ScotSAC News 2008


General Diving News


ScotSAC News

  • Crarae Quarry closed for Christmas period
  • Alex Ferguson
  • Threat to RNLI - Petition
  • Congratulations Robert
  • Congratulations
  • Our new bucket list
  • Congratulations
  • Scottish Marine Bill
  • Musselburgh Congrats
  • Apeks regulator Recall
  • West End Congrats
  • Child Protection
  • Ken Farrow
  • Carlisle Congrats
  • Walt Deas
  • Glasgow 2014 Legacy Consultation
  • Summer Seasearch Events
  • 100th Dive Congrats
  • Seasearch Courses
  • Marine Historic Environment
  • Scotland's Seas
  • Child Protection Research
  • Lectures on ice diving and Omani Clownfish
  • German U-Boat Found
  • 22/12/08
  • Instructor Development Event Feb 09
  • ScotSAC AGM - 21st March 09
  • Conference Organisers - Volunteers wanted
  • Conference Success
  • SSAC Suunto Award Winners
  • New Website
  • November Newsletter
  • Funded Course Spaces
  • Access Guidance
  • Access to Kenmore Point
  • October Newsletter
  • Sport Diver training day
  • Basic Nitrox Course
  • Dive Conference 2008
  • Suunto Award
  • Equity
  • New Board Member
  • RI & Examiner Courses
  • NDO appointment
  • Dive Conference 2008
  • Summer Solstice 22nd June
  • Buddy Breathing Ascent Changes
  • Seeking Volunteer Directors
  • Membership Database
  • Heartstart, O2 Admin and First Aid
  • Membership Subscription Increase
  • Training Day Success
  • New Staff at HQ
  • NDC Events 2008
  • Suunto Award on Volunteering
  • AGM Summary
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Job Vacancy - Administrator
  • Child Protection Policy Update
  • Development Plan 2008-2010
  • AGM 2008 date announced
  • Job Descriptions
  • BI Course Date 26th January

         Visit the News Archives -     2007     2006    2005    2004    2003

    Instructor Development Event

    Updated - 22/12/08 UP

    There is to be an Instructor Development Event on 21st and 22nd February 09 at the Tearooms, Lough Fyne.
    This is to facilitate the Open Water Assessments of any aspiring BIs, RIs and Examiners who have completed all their pool assessments and lectures. This is NOT a Sport Diver or Master Diver training event.
    All candidates must register at SSAC HQ by Friday 6th February 2009 - see factsheet for all requirements.

    Crarae Quarry, Loch Fyne, closed for Christmas & New Year period

    Updated - 22/12/08 UP

    The Bistro and the car-park at Crarae Quarry, Loch Fyne will be closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays
    from 24th December 2008 until 8th January 2009.
    We look forward to welcoming divers again in the New Year.
    Posted by Keith Waugh

    ScotSAC AGM

    Updated - 21/12/08 UP
    This year the AGM is scheduled for 3pm on 21st March 2009 at Stirling University. A good turnout would be very much appreciated.

    Conference Organisers - Volunteers wanted!

    Updated - 3/12/08 UP
    We are currently seeking enthusiastic volunteers to lead and assist in the organisation of the 2009 Scottish Dive Conference. The 2008 dive conference in Oban was a great success. In 2009, we plan to build on this success, broaden the event and incorporate new ideas. Being part of the organising team is highly rewarding and motivating. If you would like to volunteer to take part, please contact for further information, an informal discussion or to register your interest. Volunteers should have some experience of events, negotiating with sponsors & partners, and advertising.

    Alex Ferguson

    Updated - 23/11/08 UP
    Alex Ferguson - Founder Member of SSAC

    It is with regret that we report the death of Alex Ferguson, who passed away on 22nd November at Erskine care home shortly before his 95th birthday. Alex was a founder member of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club in 1953 and was active as training officer for several years in the 1950's and 60's when the club met on Wednesday evenings at Ibrox baths in Glasgow. He was also proud of the continued development and expansion of the club long after his retirement. Alex joined us in celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2003. Funeral details, taking place at Daldowie crematorium, Sandyhills, Glasgow are available from

    ScotSAC Conference Success

    Updated - 18/11/08 UP
    A great day was had by well over 100 delegates at this years dive conference, taking place in Oban High School. 12 different speakers delivered a series of inspiring sessions, with something for everyone. The photo competition also sparked some excitement, being won by Tim Chamberlain of Napier University. Thanks to all who attended and had an enjoyable day. Further details on the event will be featured in Scottish Diver January 2009 audience

    ScotSAC Suunto Diver Award - Winners!

    Updated - 18/11/08 UP
    Congratulations to Jenny Young (West Lothian), Ian Smith (Musselburgh), David Fuller-Shapcott (Kelsac) Steve Younger (Napier), Phil Rodgers (Perth) and Iain Kennedy (Clydebank) who were all the deserving and lucky recipients of the first ever SSAC Suunto Diver award. The winners were announced and prizes issued by John Sinclair, General Manager of Suunto at our Dive Conference in Oban on 15th November. All six winners receive a Suunto D6 dive computer and SSAC jacket. Find out more about our winners in the January 2009 issue of Scottish Diver.   award

    New Website

    Updated - 14/11/08 UP

    Welcome to the new look website of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club. The site contains all your favourite features from the old site with plenty more to keep you busy. There are still a few links to fix and the training pages will be reviewed again over the next year or so.

