December 2007 Issue - bsac.com
On behalf of everyone at BSAC HQ, can we wish you a
very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
BSAC Diving Officer’s Conference 2007
The British Sub Aqua Club Diving Officer's Conference 2007 was held on Saturday 1st December 2007 at the
Institute of Education, London.
The exciting DOC programme and the chance to win an Ambient Pressure Diving Rebreather resulted in more
tickets being sold and an increased attendance compared to the last few years.
BSAC Chairman, Marcus Allen, welcomed delegates to the Conference and showed an excerpt from the Go!
Diving UK DVD which all delegates received in their conference packs. The President of BSAC, HRH Prince of
Wales, sent a message congratulating BSAC Japan on their 20th anniversary.
The morning session was ably chaired by Maggie Cowing, who managed to keep most of the National Diving
Committee group leaders (NDC) under control. The National Diving Officer, Sean Gribben, thanked all the
volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to BSAC. For management reasons, NDC is split into 5
working groups. The group leaders each presented their work and future plans to the Conference. All the
information was simultaneously published in an NDC Bulletin (http://www.bsac.org/page/95/ndc-e-
bulletin.htm), which was handed out to the delegates after the presentations. Sean then returned to the
lectern to announce that from January 2008 every current BSAC Instructor would receive an updated
Instructor Manual CD free of charge. The delegates were clearly delighted and spontaneous applause broke
out. Sean thanked Council for agreeing to fund this popular move.
Some of the awards previously made at DOC had been moved to the evening dinner, so the new slimmed
down awards section included the instructor qualifications. Mark Wilson, leader of the Instructor Training
Group awarded the Collins & Chambers Award for the most meritorious performance on an Open Water
Instructor Exam to Jenny Jones from RAF Henlow Branch. The Analox Award for the best performance on an
Advanced Instructor exam was presented to James Torbet, BSAC Direct.
Dave Lock (First Class Diver Chief Examiner) awarded certificates to Andrew Allen, Andy Botten, Andy
Cursons, Ben Panter, David Perks, Gordon Mackie, James Mills, Jamie Heptonstall, Michael Bailey, Neil
Richmond, Paul Haynes, Philip Harrison, Sandra Castro, Tom McCrickerd. The Lighthouse Torch Award for
best performance on a First Class Diver exam was presented by Jack Bird to Dave Perks.
Maggie Cowing, National Instructor Chief Examiner, presented
awards to Simon Campbell, Sarah Gauci Carlton and Andy Procter.
Andy Procter won the Weezle Award for the best performance on the
National Instructor Exam and Paul Child from Weezle presented him
with a Weezle undersuit, hat and socks. The Wilkinson Sword is
given each year to the candidate that puts in the best performance
in either the National Instructor or First Class exams, and Sean
Gribben presented the sword to Dave Perks.
During the tea break, delegates were given the chance to meet the
Regional Coaches. A new, expanded stand area and a coordinated
approach by the Coaches generated lots of opportunity for delegates
to discuss training issues with regional teams.
Brian Cumming NDC Safety Advisor presented the Incident Report for 2007
(http://www.bsac.org/page/1062/-incident-report-2007.htm). BSAC is currently trying to ascertain how
many dives are done each year in the UK to give the Incident Report a context. Initial surveys have been car-
ried out and Brian detailed the next round of surveys which will be Branch and Centre based. Brian then
presented Alan Broadhurst Awards to Paul Marshall, Andy Botten, Paul Gray, Mike Marsh, Valerie Scott,
Helen Hadley, Jonathan Lewis and John Cobb.
George Brookes presented the Heinke Trophy to Darwen SAC. He praised
their establishment of a database of members and use of their website,
effective promotional activities, scientific diving and implementation of an
effective child welfare policy.
Staying with the safety theme, Fiona Denny came to the stage to introduce
the winners of the Divetrack competition held in memory of her sister, the
respected BSAC National Instructor, Penny Glover. Jeff Neasham and
Marcus Cardew from the winning team presented their diver tracking unit
and discussed the testing that they had undergone. The team from
Newcastle University and Tritech also had a stand in the foyer and generat-
ed lots of interest from the delegates.
