ScotSAC News 2009


General Diving News


ScotSAC News


  • Congratulations lads
  • Underwater Archaeology Course
  • Have you taken photos of St Kilda Caves?
  • Can you help the BBC?
  • Access Issues at Quarry View Tearoom
  • Dive NorthEast 2009
  • Feedback from Clubs requested
  • Shark Tagging Programme
  • Underwater Photography News
  • Manta Fest Photo Competition
  • Scottish shipwrecks in the papers
  • Irvine Sub Aqua Barbeque
  • Underwater Archaeology Fieldschool
  • Submarine historians wanted
  • Core Paths Consultation
  • Congrats to Liam and John
  • Radio Alert March 5th
  • Sharkatag2009
  • Coral Reefs Survey
  • Core Paths to make a Splash
  • Anchors Away!
  • Crarae Quarry Open Again
  • 15/12/09
  • Suunto Awards 2009
  • Sandy McPherson joins the Board
  • Kate Jenkins joins new ScotSAC HQ
  • Conference poster and flyer
  • ScotSAC on the move
  • ScotSAC Conference Poster released
  • ScotSAC Conference makes headline news
  • Suunto Award deadline extended
  • ScotSAC Company Secretary needed
  • HQ moves to Edinburgh
  • ScotSAC Full Time Job Opportunity
  • IMMEDIATE changes to ScotSAC Diving Rules
  • New ScotSAC Dive Slate
  • Regional Instructor Training Course Dates.
  • ScotSAC Suunto Diver Award for Volunteering
  • Summer Solstice Dive
  • Alternative Air Source now obligatory
  • Safeguarding & Protecting Children w/shop
  • ScotSAC AGM Invitation
  • CP Action Plan
  • January Newsletter
  • Update to Child Protection Legislation
  • Alert - Loch Fyne Access Issues

         Visit the News Archives -  2008   2007     2006    2005    2004    2003

    The Suunto Awards 2009

    Updated - 15/12/09 UP
    Once again ScotSAC has great pleasure in announcing the recipients of this year’s Suunto Awards. For those of you who are not aware of this award we were approached two years ago by John Sinclair, general manager of Suunto UK with a proposal to award six Suunto D6 computers to branch members who, in the opinion of their fellow branch members have made a significant contribution to the branch and helped promote diving in general. Suunto were one of the first companies to produce computers for diving and have always been at the forefront of computer technology. They have introduced many innovations such as mandatory safety stops and their computers give the user personal options to introduce a more conservative algorithm. However all these innovations have diver safety in mind.  This year there were 11 submissions and the selection panel had a difficult job deciding on who the recipients would be. All entrants would have been worthy of the award and those who were unsuccessful this year can be nominated by their branch next year. Suunto have very kindly agreed to sponsor the award for a third year and ScotSAC are proud and delighted to have Suunto recognise our hard working dedicated members with this valuable award. Details of how to enter wil be posted on the website and in this magazine early next year. Members of the Board and NDC are not eligible for the award. Here are this years winners with a short extract from their branch submission.

    Craig Robertson, Perth Branch
    Craig has held Perth Sub Aqua Club together through changing times. He is always enthusiastic and this transfers to the members of the club. Not only involved in the training and planning dives he has been a major force behind the club’s fundraising events this year and also organised the club’s 45th anniversary “do” at the end of last year.

    Alistair Ried, Kilmarnock Branch
    After completion of Sport Diver qualification Alistiar volunteered to become equipment officer. His next position was Secretary and has continued to do an excellent job. His enthusiasm for diving winter or summer and especially training new members has if anything become greater. Alistair is the guy who holds the summer barbeques at his home so that “the lads and lasses can have a get together”. He keeps the rib at his home and maintains it and any other piece of kit that needs attention. He never misses an opportunity to put up posters to attract new members, he is a credit to Scottish Diving.

    Pepijn Van de Ven, University of Limerick Branch
    Pep is always involved in our club’s activities. From attending the UL Clubs and Societies meetings every fortnight to servicing regs, he relentlessly gives up his spare time to ensure our branch of ScotSAC continues to thrive. This has amounted in ULSAC being voted among our peers as University of Limerick Club of the Year 2008/2009 ; no mean feat when there are 33 other clubs active on campus vying for this prestigious title.

    James Anthony, West Lothian Branch
    Time and again he sacrifices his own diving in order to lead a nervous newcomer on their first tentative steps into our fantastic sport, often trading his entire Sunday for only a few brief minutes underwater as an anxious student expends their air in double quick time. Not content with the generosity he already displays as a branch instructor, James also shoulders the critical responsibility of branch equipment officer. James is the absolute epitome of “giving something back”. Without the selfless generosity of volunteers like him the club system upon which ScotSAC is founded would be much the poorer.

    Dorothy Kisielewski, Stirling University Branch
    Dorothy, or Dot to all who know her, has been diving with Stirling University club since she was at the university herself 14 or 15 years ago. She has progressed from trainee to master diver to instructor. She happily gives up her Friday nights and weekends to train our trainees all year round, whatever the weather. She can always be relied upon. She helps and supports the club in any way she can and has just been unanimously voted in as BDO by the students. Dot is a grandmother and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, yet that does not stop her from diving any chance she gets. Her enjoyment and love of diving is infectious; you are guaranteed to have lots of laughs and a great time diving with her.