    If you have difficulty finding what you are looking for, why not try our search facility, or contact the Webmaster. Please report any broken links to the Webmaster.


    Updated - 5/11/08 UP
    Hello All, Could I please ask that you read the e mail below, and if you are in agreement, add your signature to the petition reached by clicking on the link at the bottom of the message. You may wish to pass this to others who may support it.

    The RNLI survives totally on charitable donations, and exists only to save life. An increase in charges to use its emegency radio frequencies seems to have no reason or logic to it. The money invovled is a large sum to a charity, but small change to government. For information, use of maritime frequencies is without charge to leisure users, the Government appears to want to put the RNLI on the same charges as commercial users.     David, (Submitted by Alison Fish)

    The background:

    LIFEBOAT crews fear being scuppered by crippling new charges for using their radios from Ofcom, the communications regulator. The RNLI could see the price of using its VHF emergency frequencies rise to £250,000 under plans to charge the full commercial rate. The charity, which saves hundreds of lives every year currently pays an annual £48,000 at a discounted rate of 50 per cent. It relies on donations and fears the move will have a disastrous impact on fundraising. Peter Bradley, RNLI operations staff officer, said: 'It's a lot of money when you think in terms of lifeboat days and little old ladies collecting pound coins.'

    'We could buy several inshore lifeboats for the same amount.' 'The Government rely on us to provide this search-and-rescue service, at a cost of £124 million a year, but they want to charge us for doing it!'

    Ofcom has set out plans to bring 'market forces' into maritime and civil aviation communications in a policy it calls Administered Incentive Pricing. £250,000 represents an awful lot of charity collections, even more so in the current economic climate so, if like me you feel strongly enough about this, please sign the petition below.

    Congratulations Robert

    Updated - 5/11/08 UP
    Congratulations on the website to Robert Wilson (Penrith Branch) for becoming a master diver.

    November Newsletter

    Updated - 5/11/08 UP

    The November issue of the SSAC Newsletter is available here.

    If you haven't received an electronic copy of the newsletter emailed, we do not hold your email address. Contact HQ to provide your current email address and be included in future issues of the newsletter.

    Funded Course Spaces

    Updated - 19/10/08 UP
    As part of our committment to supporting volunteers, ensuring they have the appropriate training and skills to fulfill their roles we are pleased to announce that Branch Instructor, Regional Instructor, Heartstart, Oxygen Administration, and Diver First Aid courses will now be available free to SSAC members with immediate effect. Candidates will still be required to complete the relevant course booking form and pre-requisites. Providing appropriate training forms part of our new Volunteer Policy.

    Access Guidance

    Updated - 18/10/08 UP

    SSAC is currently developing guidance for divers on access to dive sites, following recent issues and reports.

    In the meantime, the following guidance is issued to divers on their rights and responsibilities. Please note, the following guidance applies only in Scotland and leglislation in England and Ireland varies.

    The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 provides us with the right of responsible, non-motorised, access to land and water for recreation and passage.  The rights of responsible access do not extend to motor vehicles which should be driven only on the public road and parked responsibly in recognised parking areas.  Although access rights to land and water are extensive, private gardens and the areas within the curtilage of a building are among the areas excluded.  Where an access taker acts in a manner that is illegal, including littering, they lose their right of responsible access.  For more information visit  Most complaints about diving, received by local authorities relate to irresponsible parking often in passing places on single track roads, litter and human excrement. 

    Access to Kenmore Point, Loch Fyne

    Updated - 03/10/08 UP

    Members may be aware that access to the shore road between Argyll Caravan Park and Furnace Quarry has recently been blocked following the installation of locked gates. The road provides access to dive sites including Kenmore Point, Stailion Rock and others. We understand that the Landowner and estate has taken these steps for reasons to include quantities of rubbish being dumped on the estate land, illegal camping and other anti social activity.

    We advise divers not to travel to Furnace expecting to be able to access the dives at Kenmore until this situation has been resolved.  SSAC is involved in trying to negotiate access on behalf of divers and any actions that may compromise these negotiations will not be appreciated nor in anyones interest. 

    In addition, SSAC is trying to gather evidence to support the claimed Vehicular Public Right of Way, and are receiving support from Argyll & Bute Council. If you have dived the area pre 1988, and have evidence such as a diving logbook then please assist by completing the questionnaire. Evidence may include photocopies of logbooks or dive books/guides. Please return completed questionnaires and evidence to SSAC Headquarters, The Cockburn Centre, 40 Bogmoor Place, Glasgow , G51 4TQ.


    Updated - 26/09/08 UP
    Congratulations to Andrea Smith and Fiona Shipp on attaining the qualification of Sport Diver during the summer break from Carlisle Sub-aqua Club.  Well done both of you and happy, safe diving.

    October Newsletter

    Updated - 26/09/08 UP

    The October issue of the SSAC Newsletter is available here. Please note the date of the Regional Instructor course was incorrectly printed in the version emailed to all members. The correct date is 24-26th October.

    If you haven't received an electronic copy of the newsletter emailed, we do not hold your email address. Contact HQ to provide your current email address and be included in future issues of the newsletter.

    Our Bucket List!

    Bridget Haughan and her friend Catherine, members from the Carlisle Branch are taking part in the Great North Run in aid of RNLI and would ideally we would love to raise enough to fully kit out at least one crewmember (circa £1,000) in the protective gear required to do their job.  If anyone reading this would like to pledge money to this cause our sponsorship website is .  You can also add comments to spur on our training.  Alternatively you can contact us via the Carlisle Subaqua Club Secretary, c/o 20 Cammock Crescent, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA2 4PE

    Find out more about their story here.



