors relate to the use of the CO2 absorbent (or the CO2 “scrubber”). If there is failure of CO2 removal from the expired breath, the diver will re-inhale CO2 and this may result in hypercapnia (commonly referred to as CO2 toxicity). Rebreather divers are taught about this during their rebreather dive training. CO2 toxicity may cause progressive shortness of breath, headache, anxiety, panic, and ultimately unconsciousness. In addition, CO2 toxicity enhances the adverse effects or toxicity of other gases such as nitrogen and oxygen. There have been many deaths during the use of rebreathers in which CO2 toxicity is thought to have contributed, though this is often difficult to prove.
Planet Scuba in Bishops Stortford are having an open day tomorrow, and you are invited.The emhasis on this year’s open day is photography. They will have kit from ‘photography curious’ to specialist equipment. There will be three talks and a free BBQ at lunchtime.
- 11.00 Open Day Kicks Off
- 12.00 Talk by Nigel Wade, DIVER Magazine journalist and photographer
- 13.30 Talk by Peter Lemon, author of ‘Scuba Diving Malta’
- 14.00 Talk by Scuba Travel
It is all taking place at;
2 The Links
Kick off will be about morning coffee time and the day will run until about 8pm.
You are most welcome to bring along friends, family and fellow divers.
The RF3 proceedings are now available, online and free to anyone to download!
The Rebreather Forum 3 Proceedings have been published in both print and electronic format following the safety symposium held from 18 – 20 May 2012 at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Two years in the planning and two years in the writing, the 324-page rebreather publication showcases state-of-the-art and science of rebreather diving through the experience and knowledge of some of the world’s leading specialists in education, operations, physiology, medicine and safety. This meeting followed the Rebreather Forum 2 conference which was held in 1996.
The goal of Rebreather Forum 3 was to positively impact the safety of recreational, professional, scientific, media and military rebreather divers by sharing latest developments and best practices. Educational sessions took place in seminars that discussed history and evolution, medicine and physiology, business and operations, incidents and their investigation, design and testing, and training and operations. Safety was the key theme and participants were informed about the most common causes of rebreather incidents and fatalities in hopes of reducing their future occurrence. To round out the meeting, participants were able to gain hands-on experience through various pool sessions.
The 11-member, Rebreather Forum organizing committee comprised Dr. Nicholas Bird (DAN), Mark Caney (PADI), Dr. Petar Denoble (DAN), Michael Lang (American Academy of Underwater Sciences), Rosemary E Lunn (The Underwater Marketing Company), Christian MacDonald (American Academy of Underwater Sciences), Dan Orr (DAN), Dr. Neal W Pollock (DAN), Dr. Drew Richardson (PADI), Karl Shreeves (PADI) and Dr. Richard Vann (DAN).
“We planned this Forum to introduce divers without rebreather experience to the equipment as well as to assist experienced rebreather divers in refining their skills. This was the ideal format to share ideas and listen to some of the world’s most respected experts on rebreather diving,” stated Dr. Richard Vann, former Vice President of Research, Divers Alert Network.
Publishing the Rebreather Forum 3 proceedings is a significant accomplishment by the AAUS, DAN and PADI. All three partners are very pleased to share this invaluable resource with the diving community, in order to help make diving safer. It is hoped that the knowledge gained will reduce incidents and fatalities among rebreather divers.
PDF copies of the complete RF3 Proceedings can be downloaded immediately at no-cost from the DAN website. Print copies will be available in the near-future through a print-on-demand service. More detailed information can be found at the Rebreather Forum 3 website; www.rf30.org