    Richard Stow, Carlisle Branch
    As our longest serving member Richard’s enthusiasm and unstinting support for the club in good and not so good times has been an example to us all.In his 45 years of membership he has held just about every post on the committee, some more than once. Over the years he has acted as mentor to numerous trainee Branch Instructors, helping and guiding them to become an asset to the branch and to ScotSAC. Branch Diving Officers both past and present gratefully acknowledge the encouragement and support given to them by Richard.

    Sandy McPherson joins the ScotSAC Board

    Updated - 15/12/09 UP

    Congratulations to Sandy McPherson who has recently been appointed to the Board of ScotSAC. Sandy led the team who ran the very successful ScotSAC Conference in Eyemouth in Novermber 09. We'll let Sandy tell you a bit about himself:

    I had my first dive when on holiday in Egypt in 1995. It was at Nama Bay where a sun bleached South African girl (the instructor) controlled my buoyancy, while leading me round the Near Garden dive site showed me a big shoal of glass fish. In my excitement I was down to 50 bar in 20 minutes! I started a PADI open water course the next day intending to dive when I went on holiday abroad but I knew then I couldn't wait a year before my next fix.

    Shortly after returning home to Musselburgh I noticed that a new club had started. I joined and thanks to one particularly enthusiastic instructor was soon training 3 days a week. I found I enjoyed diving in Scotland just as much as the Red Sea and soon I spent my spare time and cash on my new hobby.

    I became a BI and then the club expedition organiser. MUSAC was founded by a group of enthusiastic and experienced instructors so there has always been a strong training culture there. It rubbed off on me because I love teaching and introducing others to the sea. I enjoy photography and bought a camera before a dry suit. My first 90 or so dives were done in a wet suit which wasn't a big deal then as we all did our training in wet suits anyway. I cant get into my old 6mm wetsuit now as it has shrunk! (you sure that's the reason? - Ed.)


    I very rarely have a bad dive and it is a great escape. I never get tired watching large shoals of fish and it is particularly exciting finding some on a wreck.  My favourite sites are in the Sound of Mull and Scapa Flow. I am always looking forward to going back to somewhere like the Red Sea or the Maldives, however Scotland's secrets seem to take a bit more effort to find which makes them more valuable to me when I do see something special. Also it doesn't involve airports! How good does it feel to unload you're heavy kit from car onto a liveaboard at the start of a trip to St-Kilda? Scotland is beautiful and there is no better place to explore it than from the deck of a boat!

    Congratulations to ULSAC BIs

    Updated - 12/12/09 UP
    Congratulations to Cathal Mullane, Kate Lawlor, Paddy Finn and Eanna Cronin who recently completed their BI assessments on one of the foulest weekends Scotland could muster. All are members of the University of Limerick's Sub Aqua Club (ULSAC) which was recently declared to be ScotSAC's largest branch.

    NAS Introduction to Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology Course

    Updated - 8/12/09 UP

    On Saturday 23rd January the NAS will be running an Introduction course at Headland Archaeology, Edinburgh. The course will combine theory and practical sessions to introduce you to underwater archaeology and provide you with skills to go out and record sites that you find underwater, in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. This is a great chance to discover something different to do with your diving and to start looking at wrecks underwater in a new way. 

    The course costs just £50 and discounts are available for group bookings. For more information or to book a place on the course please contact Mary on or call the NAS Office on 02392 818419. 

    Mary Harvey. Training and Publications Officer, Nautical Archaeology Society
    Fort Cumberland, Fort Cumberland Road, Eastney, Portsmouth PO4 9LD, United Kingdom
    Email:        Web:
    PS: NAS is now on Facebook! To visit us go to:

    Have you taken photos of St Kilda Caves?

    Updated - 3/12/09 UP

    For the past 4 years I have been preparing a cavern and cave diving book which will outline the classic cave sites of UK and Europe. The text is now complete and the bulk of the photos have been gathered. (This will constitute a companion volume to Diving in Darkness and be produced by the same publisher - Wild Places Publishing.)

    There is a short section on St Kilda, but because I get chronic sea-sickness I've never been able to get there myself. Clearly this is a classic site if ever there was one but disappointingly I cant seem to track down any underwater images of  cave entrances or swim-throughs at all. 

    Might you be able to suggest anyone who may have such images please? Any comment or suggestions very gratefully appreciated.

    Many thanks for your time.

      Martyn Farr
      Overhead Environment Training,
      Explorer, Photographer, Lecturer and Author
      Tel: 00 44 (0) 1873 811085

    Kate Jenkins joins new ScotSAC HQ

    Updated - 17/10/09 UP

    Kate Jenkins has joined ScotSAC as Administration and Finance Officer. Kate takes over from Huw Thomas, who was taken on temporarily to help us through the transition from Glasgow to Edinburgh. Kate will be in the office full time except for holidays and meetings.