    Congratulations to Jerry M Sternberg and Fiona McWhirr, Grampian Branch who qualified as Sport Divers recently.

    Congratulations also to Andy & Shona Smith of West Lothian Branch on attaining their Sport Diver qualification.

    Further congratulations also to Martin Pike, of KELSAC, who achieved his sport diver award (age 16).

    Cumbernauld branch also with to congratulate Steven Corcoran on his Sport Diver award, and Scott Shaw, a new Master Diver. In Mussleburgh, congrats to George Carnie, recently qualified as a sport diver.
    Updated 29/08/08

    Sport Diver Training Day

    A sport diver training day will take place on Sunday 7th September at Loch Fyne Tearooms. If you plan to attend, please register in advance, providing contact details, and number of trainees. This will assist in the planning of instructors. Sport Diver trainees must attend with their BDO, or have written permission to do so. If you are a RI or Examiner and would like to assist, please register your availability by contacting HQ.
    Posted 7/8/08

    SSAC Basic Nitrox Course Dates


    The following dates are now available for the SSAC Basic Nitrox Course, in association with the International Technical Diving Agency (ITDA). This is an entry level qualification allowing divers to use up to 40% enriched air nitrox.

    • Saturday 4th October 2008
    • Saturday 6th December 2008

    Course cost £80


    • 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 is a classroom-based, one-day course. To book your place, complete the course booking form, and send to HQ along with 50% deposit.

    Posted 07/08/08

    Dive Conference 2008


    The 2008 SSAC Dive Conference is shaping up to be a full filled day with something for everyone. The event willl take place on Saturday 15th November at Oban High School.

    This year we welcome three well known names in British diving.

    • Martyn Farr; explorer and author and cave diver
    • John Bantin; diving journalist with Diver magazine
    • Claire Peddie; Chair of BSAC and technical diver

    Full details of the conference will be available from early September.

    Tickets are available to purchase online in advance from

    The event is sponsored by Historic Scotland and will also include a prize raffle, photographic competition, and workshops on photoshop, archaeology, marine life, club development and more.

    All divers welcome!

    Posted 02/08/08

    SSAC Suunto Diver Award
    for Volunteering
    Deadline extended - 30th September


    Time is running out to nominate SSAC volunteers who contribute to your club and deserve recognition and reward. If you know of a member who donates time to your club, organises events and trips, delivers training, etc, then why not demonstrate your appreciation by nominating them for the award.

    This award is sponsored by Suunto Diving UK and the prize for 6 winners will include a Suunto D6 dive computer (worth £600) and personalised certificate and SSAC embroidered jacket.

    This contribution could be effort that has encouraged new people to become divers, or encouraged existing divers to complete further training, organisation of dive expeditions, or some activity that has raised the profile of diving in a positive way. It may be an Instructor or Branch Diving Officer who has encouraged and developed new divers and delivered training.

    Nominations are open to Members of SSAC with a closing date of 30th September. A judging panel will identify 6 top volunteers from nominations with the results being announced at our Diving Conference on 15th November. Full details and nomination form available here. Further information is also available in the original news item.

    Posted 02/08/08

    Demonstrating our Commitment to Equity


    The SSAC has recently demonstrated its commitment equity by embarking on the 'Equity Standard - A Framework for Sport'. Equity is about fairness in sport, and it is a requirement of all National Governing Bodies to demonstrate their commitment by achieving the Equity Standard.

    SSAC is fully committed to the principles of equity of opportunity and has approved a draft action Plan and draft Equity Policy. From early 2009 we will begin recording some additional information on our membership forms to better understand the needs of members and identifying any potential target groups for growth of membership. We welcome comments and input from members and branches on the implementation of equity. Further information on the Equity standard is available from
    Please send any comments to :

    Posted 20/07/08

    Scottish Marine Bill


    Over the last four years, MCS has been campaigning for a Scottish Marine Bill, and has been chairing a joint campaign for a Scottish Marine Bill over the last year. As you may have read seen in the press, the consultation on a Bill has been launched by the Scottish Government, closing date 4th October 2008. Please see our joint email below and add your voice in reply to the consultation to the First Minister. This is YOUR chance to help make sure the marine environment is at the heart of this important legislation.

    A Scottish Marine Bill is a unique opportunity to stop the deterioration of Scottish seas.

    Posted 20/07/08 

    Visit the
    campaign website

    Adrian Thomas joins SSAC Board


    The board welcomes Adrian Thomas who has been co-opted as a Director of SSAC from 16th July 2008.  Adrian is relatively new to diving having started his training in Cyprus 2005 under the PADI scheme.  Adrian works in the University of Limerick in Ireland where he is now a Sport Diver and member of the thriving UL Sub Aqua Club (SSAC branch). He is already actively engaged in helping with the finalisation of our new web-site, which will have a number of new features. His experience with Scouting, hill walking and, more recently, caving should be beneficial as he has previously been both treasurer and chairman of the Speleological Union of Ireland (SUI) which is the national governing body of the sport of caving in Ireland.  Adrian's primary diving interest is underwater photography.