Tony Baskeyfield wrapped up the morning session by presenting BSAC
Travel Club Photographic Awards to Photographer of the Year, Andrey
Nekrasov, Runner up, Steve Jones and Newcomer of the Year to Eleonora Manca.
After a busy lunchtime catching up with old
friends and making new contacts, delegates
returned to the auditorium for Martin Dean
from ADUS to turn out the lights on them.
Usually turning down the lights after lunch is
a bad mistake for any presenter, as their
audience drifts into a postprandial slumber.
But there were gasps of admiration for the
stunning 3D wreck images that Martin
Using high density multibeam sonar and software more commonly seen in the computer gaming industry,
Martin explained how environmental and military surveys have been conducted around the world using this
Andy Hunt, BSAC Expeditions Officer had the hard task of following Martin's presentation. Andy presented
details of the various expeditions carried out during 2007, with the aid of the BSAC Expedition Grants
Scheme (BEGS). He explained to the delegates the high success rate of applications and urged them to put
pen to paper and apply for 2008 (http://www.bsac.org/page/509/grants-scheme.htm). Sean Gribben, the
NDO, joined Andy on stage to present the BSAC Expeditions Trophy to Max Ruffert for the South Scotland
The next half hour was devoted to looking at ways in which divers can access training outside of their
branch. Paul Beal (Yorkshire coach) and Dave Tresidder (South East Coach) spoke about the help that
regional teams could provide, whereas Steve Cox (NDC - Joint Services Rep) and Margaret Baldwin (NDC -
Snorkelling Chief Examiner) spoke about common misperceptions of BSAC Centres. Choices for training in
whole or in part with Regional teams and with BSAC Centres were discussed.
After a quick break for coffee, Sam Fanshawe from the Marine Conservation Society spoke about whether
the UK had Seas Fit For Diving? (http://www.bsac.org/news.139.htm). She explained the current status of
the Marine Bill and action planned for the future. For more information, please visit http://www.mcsuk.org.
The NDO, Sean Gribben, stepped in for his deputy to present a section summarising all the information that
had been presented by the NDC during the day, before joining in with the open forum. We will be posting the
open forum questions and definitive answers on the website soon.
The highlight of the presentations was the plenary address by
Professor Trevor Norton entitled The Brave, the Brilliant and the
Barmy. Trevor used a selection of images to complement his witty
and irreverent look at both his early diving days and pioneers of UK
scientific research diving. Explaining the Haldane family predilec-
tion for self-experimentation, Trevor reduced most of the audience
to tears. Stories of warheads off the coast of Ireland, family visits
to coal mines in search of monoxide poisoning and how to convert
milk churns into diving equipment left the delegates thoroughly
entertained. Trevor's books are available from the BSAC Shop at
By now the bar was beckoning but there was one last duty for Marcus Allen and Sean Gribben to oversee.
Trevor Norton picked the winning ticket for the Ambient Pressure rebreather draw, complete with a BSAC
training course. Dave Elphick was the lucky winner and he will be off to the Ambient Pressure factory soon
to be fitted for his unit.
The night carried on for those who had chosen to attend the BSAC Awards Dinner. The dinner took place at
the Russell Hotel . Mark Wilson, as the Toastmaster, carefully led everyone
through the proceeds of the night
Awards were given to Clare Peddie, who was presented with the
Aqualung/Spirotechnique (cannon ball) award . Bernard Eaton was awarded
the Colin McLeod award.
The following BSAC branches were awarded
Clubmark , Chillington Divers, Martin
Hammond, and Deric Lum, Medway Divers,
Judith Bodkin, Kevin Tarr and Andrew Moon,
Mid Lancs, Andy Bennett and Tameside
Divers, Bob Healey.
The after dinner speaker Simon Campbell
concentrated on a humourous, yet serious,
presentation on the BSAC National Exam.
Phil Harrison , ex-BSAC Chairman was awarded Honorary Life membership
to BSAC and also Vice President of the BSAC by Marcus Allen current BSAC
Sean Gribben issued ‘Thank You awards from the NDO’ to regional coaches
Dave Tresidder, Sophie Rennie, Mark Cooper, Arthur Johnson, Hilary Child, Sandra Cooper, Dave Sydenham,
Hywell Dyer, and NDC members Phil Clifton, Geoff Hide, Tony Hoile and Mark Mumford.