    The telephone system still isn't functional so there's a temporary mobile phone - 07 821 620 526.

    Email is probably the most reliable means of contact at the moment -

    ScotSAC HQ on the move to Edinburgh - 2nd October 2009

    Updated - 2/10/09 UP

    The ScotSAC Offices in Glasgow was closed down on Wednesday evening 30th September and by Friday evening the offices will be empty, leaving just a few pieces of furniture and a lot of memories.

    On Monday morning the boxes delivered to the new ScotSAC HQ at South Gyle in Edinburgh will be unpacked and all being well, the normal service will be resumed on Tuesday morning. ScotSAC has now appointed a new full time Administration and Finance Officer (Kate Jenkins) who starts on Monday morning to take over where Sharon and Hazel left off. During the week both Kate and Huw will be staffing the office as things return to normal and on Friday, Huw will be leaving us for a new appointment nearby.


    Email might be the most effective method of communication for the next few weeks. use

    new officeThe new postal address is:

    Scottish Sub Aqua Club,
    Caledonia House,
    1 Redheughs Rigg,
    South Gyle, Edinburgh,
    EH12 9DQ, Scotland.
    Phone -  0131 625 4404

    BBC all set to make Oceans Britain - can you help??

    Updated - 29/09/09 UP

    The BBC Science Department are currently planning a follow up to last year's BBC Science series 'Oceans', called "Oceans Britain" , celebrating the amazing wildlife and discoveries to be found around our own coasts.

    At the moment they are on the look out for new, ineresting, and all sorts of challenging stories from the around the UK and have asked ScotSAC for ideas. Does your Branch have any stories:  unknown wrecks, unusual animal behaviour, or just their best dive sites? so we can hopefully build up the same mix of adventure and science that we brought to the original Oceans series, and inform more people about the fantastic seas that surround us!

    If you have something you would like to put forward, then please reply by email to ScotSAC HQ in the first instance and details will be forwarded to the programme researcher. Make sure the title of your email includes the words "BBC Oceans Project".

    ScotSAC Conference all set to be a fabulous weekend

    Updated - 26/08/09 UP

    ScotSAC Conference Update.  This year’s conference is being organised by an elite team led by Sandy McPherson and looks all set to be a real cracker.  Sandy has something for everyone so whether you’re a brand new novice snorkeller or a crusty old NDC/Board member there’s no excuse for being anywhere else that weekend.

    The main event is all day Saturday 14th November starting at the unholy hour of 9am and running right through to 5pm with a very full agenda and a free lunch thrown in. The venue is the excellent new Eyemouth High School which will give great space for the big lectures and the breakout workshops.  Tickets are a crazy cheap £10 on the door or an absolutely give-away price of £8 if purchased on-line through the web-site (from 1st October).  As is now customary there will be a FREE photographic competition with various categories so no excuses - start preparing your prints right away.

    Many of you will be asking about accommodation with a view to making a weekend of it and we anticipate a Ceilidh Band on Saturday evening and lots of diving on Sunday.  The accommodation and Dive Boat bookings will be handled separately so watch out for the dedicated web page where links to those will become available. For those of you interested in a bit more detail here’s a sample of what to expect:

    Lawson Wood - St Abbs and SCAPA FLOW - and photo edit workshop

    Rod MacDonald - Famous author and after-dinner speaker will give a talk entitled "Shipwrecks"

    LIza Cole- St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Reserve Marine Ranger

    Dr Christopher J Sweeting of Newcastle University School of Marine Science and Technology

    Mike Clark- Underwater photographer on - "The new wrecks of Eyemouth"

    Paul Haynes - Former Royal Marine Commando now works for Divex and trains the special forces in the use of rebreathers. He will give a talk on the history of rebreathers in the forces.

    Calum Duncan -on 'Sea search' and how to join. 

    Dr Wilmot and Dr Alessandro Marronit director of DAN Europe on the health of older divers.

    Mary Harvey - Training and Publications Officer of the Nautical Archaeology Society

    Michael Avril - Divisional Sea Safety Manager -  Scotland RNLI,Scottish Divisional Base

    David FullerShapcott - Leader of the Borders Underwater Search Team

    Paul Duxfield from "Cameras Underwater"

    There could be some other high profile SURPRISE speakers but we are just at the negotiations stage.


    ScotSAC Suunto Diver Award for Volunteering
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - nominations now close 30th September 2009

    Updated - 21/08/09 UP

    The Suunto ScotSAC Diver Award 2009 is designed to reward an individual’s exceptional contribution to our sport. This contribution could be effort that has encouraged new people to become divers, encouraged existing divers to complete further development training, the organisation of dive expeditions, or some other activity that has raised the profile of diving in a positive way. It may also be an Instructor who has encouraged and developed new divers and delivered training.  

    The 2008 award generated great interest and rewarded 6 members for their efforts to volunteering.