    Posted 17/07/08


    Congratulations to Orna Gilchrist, Musselburgh branch who qualified as Sport Diver on the 11th July. Congratulations also to Jan Richardson of Borders Sub-Aqua Club on completing her 100th dive on 16/07/08 at St Abbs. Congratulations also to Sarah Gibson and Lloyd Martin of Auchenharvie Branch who both recently qualified as Sport divers. Well done from all the Branch Instructors. 
    Updated 15/07/08

    Regional Instructor and Examiner Courses


    The next Regional Instructor Training weekend will take place on 24th-26th October 2008. This is a residential course, commencing on Friday evening (approx 1930hrs), and will end on Sunday afternoon. Friday evening and Saturday will be classroom based activities, with Sunday as a water based training day. Further information on the role of a Regional Instructor and Regional Coach.

    The inclusive cost of the course is funded by SSAC to eligible candidates who meet the pre-requisites, hold previous experience and demonstrate potential future involvement in the role of RI/RC. Places are limited to 8 candidates. Candidates must meet the pre-requisites prior to course booking and course attendance.

    Following attendance at a Regional Instructor training weekend, candidates must complete any training actions, and pass assessments on theory, pool and open water.

    A provisional date has been set for an Examiners course on Saturday 23rd August. This is a one day classroom based course, which is followed by assessments at a later date. For the role description of an Examiner click here.

    Too apply for a place on either course, complete the relevant Course Application Form:

    Posted 08/07/08

    Apeks Regulator Recall


    Apeks have recently announced a limited recall of Apeks TX, ATX and XTX 2nd Stages. This is limited to those 2nd stages/octopus purchased before July 2008 that have not undergone an authorised annual service. Further details can be found here

    Posted 07/07/08

    Sport Diver Congratulations


    Congratulations to Mehran Behroozer, West End Divers Branch, who has recently gain his Sport Diver award.

    Posted 06/07/08

    Summer Solstice Success!


    Despite a poor weather forecast, this years SSAC summer solstice event turned out a great success. Ten Branches and around 50 divers attended the event on 22nd June at Quarry Point Tearooms, Loch Fyne and enjoyed a number of dives, chatted with other divers and bought some bargains in the car boot sale.

    Posted 12/06/08

    Effects of Child Protection on Volunteering in Sport


    Earlier this year, sportscotland carried out research into the effects of child protection legislation on volunteering in sport. SSAC took part in this research, and some of our members completed the online survey. Congratulations to Cumbernauld Branch who were the successfull winners the prize draw, receiving £200 towards sports equipment.

    The findings of the research included:

    • The findings challenge the idea that disclosure checks create widespread threats and barriers to volunteers.  In principle, support was high for both child protection generally and the need for disclosure checks specifically. 
    • Interviews revealed a concern from agency representatives that clubs tend to do a minimum in relation to child protection.  For example, volunteer recruitment may be based on availability and clean disclosure rather than including other aspects of suitability.
    • There is a risk that those with non-related past criminal convictions will not put themselves forward to volunteer with children and young people.
    • 86% of clubs had designated child protection officers in place, although only 75% of club representatives surveyed had seen best practice guidelines from sportscotland and CHILDREN 1ST regarding child protection officers.
    • Multiple disclosure checks for volunteers working across organisations were highlighted as a concern by 65% of volunteers and members in sports clubs.  However, the new legislation coming in to place in 2009 should help eliminate this concern.

    Full details can be found on the sportscotland website. For more information on child protection in SSAC, visit our child protection pages

    Posted 23/06/08

    Ken Farrow


    Ken Farrow, a leading diver from North East Scotland and known to many of our members, sadly passed away on 2nd June following a dive off Orkney. Ken was a well known diver, involved in both SSAC and BSAC and former chairman of SCOTFED. Many members will remember his regular contributions to Scottish Diver, and presentations at various events and dive conferences throughout the years. Our thoughts are with his family.

    Posted 18/06/08

    National Diving Officer Appointment


    The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Nigel Spike as National Diving Officer, after being co-opted to the Board until the AGM in spring 2009. Nigel’s appointment follows the recent vacancy for a NDO.
    Andrew Murray, Chairman

    Posted 12/06/08

    Carlisle Branch Congratulations


    Congratulations go to Jim Cookson & David Haughan on successfully completing their Master Diver assessments in May.  Well done both of you and happy diving.

    Posted 10/06/08

    Dive Conference 2008


    The 2008 SSAC Dive Conference will take place on Saturday 15th November at Oban High School. Building on the success of the 2007 conference, we will have an action packed line up of speakers, break out rooms, prize raffle and photographic competition.

    All divers welcome. Further details will be announced as they are confirmed.

    Posted 04/06/08

    Summer Solstice

    • Sunday   22nd   June
    • Tearooms,   near Furnace, Loch Fyne. Buddy up and Dive in!
    •  £5  ( includes £3 food voucher  and  £2 to charity)
    • Divers' Boot Sale  - Sell / Buy between dives
    • Please email : with approximate numbers to help Tearoom staff cater.

    Posted 04/06/08

    Walt Deas


    It is with great sadness that we report on the sudden dealth of Walt Deas, honorary life member of SSAC, and leading diving author, following a stroke. Walt was an inspiration to many, and played an important part in the Scottish Sub Aqua Club for many years. He founded the first dive club in Scotland in 1953 and after moving to Australia became an internationally famous underwater photographer film maker and author. Our thoughts go to his family and in particular to his wife Jean. A full obituary to Walt will feature in the July/August issue of Scottish Diver.

    Posted 02/06/08

    Glasgow 2014 Legacy Consultation


    The Scottish Government are currently conducting a series of events as part of the next stage of the Glasgow 2014 Legacy Plan. SSAC has previously submitted a response to the initial consultation and details can be found here.