A raffle was held and the proceeds of £833.00 went to the Marine Conservation Society
Thanks must go to the following sponsors of the event; Ambient Pressure, Scubapro, Dive magazine, Spa PR,
Dive Magazine. And for raffle prizes; Scubapro, Lighthouse Diving Ltd, Typhoon, Aquapress, Celtic Diving
Base, Maltaqua, Colona Divers and BSAC Shop.
The Peter Small Jubilee Trust Award
Peter Small was a well known science journalist and co-founder of the BSAC.
He promoted and was involved in "inner space" research; a passion that would
ultimately claim his life.
In December 1962 Peter tragically died aged only 35, during a pioneering deep
diving experiment to 1020ft in the Pacific Ocean.
It has been some time since an award in memory of Peter Small has been
made but the resurgence of a number of meaningful diving projects in the last
couple of years has prompted the BSAC in conjunction with the British Sub Aqua
Jubilee Trust to resurrect such an award.
The Peter Small Jubilee Trust Award will to be awarded annually for the most
worthwhile and ambitious BSAC Project, conducted in British waters. The recipi-
ent will receive a prestigious medal to keep and also a prize of £1000.
Eligible diving projects should promote the advancement of underwater explo-
ration and the education of the public by encouraging safe diving whilst con-
ducting underwater study, research and exploration.
Applications for the award should be made to the BSAC Expeditions Officer and accompanied by both a soft
and hard copy report on the project.
The BSAC National Diving Officer with assistance from the BSAC Expeditions Officer will nominate up to three
projects, with associated justification, for the BSA Jubilee Trust to consider and select the award recipient.
The award will only be made if the project is considered by the BSA Jubilee Trust to be of a satisfactory stan-
It is the intention of the BSA Jubilee Trust and BSAC to premiere this award at next year's Diving Officer’s
Normally, the diving projects year runs from 1st November to 31st October of the following year. However, an
exception will be made for the first award whereby diving projects completed between November 1st 2006
and October 31st 2008 will be eligible.
Nominations for BSAC Council
Andy Moll, BSAC honorary secretary, is accepting nominations for BSAC Council and officer positions which
will be vacant from the 2008 AGM in May.
There are six council positions becoming available. The position of chairman, vice-chairman and honorary
treasurer are also becoming available.
Anyone wishing to stand should contact either Mary Tetley (email@example.com) or Wendy Davies
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for a nomination form or for further information.
All nominations must be received at BSAC HQ by no later than 31st January 2008.
Any motions to be raised at BSAC's AGM must also be submitted by 31st January 2008. Motions to be raised
at the AGM submitted by a branch committee must be accompanied by the relevant extract from the minutes
of the branch meeting.
Motions submitted by a voting member must be seconded by at least four other voting members. All such
motions must be sent to the honorary secretary c/o BSAC HQ for the attention of Mary Tetley.
Potential funds available for BSAC Members in England
Apart from being the Eastern Regional Coach, I am also the treasurer of Luton Sports Network.
Sports Networks sit just below the County Sports Partnerships (see web link below)
Sports Networks have replaced the old Sports Councils in most towns and cities. Their purpose is to award
sums of money to amateur sports people and/or clubs against set criteria that normally start with your sport
being one that is recognised by Sport England, through to local terms set out by the Local Sports Network
Try approaching your local sports Network via their web site or by direct contact, establish their award criteria
and how to apply.
A good example that I have seen work in the past is the partial or full refund of course costs and reasonable
travelling expenses for the achievement of OWI, where the local BSAC club won't or can't make a contribution
Another example could be for the purchase of safety equipment. Have a look at your club RIB this winter,
there may be some items of equipment that needs replacing that are critical to diver safety.
You might also want to develop the junior section of your club and gain Club Mark accreditation via BSAC as
this will also assist with grant award applications. The definition of a junior by Club Mark is up to and includ-
ing the age of 18.