    In 2009, there will be 6 prizes of Suunto D6 watch size dive computers with PC interface, and an embroidered ScotSAC jacket. A prize package worth £600 each. Nominations will be judged by a panel consisting of the Chairman, National Diving Officer and General Manager of Suunto Diving UK.

    If you know of any individual within ScotSAC who has made a significant contribution to the sport, in any way, then now is your chance to nominate them for recognition. All Nominees must hold current membership of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club and may not be current members of the Board or National Diving Council. The closing date for nominations is now 30th September 2009 with the winners being announced and prizes presented at the Dive Conference in November 2009. Nomination forms are available here. (or as a PDF)

    ScotSAC Company Secretary sought

    Updated - 20/08/09 UP
    Volunteer Vacancy - ScotSAC Company Secretary

    The Scottish Sub Aqua Club is currently seeking a volunteer to fill the role of Company Secretary on the Board.

    Duties include: member communications, responding to consultations and other activities in our annual development plan.  A full role description is available here.

    This is a highly rewarding role, where you will have the opportunity to make an impact on the future of the ScotSAC 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.

    The post is open to all members with suitable skills and experience, and is not dependent on diving experience or qualifications. Interested members should register their interest by contacting the Chairman The successful volunteer will be co-opted to the Board until the 2010 AGM.

    ScotSAC 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 ScotSAC, delivering the needs of the Members, Branches and partners. This role may be conducted remotely, including online video conference participation at meetings.

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

    ScotSAC HQ on the move

    Updated - 20/08/09 UP

    The Board has decided that the time has come for ScotSAC to take advantage of the excellent office facilities provided by sportscotland and reap the benefits of sharing accomodation and resources with other Scottish governing bodies of sport. The old office at Govan in Glasgow has served us well but it's isolated and increasingly difficult to retain staff as both the working environment and transport facilities are not very attractive. The new ScotSAC HQ will be rented from sportscotland on very attractive terms giving us improved accessibility, better working conditions for staff and much better access to shared resouces and sportscotland facilities. Members will be pleased to hear that sportscotland have given us a competitive relocation package and should lead to long term cost savings. The move to South Gyle, Edinburgh, is scheduled for 1st October 09 and contact details will be posted here beforehand.

    Hazel has already left us to take up a new life in the north of England and Sharon will also be leaving us before the move. We wish them both well and are grateful for the huge contribution they have made in their time with us. We have recently recruited Huw Thomas (University of Limerick Branch) to help us with the day to day administration, consolidation of the office systems, preparation for the move and re-establishment in the new office. A new "Administration and Finance Officer" will now be recruited to run HQ once it is established in Edinburgh (see advert below)

    To avoid disappointment during the relocation period, Members are encouraged to submit renewal paperwork in sufficient time to process. We will, of course, strive to keep any disruption to membership services to a minimum.  

    Andy Murray, Chairman

    ScotSAC seeks to recruit Administration and Finance Officer  

    Updated - 20/08/09 UP

    The Scottish Sub-Aqua Club (ScotSAC) requires a vibrant, organised, self-motivated individual with first class communication skills to fulfil the role of Administration and Finance Officer. This is a full time post. Working hours are 9am - 5pm Monday – Friday. The salary for this post is circa £17,000 depending on experience. The post is based at our relocated Headquarters in Caledonia House, South Gyle, Edinburgh.

    Link to Job Advertisement              Link to Job Description          Link to Application Form


    IMMEDIATE Changes to ScotSAC Training and Diving Rules

    Updated - 25/06/09 UP

    With immediate effect, a number of changes have been made to the ScotSAC training and diving rules.

    The changes are detailed here and apply, without exception, to all ScotSAC Members and to all ScotSAC Branches. These rules and recommendations are made in addition to any existing rules within the diving logbook and qualification record book. Further details have been issued to all members with the July / August issue of Scottish Diver.

    These changes have been made following a review of the recommendations made by Sherriff W Douglas Small following a Fatal Accident Inquiry. A copy of our response can be found here

    New ScotSAC Dive Slate

    Updated - 25/06/09 UP

    An NDC team, led by Gordon and Marion, have prepared and tested a new ScotSAC Dive Slate on the back of which is an appropriate Risk Assessment table. Please feel free to download this PDF, print and laminate and use as you please.

    We have ordered a quantity of these in a rigid reusable format (like you buy in the shops) and some will be sent to each ScotSAC branch "free of charge" within the next couple of months. Further slates will be available to order from HQ.

    If you have any feedback, particularly positive feedback, please email to the National Diving Officer, Nigel Spike, at

    Access at Quarry View Tearoom, Loch Fyne

    Updated - 24/06/09 UP

    Some issues have been reported by both the Manager of the Tearoom, and the landowner relating to the behaviour of a small number of divers. The identity of the divers is unknown, including any organisation to which they may hold membership, but ScotSAC is keen to promote responsible access to ensure that continued access is available for all divers.

    The Manager reports that "the relationship between Quarry View and the diving fraternity on the whole has been very good. However, there are a few individuals who constantly cause problems and abuse the facilities.