    The series of events is an excellent opportunity for all participants of sport to have their say including volunteers, instructors and officials. There are plans for further meetings and we will update when available. Details for the first 4 meetings are below.  All meetings will start about 6pm and last until 7.30pm. People who wish to attend are requested to register their interest by emailing :

    Date    Location       
    27 May  Motherwell- Water Sports Centre, Country Park  
    28 May  Ayr-Citadel Leisure Centre     
    9 June  Edinburgh- City Chambers on High St    
    12 June Dundee- The Hilton Hotel, Earl Grey Place      

    Posted 16/05/08

    Summer Seasearch Diving


    Spaces remain for a Seasearch trip to the Sound of Mull on 7-8 June 2008 and an Observer course in St Andrews on 31 May. Contact Callum Duncan for further information or see below.

    • Seasearch weekend for flameshells and fan mussels in the Sound of Mull, 7-8 June 2008 - MV Silver Swift for a weekend's diving on the World Ocean's Day weekend to help map the important seabeds of the Sound of Mull. We will be looking to verify sightings of flameshells, horsemussel beds and an alleged fan mussel (!), among other habitats, that can contribute toward the Sound of Mull SSMEI project. Pick-up will be from Oban at around 0900-0930 on the morning of Saturday 7th June and we will stay overnight in Tobermory at the Park Lodge Guest House. This will allow two dives per day, possibly three on the Saturday, depending on tides and times.
    • Seasearch Observer Course, St Andrews 31 May 2008 - A course for anybody who is interested in learning about marine life and the Seasearch project. St Andrews on Saturday 31st May 2008, cost £30 which includes course pack.

    Seasearch northeast Scotland - The following Seasearch trips have also been arranged by our northeast Scotland Seasearch Co-ordinator Marion Perutz. Please get in touch directly with Marion if you are interested in the Cromarty and South-eastern Moray Firth trips.

    • 14th 15th June 2008 - Cromarty Firth - On board the infamous Top Cat, with world-class skipper Bill Ruck, you will survey some of the un-explored reaches of the Moray Firth east of Cromarty within the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation. Potential sites include the Three Kings Reef with all its legends (Bill will brief us on these!) and the North and South Sutors.  Plus, this is a top class dolphin spotting area so fingers crossed, we may well have above water entertainment.  If all this isn’t sufficient attraction, you may also be interested to hear that Bill Ruck now has an onboard ROV, so we will be able to check out sites before we dive them from the boat.
    • 5th 6th July 2008 – south-eastern Moray Firth - Again on board the TopCat, this survey will take us to the eastern reaches of the Moray Firth between the Portknockie and Kinnaird Head. We will explore sites such as the archway of the Bowfiddle Rock and the steep cliffs around Trouphead.

    Posted 10/05/08

    100th Dive - Congratulations

    Big congratulations to Leah Gibson for reaching her 100th dive on Monday 5th May at Dunbar from all at the Forth branch!

    Posted 10/05/08

    Buddy Breathing Ascent Changes


    As a result of intensive research of diving practices and incidents across a number of UK and worldwide diving organisations, and in response to a number of discussions internal to SSAC, the National Diving Council (NDC) has made a recommendation for a change to the training schedule.

    The Board has now approved, with immediate effect, to suspend all open water buddy breathing (shared) ascents, at both Sport Diver and Master Diver level until ratification at the next Annual General Meeting in 2009.  Furthermore, the carrying of an Alternative Air Source (or equivalent) is to be made mandatory for all Members from the 2009 AGM.

    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(s) before proceeding to the 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 suitable safety stop(s) before proceeding to the surface.  Care must be taken not to exceed 10m/min on ascent.  Dive Buddy 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 a suitable safety stop(s) before proceeding to the surface.  Care must be taken not to exceed 10m/min on ascent.  Dive Buddy must be of at least Sport Diver Level.’

    In addition, the following item shall be added to the Diving Rules listed on page 11:

    • ‘No Member shall dive without carrying an alternative air source to deliver air to a Buddy in an emergency’

    Previous editions of the Qualification Record book may differ to the above.  Please confirm with your Branch Diving Officer or Regional Coach that you are using the most recent version.

    Trainees working towards either Sport or Master Diver Award who have not yet completed the buddy breathing (shared) ascents will not be required to perform these assessments.  Branch Diving Officer’s should make a note in the trainee’s Qualification Record book to record the change in training requirement.

    The NDC and the Board are committed to ensure as far as possible that 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.

    A list of Frequently Asked Questions is available, and the above text is available as a PDF.

    Posted 06/05/08

    Volunteer Director Vacancies


    The Scottish Sub Aqua Club is currently seeking volunteers to fill vacant roles on the Board. The vacant roles are:  

    • National Diving Officer - responsible for training and diving activities and leading and managing the work of the National Diving Council.
    • Secretary - responsible for communications, official duties required by Companies House, preparing minutes of meetings of the Board. 
    • Director - responsible for supporting projects identified in the annual plan which may include marketing, communications, events, development or membership.   

    These are highly rewarding roles, where you will have the opportunity to make an impact on the future of the SSAC and develop your own skills. Directors of the Board are responsible for strategic direction and decision making as well as day to day operational activities.

    Full role descriptions are available here.

    The posts are open to all Members with suitable skills and experience. Interested Members should register their interest by completing the form and returning to headquarters by 30th May 2008. Volunteers will be invited to meet with the Board and may be co-opted to the Board until the next AGM in 2009 where the normal nomination process will be carried out.

