News Archive 2006

General Diving News

ScotSAC News

 


Nominations for General Committee and National Diving Council and Proposals to Change the Byelaws

Members will be aware that the Club held an Extraordinary General Meeting on 26th November in order to vote on the proposed incorporation. Copies of the minutes can be found here. We are delighted to confirm that both proposals were successfully adopted. In summary, this means a new company limited by guarantee will be formed and all assets and liabilities of the current unincorporated SSAC will be transferred to this new company. All existing members at the date of the transfer will be registered as members of the new company as will all those joining after that point. Further, the existing General Committee shall form as the interim board of directors until the first AGM to be held in March 2007.

It is anticipated the incorporation process shall be complete by mid-January and therefore the nominations for the General Committee and National Diving Council shall be conducted in line with the new M & As and Byelaws previously sent to all Members. In autumn, the GC agreed to delay the issue of nomination papers, normally distributed in November, until the outcome of the EGM was known.

During recent months, the General Committee have worked closely with a human resources advisor in order to develop our volunteer management processes. Copies of the new job descriptions are available here which clearly define the duties and requirements of the Directors. This ensures any nominee is aware of their duties prior to nomination and of the skills/experience necessary to fulfil the role. We are grateful to Sportscotland for their financial support during this process.

The new nomination form has been issued to all Members with the January/February issue of Scottish Diver. All nominations for Directors or NDC posts and any proposals for changes to the Byelaws must be received at SSAC HQ no later than Wednesday 24th January 2007 . In the event of any multiple nominations, ballot papers and personal statements will be circulated along with AGM notice. Please refer to Byelaw 4.5 for further information.

For clarity, the Director posts on the GC are: Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, National Diving Officer and 5 other Directors. There are 6 posts for NDC members.

In accordance with the SSAC Byelaws, all nominees, proposers and seconders must be current members.

All posts on the GC and NDC are open for nomination. At this time, the posts of Chairperson, Treasurer and one Director will elected for a one year term. The posts of Secretary and two further Directors will be elected for two year term. The National Diving Officer and the remaining two Directors will be elected for a full three year term. Following this cycle, all posts will be nominated for a three year term as defined in the Byelaws.

At this time, we also invite members to submit any special resolutions for consideration at the AGM. Resolutions must be received at HQ by Wednesday 24 th January outlining details of the proposal, name, membership number and signature of the proposer and seconder. Please refer to the M & As and Byelaws for further information.

The date of the AGM is set for Sunday 25th March 2007 . Further details, accounts and minutes of the previous AGM will be circulated at the end of February. Any members seeking clarification on the new process are invited to contact hq@scotsac.com or via Have Your Say.

Posted 21/12/06

Finstrokes - a place for rebreather divers in Scotland

John Nicolson, a SSAC member has formed a new website for rebreather divers in Scotland. Click here for more info.

http://finstrokes.com

Posted 19/12/06


Consultation on EC MAritime Policy Green Paper

DfT has published a UK-wide consultation paper on the EC Maritime Policy Green Paper on Tuesday 12th December. Copies of the consultation document are available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_shipping/documents/divisionhomepage/613803.hcsp

To help you understand what is a very wide ranging policy document, the Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee and Scotland Europa held a joint conference at Holyrood on 4  December 2006 to discuss the paper and its relevance for Scotland. The conference programme, a list of delegates, a background briefing paper from SPiCE and a transcript of the conference are available from the following link:

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/europe/inquiries/maritime/eur-maritime-home.htm

In order to help inform the Scottish Executive's view, it would be very helpful if responses from Scottish stakeholders could be sent to DfT and copied to

MARTYN COX, Marine Strategy Branch, SEERAD, G-H 93, Victoria Quay, EDINBURGH EH6 6QQ, Tel: 0131 244 7463, Fax: 0131 244 1763, e-mail: martyn.cox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

Posted 19/12/06


EGM Result

On Sunday 26th November, SSAC held an Extraordinary General Meeting in order to vote on the proposals for incorporating SSAC. The minutes are now available here and further information will be sent to all members in the next week with the January/February issue of Scottish Diver.

Posted 17/12/06

Staffing Changes at SSAC HQ

The General Committee is delighted to announce that Hazel McBride has recently joined SSAC HQ as our new part-time Administrator. Hazel will work alongside Annmarie, our existing part-time Administrator and together will cover full office hours.

SSAC HQ will now be manned during normal office hours, Monday - Friday. Visiting is by prior appointment only.

Posted 17/12/06

Marine Biology Course

Are you interested in learning more about marine biology?

An online course in Marine Biology starts on 26 January 2007 at The University of Glasgow This course teaches the basic principles that rule life in the ocean and provides an introduction to the variety of marine environments found throughout the world. The course is taught online for 10 weeks and then is followed by a 1 week residential field course at the Marine Biological Station Millport on The Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland.

If you receive a state benefit you may be eligible for a waiver of the tuition fee cost for this course. Funding from Individual Learning Accounts can be used on this course. For further information visit the course website of the Department of Adult & Continuing Education (DACE) at Glasgow University, or contact DACE on 0141 330 1835 or E-mail d.mccafferty@educ.gla.ac.uk

Posted 10/12/06

New Resuscitation and Rescue Information.

The recently issued changes to the resuscitation and rescue information members received with the November/December issue of Scottish Diver and published here on the website has been found to be incomplete and inaccurate.

It has been withdrawn from the website and until it has been clarified members should carry on teaching and practising what is in the manual and all other SSAC training material. The GC/ NDC apologise for this and as soon as we have the latest advice we will publish it here first and in Scottish Diver.

Posted 01/12/06

A Tribute to Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman was born and brought up in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian and joined Pentland Sub-Aqua Club in October 1999, becoming the Branch Equipment Officer / Committee member and a Master Diver who was also working towards his Branch Instructor qualification. A devoted family man he had been married to Eleanor since 1969, and had two daughters, Kelly and Amanda, and a little grandson Liam.

He first became interested in learning to dive after a holiday to Australia, where he tried snorkelling for the first time. He decided to learn to Scuba dive and become qualified so that he could enjoy the freedom to dive deeper. He had also dived on a club trip to Malta, where we was also the best man at the wedding of Lisa and Mo. He was able to dive in Australia on a return visit and has dived in Tenerife. Diving was not his only leisure pursuit, over the years he had several other hobbies including keeping tropical fish, small bore target rifle shooting, karate, photography, Tai chi, archery and even tried his hand at Bonsai. As well as working towards his Branch Instructor award Bill held coaching and judging awards in women's artistic gymnastics and trampolining.

Bill will be remembered in Pentland branch as someone who was always determined to push himself to better things, even after a serious illness, he strived to become a Master Diver, which he completed in May 2004.

His easy going and affable manner will be sadly missed, as will his sense of direction and his white van, which was not the fastest van on the road, but he would simply smile and say “look at the lovely scenery they would be missing if they were not behind me”.

Another of Bill’s pleasures was the regular branch barbeques, no matter where the club dived, Bill would have a kettle barbeque in the back of the white van and no matter the weather could be found cooking up a storm, and because of this earned himself the name Barbeque Bill.

Bill will be sadly missed by those that knew him. Our thoughts and best wishes go to Eleanor, Kelly, Mandy and Liam.

Kev Watson

Posted 01/12/06


Branch News

  • Congratulations Aileen Anderson of Peeblesshire SAC and Derrick Scott of Pentland who recently completed the Sport Diver award. Well done to you both and special well done to "Doris" from all at Pentland.

Hugh Fraser

Posted 01/12/06


Wedding Congratulations!

Congratulations to Dr Iona Murray and Andy Murray who were recently married at Blair Atholl Castle. An excellent and very memorable time was had by all that attended, this special day and we all wish them all the best for the future.

Kev Watson, Asst NDO

11/11/06


Coastal and Marine National Park Consultation

The Scottish Sub-Aqua Club have been invited by the Scottish Executive to contribute in the next phase of the consultation for Scotland's first Coastal and Marine National Park. SSAC was involved in the first stages of the Stakeholder group during which time a number of areas were identified as suitable. The areas currently being considered are:

  • Solway
  • Argyll Islands and Coast
  • Ardnamurchan, Small Isles and South Skye Coast
  • North Skye Coast and Wester Ross
  • North Uist, Sound of Harris, Harris and Sound of Lewis.
  • Shetland, Orkney, South Uist and Barra, and the Clyde and Moray Firths are also being considered.

Full details of the consultation are available from www.scotland.gov.uk/cmnpconsultation and details of the original report produced by Scottish Natural Heritage are found at www.snh.gov.uk/strategy/CMNP/sr-adnp01.asp .

Members and/or Branches of SSAC are invited to input towards the overall SSAC submission. In order to meet the timescales, written submissions should be sent to SSAC HQ for attention of the Secretary, or emailed to secretary@scotsac.com by 1st December 2006.

Posted 04/11/06

Job Vacancy: SSAC Administrator (part time)

The Headquarters of Scottish Sub-Aqua Club requires a vibrant, organised, self-motivated individual with first class communication skills to act as Administrator.

This is a job share post, working 21 hrs per week. Working hours are 9am - 5pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The salary for this post is £15, 652, pro rata.

The post is based at our Headquarters in Bogmoor Place, Glasgow.

The Scottish Sub-Aqua Club is the governing body for scuba diving in Scotland.

You will be responsible for a variety of tasks including processing of membership transactions through the membership database, dealing with member communication, event/meeting management and administering the SAGE account system.

The ideal candidate will be competent in using Microsoft Office applications (Word, Access and Excel), be well organised and be able to manage their time productively. They should also demonstrate good oral and written communication skills.

This post is subject to a satisfactory Disclosure Scotland check.

Closing date 12 noon on Friday 10th November 2006. Interviews to be held on Wednesday 22nd November ‘06.

Download the job advert

Download the job description

Download an application form

Posted 14/10/06

 

Results of the Member Survey, 2006

A pdf document has been produced that provides results of the 2006 SSAC member survey, both in figures and using graphs where appropriate. Details of individuals have been removed. All replies were anonymous.

Analysis of the results is now taking place and will help to shape the future plans of SSAC. Members will already notice some comments which have been taken onboard including merchandising, Sport Diver lecture materials and website email updates.

We are very grateful to all members who took the time to reply either online, or by posting back the completed form. The total number of responses was 193. Responses received after the closing date of 1st October could not be included. The results indicate the number of responses received for each question. Thank you once again to all members who responded.

Download the results.

SSAC General Committee

Posted 14/10/06

IMPORTANT RECALL NOTICE - IST Saturn BCD

Sea & Sea, distributor of IST diving products have recalled the IST Saturn BCDs.

The manufacturer of the IST Saturn Buoyancy Compensation Device has informed us that a potentially dangerous fault has been discovered in a batch of jackets.

We believe that the BCDs supplied to Sea & Sea Limited are of a latter batch and only a small number of earlier models are affected.

Nevertheless, for the sake of safety, we require you to return your IST Saturn BCD to us for examination and replacement (if necessary)

We must stress that this fault affects only a small number of units and appears only after some usage. The intention is, therefore, to identify any potentially faulty jacket before it reaches this stage." Sea & Sea

For more information visit the Sea & Sea website.

Posted 12/10/06


Diver Survey - Please Help!

Elaine Young is an MSc student at Stirling University - as part of her studies she is conducting a survey of diving habits and the amount of money divers spend on the sport. Please help by completing Elaine's online survey at www.sbes.stir.ac.uk/information/masters/diving_survey.html - it's anonymous and will only take 10 minutes of your time. Recreational divers need only complete section 1. Closing date 20th October 2006.

Be warned - it might shock you when you realise just how much money you spend on the sport!

Posted 11/10/06


Branch News: October

  • Congratulations to Eddie Fraser on completing his cross over from PADI to SSAC Sport Diver. Well done Eddie from all at Pentland.
    Hugh Fraser BDO

Posted 10/10/06

  • Congratulations to Saski Loer Hasen and Jon Halland both of Eastwood Branch for attaining there Sport Diver qualification.
    Campbell Stewart, Acting BDO

Posted 06/10/06


Dunbar Harbour Bridge

For those of you that dive around Dunbar Harbour (Castle Rock, Johnson’s Hole, Yetts, off the old battery etc), you should note that the old lifting bridge to the north side of the harbour will be removed on Monday 9th October 2006. The existing bridge needs to be removed during the fabrication process of the replacement bridge to ensure that accurate measurements are taken. It is estimated that the operation will take approximately 12 weeks to fabricate the new bridge and so there will be no bridge access to the north side of the harbour until the middle of January 2007. I will inform you of any further developments.

Please pass this information onto your club members and colleagues.

In the meantime, why not try the old Victorian baths further west around the bay? There are quite a few steps, but the walk is still considerably shorter and easier than the hill at Petticowick. Furthermore, the old baths fill at high tide (best at springs), they are located on a sheltered beach which makes an excellent rescue training venue, and the shallow (approximately 10m) reefs around the immediate shore have lots of critters and interesting gullies.

Ian Todd

Posted 06/10/06


Coast Revisited

BAFTA award-winning series Coast, co-produced by The Open University, returns to BBC Two for eight new episodes in November which will take in even more wonderful sights and stories from the length and breadth of the British Isles.

From Dover to the Outer Hebrides; Arran to the Scilly Isles and Hull to Derry; Coast will build up an evolving, encyclopaedic picture of the British Isle’s Coastline and will reveal more of the secrets, the scenery and the stories that make our islands unique.

The presenting team from the first series remains the same but Neil Oliver takes over from Nick Crane as the main presenter. Geographer Nick, who will be getting closer to the stories that really fascinate him in this series; Anthropologist Dr Alice Roberts meets the people who live and work where the land meets the sea; Zoologist Miranda Krestovnikoff uncovers the secrets of our coastal wildlife; and Archaeologist Mark Horton goes further than ever in search of our seafaring past.

Like the first series, The Open University have co-produced the second series and have provided the expert knowledge, scientific rigour and advice on the various topics and areas covered by the series.

The Open University have also produced a free map for viewers to follow the progress of the series as it traverses the country. It also has interesting facts and useful information for anybody inspired to go and explore their own piece of Coast!

George Revill, Senior Lecturer in Geography with The Open University and lead academic for the series said: “Coast does more than simply show viewers beautiful scenery, it involves viewers in a series of issues, environments and practical experiments which show the making of our coast in all its fascinating complexity.

“The programmes are truly interdisciplinary with a range of expertise on show in front of the cameras and behind. The OU course team which backs up the programme includes ecologists, earth scientists, historians and geographers.

“The coast seems to play such a big part in our popular imagination here in the British Isles, getting people to think about the physical and social processes which shape our coast seems a good way of helping to increase environmental awareness. We want to encourage viewers to appreciate the many contested issues, both environmental and human, which put highly valued coastal landscapes under considerable threat today.”

There are a series of essays on some of the issues surrounding the coast in the UK and Ireland with more to come at www.open2.net/coast

Coast is a co-production between The Open University and the BBC. It will broadcast on BBC Two in early November.

Posted 06/10/06


Management of Diving Accidents

The Diving Accident Management Flowchart is a step by step guide of what to do in the event of a diving accident. It lists the symptoms of decompression illness and how to assess them, along with first aid treatment and contact details for the emergency services. The accompanying Diving Accident Management Worksheet provides a summary of the individual's personal details and diving activity which should be completed and handed to the attending emergency service.

Don't rely on your memory in a stressful situation, download these documents now and keep them with your diving equipment. With any luck you'll never have to use them!