    This includes:

    • using facilities but not using the cafe
    • changing without consideration for other customers
    • eating their own food on the picnic tables
    • coming on site late in the day and keeping staff late at weekends (The gate is required to be locked by 5pm under the lease agreement with the landlord)"
    A blanket ban on divers is now being considered by the landlord, and this would not be in the best interest of divers, most of whom are responsible. To ensure that this dive site remains open to all divers, please ensure that you and your fellow divers use the site (and all other dive sites) responsibly.

    ScotSAC recently issued access guidance, and reminds divers of their access responsibilities.

    Andy Murray, Chairman, ScotSAC

    Regional Instructor Training

    Updated - 18/06/09 UP

    The next Regional Instructor Training weekend will take place on 2nd-4th October 2009 at Cumbrae. 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 ScotSAC 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 and they MUST have the written recommendation of their Regional Coach before application to HQ.

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

    To apply for a place on this course, complete the Regional Instructor Course Application - Closing date 31st August 2009.


    Updated - 3/06/09 UP

    Since 2001, when Grampian SAC organised the first event, all local diving clubs in the northeast of Scotland (ScotSAC and BSAC) plus non-affiliated divers have been getting together for a solstice camp-and-dive weekend in Millshore Bay, near Pennan in the Moray coast.  Portaloos and running water are provided over the weekend (financed by the local clubs), and chances are there will be a bonfire and BBQ on the Sat. night.  This year it will take place between 19-22 June (portaloo placement and collection dates).  The area is great for shallow scenic shore diving and most clubs will also take their RIBS.  Everyone is welcome to come along and join in for free*!

    (*) camping and shore diving are free; individual clubs will have standard charges for boat diving


    Updated - 20/05/09 UP

    Chris Robison, Policy Director, Scottish Sports Association is seeking feedback from sports clubs all over Scotland concerning the effects of cutbacks in public spending which are having an effect on their activities.

    A letter from Chris with accompanying Press Release can be read here.

    Scottish Shark Tagging Programme

    Updated - 20/05/09 UP

    The Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP) represents a desire by a number of bodies and individuals - SSACN, Davy Holt, Glasgow Museums, the UK Shark Tagging Programme, SNH, SeaLife etc - to work together and try to get the government to focus on the plight of Scotland's shark species and do something constructive to regenerate their stocks.

    There is of course a website - - which is up and running now, though of course more material needs adding.

    This is where your readers may be able to help. We need stories, pointers to good articles, photos, videos and anything else to do with sharks that can go on a website.  As usual, what we need most of all is additional hands, so if any would like to get involved, they should just email

    If you need any more info just let me know. Many Thanks & Regards - Steve Bastiman. -

    Press release here

    Updated - 18/05/09 UP

    ( I keep getting these email newsletters - so I'll share this one with you and you can subscribe if you're intereted. - WebEditor )

    This trip is designed for underwater photographers to get great shots! Check out this pdf for details


    THE SEA & SEA DX2-G IS HERE. - 12.1 effective megapixels, 2.7" LCD - check it out!


    Benny Sutton ------- our home page:

    Manta Fest Photo Competition

    Updated - 14/05/09 UP

    Fancy a challenge - are you an underwater photographer?

    Entry details here.

    Scottish Shipwrecks in the newspaper

    Updated - 14/05/09 UP
    This weekend (Saturday 16th May) The Scotsman newspaper will include a free book of Scottish Shipwrecks.  This 32 page booklet features 100 wrecks which have been sunk around the coast of Scotland during the last 500 years; many with fascinating stories to tell.

    Irvine Sub Aqua Barbeque

    Updated - 16/04/09 UP
    14th June - Irvine Sub Aqua Club invites ScotSAC branches to join them at their "almost midsummer" barbeque and dive event.
    Details from Dave

    ScotSAC Suunto Diver Award for Volunteering

    Updated - 15/04/09 UP

    The Suunto ScotSAC Diver Award 2009 is designed to reward an individual’s exceptional contribution to our sport. This contribution could be effort that has encouraged new people to become divers, encouraged existing divers to complete further development training, the organisation of dive expeditions, or some other activity that has raised the profile of diving in a positive way. It may also be an Instructor who has encouraged and developed new divers and delivered training.  

    The 2008 award generated great interest and rewarded 6 members for their efforts to volunteering.

    In 2009, there will be 6 prizes of Suunto D6 watch size dive computers with PC interface, and an embroidered ScotSAC jacket. A prize package worth £600 each. Nominations will be judged by a panel consisting of the Chairman, National Diving Officer and General Manager of Suunto Diving UK.

    If you know of any individual within ScotSAC who has made a significant contribution to the sport, in any way, then now is your chance to nominate them for recognition. All Nominees must hold current membership of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club and may not be current members of the Board or National Diving Council. The closing date for nominations is 31st August 2009 with the winners being announced and prizes presented at the Dive Conference in November 2009. Nomination forms are available here. (or as a PDF)

    ScotSAC Summer Solstice Dive

    Updated - 15/04/09 UP

    The annual ScotSAC Solstice Charity Dive will be on Sunday 21st June. Site is the Quarry View Tearoom & Garden Centre, Crarae, Loch Fyne. PA32 8YA for those navigating by satnav.