    SSAC is run entirely by volunteers and relies on Members of all levels and experience to contribute to our aims. Our Development Plan 2008-2010 identifies a number of key projects to enhance SSAC, delivering the needs of the Members, Branches and partners.

    Now is your chance to be part of the team to make a difference.

    For an informal discussion on any of the above roles, contact Andrew Murray, Chairman at  

    Posted 06/05/08

    Membership Database


    Following the upgrade of our membership database at Headquarters, we are verifying the email addresses for all Members. Members for whom we currently hold an email address have recently been sent a verification email asking them to confirm their e-mail address.

    If you have not received an email from SSAC Headquarters, then we do not currently hold an email address for you. To add your email, please contact with your membership number and Branch.

    Included in the features of our new database will be electronic membership renewal reminders and newsletters to all Members. Branch Secretaries will receive a full Branch list monthly by email, along with a summary of the Branch information we hold.  

    Posted 05/05/08

    Heartstart, Oxygen Administration and Diver First Aid Courses


    The following dates are available for the SSAC Oxygen Administration and Heartstart courses.

    Sunday 31st August


    Sunday 14th September


    Sunday 9th November


    Both courses cost a total of £35 per candidate with a £17.50 deposit. Members wishing to also include the Diver First Aid Course (4hrs) may do so for an inclusive price of £54. There are no pre-requsites other than current membership of SSAC.

    Branches may request additional dates for any of the 3 courses subject to minimum of 8 candidates. Please contact the course director, Bert Smith for further information.

    To book, please download the booking form and return to HQ.

    Posted 26/04/08

    Seasearch Observer Courses

    • St Andrews 31 May 2008 Cost £30 which includes course pack.
    • Kirkwall, Orkney 26th July 2008 Cost to be confirmed

    The Seasearch Observer Course is a dry, classroom-based, one-day course and does not require diving. Often, diving is arranged on the Sunday so that participants can get their two dives signed off, but it is not a requirement for the one-day course. The Seasearch Observer course is NOT a marine identification course, although there is a marine identification component to it. It is principally designed to give you the confidence to go out on your dive with a slate and return simple, useful information about the seabed and its associated wildlife. You do not need to know latin names for anything!

    About a typical Weekend
    Saturday - The course starts at 0900 and is along the lines of the following timetable. You will see that the course consists of some introductory talks on marine life and habitats, followed by simple position-fixing from charts, then practising seabed recording from video-clips culminating with participants completing a (non-assessed) Seasearch form after watching a video dive.

    Sunday - Diving on the Sunday is dependent on who is interested and of course weather.

    Minimum qualifications: BSAC / SSAC Sports Diver / PADI Advanced Open Water + 20 openwater dives, 10 of which should be in temperate waters.

    Please see the website for further details or email Marion Perutz,

    Posted 25/4/08

    Policy consultation for the marine historic environment


    Scottish Ministers have launched a consultation on their proposals for policies on the marine historic environment and potential new legislation to protect it. Details of this consultation will feature in the May - June issue of Scottish Diver.

    The 12-week consultation period invites views, from the public. The responses from the consultation will help form the basis of the policy paper which will be released, by Scottish Ministers, in final form in 2009. A copy of the consultation can be downloaded here .

    Any Members wishing to respond to the consultation can do so directly or by sending comments to SSAC for compilation. The consultation closes on 30th May.

    Scotland's seas: towards understanding their state


    In summer 2007, the Scottish Government asked Fisheries Research Services (FRS), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to start work on assessing the state of Scotland's seas. Knowledge about Scotland's marine environment is important as a baseline as the Sustainable Seas Task Force (SSTF) develops its work and a consultation paper is prepared for the Scottish Marine Bill.

    "Scotland's Seas: Towards Understanding their State" was launched at the SSTF plenary meeting on April 9 2008 and paves the way for a full "State of Scotland's Seas" to be published in 2010. This report is also available in pdf format and includes a brief section on the historic environment (p141-143). Additional papers from the work of SSTF are now available at     Posted 11/04/08

    Membership Subscriptions


    At the recent AGM we notified our Members of an planned increase in membership subscriptions of £2.00 per member added to annual subscription rates. This will be applied at a level increase to all membership subscription types. We had no increase in subscriptions during 2007.  

    Copies of updated membership forms are available in the join us section. The new subscriptions will apply on all memberships processed after 1st May 2008.

    Membership Type

    Annual Subscription

    Joining Fee







    Junior (14-17 yrs)



    Associate (non diving)









    Junior Snorkeler



    Further details are available from our membership section.

    Members receive a range of membership benefits in return for the membership subscription including third party liability insurance, 6 issues of Scottish Diver, structured training programme, internationally recognised qualifications, subsidised annual diving conference and training events, regional coaching network, child protection guidelines and support, discounts on leisurewear and merchandise, training materials, and access to a network of training and diving Branches throughout the country.

    Posted 07/04/08

    Training Day Success


    Well done to all those who attended the Sport Diver training day on 6th April at the Tearooms, Loch Fyne. Depsite a poor forecast and snowy start, the weather turned out bright and sunny. Six Branches were represented with a range of Sport Diver trainees participating in training and assessments. Well done to the Regional Instructor and Branch Instructor candidates who also completed assessments. Thanks to all those involved, and particularly the Regional Instructors and Examiner who travelled to the event.