Download the Diving Accident Management Flowchart in pdf format
Download the Diving Accident Management Worksheet in pdf format

Posted 26/09/06


Sport Diver Lecture Notes

The National Diving Council have just launched a new range of Sport Diver lecture materials. A team of Regional Instructors and Examiners have worked for some time to create the full range of Powerpoint lectures and a 100-page lecture notes booklet. The Powerpoint lectures include hundreds of new images, photos and diagrams dedicated to Scottish diving and SSAC training. They are designed to enhance the trainees learning environment and ensure a consistent approach to Sport Diver training throughout all branches. For those branches unable to use computers during lectures, all lectures have also been converted, suitable for printing on overhead projector acetates or A4 paper and used to deliver the lectures to a smaller audience.

Photo: Sport Diverlecture matrials CDAll Branch Diving Officers will shortly be receiving a copy of the the materials on CD. Copying and distribution is permitted within SSAC for the purposes of diver training. The lectures are designed for Microsoft Powerpoint 2003, and a licence free viewer is also included on the CD. The new lecture notes are now available from the Downloads section of this site.

Special thanks go to Don Lees, Iona Anthony, Andy Murray and many other members who contributed to the creation and review of the materials.

Download the Sport Diver Lecure Notes in pdf format.

Posted 26/09/06

Branch News - September 2006

  • Congratulations to Alan Forrest on becoming Pentlands latest Sport Diver. Well done Alan from all at Pentland.
    Hugh Fraser, BDO

Posted 26/09/06

SSAC Leisurewear and Merchandise

The Scottish Sub-Aqua Club is pleased to launch a new range of branded leisurewear to all our members. The range includes 15 different garments and merchandise; including mens and womens t-shirts, fleeces, polo shirts, hats and backpack. All items are embroidered with a high quality gold or royal blue SSAC logo depending on the colour of the garment. A further option to include your name, branch name or other text below the logo is also available. No minimum order is required, a small postage and packing charge of £3 per order applies.

The SSAC online shop is operated by leading clothing manufacturers Image Scotland Limited who are the sole authorised suppliers of our merchandise.

Visit the online shop or download an order form (in pdf format).

Posted 23/09/06

SSAC Website Email Updates

Completed SSAC member survey forms have shown that some members would appreciate an email notification of changes to the website. In answer to this request a Google Group has been set up - the webmaster will post all changes to the group. All you need to do is subscribe to the group and decide how you want to receive the information; by immediate email, daily email digest or an abridged email. So if you don't want to miss anything sign up here;

Subscribe to Scottish Sub Aqua Club website updates

Email:

Browse Archives

Posted 23/09/06

SSAC Incorporation update

SSAC held an open forum meeting at Stirling University on 19th August. A small number of amendments were suggested during the meeting and in other correspondence from members. These areas will now be considered by SSAC legal advisors before being incorporated into proposed M&As.

The next stage in the Incorporation timetable is to formally issue the proposal to form the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club, a company limited by guarantee. This proposal is expected in October, with an EGM planned for November.

Posted 04/09/06

Branch News

  • Borders Branch would like to congratulate their new BDO Andrew Bunyan (aka Bunny). He was awarded Best Beginner in the Digital photography category at Splash In 2006 held at St Abbs. Hope you're aiming for top prize next year!

Lyn Boal, Branch Secretary.

  • Congratulations to Mike Baker of Solway Divers who has successfully completed his Master Diver award; also good luck to Mike, Jonathan Bulman, Margaret Mitchell and Helen Pearson as they work towards their Branch Instructor qualifications.

    Steve Marney, Branch Secretary

Posted 31.08.06


Club and Volunteer Development Courses

A number of courses are taking place in Glasgow and Aberdeenshire as part of the SportScotland runningsport programme. These courses are designed to equip volunteers with the a range of skills and knowledge to promote the sport, manage volunteers, develop your club, and gain funding. The course dates are:

Glasgow

Course

Date

Time

Venue

Valuing Your Sports Volunteers

13.02.2007

18.30 - 21.30

Palace of Art

Funding For Your Club

06.09.2006

21.03.2007

18.30 - 21.30

18.30 - 21.30

Glasgow Green Football Centre

Palace of Art

A Club For All

18.10.2006

18.30 - 21.30

Palace of Art

Developing Partnerships with Clubs and Schools

15.11.2006

18.30 - 21.30

Palace of Art

Attendance for Glasgow courses is £20 per person, although residents in the Glasgow area can apply for a grant for 25-50% of the cost. If you would like further information on the Glasgow based courses, contact Club and Volunteer Development, Glasgow City Council on 0141 287 8908.

South Grampian

Course

Date

Time

Venue

A Club For All

05.09.2006

18.30 - 21.30

Gordon House, Inverurie

Valuing Your Sports Volunteers

03.10.2006

18.30 - 21.30

Gordon House, Inverurie

Developing Partnerships with Clubs and Schools

07.11.2006

18.30 - 21.30

Gordon House, Inverurie

Funding And Promoting Your Club

05.12.2006

18.30 - 21.30

Gordon House, Inverurie

For information on the Aberdeenshire courses call Aberdeenshire Council on 01596 768 650.

Further information may also be obtained from SSAC Secretary ( ). Course dates for other local authority areas should be available shortly.

Posted 30/08/2006


SSAC Member Survey 2006

The SSAC is a voluntary organisation with almost 1800 members. It is run by members, for members. To offer the services and benefits members want the General Committee and National Diving Council must understand how the membership would like to see the Club develop. A questionnaire has been issued to all existing members as part of a review process. Paper forms were included in the Sept/October issue of Scottish Diver and electronic copy can be downloaded here and returned either by email or by post. Please use only one method to complete the questionnaire.

Please complete this questionnaire so the GC & NDC can evaluate the future needs of the membership and offer a wider range of benefits. Replies are anonymous.

The deadline for submission is 1st October 2006. A summary of results will be published online and in Scottish Diver.

Posted 26/07/06

Branch News

  • Congratulations to Mhairi Palmer of Borders branch who completed her 100th Dive at St Abbs on Wednesday 9th Aug. Lets hope the next 100 don't take quite so long. From all your dive buddies in the club. Andrew Bunyan (Bunny) Borders BDO

Posted 15/08/06

  • Many congratulations to Karen Warnock who has successfully crossed over from PADI advanced open water to SSAC Sport Diver. Best of luck from Joe Campbell, Regional Coach, Frank Connor, Regional Coach, Mark Warnock, BI and all the rest of the Hamilton SAC team

Posted 14/08/06


Scottish Diver Copy Deadline

The copy deadline for the final edition Scottish Diver in 2006 is September 22nd. If you have any branch news, information or congratulations you'd like to see published, please forward to the before Sept 22nd 2006. Deadlines for 2007 will be added shortly.

Posted 31/07/06

Course Dates for 2006-7

Contents


Branch Instructor Course

Dates

  • Saturday 2nd September 2006 - Napier University, Edinburgh
  • Saturday 30th September 2006 - Aberdeen
  • Saturday 3rd December 2006 - Dumfries
  • Saturday 27th January 2007 -SSAC HQ

The course cost is £35. All members must hold the required pre-requisites shown below prior to securing their place on this one-day course.

Pre-requisites:

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Have been a SSAC Sports Diver for at least eighteen months
  • Hold current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over (unless recommended by RC).
  • Have at least 75 correctly logged dives.
  • Have completed the Master Diver 'dive leader' endorsement.
  • Have attended the Master Diver lectures on Safety and Emergency Procedures and Advanced Decompression Theory.
  • Have the recommendation of the Branch Diving Officer (BDO) preferably endorsed by the Regional Coach (RC).
    Candidates recommended by "Acting" BDO's must have the endorsement of the Regional Coach.

For full details of the course visit the SSAC Training pages. To book your place on the date of your choice, complete the course booking and BDO recommendation forms, and send to HQ along with 50% deposit. All candidates must complete an Enhanced Disclosure, forms will be issued upon course attendance.

Andy Murray, Course Director


Regional Instructor Course

Dates

  • Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October 2006- SportScotland's Cumbrae Centre

The course cost is £100 and includes full board accommodation.

A residential weekend course, the outline programme will be;

Friday evening - arrival, introductions and course briefing.
Saturday - lectures, open water practical and lecture preparation.
Sunday - lecture presentation and assessment, followed by practical and de-briefing.

The Regional Instructor (R.I.) award is intended to complement the training of SSAC members outwith the RI's home branch. As an RI your Regional Coach may ask you to assist with pool, open water or theory work at specific events - you may not always be able to help, but you will be expected to lend a hand on some occasions, when you are available. You will meet new faces and hopefully enjoy the experience of helping others learn to dive, after all somebody did it for you!

To obtain the R.I. award you must fulfill all the prerequisites.

Prior to attending R.I. course:

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Hold current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Have been a member for two years.
  • Have an active status as a Branch Instructor for at least one year.
  • Have the recommendation from your Branch Diving Officer and Regional Coach.
  • Hold the Master Diver award.

Prior to completion of R.I. award:

  • Attendance at an R.I. course and successful completion of the inclusive written paper
  • Successful completion of a practical pool assessment observed by your Regional Coach and a Club Examiner.
  • Successful completion of a lecture assessment observed by your Regional Coach and a Club Examiner.
  • Successful completion of a practical open water session observed by your Regional Coach and a Club Examiner.
  • Have completed a successful Enhanced Disclosure check via Scottish Criminal Records Office. Disclosure must be registered to SSAC.

The above assessments shall be conducted in a branch other than your own.

For full details of the course visit the SSAC Training pages. To book your place on the course, complete the course booking and recommendation forms, and send to HQ along with 50% deposit. All candidates must complete an Enhanced Disclosure, forms will be issued upon course attendance.

Kevin Miller, National Diving Officer


Deep Diving Course

Dates

  • Saturday and Sunday the 19th and 20th of August 2006. The course will be held in the Glasgow area, the exact venue will be announced shortly.

The course cost is £75.

Successful completion of this two-day course enables candidates to dive to depths appropriate to the equipment they use, with a maximum depth of 50m.

All members must hold the required pre-requisites, shown below, prior to securing their place on the course.

Pre-requisites:

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Hold current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Have the recommendation of the Branch Diving Officer - download the recommendation form.
  • Hold the Dive leader Endorsement or have completed the Dive Leader part of the Master Diver Award
  • Have attended Master Diver lectures: Advanced Decompression and Oxygen toxicity
  • Hold the Deep Rescue Endorsement.
  • Have 75-100 dives with experience of a wide range of depths and diving in a wide variety of locations. 20 of these must be to a depth of 31m+ (sport divers to be accompanied by master diver instructors on any dive below 30m)

For full details of the course visit the SSAC Training pages. In order to book your place on the course, complete the course booking form, and BDO recommendation form and send to HQ along with 50% deposit.

Andy Parks, Course Director


SSAC Basic Nitrox

Dates

  • Saturday 12th August 2006 - SSAC HQ

Course cost £80

SSAC Basic Nitrox Course, in association with the International Technical Diving Agency (ITDA), this is an entry level qualification allowing divers to use upto 40% enriched air nitrox.

Pre-requisites:

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Hold current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Hold the Sport Diver Award

Places are limited, this classroom-based, one-day course will start at 10am and run until around 3pm. To book your place, complete the course booking form, and send to HQ along with 50% deposit.


Oxygen Administration and HeartStart

Dates

  • Sunday, 3rd September 2006 - Solway
  • Sunday, 26th November 2006 - SSAC HQ
  • Sunday, 21st January 2007 - SSAC HQ
  • Sunday, 18th March 2007 - SSAC HQ

The course cost is £35.

In order to book your place on the course, complete the course booking form, and send to HQ along with 50% deposit.

Bert Smith, Course Director.


Boathandling Course

Dates

  • Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August 2006 - SSAC HQ
  • Friday 10th to Sunday 12th November 2006 - SSAC HQ or Edinburgh, depending on demand
  • Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th February 2007 - SSAC HQ

The course cost is £50

Courses start at 7.30pm on Friday evening and continue on Saturday and Sunday. To book your place on the course, complete the course booking form, and send to HQ along with 50% deposit.


VHF/GMDSS Course

Dates

  • Saturday, 26th August 2006 - SSAC HQ
  • Saturday 18th November 2006 - SSAC HQ
  • Saturday, 3rd February 2007 - SSAC HQ

The course cost is £25.00 plus a cheque for £20.00, for the licence, payable to the RYA on the day.

To book your place on the course, complete the course booking form, and send to HQ along with 50% deposit.

Posted 28/07/06

New Regional Coach Allocations

Recent changes to the Regional Coach list;

  • Cumbernauld - Paul Wood
  • Edinburgh - Gordon Young
  • Forth - Gordon Young
  • Johnstone - Jed McGlone
  • Ninewells - Paul Wood
  • Perth - Paul Wood
  • Tayside - Paul Wood

The full Regional Coach list is available on the Committees page.

Graeme Forsyth, National Coach

Posted 26/07/06

Branch News

Congratulations to Danny Dutton on completing his Sport Diver Award, and to Dougie Ritchie for completing his Master Diver Award.

Ian Smith, BDO Musselburgh


Congratulations to Ricky Hughes on acheiving his Sport Diver award, from all at Johnstone branch.

Graeme Forsyth, National Coach


Congratulations to Ian Campbell who recently qualified as a Sport Diver from all at Pentland. Ian would like to thank John Arrowsmith and Don Lees for all their help.

Hugh Fraser, BDO

Posted 26/07/06


Branch News

Congratulations to Shaun Gardner, Jeff Byrne and Catherine Woodman on attaining their Sport Diver qualification. We look forward to many diving trips in the future with you.

Bridget Haughan, Secretary

Posted 13/07/06

New Sport Diver Training Schedule

Following on from the Diving Officers Conference in February 2006, and subsequent approval by the National Diving Council and General Committee, the new Sport Diver Training Schedule is now available.

Overall, the structure of the Sport Diver Award has not changed. Greater detail is now given on the standard required for all elements of the training. The attached document outlines all elements of the award including the essential and desirable competencies. The table style pages should be referred to by the instructor(s) during training. As a teaching aid, you may find it helpful to laminate a copy of the enclosed schedule for use in the pool.

Some of the changes include:

  • Lectures 4 and 5 have been swapped in order.
  • Drysuit endorsement has been incorporated.
  • Delayed Surface Marker Buoy included as a new skill.
  • Jump Entry re-worded as ‘Safe entry into water’.

This new Training Schedule will come into effect immediately for all new members. Members who have already commenced training should continue with the training schedule within their Qualification Record Book with the exception of the buddy breathing shared ascents.

The Qualification Record Book is currently being re-printed to include the above changes. Members who join prior to the reprinted Qualification Record Book being available will be issued with the previous version but will then be sent a revised copy as soon as it arrives at HQ.

All instructors should familiarise themselves with the new Training Schedule. Download the new Sport Diver Training Schedule in pdf format - to open and read this document you need Adobe Acrobat, available free of charge from the Adobe website.

If you have any queries regarding this change please contact your Regional Coach in the first instance.

Kevin Miller, National Diving Officer

Posted 12/07/06

Deep Diving Award Course Date

Places are available on the Deep Diving course which will take place Saturday and Sunday the 19th and 20th of August 2006. The course will be held in the Glasgow area, the exact venue will be announced shortly.

Successful completion of this two-day course enables candidates to dive to depths appropriate to the equipment they use, to a maximum depth of 50m.

The course cost is £75. All members must hold the required pre-requisites, shown below, prior to securing their place on the course.

Pre-requisites:

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Hold current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Have the recommendation of the Branch Diving Officer - download the recommendation form.
  • Hold the Dive leader Endorsement or have completed the Dive Leader part of the Master Diver Award
  • Have attended Master Diver lectures: Advanced Decompression and Oxygen toxicity
  • Hold the deep rescue endorsement
  • Have 75-100 dives with experience of a wide range of depths and diving in a wide variety of locations. 20 of these must be to a depth of 31m+ (sport divers to be accompanied by master diver instructors on any dive below 30m)

For full details of the course visit the SSAC Training pages. In order to book your place on the course, complete a course booking form, and BDO recommendation form and send to HQ along with 50% deposit.