BSAC members invited to contribute to Safety Survey
Divers are invited to take part in a diving survey being conducted by Arkenford Ltd. on behalf of the Maritime
and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and with the full support of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC). It is designed to
gather information about diver training and experience and seeks your views on various safety issues within
The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and the data gathered will be used to
improve our understanding of safety issues within the sport. All data will be managed in strict confidence
and anonymity observed within any subsequent report.
BSAC members have a significant contribution to make to this survey and so we would encourage all mem-
bers to follow this link and complete the survey http://www.arkenford.net/uc/admin/4b36/
On behalf of BSAC and MCA thank you for your support.
Safety Talk - December 2007
Nostalgia or a valuable resource?
Experience is a wonderful thing. When starting out on a new activity you can be provided
with formal training to equip you with a foundation of skills with which to gain 'experience',
but what is that experience and how do you gain from it?
Well first of all, in receiving training you have already gained from the experiences of your
instructor and their own training as a diver and an instructor. Diving in a club offers struc-
tured organised diving that will provide you with the opportunities to gain experience, in a
controlled and safe way to build on the skills you have been taught. The same is true whatever new skills
you learn and can be applied both as a diver, instructor and other related areas.
The problem with experience is that the more you gain the harder it becomes to remember it all in detail.
Reading through one of my 'old' logbooks the other day the memories of those original wondrous experi-
ences came flooding back - so much so that I then dug out some old Instructor Notes including my Club
Instructor Exam report!
I suddenly realised, now as an Instructor Trainer and National Instructor, just how far I had progressed in
that time. I was just so glad I had kept all those records to remind me and provide a benchmark for my
NDC SDC Updates Manager
One of the key aspects of learning from experience is the ability to analyse past events and also remember
your experiences. In the early days of our Diver Training we keep a log as a means of demonstrating our
experience dives and whilst many continue to do this others let recording fall by the wayside.
Instructors take great care to encourage their students to fill out a diving log for the purposes of showing
their diving experience to the DO but what should you record? The simple answer is often "whatever you
want" and generally divers find the information they want to record for themselves such as Marine life seen
or wreck details. So how does safety fit in? Well recording your equipment configuration and weighting
details can help you make the correct adjustments when changing set up or after a break. This both saves
time and avoids attempting to take a guess at the correct amount. The ability to check back on the type of
diving you have done previously may help you make informed decisions about further developing your skills
to include nitrox, trimix or rebreather use to match your developing interests. Perhaps most importantly by
recording if you have a problem on a dive, even if it was corrected, this can be an important way of learning
from those experiences.
As an Instructor one of the many reasons I keep a diving log is to encourage my students to do the same.
However, keeping an Instructor Log, which records the range of teaching experience carried out, is a very
important tool that can be employed in your development as an Instructor. A very simple log, perhaps as a
spreadsheet, may give you clues as to whether you are constantly teaching the same small set of skills or
teach the whole range of diving skills and so help keep your own skills, and interests, up to date. A more
detailed log could include extensive self analysis after a training session to help improve things for future
teaching opportunities. This is especially valuable for those aiming to achieve the higher qualifications of
National Instructor, Instructor Trainer and Advanced Instructor.
The recording of a Coxswain's log may evoke connotations of Star Trek or crusty sea captains but can prove a
valuable reference when repeating a visit to a particular area. It also meets the requirement for logged expe-
rience after the Boathandling Course before applying for the Diver Coxswain Award. Being able to refer to a
sensible log is also a good way of reassuring others of your experience.
Think SAFE - Dive SAFE
BSAC Safety and Development Manager
For more detail and information please visit www.bsac.org/page/45/diving-safety.htm.
BSAC Shop are offering 10% off all orders during December (excluding student training material) at
Christmas Posting Dates
The last posting dates for Christmas are:
1st Class Letters is 20/12/07
2nd Class Letters is 17/12/07
Special Delivery is 22/12/07
1st Class Packetpost is 20/12/07
2nd Class Packetpost is 17/12/07
If you are ordering items for Christmas, please ensure you allow plenty of time for your order to be dis-
Looking for ideas for Christmas gift?
We have selected some great ideas.