    Details of future training days is available here. Please remember to register your interest, otherwise we cannot guarantee availability of Instructors. If you are a RI or Examiner and would like to assist in a future training day, please also register your availability by contacting HQ.

    Posted 07/04/08

    New Staff at Headquarters


    We are delighted to welcome Sharon McKenzie to SSAC Headquarters as our new Administrator. Sharon will work alongside Hazel McBride and together will cover the office hours Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.

    Andy Murray, Chairman

    Posted 31/03/08

    Sharon McKenzie

    NDC Training Calendar 2008

    The National Diving Council have announced details of some training events for 2008.


    Event / Course


    More Information

    6th April

    Sport Diver Training

    Tearooms, Loch Fyne

    Register your interest here

    Sun 20th April

    Master Diver Training

    Tearooms, Loch Fyne

    Register your interest here

    Sat 31st May

    Branch Instructor Course

    SSAC HQ, Glasgow

    Course Information

    Sun 22nd June

    Summer Solstice Social Dive

    Tearooms, Loch Fyne

    Social day of diving and social activity. More details to follow.

    Sun 31st August

    Heartstart & Oxygen Administration Course

    SSAC HQ, Glasgow

    Course Information

    Sun 7th September

    Sport Diver Training

    Tearooms, Loch Fyne

    Register your interest here

    Sat 13th September

    Branch Instructor Course

    Napier University, Edinburgh

    Course Information

    Sun 21st September

    Master Diver Training

    Tearooms, Loch Fyne

    Register your interest here

    3rd - 5th October

    Regional Instructor Course

    National Watersports Centre, Cumbrae


    25th - 26th October

    SSAC Dive Conference



    Sun 9th November

    Heartstart & Oxygen Administration Course

    SSAC HQ, Glasgow

    Course Information

    Sat 22nd November

    Branch Instructor Course

    SSAC HQ, Glasgow

    Course Information

    Saturday 31st January 2009

    Branch Instructor Course

    SSAC HQ, Glasgow

    Course Information

    Updated 27/04/08

    SSAC Suunto Diver Award - Recognising our Volunteers

    Volunteers are core to our sport and many Members of SSAC would not have gained the diving skills, experience or enthusiasm had it not been for volunteers. Many of us will think of an inspirational individual who enabled our progression and enjoyment of diving. Recognising and rewarding such volunteers is an important step in continuing our work to develop the aims of the SSAC.

    SSAC has partnered with Suunto Diving UK to launch the Suunto Diver Award 2008;  an award to recognise and reward volunteers who have made a significant contribution to the sport. This contribution could be effort that has encouraged new people to become divers, or encouraged existing divers to complete further training, organisation of dive expeditions, or some activity that has raised the profile of diving in a positive way. It may be an Instructor or Branch Diving Officer who has encouraged and developed new divers and delivered training.

    Nominations are open to Members of SSAC with a closing date of 31st August. A judging panel will identify 6 top volunteers from nominations with the results being announced at our Diving Conference in October. 6 recipients will be recognised by receiving a personalised certificate and profilled in Scottish Diver. We will also reward all 6 award recipients with a Suunto D6 watch size dive computers and embroidered SSAC jacket. Full details and nomination form available here.

    Posted 16/03/08

    AGM Summary


    The 55th AGM of SSAC took place on 16th March 2008. The Board of Directors and their term of appointments was confirmed as:


    Andrew Murray


    National Diving Officer

    Kevin Miller



    Jim Anderson



    Iain Graham



    Jack Morrison

    2008 – 2011


    Archie Gillies



    Douglas Forman


    The following Members were elected as Members of the National Diving Council

    • Marion Brown
    • Graeme Forsyth
    • Sam Paske
    • Kevin Watson
    • Gordon Young

    Also reported at the meeting was the appointment of Marion Brown as Lead Child Protection Officer.

    Members voted in favour of the proposed change to the Byelaws, resulting in the new minimum age for aqualung training being 14 years. A full report of the AGM will appear in the May/June issue of Scottish Diver.

    Posted 16/03/08

    Annual General Meeting


    The 55th Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club will take place on 16th March 2008 in Lecture Theatre A3, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA.  Doors will be open from 1245hrs. All members are invited to attend. Please note that in accordance with Company Law, only current members of the Company are entitled to participate in the meeting. Current Members are those with up to date subscription, or Honorary Members. Please bring your current certificate of membership with you for verification.

    The Agenda for the meeting, minutes of the 54th AGM of Scottish Sub Aqua Club and a proposal voting form have been issued to all Members by post. If you have not received these documents, please contact us.

    Posted 23/02/08

    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 part time post, working 21 hrs per week. Working hours are 9am - 5pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. The hourly rate is £7.50.

    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.

    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.

    Closing date 12 noon on Wednesday 5th March 2008. Interviews to be held on Wednesday 12th March 2008.

    Download the job advert

    Download the job description

    Download an application form

    Posted 18/02/08

    Child Protection and Volunteering Research


    SportScotland and Children 1st have commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield University to explore the opinions of club members, parents and volunteers towards child protection legislation and disclosure checking. This research is important as it will allow sportscotland and Children 1st to appropriately support Governing Bodies, clubs and volunteers in the lead up to, and following, the imminent legislative changes in child protection and disclosure checking. The main survey can be accessed electronically here. The questionnaire should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and is aimed at club members, parents of junior members and volunteers. The returns are completely anonymous and cannot be linked to the individual completing them, but we will enter all completed questionnaires into a draw and one club will win £200 of sports equipment as appropriate to them.