Andy Parks, Course Director, and Graeme Forsyth, National Coach

Posted 06/07/06

Opening Hours

Unfortunately, due to staffing changes at SSAC HQ, there can be no access until further notice. Members may continue to correspond via telephone, email and post. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Normal opening hours will be resumed as soon as possible.

Jack Morrison, Chairman

Posted 06/07/06

Transition to a Company Limited by Guarantee

All SSAC members will shortly be receiving the latest information on the proposed transition of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club to a company limited by guarantee. Transition to a Company Limited by Guarantee forms an import stage in the Club's development.

An open forum consultation meeting will take place at Stirling University at 1.00pm on Saturday 19th August, 2006. This meeting is designed to allow members to discuss the documents and put questions to our legal advisor. This is also the opportunity for the members to make any changes to the M&A's and Bye-laws, and to gain an understanding of what incorporation means. It should also save a lot of time when it comes to voting at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

The following timetable outlines the key stages. Exact dates will be added was we receive them;

Mid July 2006 - all members will receive the draft paperwork related to the formation of SSAC Ltd. This will include the Memorandum and Articles of Association ( M&As) and the Byelaws. These documents set the framework for the organisation and are based on company law and the current SSAC Constitution.

Saturday 19th August - an open forum consultation meeting will take place to allow members the chance to discuss any aspects of incorporation and speak directly with our legal advisor. The outputs from the forum will be reviewed and where necessary changes will be made to the M&As or Byelaws.

Mid October - the revised M&As and Byelaws will be issued along with notification of an EGM.

November 2006 - an EGM will take place to allow members to vote on the proposed change.

If successful, the new organisation will be formed on 1st January 2007.

Members unable to attend the forum on 19th August will have other opportunity to comment and input.

General Committee

Posted 06/07/06

Branch News

Glasgow South SAC would like to congratulate Lee Simpson on successfully completing his Sports Diver qualifications. We would also like to congratulate Alex Macdonald on completing his100th dive.

Well done to you both from all at Glasgow South

Posted 06/07/06


Congratulations to the following members of Pentland Branch, Sutherland McIver, John Parkes and Kim Orsel who have all recently qualified as Sport Divers. Well done to Philip Shaunessay of Ullapool Branch, and Claire Took and James O'Rourke from KelSAC who have also gained their Sport Diver qualification.

Kev Watson, Assistant NDO

Posted 06/07/06


Well done Cam Pancowie, Sally Alexander and Andy Weir of Johnstone Branch on successfully completing your Sport Diver awards

Graeme Forsyth, National Coach

Posted 06/07/06


Alicia Bannon to Leave SSAC

It is with regret that I have to inform the members that Alicia Bannon has decided to leave the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club after 17 years of dedicated and loyal service. Many of us have known Alicia for most of those 17 years and have built up a close working relationship with her and will miss her very much. Alicia is always cheerful, bright and willing to help in any way, I’ve lost count of the times successive general committees have come up with what they see as the most important initiative ever only to have Alicia tell them, in the gentlest way, their great idea was tried years ago and it just won’t work.

We will miss you Alicia, on behalf of the members of SSAC, past and present we wish you well and every success for the future.

Jack Morrison, Chairman

Posted 06/07/06

Branch News

Dumbarton SAC would like to congratulate Anne & Jim Quinn, Allan Methven and Billy Leyden on successfully completing their Sports Diver qualifications. We look forward to diving with you all regularly.

David Sinclair, Secretary

Posted 26/06/06


James Gallacher, of Eastwood branch, has just passed his Sport Diver award. Well done James. Wife Sharon is almost there too!

Sandie Grey, Secretary, Eastwood

Posted 22/06/06


Well done to Stuart Hawthorn and Neil Martin of Auchenharvie branch, who have both completed their Branch Instructor awards. Double congrats to Stuart who has also completed his RYA Level II Boat Handling.

Colin Davidson, BDO Auchenharvie SAC

Posted 20/06/06


Congratulations to Jonathan Bulman and Helen Pearson, of Solway Divers, on gaining their Master Diver Awards in May; regular training continues and by the end of the season more Sport Diver, Master Diver and Branch Instructor Awards will be achieved.

Steve, Solway Divers

Posted 20/06/2006


Congratulations to Gordon Meek, Mhari Thomson & Yvonne Galligan on obtaining their Branch Instructor qualification.

Congratulations to Greig McArthur on completing his Sport Diver qualification.

Duncan Connell, BDO East Kilbride Pro Divers.

Posted 17/06/2006


Seasearch Scotland 2006

'Any dive can be a Seasearch dive' but here are a few trips organised by Seasearch designed to bring like-minded divers together to record the marine-life in particular areas around our coasts.

Marion Perutz, Seasearch Organiser for the North-East of Scotland has lots of spaces on these trips planned over the next few months. These are all fascinating sites and they are just on our doorstep, so please do try and come along.

  • 15th & 16th July - Boddam on the 58 North RIB
    South of Boddam lighthouse there are some spectacular cliffs and rocky coastline. We are going to explore these with Dean Southall on the 58 North RIB. This boat can take 10 people comfortably, there are even proper seats! The cost of this trip will be £60 per person for two days of diving. Please book this trip quickly as we need to get a deposit in soon.
  • 5th & 6th August - Catterline on local club boats
    The 50+metre cliffs between Todhead Lighthouse and Crawton are home to some a variety of seabirds and provide an impressive background to our planned dives. Surveys just north of this area last year revealed an interesting and diverse rocky coastline. We plan to launch at Stonehaven, picking up divers at Catterline and ferrying people out to the sites from there. We would be grateful to anyone who can bring along their club boats on this trip. Please can you let me know if you would like to come and can bring a club or a private boat? The cost of the boats will be split evenly between us.
  • 23rd & 24th September - Helmsdale take 2 on Bill Ruck's Top Cat
    This trip is going to go to some rarely dived sites around Helmsdale and Brora close to the Sutherness Coast. This area is known for its interesting underwater rock formations and of course the gold. We will be staying in Helmsdale and meeting Bill Ruck on Saturday morning for 2 days of diving on his comfortable hardboat, Top Cat. There will be 12 spaces on this trip. The price is yet to be confirmed but will be in the order of £60- £75 each for the two days depending on how many people come.

All of the above trips are subject to good weather. If the East coast is blown out our back up plan is to go to the Moray Coast where conditions are usually better and there is always some spectucular diving.

To book a place on any of the above trips please first email Marion Perutz and then send a cheque for the necessary amount (made payable to Marion please) when the price has been confirmed.

Please also send the following information:-
Name
Dive Qualification
Seasearch Qualification (it is not necessary to be seasearch qualified to join a dive)
Number of temperate water dives
Most recent dives
Experience of RIB diving
Boat handling experience (only necessary for the Catterline trip)
Email
Tel. no.
Mobile

Best Wishes, Marion Perutz.

Seasearch Fife Ness 8-9 July and 29-30 July

It is a great opportunity to get Seasearch dives signed off, learn more about Fife's marine life and to meet like-minded divers. If the weather is good, we may even be able to dive the Bell Rock, of the lighthouse Stevenson's fame.

As with all Seasearch diving, you must be at least BS-AC Sports Diver or equivalent and have done 20 dives, 10 of which must be temperate water. Fife Ness is an easterly facing headland with rocky reefs lying both in-and offshore known as North Carr, Balcomie Briggs and Tully Bothy Craigs. The Bell Rock has reefs and gullies with kelp and dead mens fingers at 10-20m as wonderfully depicted by Jim Anderson's pictures from West Lothian Sub-Aqua Club

COST= £44 for the weekend or £22 per day
CONTACT: Calum Duncan on 0131 226 6360 or scotland@mcsuk.org

Depending on how many people are interested, it may be fine for attending on only one day. If you are interested in coming, can you let me know the following:

Can come on Sat / Sun or both
Tel.
Mob.
Seasearch qual.
Dive qual.
No. of dives in temperate water
Date of last dive
Experience of RIB diving

Thanks, Calum Duncan

Barra aboard MV Peregrine July 14-17
We intend to dive Friday to Monday around Barra, South Uist and the smaller skerries including Mingulay, Berneray etc The diving will consist of reefs, boulder slopes, gullies, walls and white sandy bays in clear waters. We travel up to Lochaline on Thursday July 13th and stay overnight at Lochaline Dive centre. Setting off from Lochaline early Friday morning on MV Peregrine for the crossing to Barra and South Uist.

Peregrine is a sturdy 44ft Aquastar with a 250 bar compressor, large warm cabin and cooking facilities onboard for lunch. Two large oxygen sets are carried onboard, only one tank per diver required although no Nitrox is available. The crossing to the Hebrides should take around 4 and a half hours although please be aware if the wind is from the north or south it may be a little bumpy. We are staying 3 nights b+b at Borrodale Hotel, there is a restaurant serving local meats and seafoods.

We travel back on Monday afternoon after a dive, and can possibly dive Canna or Coll on the way back to break up the journey.

Deposit £106
Cost is £295pp plus air at £3/fill, this should be an excellent trip.
Contact: See MCS Dives or email Mike Bramham

This will be exposed offshore diving and you'll need to be an experienced diver used to currents, deep water and dry suit diving. People with Seasearch experience, especially at Survey form level, will be especially welcome.

Seasearch Dive Booking
Email the dive organiser and copy in Calum Duncan; Fill in an MCS Dives booking form and send it with a cheque payable to 'Chris Wood', UK MCS Dives and Seasearch Co-ordinator, to the address on the form .

These trips are primarily aimed at existing Seasearch divers, however if you have buddies that are very keen on marine life and on getting involved in Seasearch, please get in touch with Calum Duncan, the dive organiser and Chris Wood to discuss availaibility of spaces. Even if you are not interested in any of these trips, there is nothing to stop you doing your own Seasearch dives.

04/02/06


Suunto D9 and D6 Safety Notice

Important Safety Notice - Suunto D9 and D6 Diving Computers

Suunto Oy has identified a software bug in the D9 and D6 diving instruments. The software bug may cause the D9 and D6 to incorrectly track dive time on rare occasions, potentially causing a risk to the diver - for further information please download and read Suunto's Customer information letter. Therefore, Suunto is requesting that the D9 and D6 products with the serial numbers listed below shall be returned for a software update that eliminates this issue.

The products affected are:
D9 serial numbers 62102582
D6 serial numbers 62103693

Suunto strongly recommends that D9 or D6 should not be used for diving before the unit has been updated with the latest software. If the product is used before updating the software, backup instrumentation must also be used.

Suunto will provide a free software update to fix the bug. Please bring your D9 and/or D6 to your nearest local authorized Suunto retailer for the software update as soon as possible. For contact details and further information please visit the web site www.suunto.com If that is not possible or if you require any further details, contact the Suunto Help Desk at SuuntoD9-D6@nordictelecenter.fi To contact Suunto by phone, call toll free 1 800 543 9124 in the USA and Canada, or +358 284 1160 (international call rates are applicable) from all other countries.

As a complimentary service Suunto will at the same time replace your battery and perform a pressure test free of charge.

Suunto apologizes for any inconvenience.

Posted 21/06/06


Buddy Breathing Ascent Training Changes

As a result of intensive research across a range of UK and worldwide diving organisations, the practice of buddy breathing ascents has raised a number of concerns. A full discussion took place at the National Diving Council meeting on 13th June 2006. A recommendation was then made to the General Committee to suspend buddy breathing ascents.

On 14th June 2006, the General Committee approved the following proposal:

With immediate effect, suspend all open water buddy breathing shared ascents at Sport Diver and Master Diver level until further discussion and approval at the Diving Officers Conference and Annual General Meeting.

In line with the SSAC constitution, although effective immediately, this change will be proposed to the Diving Officers Conference in November 2006 for further consideration before final ratification at the Club AGM in March 2007.

In the latest version of the SSAC Qualification Record Book, the assessments should now read as follows:

Sport Diver level, Open Water Assessment 9:
From a depth of 15m, conduct assisted ascents using an alternative air source, once as donor and once as recipient. Candidates should perform a suitable safety stop before proceeding to surface. Care must be taken not to exceed 10m/min on ascent.

Master Diver Level, Open Water Assessment 10:
From a depth of 20m, conduct assisted ascents using an alternative air source, once as donor and once as recipient. Candidates should perform a safety stop(s) before proceeding to surface. Care must be taken not to exceed 10m/min on ascent. Partner must be of at least Sport Diver level.

Master Diver Level, Open Water Assessment 11:
From a depth of 30m, conduct assisted ascents using an alternative air source, once as donor and once as recipient. Candidates should perform suitable safety stop(s) before proceeding to surface. Care must be taken not to exceed 10m/min on ascent. Partner must be of at least Sport Diver level.

However, previous editions of the Qualifications Record Book may differ. Please confirm with your Diving Officer or Regional Coach that you are using the most recent version required.

Sport Diver assessment 6 remains in place as stated as does elements of Buddy Breathing during confined (pool) training.

An alternative air source is considered to be an additional second stage regulator. This may also include a device used for inflation of Buoyancy Control Device which allows breathing such as an ‘Air II’. An alternative air supply is classed as a pony, twin set configuration or similar where the supply is from another independent cylinder and regulator. Such configurations may also be used for assisted ascents.

For some time, SSAC have strongly recommended that all divers carry an alternative air source (octopus) or equivalent. This remains in place.

Trainees working towards either Sport or Master Diver Award who have not yet completed the buddy breathing ascents will not be required to perform these assessments. Branch Diving Officers should make a note in Qualification Record Books to record the change in training requirement.

The NDC believes any training should be carried out as safely as possible and incidents should not happen as a result of training. A risk assessment should take place before any training activity in order to minimise potential risk.

If you have any queries regarding this change please contact your BDO, Regional Coach in the first instance.

NDC June 06

Posted 16/06/06

Changes to the Rules for Instructors Rejoining SSAC

The General Committee and National Diving Council have approved an amendment to instructors who have left the organisation and return at a later date.

SSAC Branch Instructor and Regional Instructor awards are issued to successful candidates who complete the required assessments as approved by the NDC. An Instructor number is issued by HQ and valid for the duration of unbroken membership. Such members are then able to practice as SSAC Instructors within the remit of his/her qualification. In line with membership conditions, members who fail to renew membership within 6 months of due date are deemed to have resigned. Rejoining members are reinstated with their previous diving qualification. However, prior to undertaking the role of an instructor, the following requirements are necessary:

Branch Instructors:

  • Attend a further BI course day free of charge. This will update members on any changes to SSAC policy and training syllabus.
  • Be assessed by Regional Coach or other appointed RI to ensure standards are maintained
  • Undertake a Disclosure check, registered to SSAC

Regional Instructors:

  • Attend a BI course day free of charge. This will update members on any changes to SSAC policy and training syllabus.
  • Work under the supervision of a RC for a suitable period.
  • Undertake a Disclosure check, registered to SSAC

These changes have been made to ensure high standards are maintained within the organisation.

NDC June 06

Posted 16/06/06

Branch News

Congratulations to each of the following on achieving their awards;

  • David Sharp of Peeblesshire Branch who recently completed his Branch Instructor Award
  • Felix Maurin of Napier University Branch on gaining his Sport Diver Award
  • Julie Young and Steve Taylor of Pentland Branch, and Steve Younger of Napier University Branch for successfully completing the Master Diver Examination

Finally congratulations to Assistant NDO, Kevin Watson, on completing his 1500th dive – it just goes to show how long he’s been around!

Well done to all of you on your accomplishments.

Posted 08/06/06


Summer Solstice Dive

A summer solstice dive will take place at Furnace Quarry on Sunday, June 18th. All SSAC branches are welcome to take part.

This is a social event and, as in previous years, individual branches will organise and oversee their own diving.