Bite-Back 2008 Calendar - Limited Edition
Shark and marine conservation organisation, Bite-Back have produced a superb limit-
ed edition calender for 2008. For the first time ever, the work of award winning pho-
tographers including David Doubilet, Jeff Rotman and Alex Mustard and others can be
viewed in a high quality calendar that combines stunning photography and thought pro-
voking commentary from the photographers.
For more information, please go to http://www.bsac.org/page/1028/christmas-gift-
This beautiful scuba diver jewellery is intricately hand crafted. The jewellery is available in Silver, 9 carat
Gold and 18 carat Gold.
The diver measures 2.8cm long by 0.9cm wide and comes either on its own as a Charm, as a Necklace with
a chain of 45cm or as Cufflinks. All jewellery comes presented in an attractive gift box.
For more information, please go to http://www.bsac.org/page/1018/jewellery.htm
Christmas Cards and Calendars
In response to requests and suggestions by members for ideas for Christmas cards and calendars BSAC has
made arrangements with our colleagues at the RNLI to link in with the services they offer in producing
Christmas Cards and calendars. The sale of these goods provide valuable income to support the activities of
this important rescue service for the UK and BSAC are very pleased to provide this link as a service to mem-
For more information, please go to http://www.bsac.org/page/1020/xmas-cards.htm
Direct Debit Levy
The pilot scheme for paying branch levy by monthly Direct Debit is to be
launched from January 2008. We currently have a total of 14 branches
signed up to trial the pilot, with other branches expressing an interest in the
annual payment plan.
Information packs have now been sent out to all interested branches - if your branch has registered an inter-
est and has not yet received the information pack please contact email@example.com
The branch levy by Direct Debit is being introduced in response to member/branch feedback. If you branch
would like to know more about the branch levy Direct Debit scheme, either by monthly or annual install-
ments, please contact Sandra on the email above.
Win a Drysuit at the Yorkshire Regional Conference – 6th January 2008
The Yorkshire regional conference will be held on Sunday 6th January 2008 at the Askham Bryan
Agricultural College in York.
Tickets are priced at £8.50 and are available from Lou Whitehouse on 07964 301747 or email
A full programme of speakers have been arranged to entertain divers of all levels. Trade and information
stands have been arranged to make the conference an event with something for everyone.
BSAC HQ staff will be represented to advise on services available to the clubs and to take feedback from the
A photo competition will also be run as part of the conference. We are inviting conference participants to
submit photographs which will be judged on the day by other conference delegates. The overall winner of the
competition will receive a framed print of their photograph and the winning photo will also be submitted to
Dive magazine for possible publication.
Photo submission - Information
o Photographs can be submitted digitally or as prints (prints will be scanned in to allow for digital
display – see website for submission details)
o Digital photographs should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday
January 4, 2008
o Digital photographs should not exceed 5MB and have a min resolution of 1024x768
o Submissions should also include your name, contact number and email address
o By entering the competition you agree to the rules and conditions as detailed on the regional
website at www.bsac-yorkshire.co.uk/conference
Message from the South Scotland Regional Coach
In South Scotland this year and last year, we have had to cancel several scheduled SDCs as no one booked
on to them. Sadly, many divers were then disappointed as they called only a few days before the event want-
ing to book in. At our regional coaches meeting in mid-November, I learned that similar cancellations were
happening in other regions too.
When we organise regional SDCs we need to book a venue in advance and most venues are reluctant to
hold a booking without payment as it means they lose out on alternative customers who will pay them. We
usually manage to arrange to confirm at the latest about 2 weeks in advance of the event, but sometimes
even earlier notice is required. The instructors and organisers also make the commitment to be available
and put in the required preparation to run the event on the dates given. For these reasons, if you are keen
to book into an SDC, you do need to book at the very latest 2 weeks beforehand and preferably earlier than
this, so organisers can confirm the event will go ahead and arrange to have sufficient instructors for the
So, please, if you'd like to do an SDC (which I’d highly recommend as they are all great fun as well as being
useful qualifications and a chance to meet other divers in your region!) please make a commitment to it
early enough and book on as early as you can. No organiser or instructor likes to cancel courses and disap-
point divers who want to take part.