    No need to prebook, but please log in beside the ScotSAC flag on arrival. Cost is £5, for which you receive a £3 voucher for the tearoom  and a £2  donation is given to charity; the RNLI being the chosen recipient. Frank, Eileen and additional staff for the day, will keep you well fed and watered. Come along, bring your buddies, enjoy a fun dive and catch up with old friends.

    Alternative Air Source now obligatory

    Updated - 8/04/09 UP

    As notified in summer 2008, and ratified by members at the March 09 ScotSAC AGM, the carrying of an "alternative air source" is now mandatory for all ScotSAC members when diving. An alternative air source, in its simplest form, consists of an additional second stage regulator attached to the diver’s existing first stage.  This may be referred to as an "Octopus regulator" and is often coloured yellow and/or has a yellow hose to make it visible to a buddy in distress. 

    Equivalent alternatives may include 
    • an Air II/AutoAir – a type of inflation device for a BCD which also allows the diver to breathe from their cylinder.
    • Pony Bottle with separate first and second stage regulators.
    • Twin set configuration with two independent first and second stage regulators, often on a manifold.

    ScotSAC members should be aware that while the octopus configuration is sometimes an economical solution, some (particularly low-cost) regulators may not be able to adequately support two divers breathing in synchronisation, particularly at depth. Members may wish to refer to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report on this potential problem and make informed decisions which best suit their diving habits.

    Sound of Mull 2009 - Underwater Archaeological Fieldschool

    Updated - 24/03/09 UP

    13th-24th July 2009. - In July 2009 the NAS will be running a 12 day fieldschool on underwater archaeology based at Lochaline Dive Centre on the West coast of Scotland. The fieldschool will be taught by the NAS Training Officer, Mark and Annabel Lawrence (ADUS and formally of Wessex Archaeology and the ADU at St Andrew’s University) as well as Colin Martin and Paula Martin (IJNA editor).

    PDF Downloads - Schedule and Leaflet

    PDF leaflet download

    Mystery of the U-1006 Submarine Incident - historians wanted.

    Updated - 17/03/09 UP
    WW2 submarine intrigue.  A report recently submitted to ScotSAC suggests that the capture of a German submarine U-1006 during the war may have been substantially misreported, possibly in order to mislead readers as to the activities and intentions of the British and Canadian navies at that time.  The report contains numerous photographs taken during the war, by active seamen, and these appear to support the story.  The author currently lives west of St Kilda, and his evidence is largely anecdotal, so we would be interested to hear from any budding historians who would like to work with him, first to authenticate his stories and photographs and then to produce an article suitable for publication.  If we have any writers out there this might make a very compelling novel, based it would appear on a tangled web of information and intrigues including an alcoholic captain and at least one ship in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    If you are interested in helping with this project please contact ScotSAC webmaster with a brief cv.

    Core Paths Consultation - Argyle & Bute

    Updated - 17/03/09 UP
    core paths poster

    Please circulate this email to any friends, family or business contacts in Argyll & Bute who you think might have an interest in the Core Paths Plan.  They might be; path users, local communities both young and old, landowners, local businesses particularly those with an interest in tourism, and regular visitors to the area. The plan proposes;

    • 1,004 miles of Core Paths which can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders, wheelchair users of all abilities to access the countryside, lochs and the coast of Argyll & Bute
    • 353 miles of new “Aspirational” Paths that will over time allow the network to be improved
    • 157 Launching Points which give access to water for non-motorised water sports including canoeing, diving, sailing, and Sea Kayaking

    Events: The Access Team are holding 24 events across Argyll & Bute where the public can come along to see the maps, discuss the proposals and make comments and at each venue there will be tea, coffee and biscuits for anyone attending.  The events are listed above or can be found on the website.

    Online: visit

    Contact: For more information on Core Path Planning please telephone the Access Team on 01546 604119. 


    Please Note that Your Comments must be received by Planning Services in Kilmory by 12.00hrs Noon on Monday 1st of June 2009 if they are to be considered.

    Congratulations Liam and John

    Updated - 08/03/09 UP
    John & Liam

    Congratulations to Liam Keohane and John Cronin on their 100th dive.

    After a cold but successful March day in Lough Hyne, near Baltimore, Co Cork these two BI's from University of Limerick Sub Aqua Club no doubt enjoyed a well deserved celebration on their centenery! Well done lads.

    Safeguarding and Protecting Children Workshop

    Updated - 02/03/09 UP
    Sunday 19th April,2009 ;   09.30 - 12.30 hrs.        Venue : ScotSAC  HQ
    This 3 hour workshop explores the Code of Conduct for those in contact with children and young people under 18 years, and provides basic information on recognising child abuse and responding to concerns.

    It is open to all ScotSAC members who have a child care role in ScotSAC, including those who have recently attended a B.I. / R.I. course but have not yet completed all assessments. The workshop is free of charge to ScotSAC members. Contact HQ to book a place.  

    Radio Alert - Sub Search Goes on.....