The Quarry site manager has generously allowed parking on the pier but this is limited. No charge will be made but a donation bucket will be passed around. Proceeds from the collection will be donated to the RNLI and the Hyperbaric Medicine Unit.

Furnace is on the west bank of Loch Fyne, south of Inverary on the A83. Turn into the village and follow the road through the Quarry, parking is on the old pier to the south of the site. If you are not lucky enough, or early enough, to get a space at the quarry on-road parking is possible in the village - please park prettily and respect the local villagers' rights of way.

Hope to see you on the day,

Kevin Miller, NDO

Posted 07/06/06

Anemones and Corals Workshop - St Abb's

Photo: Devonshire Cup CoralThis two-day workshop is intended for anybody interested in learning more about these fascinating and colourful animals, honing their anemone identification skills, resolving identification problems, seeing some rare anemones and corals and contributing to our knowledge of some of the species.

The Saturday morning will be spent in the classroom looking at the structure and biology of anemones and corals, identification of the different groups and species found in the UK and the conservation issues around different species.

In the afternoon the group will look at the rarer anemones to be see around St Abbs such as the deeplet sea anemone, Bolocera tuediae, and the swimming anemone, Stompia coccinea and also cover other anemones to look out for when diving in the area – such as Devonshire cup corals and jewel anemones (both recorded from the Farne Islands in 2005).

Participants will be encouraged to bring their own images for identification and discussion.

Two dives are planned on the Sunday giving an opportunity to look at some of the anemones and corals that are common on this coast, especially the dead men’s fingers and plumose anemones, and also to widen the species list with some of the more rarely recorded examples. There may well be time for a shore dive on the Saturday after the classroom session is over.

Photo: Jewel AnemonesLeading the workshop will be Chris Wood, author of the Seasearch Guide to Sea Anemones and Corals of Britain and Ireland, and whilst many of the images and material will come from the published book the group will also look at some of the interesting sightings and updates of information it has already given rise to.

The cost of the two-day workshop is £55 which includes a course pack, one classroom day and two hardboat dives in the St Abbs Voluntary Marine Reserve.

There will be a small number of places for those who don’t want to dive at a cost of £35 for the course pack and classroom sessions only. Those taking part in the diving need to be qualified divers with experience of hardboat diving and currents.

Copies of the Seasearch Guide to Sea Anemones and Corals of Britain and Ireland will be available at the workshop.
To book download and complete the booking form, and send with your deposit to the address on the bottom of the form.

Posted 05/06/06


Branch Instructor Training Course Dates 2006-7

Places are available on Branch Instructor courses which will take place during 2006-2007.

BI Course Dates 2006-7

Date

Location

Organiser

Saturday 15th July 2006

SSAC HQ

Andy Murray

Saturday 2nd September 2006

Napier University, Edinburgh

Andy Murray

Saturday 20th September 2006

Aberdeen

Andy Murray

Saturday 2nd December 2006

Dumfries

TBC

Saturday 27th January 2007

SSAC HQ

Andy Murray

The course cost is £35. All members must hold the required pre-requisites shown below prior to securing their place on the course.

Pre-requisites:

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Have been a SSAC Sports Diver for at least eighteen months
  • Hold current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over (unless recommended by RC).
  • Have at least 75 correctly logged dives.
  • Have completed the Master Diver 'dive leader' endorsement.
  • Have attended the Master Diver lectures on Safety and Emergency Procedures and Advanced Decompression Theory.
  • Have the recommendation of the Branch Diving Officer (BDO) preferably endorsed by the Regional Coach (RC).
    Candidates recommended by "Acting" BDO's must have the endorsement of the Regional Coach.

In order to book your place on the course, complete a course booking form, and BDO recommendation form and send to HQ along with 50% deposit. All candidates must complete an Enhanced Disclosure, forms will be issued upon course attendance.

Andy Murray, Course Director

Posted 18/05/06

Pains-Wessex Flare Recall

PAINS WESSEX ANNOUNCES TOTAL RECALL OF PAINS WESSEX WHITE COLLISION WARNING (MK7) HAND FLARE ITEM NO 52651

Following investigations carried out after an incident in which a member of the public was injured, Pains Wessex has announced a total recall of all its Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK7) Hand Flares Item No 52651.

No Red (MK7) Hand Flares nor any other Pains Wessex products are being recalled. The recall does not affect Pains Wessex Australia Aurora Hand Flares.

Pains Wessex has identified that there may be a risk that some of these white flares will not fire as intended. All white flares are therefore being recalled as a safety precaution. Additionally, this total recall will allow us to bring these products into our continuing investigation.

The Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK 7) Hand Flare Item No 52651 is sold on its own and is also contained as a part of the Collision Warn-Off Kit and the ORC RORC Distress Kit.

Customers with in-date Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK7) Hand Flares Item No 52651 are requested not to use the flare, and to return it immediately to the place of purchase where the purchase price will be refunded. If unable to return the flare to the place of purchase, customers may take the flare to their nearest chandler.

Customers with out-of-date Pains Wessex White Collision Warning (MK7) Hand Flares Item No 52651 should contact Pains Wessex on +44(0)2392 623965.

To assist its customers with this recall, Pains Wessex has set up a help line during office hours on +44(0)2392 623962 or the company can be contacted via email at recall@pwss.com.

Posted 18/05/06


Dunoon Branch News

Congratulations to Jan Crawford, BDO of Dunoon Branch, on completing her 100th dive. This momentous occasion was completed at Glen Douglas Road End, with a lovely dive along the cliff in the company of Julie Young (Pentland SAC), Graeme Forsyth (Johnstone SAC, Regional Coach), Kev Watson (Pentland SAC, Asst NDO) and Kevin Miller (Strathclyde University SAC, NDO).

Highlight of the dive - has to be a first for ScotSAC and one that appealed to some - the celebrations were completed with a bottle of chilled champagne. Well done Jan.

Kev (the good looking one) Watson

Posted 24/04/06


Are You Ready to Dive Safely?

Maritime and Coastguard Agency express concern over increased diving incidents in 2005.

The 2005 figures for open water diving accidents reported by HM Coastguard reveal that while fatalities are down from 2004, the overall number of accidents has risen slightly. During 2005, HM Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres reported a total of 254 open water diving related accidents, and these incidents ranged from cases of decompression illness and medical emergencies to broken down vessels.

Thirteen fatalities have been recorded in UK waters, with one case reported 'previously missing' (body found of a previously missing person). The greatest single incident category remains decompression illness (DCI) which accounts for 70 incidents alone, with a further 45 attributed to rapid ascent, which may have developed into DCI. Medical emergencies also accounted for 27 which may not have been diving related but arose from a pre-supposing medical conditions.

The south coast of the UK again saw the highest number of accidents reported, reflecting its popularity and accessibility as one of the premier diving areas in the country.

Peter Brown of the MCA said:

''Open water diving is an exhilarating and healthy sport enjoyed by many millions of recreational divers around the world. Some 2 million dives take place each year in the UK mostly during our warmer water periods. In comparison to the numbers of people actually diving, our Coastguard Search & Rescue accident statistics are relatively small, which is a credit to the agencies and organisations who manage and deliver training within the sport.

However, as diving carries such high inherent risk, if something does go wrong whilst diving, the consequences can be quite severe both in terms of the urgent need for search & rescue assistance, and the subsequent need for intensive, specialist and perhaps long-term medical care.

Together with our colleagues in the British Diving Safety Group, we strongly urge divers to maintain their personal fitness and to make sure that their training and equipment is to the required standard. If something does go wrong when diving, please alert the Coastguard as early as possible, so we can take preparatory or immediate action. If you have any medical concerns, we can connect you within minutes to a diving medical doctor for advice.

With regards to obtaining medical assistance and advice, it should also be noted that the contact telephone number for divers in Scotland has changed. The new number is 0845 4086008. For all other UK regions the Institute of Naval Medicine (telephone number 07831 151523) remains the first point of contact.

Should you need any further information or advice on diving safety, then check out the website of the British Diving Safety Group and follow one of the links to member organisations who can provide training, guidance, safety literature and a wide range of membership information. If you would like to learn more about what the Coastguard can do for divers in an emergency, and what divers can do to help themselves, then contact your local Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC) and ask for the Diving Liaison Officer."

The MCA statistics are based on those incidents in which HM Coastguard coordinated Search & Rescue or was involved. The British Sub Aqua Club collates and analyses information on all diving incidents in UK waters, SSAC contribute to this by passing an anonymised report of all SSAC incidents to BSAC. An annual national incident report is posted on the BSAC website with key conclusions. Key conclusions of the 2005 report are;

  • Reported incidents are in line with the trends of recent years.
  • The number of fatalities is in line with the norms of previous years.
  • Fatal incidents associated with solo and trio diving continue to feature.
  • Incidents associated with abnormal ascents have risen dramatically and attention must be given to training in this area and the continuous practice of ascent skills.

It should be noted that the majority of incidents reported could have been avoided - read the full report, including details of anonymised incidents, online at the BSAC website. Learn from someone else's mistakes and dive safely.

For further information read SSAC's Safety First article and visit the British Diving Safety Group website.

Posted 21/04/06

Branch Instructor Training Course

SSAC HQ, May 20th 2006

Places are available on next Branch Instructor course which will take place on Saturday, 20th May 2006 in SSAC HQ at 9.30am. Cost is £35. All members must hold the required pre-requisites shown below prior to securing their place on the course. To book your place, contact to request a booking form and BDO Recommendation form.

Pre-requisites:

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Have been a SSAC Sports Diver for at least eighteen months
  • Hold current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over (unless recommended by RC).
  • Have at least 75 correctly logged dives.
  • Have completed the Master Diver 'dive leader' endorsement.
  • Have attended the Master Diver lectures on Safety and Emergency Procedures and Advanced Decompression Theory.
  • Have the recommendation of the Branch Diving Officer (BDO)
  • Have the recommendation of the Regional Coach. This prerequisite is desirable for most candidates, but essential for those recommended by "Acting" BDO’s.

Andy Murray, Course Director

Posted 21/04/06

Technical Courses at Lochaline Dive Centre

Lochaline Dive Centre have teamed up with Simon Ross Deveau to provide the full range of IANTD technical diving courses. Simon has been teaching recreational and technical diving full time since 1999. An experienced cave and wreck diver, Simon will provide courses at a variety of levels from advanced nitrox and technical diving on air to trimix and rebreather training. SSAC recognise IANTD training courses.

Dates are available in May, June, July and October; courses last between three and five days. Prices start at £449 for advanced nitrox, cost includes accommodation at the Old Post Office (arriving night before course starts & leaving morning after it finishes), breakfast and dinner, all diving gas, hard-boat hire and course literature- visit the Lochaline Dive Centre website for more details or phone Mark or Annabel on 01967 421661.

Heartstart / Oxygen Adminstration Course

SSAC HQ, April 23rd 2006

Places are available on the Heartstart / Oxygen Administration Course to be held at HQ on Sunday April 23rd, 2006 starting at 10am. The course cost is £35.00. If you would like a place on this course, download and complete the booking form and return it with a 50% deposit to;

The Scottish Sub Aqua Club, The Cockburn Centre, 40 Bogmoor Place, Glasgow, G51 4TQ.

Bert Smith, Course Organiser.

Posted 10/04/06

Master Diver Dry Training Course - SSAC HQ

A dry training course will take place at SSAC HQ, Glasgow on 13th-14th May. The course will cover all lectures for the Master Diver award and the examination. Topics to be covered are shown below;

Master Diver Dry Training

Topics

Introduction

Basic Seamanship

Nitrogen Narcosis & Absorption

Expedition Organisation

Compressor Operation

Advanced Decompression

Safety & Emergency Procedures

O2 , CO2 & CO Poisoning

Underwater Navigation & Search

The lectures will be held at;

SSAC HQ, The Cockburn Centre, 40 Bogmoor Place, Glasgow, G51 4TQ

From the M8 Westbound

Leave the M8 at Junction 25. At the roundabout, take the second exit signposted ‘Clyde Tunnel'. Follow the road for approx 0.5miles before branching left before McDonalds. Turn left at the roundabout and continue for a quarter of a mile and turn left into Bogmoor Place, immediately before the curve in the road. SSAC HQ is on the right.

From the M8 Eastbound

Leave the M8 at Junction 25 and follow the dual-carriageway for approx 500m (signposted ‘Clyde Tunnel'). Branch left before McDonalds and turn left at the roundabout. Continue for a quarter of a mile and turn left into Bogmoor Place, immediately before the curve in the road. SSAC HQ is on the right.

Spaces are limited, due to available space at HQ, please confirm your booking before attending the day. Training will probably take the format of a series of lectures followed by a short exam on the morning and afternoon of each day.

, NDO

Updated 25/04/06
Posted 06/04/06

Conger Alley - a place for divers to meet online

George McKeown of Eastwood branch has launched a new website for divers in Scotland. "Conger Alley" is a forum; although a gallery and directory are planned for the future. George's aim is to develop a searchable knowledge base for diving information relevant to Scotland including; sites, clubs, shops and operators. Above all George wants it to be interactive and fun.

With your help this could turn into a really valuable resource for divers in Scotland and for visitors to the area. Why not check it out at www.congeralley.com

Posted 06/04/06


Spectacular Sea Slugs

Jim Anderson - Chairman of West Lothian branch - will be talking about his favourite subject "Spectacular Sea Slugs" and hopefully showing some of his wonderful photos at the next meeting of the Glasgow Natural History Society. The Society meet at the Lecture Theatre, Graham Kerr Building, University of Glasgow, University Aveenue, Glasgow, G12 8QQ. Jim's talk will take place at 7.15pm on Tuesday 11th April. If you're a bit of nudibranch-ophile don't miss it!

For more details visit the Glasgow Natural History Society website.

Posted 30/03/06


Branch News

Well done to Andy McPherson of Eastwood SAC who has qualified as a Sport Diver and is just back from honeymoon in the Maldives with new wife Care, also an Eastwood Sport Diver. Congratulations to you both.

Marion McNeill, Eastwood SAC

Posted 27/03/06


Deepest Blue - BBC Radio Scotland

"Since earliest times people have been fascinated by the sea and what might lie beneath its turbulent surface. But, when a diver enters the ocean they enter a hostile environment. In the first of a three part series, Mark Stephen presents the story of the daring pioneers who first explored the depths."

In a three part radio series, Mark Stephen explores diving and what it means for Scotland's professional and amateur divers. Don Lees and Jack Morrison feature in the first programme airing on March 15th between 11:30am and 12:00 noon. If you miss the tranmission you can listen again on the BBC Radio Scotland website for up to seven days afterwards.

Posted 13/03/06

SSAC 53rd Annual General Meeting

12.45pm Sunday 26th March, 2006. Lecture Theatre A3, Stirling University

AGM Agenda 2006

12:45

Assembly (please bring proof of membership)

 

13:00

Chairman's Welcome

Ken Smith

13:05

Apologies and adoption of 2005 AGM Minutes

Ken Smith

13:15

Chairman's Report

Ken Smith

13:25

Treasurer's Report

Diana Webb

13:40

Adoption of 2005 Accounts and Appointment of Accountants

Diana Webb

13:50

National Diving Officer's Report

Kevin Webb

14:05

Secretary's Report

Bill Beattie

14:15

Questions to Office Bearers

 

14:40

Coffee

 

15:00

Elections of Office Bearers

 

15:15

Adoption of Motions

 

16:00

Any other business

 

16:30

Close

 

Entrance to the Stirling University campus is from the A9 between Bridge of Allan and Stirling. All members are encouraged to attend.