The POE (Programme of Events) has a list of all SDCs planned for 2008, as does the BSAC website
(http://www.bsac.org/page/304/skill-development-courses.htm). Regional websites will also include any
extra SDCs that may be put on throughout the year that could not be planned the year before! See the BSAC
website for your region's website URL if you don't already know it (http://www.bsac.org/page/25/regional-
websites.htm and also for South Scotland which isn't yet listed: http://southscotland.bsacregions.org). Do
check the websites regularly!
Opening hours for BSAC HQ over Christmas and New Year
Closed - Christmas Day & Boxing Day
Thursday 27th, Friday 28th December & Monday 31st December - 10am to 2pm
Closed - New Year's Day
Normal working hours resume Wednesday, 2nd January 2008
BSAC HQ Telephone Numbers
The new direct numbers for BSAC HQ departments are as follows:
Membership Services 0151 350 6201
BSAC Shop 0151 350 6202
Diver Resources 0151 350 6203
Accounts 0151 350 6204
Booking inquiries 0151 350 6205
Direct lines for individual members of BSAC staff can be found at www.bsac.org/page/7/meet-hq.htm.
For all other inquiries, please call BSAC’s main number 0151 350 6200.
Courses for January 2008
Oxygen Administration Chartwork And Position Fixing Oxygen Administration
12 Jan 2008 Birmingham 19/20 Jan 2008 Falmouth 26 Jan 2008 Crawley (South East)
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.bsac-se.org.uk
Instructor Foundation Course Theory Instructor Exam Oxygen Administration
12/13 Jan 2008 Yorkshire 20 Jan 2008 North East 26 Jan 2008 Cardiff
BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257 BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257 Swales.email@example.com
Instructor Foundation Course Theory Instructor Exam Oxygen Administration
12/13 Jan 2008 East Midlands 20 Jan 2008 London BSAC HQ 26 Jan 2008 Totnes
BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257 0151 350 6257 firstname.lastname@example.org
First Aid For Divers First Aid For Divers Oxygen Administration
19 Jan 2008 Eastern 20 Jan 2008 Cardigan 26 Jan 2008 South Scotland
E.email@example.com Swales.firstname.lastname@example.org Ss.email@example.com
First Aid For Divers First Aid For Divers Practical Rescue Management
19 Jan 2008 London 20 Jan 2008 Lisburn 26 Jan 2008 Strangford Lough
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxygen Administration First Aid For Divers Instructor Foundation Course
19 Jan 2008 Cardigan 20 Jan 2008 East Midlands 26/27 Jan 2008 South East
Swales.email@example.com Em.firstname.lastname@example.org BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257
Oxygen Administration Oxygen Administration First Aid For Divers
19 Jan 2008 Lisburn 20 Jan 2008 Eastern 27 Jan 2008 Cardiff
email@example.com E.firstname.lastname@example.org Swales.email@example.com
Outboard And Boat Maintenance Oxygen Administration First Aid For Divers
19 Jan 2008 Doncaster 20 Jan 2008 London 27 Jan 2008 Totnes
Y.firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructor Foundation Course Theory Instructor Exam First Aid For Divers
19/20 Jan 2008 North East 26 Jan 2008 Worcester 27 Jan 2008 South Scotland
BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257 BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257 Ss.email@example.com
Instructor Foundation Course First Aid For Divers First Aid For Divers
19/20 Jan 2008 Truro, Cornwall 26 Jan 2008 North East 27 Jan 2008 Crawley
BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257 Ne.firstname.lastname@example.org www.bsac-se.org.uk
National Instructor Prep Lifesaver Award
19/20 Jan 2008 Prep – Intro/Pool 26 Jan 2008 Aberdeen
BSAC HQ 0151 350 6257 email@example.com
BSAC Talk By Email
If you know a friend or colleague who may like to receive this monthly bulletin, please ask them to visit
www.bsac.org/page/93/bsac-talk.htm, where they can subscribe online.
BSAC, Registered Office: Telford’s Quay, South Pier Rd, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 4FL, UK. Registered No. 1417376