    Lectures on Ice Diving and Omani Clownfish


    Edinburgh University Sub-Aqua Club have announced details of 2 lectures:

    • Ice Diving by Dr Ben Panter - Ice Diving Instructor
    • Tue 26th February, start 7:30, Lecture Theatre 183, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL.
    • The talk will be about his experiences on ice diving in the Alps - 80m vis and about as far from the sea as you can get in Europe! He will give a basic introduction to how it all works and lots of photos to convince you to have a go yourself.
    • Finding NEMO: An Underwater Arabian Adventure by Dr Stephen D. Simpson - Tropical Fish Ecologist
    • Tue 11th March, start 7:30, Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton St, Edinburgh EH8 9LE
    • During Christmas 2006, 25 Edinburgh students travelled over 6000 km in 4WDs, completed 200 man-dives, and found coral reefs never dived on before. All for the sake of little orange fish. Hear all about the expedition, discover why the Omani clownfish is so special, and find out how this research will help save reef fish throughout the world.

    For both talks: entry fee £2 at the door, no tickets. Llast minute updates at here or email Max Ruffert

    Child Protection Policy Update 2008


    An updated Child Protection Policy is now available, having been adopted by SSAC for implementation across all Branches. Branches are advised to ensure they have the latest copy of the policy and associated forms.

    Changes of note include:

    A new Child Protection page has been created. The full policy document is available here.

    Posted 27/01/08

    German U-Boat found off Eyemout


    The German WW1 U-boat U12 has been found off Eyemouth on the south east of Scotland. The 60m submarine was hunted and sunk by the British destroys HMS Ariel, Acheron and Attack.

    For years the position of WW1 U12 has perplexed local divers. Noted international historian Clive Cussler was thought to have found the wreck in 1984 after only a couple of hours searching. However, previous dives on admiralty positions and the position given by Cussler have proved fruitless in submarines, but bountiful in steamships.

    Local divers Jim Macleod and Martin Sinclair with the help of Marine Quest Dive Charters and renowned historian and researcher Kevin Heath formed a team to finally uncover the final resting place of U12. The wreck itself has great historical importance as it was the first submarine to have an aeroplane carried on it’s deck for deployment at sea, an unusual concept, which proved to be a limited experiment for this boat. An early WW1 design of submarine, U12 had a two stroke engine running on kerosene (paraffin) driving twin stern propellers.

    The wreck of the submarine lies in just under 50m depth lying bolt upright on a seabed of fine sand which bounces the light making for year round visibility in the region of 15m. It is believed that this site has not been previously visited by divers. Key identifying features include the two forward and two aft firing torpedo tubes, six conning tower portholes, apparent damage to the port side of the submarine due to the ramming of the boat by HMS Ariel during U12s final engagement.

    The wreck is a war grave, nineteen German sailors died, there was no disturbance of the site nor the removal of any artefact. Hans Kratzch commanded U12 and went down with his boat. After the engagement U12s conning tower hatch could only partially open, dooming most of the crew from leaving the sinking submarine. There were ten survivours from the other two hatches, these men were picked up by the heavily damaged HMS Ariel, recovering two men despite having considerable bow damage, the other survivors were saved by the rest of the search flotilla. The dive was conducted from the Eyemouth registered North Star dive boat. An Offshore 105 fitted with a tail lift to help heavily equipped divers from the water. The boat is operated by father and son team, Jim and Iain Easingwood, from their dive centre based at the Harbourside in Eyemouth. Kevin Heath is an Orkney based researcher and historian. His work has been instrumental in the noted location and identification of U-102 and U-92 in 2007. The German Authorities are being made aware of the actual position of U-12. . This submarine should not be confused with the WWII U-12 which lies in the English Channel. This submarine was given Controlled Site Status under Statutory Instrument 2006 No. 2616. (this effectively bans all diving) The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designation of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2006

    Posted 05/12/07

    Scottish Sub Aqua Club Development Plan 2008-2010


    The Board is pleased to launch our latest development plan, which sets out the aims of the Company for the next 3 years. Thank you to all those who were involved in the consultation exercises during the formation of the plan, including all those who completed the member survey in 2006.

    Some highlights for 2008 include:

    • New website
    • Relocation of Headquarters
    • Recruitment of additional staffing
    • Updated child protection policy
    • Master Diver lecture materials
    • Dive conference

    We are grateful to Sportscotland for their continued support and investment in our developlemt. Our plan has already been submitted and our funding for 2008 agreed.

    A copy of the plan can be found here.

    Posted 11/05/07

    AGM 2008 Date


    The date of the 2008 Annual General Meeting has now been set for Sunday 16th March at Stirling University. Further information will be issued by post to all Members in February.

    Posted 11/05/07

    Job Descriptions


    During our modernisation process in 2006, a number of job descriptions for key posts were developed in conjunction with our HR advisor. Job Descriptions have now been developed for many other posts including

    • Branch Instructor
    • Regional Instructor
    • Examiner
    • Regional Coach
    • Branch Diving Officer

    A copy of all SSAC Job Descriptions can be found here.

    Posted 4/1/08

    Branch Instructor Training Course Date


    Places are available on next Branch Instructor courses which will take place on Saturday 26th January 2008.

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


    • 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.

    Members who have crossed over from another organisation and have alternative Instructor qualifications are invited to contact the BI Course Director for the requirements.

    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. A copy of the Branch Instructor Job Description can be found here.

    Further information on the award is available here.

    Andy Murray, Course Director

    Posted 4/1/08