Posted 03/03/06

Master Diver Dry Training Day - Edinburgh

A dry training day will take place at Napier University on March 18th. The day will cover all lectures for the Master Diver award and the examination. A programme for the day is below;

Master Diver Dry Training Programme

Topic

Presenter

Time

Introduction

Murray MacCallum

09:45 - 10:00

Basic Seamanship

Ken Brown

10:00 - 10:40

Nitrogen Narcosis & Absorption

Paul Wood

10:40 - 11-10

Break

-

11:10 - 11:30

Expedition Organisation

Sandy McPherson

11:30 - 12:10

Compressor Operation

Don Lees

12:10 - 12:40

Lunch

-

12:40 - 13:30

Advanced Decompression

Murray MacCallum

13:30 - 14:30

Safety & Emergency Procedures

Hugh Fraser

14:30 - 15:10

Break

-

15:10 - 15:30

O2 , CO2 & CO Poisoning

Tim Chamberlain

15:30 - 16:00

Underwater Navigation & Search

Don Lees

16:00 - 16:30

Break

-

16:30 - 17:00

Examination

-

17:00 - 18:30

The lectures will be held at;

Napier University, Merchiston Campus, 10 Colinton Road, Edinburgh

Refreshments available on site.

Please be prompt – we have a lot to cover on the day. If anyone requires to attend only certain lectures (or just the exam) feel free to come along at the appropriate time. However, you must inform your Diving Officer prior to attending to ensure they are aware of your participation in the course and/or sitting of the exam. Exam papers will be returned to your Diving Officer after the exam prior to logbooks being signed. Please contact the organisers to let them know you will attend.

&

Posted 25/02/06

WreckMap Britain 2006

Following a successful pilot scheme in 2005 the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) will be running WreckMap Britain 2006© between April and October this year. The project aims to get UK divers to collect and report basic archaeological and biological information about a wreck site that they dive on during that time.

The NAS hope to encourage as many of the 100,000 active divers in the UK as possible to participate as a part of their normal diving activities - just take a recording slate with you when you do a planned dive on a wreck site, record what you see and then report it back to the society.

Divers are requested to record some basic, but specific, information about what they see and to make a simple, "swim-over" or profile sketch of the dive site (see example). A special Wreckmap Britain recording form has been prepared to assist in recording this information. Photographic or video records are welcome in addition to the recording form.

After the dive simply post the completed form (or a transcribed copy) to:

WreckMap Britain,
NAS Training,
Fort Cumberland,
Fort Cumberland Road,
Portsmouth PO4 9LD.

For each dive site recorded, the submitted data will be collated and placed on the NAS website where it will be available for anybody to see and use for dive planning and site interpretation. In addition, for each site:

  • biological data will be submitted to the Marine Conservation Society for inclusion in its SeaSearch project
  • archaeological data will be submitted to the appropriate National Archive or local Historic Environment Record Archive (eg. the local Sites and Monuments Record).

For more information about the NAS or to see an example of a swim over site plan visit www.nasportsmouth.org.uk. Copies of the WreckMap Recording form can be downloaded from the NAS site.

Posted 17/02/06


GC & NDC Election Results, 2006

General Committee

The following officers have been elected to the General Committee;

  • Chairman - Jack Morrison (Clydebank)
  • Secretary - Andrew Murray (Strathclyde University)
  • NDO - Kevin Miller ( Strathclyde University)

National Diving Council

The following officers were elected to the National Diving Council;

  • Marion Brown (Forth Valley)
  • Tony Carter (Larkhall)
  • Graeme Forsyth (Johnstone)
  • Hugh Fraser (Pentland)
  • Martin Henderson (Coatbridge)
  • Bert Smith (Reivers)

All officers take up post following the AGM in March (date to be confirmed).

Posted 14/02/06

RYA / MCA Sea Survival Course

18th March, Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh

If your boat sunk would you know how to look after yourself / use your liferaft? Would you know how to help yourself and your crew survive?

Photo: Getting in the liferaftIf you are one of the unlucky few, your chances of survival will be greatly increased if you understand how to use the liferaft and it’s equipment and how to help yourself.

Jon Clift (Yachtsmaster Instructor for 30 years and a RYA/MCA Sea Survival Instructor) of SeaSkills Trainining is running a Sea Survival Course in Edinburgh on 18th March. The course is very practically orientated and includes several hours in a pool deploying, boarding and righting capsized Liferafts.

We will also be examining various lifejackets, flares and EPIRBs, the contents of different Liferafts, the preparation and principles of survival and the search and rescue services.

This comprehensive 1 day course for both pleasure and commercial sailors could save your life. It will give you the necessary practical and theoretical knowledge to react effectively to an emergency abandonment with or without a liferaft and includes an invaluable practical session in a swimming pool. No previous experience is necessary or required

All participants receive the excellent RYA Sea Survival practical course notes book together with their certificate

This one day could save your life. For more details visit the SeaSkills website or contact .

Cost - £100, limited places - booking essential.

Posted 09/02/06


NAS Scotland Course Dates 2006

The Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) is dedicated to advancing education in nautical archaeology at all levels; to improving techniques in excavating, conservation and reporting; and to encouraging the participation of members of the public at all stages.

The NAS aim to preserve our archaeological heritage in the marine environment, by acting as a focus for coastal and marine archaeology. To do this the NAS need to involve everyone - divers and non-divers, scientists, historians and anyone with an interest. The underwater heritage is not renewable, and is at constant threat from natural and human agencies.

You can get involved with the search for evidence of past maritime activities. The simplest way to do this is to record what you've seen on dives or visits to sites of maritime activity. Your observations can be preserved and acted upon through the 'Dive with a purpose' scheme.

If you would like to get more out of a site, NAS can offer training in a range of survey and investigation techniques. The emphasis is on marrying practical experience with a firm understanding of the cultural and archaeological issues. Projects, advanced courses and field schools offer further opportunities to refine your skills and put them to the test in real situations. They also introduce you to other NAS members and tutors, who are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds through a common interest in underwater archaeology. Projects have an important role in building a strong social network that encompasses both professional and amateur underwater archaeologists and others interested in the field.

Whether you're new to the subject, or have had professional or private interests in the area for many years, the NAS offers you involvement based on the time you have available and the level of your interest.

Course dates for Scotland and the north of England 2006 season

  • Part 3 - Advanced Diving Techniques - Survey and Recording Modules
    25th - 26th February, two-day training course.
    Have a go using surface supplied diving equipment to undertake an archaeological survey in a 7m deep fresh water tank.
    Cost £160 (NAS members/adopt a wreck groups), £175 (non-members)
    Location: Middlesbrough, England.

  • Beneath the Waves UK Style: Marine Life and Archaeology Conference
    Sat 18th March, one-day event
    A conference on recent underwater projects in UK waters, including keynote lectures from: Dr Colin Martin (NAS Vice President), Peter Richardson, Dr Mark Woombs and Paul Kay, a leading UK Underwater Photographer.
    Cost of ticket entry: £7.50 in advance (£9.00 on the door). Price includes tea/coffee. All proceeds will go to national Marine Conservation Society funds
    Location: Preston, England.
    For more details see: www.lancashiremcs.org.uk/conference2006.html

  • IFA Annual Conference
    11th - 13th April, three-day event
    Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA) Annual Conference includes maritime archaeology session organised by Phil Robertson (NAS Scotland Training Officer) and Julie Satchell (HWTMA)
    Location: Edinburgh.

  • NAS Scotland Summer Field School Project - Record an 18th Centrury Wreck
    6th - 14th May, eight-day event
    New project to record an 18th Century shipwreck.
    Cost to be confirmed
    Location: South Uist, Outer Hebrides.

  • Protected Wreck Series - The Mingary Castle Wreck
    20th - 21st May
    Dive a protected wreck. With NAS Scotland. Subject to demand.
    Cost to be confirmed
    Location: Mingary, near Kilchoan, Ardnamurchan.

  • Part 3 - Marine Geophysics - Archaeological Science and Survey Modules
    1st - 2nd July, two-day course.
    Use of marine geophysics tools ranging from side-scan sonar to magnetometer and sub-bottom profiler.
    Cost to be confirmed
    Location: Scotland.

  • NAS Scotland Summer Field School Project - Viking Fish Trap
    5th - 13th August, eight-day event.
    Cost to be confirmed
    Location: Haraldswick, Unst, Shetland Isles.

  • Part 3 - Metal Shipwrecks - Research & IT and Recording Modules
    26th - 27th August, two-day course.
    With Peter Pritchard looking at the development and interpretation of metal ship wreck sites.
    Cost to be confirmed
    Location: Scotland.

  • Part 3 - Underwater Photography - Survey and Recording Modules
    7th - 8th Sept, two- day course.
    With Peter Pritchard on the use of underwater still photography using both analogue and digital systems.
    Cost to be confirmed
    Location: Scotland.

  • Part 3 - Shipwrightry Techniques - Ancient Technology Module
    28th - 29th Oct, two-day non-diving course.
    Learn and practise the ancient art of wood working using axes, adzes and pit saws. Are you strong enough to split a plank?
    Cost £120 (members/adopt a wreck groups), £135 (non-members)
    Location: Movern, Scotland

  • NAS Introduction to Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology & Part 1 combined course
    3rd - 5th Nov, three-day course
    Combines the Introduction course and the NAS Part 1 course. Includes pool session and 2 dives.
    Cost: £140 (members/adopt a wreck groups), £160 (non-members)
    Location: Scotland

  • NAS Part 1 Certificate in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology
    Sat 4th, two-day course
    Part 1 in the NAS syallabus builds on knowledge gained on the Intro course. Subjects include: project planning, conservation, 3D Survey. Includes 2 dives.
    Cost: £95 (members/adopt a wreck groups), £110 (non-members)
    Location: Scotland.

  • Part 3 - Advanced Diving Techniques - Survey and Recording Modules
    18th - 19th Nov, two-day course
    Have a go using surface supplied diving equipment to undertake an archaeological survey in a 7m deep fresh water tank.
    Cost £160 (members/adopt a wreck groups), £175 (non-members)
    Location: Middlesborough, England

  • Protected Wreck Series - Warship HMS Dartmouth
    25th - 26th November
    Dive with NAS Scotland on an example of an early frigate. Dartmouth was part of a punitive expedition against the MacLeans in 1690 and was driven from anchor by a storm. Subject to demand.
    Cost to be confirmed
    Location: Sound of Mull, Scotland.

For more information about NAS training and events visit the NAS Scotland and NAS Portsmouth websites

Posted 06/02/06


Three Diving Incidents In Scotland in One Day

Coastguard co-ordination centres in Scotland co-ordinated three diving incidents on Saturday 4th February, 2006.

Forth Coastguard assisted a diver following a rapid ascent to the dive boat Alikaie. The diver had made his ascent from a depth of 30 metres. He was not displaying symptoms of decompression sickness, but was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. Eyemouth Coastguard Rescue Team attended the scene.

The second incident involved a shore diver who began drifting off the Isle of Islay. Clyde Coastguard requested the Islay all weather RNLI lifeboat to launch and two helicopters were scrambled. Local boats and the Isle of Arran ferry also offered their assistance, however a short time later the diver was able to make his way to shore unaided.

Approximately half an hour later at 3.00 pm Clyde Coastguard were called again, requesting assistance for two divers who had made a rapid ascent from 18.5 metres. The Coastguard requested advice from a diving doctor who advised that the two people should be taken to hospital for a check over. An awaiting ambulance took them to the accident and emergency department at Lorne and the Isles hospital.

Stuart Atkinson, Clyde Coastguard Watch Manager says:

"In all of these cases, we were called quickly enabling us to take swift action to ensure the safety of those involved. Speed is of the essence, particularly with rapid ascents, and we encourage divers to call us as soon as they suspect decompression sickness."


Safety Information
Remember if you haven't been diving over the winter you won't be dive fit. Don't plan to start the season with deep or demanding dives. Start with shallower dives and build up your fitness gradually.

All divers are requested to contact H.M. Coastguard before a dive, whether it is a boat dive, shore dive, fresh water or salt and give the following information;

    •   Your name and the name of your branch
    •   The number of divers in your group
    •   The location of the dive
    •   When you expect to complete the dive
    •   If you are diving from a boat, the name of your vessel
    •   A contact number if available

When you have completed the dive please contact the Coastguard again to let them know you have returned safely. Should an incident occur contact H.M. Coastguard sooner rather than later.

For further information read SSAC's Safety First article and visit the British Diving Safety Group website.

Posted 05/02/06


SNH’s Coastal and Marine Recreation Survey

Photo: Scotland's coastNational study of coastal and marine recreation; ths survey is being carried out on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage and aims to build a better picture of recreation on and around Scotland’s coastline. This includes informal activities such as rock pooling, kite flying, picnicking and bird watching alongside pursuits such as diving, sailing, surfing, kayaking and waterskiing.

The information collected by the survey will allow Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), access authorities and land managers to promote and manage coastal and marine access and recreation more effectively. This should benefit everyone with an interest in recreation around the coast of Scotland.

Personal Recreational Activity
The main focus of the survey is a web-based questionnaire for recreation users. It can be accessed at www.scotland-coastal-recreation.org.uk. The survey aims to find out what kinds of recreation take place and where. Everyone who completes the survey will have a chance to enter the coastal and marine recreation survey prize draw. The winner, who will be selected at random, will win £200 of vouchers to spend in Tiso outdoor shops. The closing date for the prize draw is 28 February 2006.

We would appreciate it if you could let members of your club, association or group know about the survey so we can ensure that all types of coastal and marine recreation are well represented in the survey.

Visit the survey page

Clubs, Associations and Groups
We are also very interested in the views and opinions of clubs, associations and groups with an involvement in recreation around the Scottish coast.

We would be very grateful, therefore, if you could take a few minutes to answer the questions on behalf of your organisation. You can either complete this form electronically, and email it back to marine@glasgow.landuse.co.uk, or complete it in paper form and return it by post. Forms should arrive no later than the 28th February 2006

Download the form here

LUC on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage.

04/02/06


Seasearch Scotland 2006

Whilst of course 'any dive can be a Seasearch dive', there follows a list of Seasearch dives that have been organised for 2006. There are two weekends charting exciting new ground in the Moray Firth and two great trips to Handa and Barra. For Seasearch Observers who want to move on to the Surveyor level, and a Survey course in early May. There is plenty of scope to organise Seasearch Observation courses, although this is usually done in response to demand from, often, a club who can get a core of 5-6 or so divers. If you know of any group keen to get Seasearch Observation training anywhere in Scotland, please get in touch with Calum Duncan, Scottish Officer, Marine Conservation Society, 3 Coates Place, EDINBURGH, EH3 7AA
T: 0131 226 6360.

  • Bowfiddle Rock, Cullen, Moray Firth Feb 11-12
    Still some spaces left on our Seasearch of and around the Bowfiddle Rock on the 11th and 12th Feb. Divers can come on either the Saturday or Sunday or both. The initial plan is to start from Portnockie harbour on the Saturday and dive around the Bowfiddle Rock and on reefs in the other direction towards Findochty. We may move to Portsoy on the Sunday and dive some new sites around Cowhythe Head and Stake Ness near Whitehills. The cost will be minimal, less than £10 a day to cover the boat costs.

    Cost~£20 for weekend
    Contact: Marion Perutz Seasearch North East Scotland co-ordinator

  • Helmsdale, Sutherland (Moray Forth) April 1-2
    A pioneering expedition to Helmsdale in Sutherland with Bill Ruck’s Top Cat. Helmsdale is famous for its fossils and its gold but we have no records of what it is like underwater, so come and join us and find out. We will be staying in Helmsdale and going on day trips on board the Top Cat. MV Top Cat is a fast and stable hardboat with compressor onboard and ample space for equipment, plus a toilet. The galley provides tea, coffee, soup and Bill whips up his world famous curried tatties for lunch! The cost will be £80 per person for two days diving plus air at £3/fill. You will need to arrange your own accommodation. There are a number of guesthouses, hotels and a youth hostel in Helmsdale.