    Updated - 01/03/09 UP

    The Hunt for U12 - the story of the search for this lost WW1 U-boat in the Firth of Forth. It goes out BBC Radio Scotland at 1130 on 5th March. There's also a big chunk to go with the programme online too….


    Click on to listen to Radio Scotland online


    Shark Attag 2009!

    Updated - 22/02/09 UP




    12-13-14 June 2009

    Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network - 
    Hundreds of sea anglers expected to gather data to protect Scottish sharks.

    The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network - - will be holding Sharkatag2009 over the weekend 12/14 June 2009 in South West Scotland centred around Drummore, Sandhead and the Isle of Whithorn.

    Sharkatag2009 will build on the successful SSACN ‘Spurdog Tagathon’ held around Loch Sunart in November 2008 but this time the main target will tope, the largest of our inshore native sharks.

    Many anglers appreciate the stocks of several species of shark in Scottish waters have been seriously depleted, in fact, many species are considered locally extinct. We would like to see the Scottish government and fisheries managers make more effort to protect the various species of shark, but anecdotal evidence - no matter how obvious the situation is - is unacceptable to the government.

    They require further evidence through field-based research before they are willing to take any action. Sharkatag is just one of the initiatives we are undertaking to try and meet their evidential needs.

    Full details of how to take part may be found at

    Any questions please email

    The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network, - Fish for the future.
    A registered Scottish charity RegNo. SC039015

    Coral Reef Survey

    Updated - 21/02/09 UP

    Napier University, Edinburgh.
    I am carrying out a university project on diving holidays and would like your help in this short questionnaire. It should take about ten minutes.  All information will be kept completely confidential and used only for statistical and research summary purposes. Thanking you in advance.    Dr Johanna Carrie

    ScotSAC AGM Invitation

    Updated - 21/02/09 UP



     All members are invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club Ltd at 1500hrs on Saturday 21st March 2008 in Logie Lecture Theatre, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA.  Doors will be open from 1445hrs.

    All members will receive full details, proposals, ballot paper and minutes of previous meeting by early March.

    There are 3 proposals for consideration, requiring a ballot of Members. Members unable to attend the meeting may vote on the proposal by completing the ballot form sent directly to them. This form should be returned in the envelope provided and must be received not less than 8 days before the date of the meeting.

    If you don't receive your AGM papers, which accompnay the March/April issue of Scottish Diver, please contact us (

    Core Paths to make a Splash

    Updated - 16/02/09 UP

    Dumfries and Galloway Council are working towards making access to the outdoors more than just “A Walk in the Park”. As with all other Scottish Local Authorities the council has a statutory duty to produce a “Core Path Plan” which will provide a basic framework of paths to give the public reasonable access across the region.

    The proposed core paths will cater for a range of users from walkers, cyclists and horse-riders as well as those wishing to access waterways such as rivers, lochs and the sea.

    The Council is now calling on all those with an interest in accessing waterways to view maps detailing the proposals. David Clyne, Access Officer, comments ‘Whether you are a canoeist, kayaker, scuba diver, swimmer or simply enjoy a walk by the river we would love to hear your views. Do you find it difficult to access waterways? Are there unreasonable barriers stopping you getting to the water such as fences, barbed wire or locked gates? This is an opportunity for you to improve access to water so come along and tell us which routes work well and which require additional work. We are inviting all members of water sport organisations and interested parties to come to one of two drop in sessions, listed below. There is no charge and no requirement to pre book’.




    Solway 1 Conference Suite

    23rd February 2009

    4pm to 8pm

    Kirkcudbright Swimming Pool (Café)

    25th February 2009

    4pm to 8pm

    David Gall,    Economic Regeneration Assistant,    Tel: 01387 260125    email:

    Child Protection Action Plan 2009

    Updated - 08/02/09 UP
    An action plan has now been agreed and published by ScotSAC, responding to our obligations under the 2006 Accord for the Protection of Children in Scottish Sport.       Download PDF.

    January 09 Newsletter

    Updated - 28/01/09 UP

    The January issue of the ScotSAC 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.

    Anchors Away - Mark Beattie-Edwards

    Updated - 27/01/09 UP

    Ever wandered down the street and spotted an anchor lying on a plinth, or ever driven round a roundabout and seen an anchor used to illustrate a town’s connection to the sea? It appears that anchors are everywhere. Often considered symbols of the maritime world, it is surprising how little work has been undertaken to collect and organise the wealth of information that exists in the form of anchors found on wreck-sites, in museums and on public and private property around the world.

    The NAS is now addressing this issue with the Big Anchor Project which launched at the NAS Annual Conference in November last year. The project has one simple aim – to develop a global tool for the identification and research of anchors. This aim will be achieved by helping individuals to gather information in a consistent format and submitting it to a central online resource. During 2009 this data will then become freely accessible via an online searchable database of anchors to serve as a valuable tool for anybody undertaking research or with a general interest in the subject.