    Cost=£80 for weekend
    Deposit=£40
    Contact: Marion Perutz Seasearch North East Scotland co-ordinator

  • Kinlochbervie June 19-24
    Why not spend the longest day of 2006 in the far northwest of Scotland where the sun hardly sets? This dive is based in Kinlochbervie, just south of Cape Wrath and the plan is to do 3 dives per day. Our range will include (weather permitting) the numerous skerries and islets round Kinlochbervie, north to Cape Wrath and south to Handa Island, Badcall Bay and the Badcall islands - around 30 uninhabited islands and are very little dived. Handa Island itself is a bird colony with underwater canyons, gullies and steep boulder slopes. In the event of bad weather there is excellent sheltered diving in Loch Laxford, Loch Inchard etc.

    We will be carrying out Seasearch surveys at all of the sites. We will arrive on 17th June and stay for 6 nights at the Kinlochbervie Hotel. The price includes breakfast and rooms are en-suite, spacious and have TV's. There are 2 restaurants and a bar in the hotel - the restaurants serve local seafood at reasonable prices. Mike is taking portable bbq's and we can have supper on some of the stunning white sand beaches when we fancy a break from the hotel. The 6 days diving will take place from the MV Peregrine, commencing on the morning of the 18th and going through to the 23rd with 2 dives that day. The boat has a fast compressor and only one tank each will be required. Nitrox is not available.

    Deposit £106
    Cost £395.00 plus air and includes accommodation (bed & breakfast) at the Kinlochbervie Hotel.
    Contact: See MCS Dives or email Mike Bramham

    This will be exposed offshore diving and you'll need to be an experienced diver used to currents, deep water and dry suit diving. People with Seasearch experience, especially at Survey form level, will be especially welcome.

  • Barra aboard MV Peregrine July 14-17
    We intend to dive Friday to Monday around Barra, South Uist and the smaller skerries including Mingulay, Berneray etc The diving will consist of reefs, boulder slopes, gullies, walls and white sandy bays in clear waters. We travel up to Lochaline on Thursday July 13th and stay overnight at Lochaline Dive centre. Setting off from Lochaline early Friday morning on MV Peregrine for the crossing to Barra and South Uist.

    Peregrine is a sturdy 44ft Aquastar with a 250 bar compressor, large warm cabin and cooking facilities onboard for lunch. Two large oxygen sets are carried onboard, only one tank per diver required although no Nitrox is available. The crossing to the Hebrides should take around 4 and a half hours although please be aware if the wind is from the north or south it may be a little bumpy. We are staying 3 nights b+b at Borrodale Hotel, there is a restaurant serving local meats and seafoods.

    We travel back on Monday afternoon after a dive, and can possibly dive Canna or Coll on the way back to break up the journey.

    Deposit £106
    Cost is £295pp plus air at £3/fill, this should be an excellent trip.
    Contact: See MCS Dives or email Mike Bramham

    This will be exposed offshore diving and you'll need to be an experienced diver used to currents, deep water and dry suit diving. People with Seasearch experience, especially at Survey form level, will be especially welcome.

Seasearch Dive Booking
Email the dive organiser and copy in Calum Duncan; Fill in an MCS Dives booking form and send it with a cheque payable to 'Chris Wood', UK MCS Dives and Seasearch Co-ordinator, to the address on the form .

These trips are primarily aimed at existing Seasearch divers, however if you have buddies that are very keen on marine life and on getting involved in Seasearch, please get in touch with Calum Duncan, the dive organiser and Chris Wood to discuss availaibility of spaces. Even if you are not interested in any of these trips, there is nothing to stop you doing your own Seasearch dives.

Seasearch Surveyor Course, SportScotland Centre, Isle of Cumbrae May 6-7

The Surveyor Course is aimed at experienced Seasearch Observers and others with a good background knowledge of marine life and marine recording. The aim is to enable you to complete the Seasearch Survey Form which is used on most of the expeditionary Seasearch dives and which gives much more detailed information for future conservation purposes.

The course lasts two days and includes a dive on the second day. The course content is an expansion of the Observer Course and covers a much wider range of marine life and habitat classification. Again we use video on the first day and you fill in practice forms both from the video and from the dive itself. The course is assessed and successfull participants can become Seasearch Surveyors after completing a further five forms. This fun two-day course will be at the excellent SportScotland Centre on Great Cumbrae, near the CalMac ferry slip.

Course participants and turtors will be staying in a self-catering chalet. The cost includes two nights Bed & Breakfast and there are plenty of pubs and restaurants in Millport for dinner on Friday and/or Saturday evening. Bring your own lunches though. The dive for the course will be a shore dive

Deposit=£40
Cost=£85
CONTACT=Calum Duncan

For the above Surveyor course please complete the Surveyor Course Booking Form and send with a cheque payable to 'Calum Duncan' to: MCS, 3 Coates Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7AA.

04/02/06


Tearoom Training Success

A very successful training day took place at the 'Tearoom', Loch Fyne on Saturday 28/1/06, with some 26 dives carried out by representatives of 7 branches (East Lothian, Midlothian, Napier, Stirling, Musselburgh, Dunoon and Pentland). The outcome was three new BI candidates qualified and one RI open water assessment complete.

The day was conducted in full expedition fashion, with all dive details recorded by the Beach Marshal (Don Lees) and with O2 and First aid available on-site. All candidates were required to produce diveplan and risk assessment.

In all a good day out and one which would be worthwhile organising again, as demand from the membership dictates. Congratulations to all the successful participants.

Murray MacCallum
Regional Coach


Thanks and appreciation!
On behalf of all those who took part in the training day at th


e Loch Fyne Tearooms, many thanks to Murray and Don for planning the day.

D Carruthers (DO Musselburgh).

Updated 05/02/06
Posted 04/02/06

Boat and Dive Shows 2006

  • Afloat: 2nd - 5th February 2006, SECC Glasgow
    Afloat the affordable boat show, in conjunction with the Scottish Caravan and Outdoor Leisure Show. 'Afloat' will target watersports and boating enthusiasts with an array of watercraft and a price ceiling of £35,000. It is a show to appeal to the beginner boater, thrill seeker and for anyone looking to spend time on the water.

The Show has a dedicated Hall and will offer a good selection of watercraft and chandlery from dealers such as Stirling Jet Ski, Marine Revolution, Sea and Shore, W.A Simpson, Duncan's Yacht Chandlery, RNLI and Bosun's Locker.

RYA Scotland and industry experts will be on hand to offer independent advice and tips at the ' Ask the expert forum ', on topics ranging from sailing to watersports.

  • Go Diving at the Outdoors Show: 17 - 19th March 2006 NEC Birmingham
    Go Diving is just part of the Out Doors Show and incorperates the British Underwater Image Festival. Other disciplines showing include canoeing, mountain-biking, trekking and more.

For more information visit the the Ordanance Survey Outdoors Show website.

  • London International Dive Show; 1st - 2nd April 2006, Excel London
    Along with the usual trade stands, world travel destinations and try dive pool there's a great line up of speakers including;
  • Rick Stanton - Deeper Into Wookey
    In 2004, rebreather divers Rick Stanton and his buddy John Volanthen managed to probe further and deeper into Somerset's Wookey Hole cave system than anyone had gone before.
  • John Boyle - Secrets of the Giant Sharks
    Secrets of the Giant Sharks is the latest offering from award-winning underwater film-maker John Boyle. The film will be premiered at LIDS.
  • Leigh Bishop & Teresa Telus - Ocean Liner Wrecks
    Leigh Bishop and Teresa Telus love diving sunken liners and aren't the sort to be put off by depths of 130m-plus. Join them on a richly illustrated underwater tour of some of the world's most famous wrecks evocative names include the Lusitania, gold ships Egypt and Laurentic, Titanic sister Britannic, tragic Nazi liner Wilhelm Gustloff, Transylvania, Amazon and many more.
  • Monty Halls - The Great Ocean Adventure
    Monty Halls doesn't spend a lot of time at home. When the marine biologist and explorer is not discovering sunken cities off India, tracking down prehistoric remains in underwater cave systems in South Africa, or winning TV contests to identify Britain's most perfect human, he is conducting round-the-world diving expeditions themed on big animals or wrecks. These days his adventures are chronicled on TVs The Great Ocean Adventure, and with a second series coming up, he'll be giving visitors a taste of treats to come.
  • Richard Lundgren - Baltic wreck diving
    Richard Lundgren is an adventurous diver if ever there was one, and highly respected in technical diving circles. He has hunted Spanish galleons in the Caribbean and carried out the longest cave dive ever done in Scandinavia, in Arctic conditions. But he will be at LIDS to talk about his work surveying the fascinating array of wrecks found in amazing states of preservation in the deep, clear waters of the Baltic, off Oland in Sweden.

For more information visit www.diveshows.co.uk

  • Dive 2006; 14 - 15th October, NEC Birmingham
    Speakers to be announced. It's still a way off yet and details haven't yet been confirmed.

For more information visit www.diveshows.co.uk

Posted 27/01/06


Fish Identification Course for Divers with Dr Frances Dipper

Deep Sea World, North Queensferry near Edinburgh. Saturday 20th May 2006: 10.30am to 4.30pm

This one-day course in fish identification for divers will be led by Dr Frances Dipper, author of ‘British Sea Fishes’. It will include an introduction to the form and function of fishes, and cover their life history, feeding and reproduction. We will go on to look at the range of fishes which can be seen by divers in British and Irish waters and how to identify them underwater, including looking at the aquarium’s temperate water tanks. Finally we will look at some of the conservation issues affecting fish in our waters.

The course is aimed primarily at divers with the intention of improving fish recognition skills for those who want to take part in Seasearch surveys. You do not need to be a Seasearch diver to take part but those who are will have priority. The course will count towards your Seasearch Specialist qualification so bring along your Seasearch logbook.

What the course includes:

  • illustrated presentations
  • a course pack
  • entrance to Deep Sea World
  • pocket Good Fish Guide

Copies of British Sea Fishes, the Good Fish Guide and other Seasearch publications will be on sale at the course.

The cost of the day is £45.00 for adults and £35 for students

To reserve your place on the course please download and complete the booking form below and return it with your payment for the course. Numbers are limited and must be notified to the aquarium in advance so we may not be able to accommodate those who just turn up on the day. For more information please contact

Download the booking form here.

Posted 27/01/06


Scuba Podcasts

Podcasts are taking over the world - even the BBC are podcasting a variety of programmes from Chris Moyles on Radio 1 and Chris Evans on BBC 2, to From Our Own Correspondent on Radio 4. If you're scratching your head saying "a whatcast?" then look here for an in depth explanation, briefly a podcast is a portable radio show. With a bit of free software you can download a podcast to your computer or mp3 player and listen to it at home or on the move, whenever you want to. Even better the software lets you subscribe to specific programmes so you automatically receive the latest edition. The file can then be transferred to an mp3 player - all you need is an internet connection and the podcast software.

Scuba diving is getting in on the act and there are now a few regular scuba podcasts, mainly from America, try these for size (just copy and paste the podcast feed link into your podcast software);

  • Scuba Radio
    The first radio show devoted to scuba diving. ScubaRadio is radio talk show with a diving theme. Pictures are painted of the underwater world as listeners and guests share their diving adventures. Every diver has a story about the perfect dive, destination, or encounter with some amazing sea creature. The presentation is light hearted and entertaining as to not alienate non-divers from joining our little on-air dive club. Listeners have compared hearing ScubaRadio to watching "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel.
    Podcast feed: http://www.scubaradio.com/srpodcast.xml
  • Bottom Time Radio
    Bottom Time Radio diving deeper into the world of scuba. The podcast dedicated to the underwater world of scuba diving, including news, banter, debates, discussion, and interviews involving all things scuba.
    Podcast feed: http://bottomtimeradio.com/wp-rss2.php
  • Pod Diver Radio
    Scuba Diving. Deep Shipwrecks, Cave Diving, Freediving and Mixed Gas Diving - hear why Richie Kohler switched to a Buddy Evolution CCR from open circuit or listen to Dr. Richard Vann of Divers Alert Network discussing hyperbaric science and tech diving.
    Podcast feed: http://homepage.mac.com/josephcocozza/PODCASTS/poddiver.xml
  • Pod Diver TV
    The VIdeo Scubacast. Hardcore Scuba Diving from hardcore divers.
    Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/Poddivertv
  • The Scuba Cast
    A podcast covering the educational aspects of scuba diving. In support of POD DIVER RADIO. Scuba Training. PADI NAUI. Nitrox.
    Podcast feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheScubacast
  • DiveFilm Podcast Video
    News and Images of the Underwater World.
    Podcast feed: http://divefilm.com/podcasts/podcast.xml

Podcast quality varies enormously, but for what is essentially home made radio some of the interviews are excellent, try Bottom Time Radio's podcast 7 for an interview with Richie Kohler about his recent world dive tour including what he thought of diving the English Channel.

No British, or Scottish diving podcasts have emerged yet but it's just a matter of time . . .

Posted 25/01/06


NAS Finds Open Day: Finds from Scotland's Historic Shipwrecks on Display

National Museums of Scotland conservation facility, Granton, Edinburgh Saturday, 25th March 2006 (10 am - 4 pm)

Photo:Underwater archaeologist working on the Duart Castle wreckAnnouncing an open day organised by the Nautical Archaeology Society’s training office in Scotland in association with the National Museums of Scotland.

The organisers would welcome visits from members of the public to see a collection of finds from Scotland’s historic shipwrecks that are being conserved at the National Museums of Scotland, in Edinburgh

  • See behind the scenes at Scotland’s principal laboratory for conserving marine finds.
  • Hull timbers from the Dartmouth (sank 1690 in the Sound of Mull).
  • Carvings and other finds from the Duart Point wreck (sank 1653 off Mull)
  • Italian maiolica and other pottery from a Spanish late 16th or early 17th century vessel lost off Kinlochbervie, Sutherland.
  • Speak to archaeologists and conservators who have been investigating these sites.
  • Have a go at finds photography and drawing.
  • Learn about what to do if you locate an archaeological site underwater, what the law is in respect of marine finds and how it affects you.

Entry for this event is free but you must notify Philip Robertson of the names of every visitor who will attend and your anticipated time of arrival. This must be done two weeks prior to the event so that security clearance can be arranged and visitor numbers can be properly managed.

Contact Philip by telephone on (0131) 552 5795 or by email:

Posted 24/01/06


Open Meeting Wednesday 1st February 2006
SSAC Company Limited by Guarantee

The proposed meeting scheduled for the 1st February in the James Weir Building at Strathclyde University has been postponed until further notice.

The Bye-Laws produced by Mr Alan Grosset, the Solicitor acting for SSAC based on our current constitution only arrived at committee on the 11th January 06. The General Committee have not yet fully reviewed the document.

Once the committee has reviewed the draft and made any recommended changes to Alan for inclusion a second draft will be produced.

Once the second draft has been received at HQ we will send it to the members for full review and consultation and a date will be given where the above meeting will be re-scheduled when all members will be given the opportunity to fully discuss the current status and constitution verses the new “Limited by Guarantee” and the new “bye-laws.

Yours faithfully,
General Committee

Download the letter to Branch Officers

Posted 24/01/06

Branch News

Many congratulations to Nik Walker of Dumfries and Galloway Branch on achieving his Sport Diver award. What a great way to start the New Year, well done Nik!

Rodger Donald
BDO Dumfries and Galloway Branch

29/12/05


Candidate Profiles for Election to the GC and NDC for 2006-2007

Candidates for the 2006-2007 SSAC General Committee (GC) and National Diving Council (NDC) have provided the following information to support their nominations. Ballot papers were enclosed with the Jan/Feb edition of Scottish Diver.

If you misplace your ballot paper, please contact SSAC HQ for an additional copy. All votes must be received at HQ by January 31, 2006. Successful candidates will take post from the AGM in March 2006

Candidates for the GC

Chairman: Jack Morrison and Ken Smith

NDO: Kevin Miller and Kevin Webb

Secretary: Andy Murray and Bill Beattie

 

Candidates for the NDC


Chairman

The two candidates for Chairman in 2006-2007 are Jack Morrison and Ken Smith.

Jack Morrison (Clydebank)

My name is Jack Morrison and I am standing for the position of Chairman of the SSAC. I have been a member of SSAC since 1961 and am a Master Diver and Branch Instructor. I have served on SSAC committees for many years including Vice Chair, Expedition Officer and a member of the first NDC. At branch level I have served as Chairman, Diving Officer and Equipment Officer. On the General Committee, I currently hold the position of Editor of Scottish Diver and have performed this role for many years. My role as Editor has brought me into contact with a great number of divers throughout SSAC and other organisations. This has given me the opportunity to raise the profile of SSAC within the diving community, and stay in touch with current issues affecting clubs. In addition, I have also been involved in a number of projects including the new 3 year development plan, leading on the proposal for SSAC Ltd and liaising with SportScotland advisors.

My main diving interest is photography but I am also passionate about conservation and protecting the rich marine environment around our coast.

Why do I want to be chairman? Basically my slogan would be “I want to put the fun back into diving” In my opinion we have lost touch with the membership and we need to address that. We need to find out through talking to branches and members what they need and try to provide it, they are not the enemy. If we become incorporated we need to take more seriously how we recruit GC members. It’s no good turning up at the AGM and hoping someone will volunteer. As chairman I see it as part of my job to go out and look for people with expertise who can offer SSAC skills and experience to improve the running of the club. I am not that naïve to think we can take all the politics out of the club, but by adopting a more professional approach we can minimise it. Only then can SSAC move forward and become a better organisation with more social events and a friendlier attitude toward our fellow divers. Like you I just want to go diving and have fun.

Jack Morrison.

Ken Smith (West Lothian)

I’m Ken Smith, the current Chair of the SSAC, a post I’ve had the privilege to hold for the past three years.

Who is Ken Smith? A Master diver, Regional Coach and BI course co-ordinator, along with Joe Campbell & Frank Connor.

What makes me a good chair? In my opinion I’m impartial, honest, and trustworthy. Hopefully respected and have ScotSAC and our member’s interests as my core motivators. Tasks I do delegate with the correct level of authority and I‘m not afraid to take difficult decisions, which benefit the club over individuals wishes. At the risk of self-flattery I consider myself an articulate leader that listens to the committees and acts based upon what is best for the SSAC and the membership.

I think I respond well to pressure and weigh up all the facts to get a consensus of opinion on the “right way” to steer the club. With our partners and other diving organisations I’ve worked to maximise our profile and with our suppliers get the best value for the club and members. I am able to get the committees that you elect to work together for the benefit of all the membership, reinforcing the ethos and ideals of the SSAC founding members whilst looking to the future development of the SSAC.

So what have I added to the SSAC? A now truly democratic and transparent committee with shared areas of responsibility. We have given you: the Diving manual, organised the 50th celebrations, a suite of policies giving us a more professional standing. This has generated a vision for the next three-year and a template for future committees to work with so we will have evolution not revolution each time a committee changes, protecting the membership and the club.

Bill Beattie, GC Secretary, and I have worked hard behind the scenes with SportScotland and the Scottish Sports Association to raise ScotSAC’s profile and build relationships that underpin our organisation at the highest level. Working alongside Kevin Webb to develop closer ties with the BSAC & SAA driving our sport forward whilst maintaining safety and we’ve brought the GC and NDC into a closer working relationship.

“Making a decision is easy, making the right one is more difficult”

It is down to you, the member, to vote on your clubs future. Please make your vote count and if elected I look forward to serving you in 2006.

Ken Smith.


National Diving Officer

Kevin Miller and Kevin Webb are standing for the position of National Diving Officer.

Kevin Miller (Strathclyde University)

Qualification; Master Diver, Regional Instructor.

I qualified as a Sports Diver (3rd class) in 1994 within Clydebank Branch under the guidance of a number of people who gave both their time, patience and commitment to me.

It was the commitment and dedication of those people who trained me to dive, which made me decide to give something back to the organisation 'Scotsac' without whom I would possibly never have taken the time to learn to dive.

The Branch Diving Officer approached me at a time when they were looking for a replacement to undertake a BI course and obtaining this qualification and to undertake the role as BDO for which I held for two years. During this period I undertook the Regional Instructors course and successfully gained my position as a R.I. During this time I was approached to serve on the NDC and was given the role as secretary and Regional Coach to a number of Branches.

During my first spell on the NDC I was tasked with the organisation of the Summer Solstice Dive and the organisation of the BDO's conference in Oban. Both of which proved to be a success and were repeated the following year/s. I have served on the NDC on two occasions and held the position as Assistant NDO and for a brief period National Coach. I also was the course Director of the BI course and pleased to say have been instrumental to seeing a number of the candidates achieve this award and contribute to the development of our Branch structure.

In addition to playing an active role within the NDC I was also tasked with the responsibility of conducting the ‘Road Show’ taking the ‘Try a Dive’ pool to a number of events all of which have proved to be successful and personally rewarding.

Having served under three NDO's I believe I have a good understanding of what is required for the position as National Diving Officer and have a real commitment to listening to the members and looking at where the developmental needs are for the 21st Century.

I do not believe or presume to have all the answers to many of the questions raised by members, but should I be successful in obtaining the position as NDO. I sincerely hope you the members will support me in the leadership and development of the sport for which we all love to take part in.

Kevin Miller.

Kevin Webb (Carlisle)

Despite living the “wrong” side of the border, I would like to think I have served the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club well over the past few years, notably as NDO. I am, primarily, a diver: that is what I joined for, that is what I want to see as our chief focus; to make sure the activity can progress, with all the advances being made in equipment – and an increasingly regulated environment – I am keen to maintain our status as a Club that promotes modern, safe diving practices.

The NDC has undertaken a series of reviews of elements of our training, and while not advocating change for change’s sake, I would suggest that doing nothing is not an option: stagnation can easily result in regression. At present the focus is on the “building blocks” of our Instructor system: the BI and RI awards; much consultation and planning is required to ensure that both courses deliver the desired outcomes at the correct levels, to avoid unnecessary duplication, whilst at the same time training candidates to a level appropriate for their intended sphere of activity.

In leading and monitoring these reviews I rely, of course, on the wealth of experience of others, particularly those on the NDC. An Examiner myself, I also find it helpful to be able to tap into the fund of information available from other Examiners, not least when it comes to trying to reinvent the wheel – it’s amazing how many “new” ideas have been tried (and possibly failed) before!

I have maintained, and built upon, the links forged by my predecessors with other dive organizations and bodies that have a direct bearing on our activities – my work as an Auxiliary Coastguard, for example, not only gives me another boat to play with, but also keeps me abreast of how we can encourage safe diving practices without unnecessary paperwork.

I would like to think that I have an effective working relationship with our governing body, the General Committee; this is, I feel, vital in view of the major changes emerging for the nature of the Club – and the increasingly stringent financial budgets we have to work within (as my wife constantly reminds me…).

I may not be able to spell for toffee – but I can dive, drive, and travel the length and breadth of Scotland to serve the interests of the membership for another term, if you allow me to do so.

Kevin Webb.


Secretary

Nominees for the post of Secretary are Andy Murray and Bill Beattie.

Andy Murray (Strathclyde University)

My name is Andy Murray and I am standing for the role of Secretary of the SSAC. I have been a member of SSAC for over 9 years and have held the position of Diving Officer in my branch for 4 years. I am a Master Diver and a Regional Instructor and enjoy not only diving, but teaching divers of all levels.

I have already served on the General Committee for two years and have been involved in a number of activities. This has included the recent construction of a 3 year development plan together with the current Editor, Jack Morrison. I have established a new communication process ‘Have Your Say’, which allows members to ask a range of direct questions to the GC or NDC. This appears to be popular with members and is improving communication. In addition to my GC role, I have been a contributing editor to Scottish Diver magazine for some time. I have worked closely with the current Editor and nominee for future Chairman. I hope I get the opportunity to work with Jack in our new roles to further serve the membership.

Communication is key to success. Without good communication, an organisation cannot develop. The ‘Have Your Say’ is only the first of many new communication options we have with the membership. I have already developed a new member consultation process to be launched in 2006. One of the prime roles of the Secretary is to maintain the communication between the branches and GC, something that has not been maximised in the past. I have already performed some of the Secretary responsibilities over the last year by producing GC meeting minutes and been involved in some external consultations.

As we move forward and propose the incorporation of SSAC, the role of Secretary will change to that of a Company Secretary. Through my professional background, I believe I have the knowledge and skills to enable this transition and hope to have the opportunity to enable SSAC to move forward.

I would urge all members to make their voice heard, and consider voting during this very busy election period.

Andy Murray.

Bill Beattie (Larkhall)

My name is Bill Beattie; I have been the General Committee Secretary now for 3 years, before that I was an ordinary committee member. I have been a ScotSAC member for 8 years; I was also a member of Cumbernauld branch in 1976. Currently I am the Diving Officer for Larkhall branch, where contrary to rumours red and blue drysuits are not compulsory, only preferred. I have a Master diver and Branch Instructor qualification, dive and instruct regularly and have the dubious distinction of being the first ScotSAC member to have a successful PFO closure. One badge I don’t really recommend.

I came on post as secretary at the same time as Ken Smith our current chair. It became immediately apparent that we had our work cut out. Besides the usual stuff the GC deals with, we had the new diving manual to complete and the 50th anniversary celebrations to organise. Sub-committees were set up to deal with this and to spread the workload. This was a definite departure from the old committee where the chair and the secretary made the bulk of the decisions. Now every member is actively involved and given a specific remit. Meetings are now held regularly on a monthly basis with myself taking (and deciphering) the minutes and dealing with correspondence.

Over the past few years it has become apparent that most important issue that could affect the running of ScotSAC is lack of funding. Our 15K Sportscotland grant heavily subsidises the running of our club, however, it is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain this level of grant funding against the more popularly funded “competitive sports” governing bodies. In an effort to address this and improve governance of our sport, the committee participated in the “Modern Sport” weekend hosted by Sportscotland. In addition to this I have personally tried to raise ScotSAC’s profile and fly our flag by attending as many other Sportscotland and the Scottish Sports Association meetings with Ken Smith as possible. It is particularly gratifying to see ScotSAC name on the agenda along with the giants of Scottish Rugby and Athletics. We have certainly made some useful allies.

ScotSAC as an organisation needs to adapt and evolve to meet these challenges; we have to become a much more “professional” organisation. Important decisions have to be made to underpin our club future, many of which need to be made soon. I hope that my involvement in the committee has gone some way to fulfil these and has been one of commitment and integrity. It’s important that I am re-elected as secretary for the continuity of the committee to effect these changes which I believe will be for the benefit of us all.

It’s great to put something back into the sport that has given me so much fun.

Bill Beattie.


Candidates for the National Diving Council

Bert Smith (Reivers)

For those that don’t know me, my name is Albert Smith, but most people that do call me Bert, or other things when l am not about. I have been asked to let the membership know a little about myself, as someone has nominated me to assist and serve on the NDC.

I am 58 years young, having spent 26 years in the armed forces, got to get about a bit, was sent around the world to see exotic places and meet interesting people. Having been a diver Commercial and Sport for a few of those years, actually tried it in the mid 70’s and never got around to stopping, I would say its probably the love of my life “apart from my good lady.” (better say that or l will be in the poo). Having finished with the Services l decided to set up my own Diving Company, the company is called Scottish Diving Supplies and Services, supplying the commercial and sport diving industry.

I first became a member of Scotsac in 1994 having been involved with BSAC prior to that, but living in Scotland. I thought l should give those my support. I have the privilege at the moment of being the Branch Diving Officer of Reivers Sub Aqua Club here in Dumfries.

I am currently the course co-ordinator for the Heartstart, Oxygen Administration and First Aid courses, I assist the NDC as one of their Regional Instructors and run the afore said courses at HQ and various club locations as and when they are needed. My latest task is to put a course together, Basic and Advanced on Wreck Exploration.

Well that’s me if you want to help your club fill in the enclosed paperwork and send it back, make your nomination count, whoever gets the job they will work to your club better.

Bert Smith.

Graeme Forsyth (Johnstone)

I have been a Branch Instructor for 6 years, a Regional Instructor for 2 years and an NDC member for the past 3 Years. I was also BDO for Johnstone branch and a Regional Coach as well as Deep Diving Director until unfortunate circumstances and work commitments forced me to give up these positions earlier this year.

I am standing for a position on the NDC this year as I now have time to commit myself to this position. I will be pushing for and volunteering for more courses for the members, this includes the new courses such as Junior Snorkel Award and Deep Diving Award.

I would also like to bring the "fun element" and social aspects to the foremost with the club but still maintain our outstanding safety record by scrutinising and updating our existing courses and training programme as and when necessary.

I look forward to being elected onto the NDC this coming year and being able, once again to give my time, effort and experience back to the club.

Graeme Forsyth.

Hugh Fraser (Pentland)

I have been a member of SSAC for ten years and trained and qualified with SSAC up to Master Diver level. I'm now a Regional Instructor and I was elected onto the NDC at last years AGM.

I'm a great believer in the SSAC Training Schedule and present grades. There are bits of the schedule that need updating but just what's necessary to catch up with modern methods equipment and practises. If it's not broken, why fix it? Go on holiday to some of the exotic dive locations that are being dived these days, show your Logbook and Training Schedule and look at the reaction. A newly qualified Sport Diver is usually far more experienced than some others in the group.

It's the responsibility of the NDC to ensure that this high standard is kept. Things are constantly being improved and upgraded and this needs an active and committed NDC. SSAC has an excellent training and safety record. The NDC has the responsibility of making sure that this is kept up. I'm prepared to carry on, if elected and do what I can to help keep standards high.

Hugh Fraser.

Kevin Watson (Pentland)

I have been a member of SSAC since 1987. I started my dive training with Midlothian, and later went on to become a founder member of Pentland SAC. I have held various posts within Pentland, including the position of Diving Officer for 8½ years. I have held positions on the General Committee for 4 years, although most people probably know me from my activities as an active Regional Coach in 4 out of the past 5 years. I have previously been a member of the NDC for a 2 year period under Rab Ronaldson, during which time I was involved in running a number of courses and organising events. As a 1 st Class club examiner I feel I have a lot to offer the NDC in terms of experience and time.

Over the past two years I have been disappointed in the lack of regional coach cover for branches, and number of courses being run. I am keen to help rectify this problem as well as encouraging better communication between other diving agencies.

I have worked with Kevin Miller for the last 6 years and believe that together we would make a strong team which could take SSAC forward without all the petty squabbling which has taken place over the past 2 years. I believe the membership is interested in courses and support, not club politics. We need to get back to the high standards we had in previous years and deliver to the membership rather than making empty promises.

Kevin Watson.

Marion Brown (Forth Valley)

I have over 20 years experience as a diver and have been involved with training since qualifying as an Instructor 20 years ago.

I began diving in the warm waters of the Middle East but was hooked enough to continue diving Scottish waters in a wetsuit during my first winter back here! When cold, dark water and low visibility had not turned me off; I invested in a drysuit and continue to be an active club diver.

I have filled a variety of positions at club level – treasurer, training officer and most recently BDO, until stepping down prior to our AGM. During that time our club members opted to join SSAC as we wanted to be with an organisation which emphasised the “club” system.

Having previously been a member of another dive organisation, and having dived in many parts of the world with variously qualified divers from many other training organisations, I am convinced that a strong club system delivers the best training. However, that puts the onus on us to keep training skills relevant and abreast of changes as they develop e.g. with equipment and safety issues, and always be ready to adopt current “best practice”. Some standardisation of lecture content and examinations would help this.