    The project has been at least 5 years in development, growing out of a conversation between the former NAS director Chris Underwood and Parcs Canada archaeologist and NAS senior tutor Marc-Andre Bernier. Since then many NAS members have been vital in pushing the project from a concept to a viable public research project. Dorset archaeologist Gordon Le Pard and members of the Weymouth Lunar Society undertook a pilot project back in 2006 demonstrating the public enthusiasm for anchors and illustrated the need for a simple three tiered system of recording.

    This system allows people to choose how much they want to be involved. The three recording levels are called – Gold, Silver and Bronze (very Olympic!). A bronze record consists of simply a photograph and a location. Identify features on the anchor in question to submit a silver record and then get the tape measure out and record the dimensions of particular features to achieve a gold record.

    NAS members all over the world have already pledged their support to the project with volunteers planning to catalogue anchors in the USA, Spain, France, and Australia as well as NAS Training students planning to record anchors for their NAS Part 2 projects. 

    The Big Anchor Project has been lucky enough to receive grant support of the UK National Lottery Fund, through the Awards for All Programme and from the British Sub-Aqua Jubilee Trust. These grants have allowed the project to get of the ground and will allow public training sessions to take place at locations around the UK in 2009 (look out for the training session dates or contact the project to sign up to the project e-newsletter).

    Additional funding support will be required if the project is to continue and volunteers will be vital to act both as information moderators looking at reports submitted but also in ensuring that the project continues to find anchors of all types and ages all over the world. So for more information and to get involved please visit the Big Anchor Project website at (not working at present) If you would like to support the project through sponsorship or services in kind please contact Mark Beattie-Edwards by email at


    Updated - 24/01/09 UP

    British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP)

    BSoUP/DIVER Print Competition at LIDS 2009.

    London International Dive Show 2009

    28th/29th March 09 ExCel in London Docklands,

    Win a Red Sea Holiday courtesy of "Oonasdivers" plus other great prizes and trophies.
    Deadline for entries 23rd February 2009

    - for details see


    Update to Child Protection Legislation

    Updated - 13/01/09 UP

    New Legislation expected early 2010

    Following the public consultation on the forthcoming Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act (PVG), Scottish Ministers have published their response.  Some points worth noting include:

    The PVG process will not be up and running in 2009 as originally planned.  It is expected that it will kick in during the first half of 2010.

    It is now intended that the roll out of scheme membership will be over a four year period, probably as follows:

    • New starts and those whose disclosures are three or more years old in year one;
    • New start plus retrospective checking of those not previously checked under Protection of Children Scotland Act (POCSA) criteria, in year two;
    • In years three and four, new starts plus those whose current Disclosures become three or more years old.

    Scheme membership will be required by those in positions dealing with childcare or protected adults. The aim is to have the full workforce through the "scheme membership" process within four years of the process going live. ScotSAC will monitor the progress of this implementation and review its procedures to comply with the legislation.

    Further details on PVG is available from

    New resources made available

    Child Protection in Sport, the service from CHILDREN 1ST and sportscotland have recently developed new resources in response to the needs of governing bodies and clubs. ScotSAC provided input to the development of these materials

      The resources include guides on  
    - Risk Assessment
    - Disciplinary
    - Managing a review of concerns
    - Participation Toolkit


    In addition there is also a new, generic poster suitable for display in Branches and is free for download from our website:  

    Further details on the ScotSAC child protection policy and guidelines are available from ScotSAC Child Protection Page

    Alert - Loch Fyne Access Issues

    Updated - 13/01/09 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 which include quantities of rubbish being dumped on the estate land, illegal camping, threats against staff and other anti social activity.

    The Access Manager for Argyll & Bute Council reports that he has met with the factors for Argyll Estates and Kenmore Forestry who own the majority of the solum of the Shore Road between Furnace and Inveraray.  The argument for managed access for diving was discussed with factors.  The next stage is for the Access Manager to write a report outlining the issues for all interested parties and recommending managed access as the best compromise.  This report will then be circulated to the landowners and the twenty or so residents along the Shore Road who have private rights of access to use the road in their title deeds.  In addition the Furnace and Inveraray Community Councils, Local Elected Members, ScotSAC and other interested parties will receive copies.  Following this a meeting will probably be held with the residents to gauge their support for this approach.  The Access Manager has stated that this will take a couple of months to complete because of his workload. 

    The Access Manager has also advised that no attempt will be made to assert the road as a Vehicular Public Right of Way until all attempts to negotiate a solution have been exhausted.  This is primarily because similar cases are taking 3 to 5 years to resolve in court and the Local Authority can be left with legal costs of several hundred thousand pounds in the event that the case is lost.  However it is still worthwhile to collect evidence of use since it will help to support the argument for managed access for divers or if in the event that a legal case is required it will still be needed.

    Therefore, ScotSAC 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 ScotSAC Headquarters, The Cockburn Centre, 40 Bogmoor Place, Glasgow , G51 4TQ.

    We advise divers not to travel to Furnace expecting to be able to access the dives at Kenmore until this situation has been resolved.  ScotSAC 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 anyone’s interest.

    If you have any further queries on this matter please contact ScotSAC Access Officer