I would also be interested in reviewing the move towards an intermediate qualification, before Sport Diver which was being worked on 2 years ago. Gaining this earlier qualification can allow novice divers opportunities to gain open water experience accompanied by suitably qualified club members also takes some of the pressure off hard pressed Instructors. In turn, Instructors would have more time to accompany Sport Divers on more challenging dives, thereby building that group’s experience. An additional bonus might be that the SSAC would retain more of these divers who presently drop out of our clubs.

I have put myself forward for a position on the NDC as I feel strongly committed to promoting the club system; delivering training which enables our members to undertake diving in safety through understanding.

Being retired, I have a reasonable amount of free time which I could devote to NDC business.

Marion Brown.

Martin Henderson (Coatbridge)

My name is Marty Henderson and I have been asked to put a profile through for myself for the magazine to let the members of the SSAC know why I feel I should be an elected member of the NDC.

Well I have been a member of the SSAC since 1983. In that time I have been the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Equipment Officer and Diving Officer (for ten years) within the Coatbridge SAC

I am now an active (non elected) member of the NDC working for the members of the SSAC. Both myself and Tony Carter paid to put ourselves through the RYA GMDSS Assessor Course to allow us to run the new VHF course and save the members of SSAC money on this course as now we don't have to pay for Assessors from the RYA to come to our course and complete the final exam for the course.

I am more than willing to use up my spare time on a voluntary basis for the good of the SSAC. The present NDO and I have been in discussions over the last month or so about me getting involved with at least one other course so, as you can see I have been busy working on the NDC.

This is my second time on the NDC, the first time I was involved I assisted on the Nitrox course and also the Oxygen Administration and Heartstart UK courses, unfortunately due to personnel circumstances I had to resign from my post as a regional coach.

I hope you can see how hard I work and understand why I feel I should be an elected member of the NDC.

Marty Henderson.

Tony Carter (Larkhall)

First and foremost I am a diver: Finnart or the Red Sea, St Kilda or St Abbs, it really doesn’t matter - I just enjoy taking part in the sport on a (very) regular basis, diving at least once a week, preferably from my RIB (but when I get that converted trawler…!). It is a sport, and I believe passionately that we must never lose sight of the sheer enjoyment that can be had from the variety of underwater experiences available on our door step; I have hours of videotape shot in an attempt to capture the fascinating life available for all to enjoy in a lochs near us.

Of course, safety standards cannot be compromised, which means monitoring standards, as well as adapting to advances on the world of diving: in this regard I have a track record stretching back many years. I am an Examiner and Regional Coach of long standing, recently appointed one of two Senior Coaches. I train and assess all manner and abilities of divers in pool and open water within and outwith Larkhall Branch, and have been a regular member of the NDC team, under several NDOs and for the past 2 years a member of GC.

In addition to giving advice based on experience, I have taken an active part in developing and manning many specific areas of diving practice, notably H & S policy, BI, RI and NI courses and, especially, running the VHF and boat handling courses; the latter not only involves delivering course material and practical sessions but also liaising with other national bodies in, for instance, an attempt to keep us (SSAC) from being set “standards” of practice that might be totally unrealistic for the Scottish diving scene.

As First Class diver, I am determined to keep the SSAC as an organisation at the forefront of dive training, practice – and enjoyment.

Tony Carter

Posted 26/12/05

Drysuit Endorsement Training Schedule

INTRODUCTION
Training may be carried out by a Branch Instructor who holds the drysuit endorsement. Assessment may not be carried out by the person who provided instruction.

PREREQUISITES
Candidates for the drysuit endorsement should;

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Hold a current medical certificate
  •  

  • Have completed Sport Diver aqualung training, or as a minimum, have completed the Sport Diver rescue and air share exercise in open water.
  • Attend a lecture entitled "The use, operation and care of dry suits".

POOL TRAINING

  • Fit all equipment, including undersuit if worn.
  • Demonstrate correct adjustment of buoyancy at the surface i.e. with zero buoyancy in the candidate's suit and BC, demonstrate that the candidate is no more than 3kg negatively buoyant on the surface.
  • Demonstrate the correct operation of inflation and deflation valves by providing good positive buoyancy, then deflating the suit ready to dive.
  • Where the simulated dive has not been carried out then a full simulated dive is to be carried out and is to include recovery from a buoyant feet up position. Where the diver has progressed past the simulated dive then an exercise is to be carried out which includes the demonstration of depth and buoyancy control, air sharing, life saving and a recovery from the buoyant feet up position.
  • The Assessor is to flood the subject's dry suit by opening the zip approximately 30cm. The suit is to be allowed to flood as much as possible. The candidate is then to return to the surface in a controlled manner. The weight belt may be removed if necessary.

OPEN WATER TRAINING

  • Open water training shall only be carried out on successful completion of the pool assessment.
  • Fit all normally used diving equipment.
  • Demonstrate correct adjustment of buoyancy at the surface, that is with zero buoyancy in the candidate's suit and BC, demonstrate that the candidate is no more than 3kg negatively buoyant on the surface.
  • Dive to the bottom of a heavy shot line in 10m, adjust buoyancy to neutral. The candidate is to remain close to the shot line in order to maintain position should buoyancy become too positive.
  • Carry out a dive in which the performance and buoyancy control of the candidate is tested. This exercise should include; several depth/buoyancy adjustments, air sharing, a simulated decompression stop, and a simulated rescue. The depth of the dive is not to exceed 10m.
  • At a depth of not more than 15m dump all possible air from the suit, establish neutral buoyancy using the BC/ABLJ/SJ and make a controlled ascent.
  • On the surface recover from a buoyant feet up position.

ASSESSMENTS
Repeat the exercises specified in both pool and open water training sections to the satisfaction of an assessor.

Kevin Webb, NDO


This schedule is also available on the Training pages.

Posted 23/12/05

SSAC Diving Officer's Conference, 2006

Saturday 18th February, 2006
Royal Hotel, Oban

The 2006 SSAC Diving Officer's Conference will take place at the Royal Hotel in Oban on Saturday, 18th February 2006. All Branch Diving Officers are invited to attend.

The Royal Hotel is situated in Argyll Square at the centre of Oban. 12 single rooms are available and 79 twin/doubles, all rooms are ensuite. The SSAC DO's conference rate is £32 pppn for bed and breakfast, or £47pppn for dinner, bed and breakfast - please mention SSAC when you book to ensure the special rate.

For more information about the hotel visit the Strathmore Hotels website where you can book online, alternatively you can boook via email salesroyaloban@strathmorehotels.com or telephone on 01631 563021.

Posted 20/12/05

SSAC Training Development Plan for 2006

National Instructor Development
The NDC aim to train and qualify the following number of instructors by the end of 2006.

Course

Target no. qualified
by end 2006

Branch Instructor

> 24

Regional Instructor

> 6

Examiner

> 1

National Courses
The NDC aim to deliver the following courses during 2006.

Course

No. courses to be
delivered during 2006

Branch Instructor

6

Regional Instructor

2

Examiner

1

1st Class

1

Boathandling

3

VHF/GMDSS

3

Heartstart/ Oxygen
Administration

6

Diver First Aid

6

Deep Diving

2

Courses Under Development
The NDC continue to work on the development of new courses including;

  • Nitrox
  • Junior Snorkeller
  • HeartStart / O2 Refresher
  • Underwater Archaeology
  • First Aid Refresher

The NDC aim to have dates available for all of these courses during 2006.

Endorsements
During 2006 Regional Coaches will actively promote the SSAC drysuit endorsement and the deep rescue endorsement.

The drysuit endorsement is for any SSAC member who uses a drysuit and takes part in open water dives. The deep rescue endorsement is for experienced Sport Divers and above, it is a prerequisite for the deep diving award.

Training Weekends
The NDC will develop focused training weekends to be held during 2006. Sport Diver or Master Diver training weekends will consist of one full day of lectures followed by a day of in-water training.

The NDC aim to hold two Sport Diver and two Master Diver training weekends during 2006. Dates and locations will be announced on this site and in Scottish Diver.

Diving Officer’s Conference
The DOs' Conference will be held at the Royal Hotel in Oban, on 18th February 2006. This one-day event will include; talks, lectures and a detailed discussion on the training schedule. Further details will be available soon after Christmas.

And what about diving?
In 2006 the NDC would like to see more social diving across the organisation, after all that’s what it's all about. To this end the Solstice Dive and Treasure Hunt will be reinstated.

If you have any queries or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact me either via or on 07774 218013.

Kevin Webb, NDO

Posted 20/12/05

Branch Instructor Course

SSAC HQ, February 25th 2006

Places are available on the Branch Instructor Course to be held at HQ on February 25th, 2006. The course cost is £35.00. To take part in the course you should;

  • Hold current membership of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club.
  • Have been a SSAC Sports Diver for at least eighteen months
  • Hold a current medical certificate.
  • Be aged 18 or over (unless recommended by RC).
  • Have at least 75 correctly logged dives.
  • Have completed the Master Diver 'dive leader' endorsement.
  • Have attended the Master Diver lectures on Safety and Emergency Procedures and Advanced Decompression Theory.
  • Have the recommendation of your Branch Diving Officer (BDO) preferably endorsed by the Regional Coach (RC). Candidates recommended by "Acting" BDO's must have the endorsement of the Regional Coach.

In addition to the one day training course, successful candidtates will also be required to;

  • Complete a Lecture assessment under supervision of their Diving Officer and Regional Coach or nominated R.I.
  • Complete a practical pool session of at least two one-hour sessions under supervision of their Diving Officer and Regional Coach or nominated R.I.
  • Complete 2 practical open water sessions under supervision of their Diving Officer and Regional Coach or nominated R.I

If you would like a place on this course, download and complete the booking form and return it with a 50% deposit to;

The Scottish Sub Aqua Club, The Cockburn Centre, 40 Bogmoor Place, Glasgow, G51 4TQ.

Ken Smith, Course Director.

Posted 14/12/05

POSTPONED - Open Forum on Change of Status to a Company Limited by Guarantee - POSTPONED

Please see notice above

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 at 7.30pm
James Weir Building, Montrose Street, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

The Purpose of this consultation is to discuss the Draft Memorandum, Articles of Association and Bye-laws for the proposed change of status to the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club, a company limited by guarantee. Prior to the meeting SSAC members will receive a copy of these documents. Alan Grosset who has prepared the Bye-laws will be present to explain and answer any questions you may have in regard of these documents, and about why we should become a company limited by guarantee. The meeting will be held in room M420 on the fourth floor of the James Weir Building, Montrose Street, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XJ. Enter the building via the main entrance and proceed to the second floor. Room 226 is located at the far end of the building and signs will lead the way.

This is your opportunity to find out more about the future direction of the Club and whether you think it is the right one. Please attend this meeting if you have strong feelings either way about the change. This is where we want to have a detailed discussion which will save a lot of time at the AGM in March when we put it to the vote. There is never enough time at an AGM so that is why it is important we get a good attendance at this open forum.

I know some of you have concerns about this so here is your opportunity to have your say and hear an expert give his answers. Parking is on street and free after 6pm. Queen Street train station, Buchanan Bus Station and Buchanan Underground station are all within 5-10 minutes walk. If you cannot attend the meeting, then please submit your queries via .

Ken Smith, Chairman.

Posted 11/12/05

SSAC Committee Nominations 2006-07

November 30th marked the deadline for nominations of members to the SSAC General Committee and National Diving Council for 2006-2007.
The following positions have been elected unopposed:

  • Vice Chair - Norman Mitchell (West Lothian)
  • Editor - Alison Fish (Ullapool)
  • Treasurer - Diana Webb (Carlisle)

The following positions have more than one nomination and will require a ballot election:

  • Chairman - Jack Morrison (Clydebank) and Ken Smith (West Lothian)
  • National Diving Officer - Kevin Miller (Strathclyde University) and Kevin Webb (Carlisle)
  • Secretary - Bill Beattie (Larkhall) and Andrew Murray (Strathclyde University)

In addition, the following four members have been nominated as ordinary members of the General Committee:

  • Joe Campbell (Hamilton)
  • Graeme Clark (Kelvin)
  • Frank Connor (Hamilton)
  • George Mc Burns (East CoastDivers)

Seven members have been nominated for positions on the National Diving Council. An election shall take place in order to select members to hold the five available positions. The nominees are:

  • Marion Brown (Forth Valley)
  • Tony Carter (Larkhall)
  • Graeme Forsyth (Johnstone)
  • Robert Hugh Fraser (Pentland)
  • Martin Henderson (Coatbridge)
  • Bert Smith (Reivers)
  • Kevin Watson (Pentland)

Profiles of the above nominees, along with a ballot paper were enclosed with the Jan/Feb edition of Scottish Diver. If you misplace your ballot paper, please contact for an additional copy.

All votes must be received at HQ by January 31, 2006. Successful candidates will take post from the AGM in March 2006

Posted 11/12/05

NAS Introduction to Archaeology on the Foreshore and Underwater

St Cuthberts High School, Johnstone. Saturday, 28th January 2006. (9am - 5 pm)

This one day course run by the Nautical Archaeology Society’s training office in Scotland, is a comprehensive introduction to the subject of archaeology on the foreshore and underwater. Many of the major aspects of archaeology are presented in a series of illustrated talks and practical sessions, which include:-

  • What archaeology is and how it is carried out on the foreshore and underwater.
  • The type of sites that are investigated, e.g. harbours, sunken settlements shipwrecks, etc.
  • The detective work; the principles of science and deduction that underlie the whole subject.
  • The survey methods used on archaeological sites to record structures and finds, etc.
  • Maritime finds, what to do? The law and how it affects you.
  • The contribution survey projects can make to the National Monuments Record of Maritime sites maintained by RCAHMS.

All of these aspects are presented using examples from local projects and others around the world, many of which are in progress at the moment.

A major part of the course is the practical survey session which can be held in a swimming pool. Non-divers are given equivalent tasks on the surface. The surveys are then drawn up afterwards in the classroom. At the end of the course, the questions of where to go and what to do next are discussed: Part I; Part II & Part III Courses; NAS Part II survey projects; Field projects & Summer schools.

As the courses are for relatively small groups, they are informal and relaxed and hopefully an enjoyable way to spend a day! All participants are issued with a NAS Training Record Card, an internationally recognised certificate. The course is recognised by BSAC and SAA as a ‘Diver Skill Development’ and some courses are recognised by PADI as a ‘PADI Diver Speciality’. SSAC recognise the Part 1 course as one of the two modules required for the First Class Diver Award.

The Introductory course costs £50 (includes all local costs, a training record card and a CD Rom training manual). Membership of NAS and the Training Manual are available at extra cost. If you would like to participate on this course, please contact Philip Robertson, Training Officer for Scotland, NAS Training in Scotland Tel/fax: (0131) 552 5795, email:

For more information visit the NAS Scotland website

Posted 03/11/05


Boathandling and VHF/GMDSS Course Dates

Photo: RHIB, with thanks to Ullapool SAC

Boathandling courses will be held at SSAC HQ on the following dates;

  • 2nd - 4th September 2005; cost £45
  • 25th - 27th November 2005; cost £50
  • CANCELLED - 17th - 19th February 2006; cost £50 - CANCELLED
  • 10th - 12th March 2006; cost £50

The location for practical aspects of the course is weather dependent, but will probably take place at Largs. For more information visit the Boathandling page. To book a place on the course date of your choice please , a 50% deposit is required to confirm the booking.


VHF/GMDSS courses will be held at SSAC HQ on the following dates;

  • 27th August 2005
  • 5th November 2005
  • 4th March 2006

The VHF/GMDSS courses cost £25 plus a £20 cheque to be brought on the day of the course made out to The Royal Yachting Association (for license). Candidates are required to bring 1 passport sized photograph of themselves on the day of the course. To book a place on the course date of your choice please , a 50% deposit is required to confirm the booking.

Posted 21/09/05