ScotSAC News 2010


General Diving News


ScotSAC News








  • NAS Introduction Course
  • SSACN Wins Conservation Award
  • Well done guys and gals
  • £3 charge on Eyemouth access road
  • NAS Introduction and Part I Course in
        Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology
  • Carpet Sea Squirt invades Scotland
  • BSAC release incident report
  • Marine Wildlife Event
  • Congratulations lads
  • 31/01/11



  • Final date for Enhanced Disclosure applications
  • New Membership Form and Medical
  • New Membership Rates from Nov 1st
  • AGM Notice and documents
  • Suunto/ScotSAC Awards 2010
  • ScotSAC Conference all set to go
  • AGM Update and Nominations
            for the Board and National Diving Council
  • Access issues in Loch Fyne
  • Solstice Dive 2010
  • ScotSAC RedSea Photo Workshop
  • Wanted - First Aider Volunteers
  • Suunto Awards 2009
  • Sandy McPherson joins the Board
  • Kate Jenkins joins new ScotSAC HQ
         Visit the News Archives -  2009   2008   2007     2006    2005    2004    2003

    Final date for Enhanced Disclosure applications - 11th Feb 2011

    Updated - 31/01/11 UP
    Final date for Enhanced Disclosure applications
    Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme goes live
    The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme goes live on 28th February 2011.
    The last date CRBS will accept Enhanced Disclosure applications is 11th February.
    Will any trainee instructors still intending to submit an application please immediately contact Marion Brown, CPO ScotSAC.
    Contact details: email         or text        07798865121

    Coastguard station under threat

    Updated - 9/1/11 UP

    Dear User of the Scottish Coast,

    As you are part of an organisation that has close ties with the coast and sea we are requesting that you take a few minutes to read this note.

    You may have seen or heard in the local and national media that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s management and UK Government are proposing to restructure HM Coastguard from its current structure of nineteen stations, to three 24 hours stations and five day stations. If these proposals go ahead it will impact on your local station, Stornoway MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre), which will either be closed or become a Day Station with a staff level of less than half the present number and an as yet undisclosed role.

    In 2009 (a typical year) Stornoway Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue of 684 people across our district, which stretches across the west coast of Scotland from Ardnamurchan Point northwards and out into the mid-Atlantic.

    We are asking for your support to ensure that those who live, work and play on or around the seas and diverse, beautiful and often hostile coastline of our area, continue to be served by a local Coastguard Station that has an intimate knowledge of our unique environment and society.

    For more information on this issue, please visit our website at There you will find links to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency web site where you can download a copy of the consultation document containing full details of Management’s proposal.

    Most importantly please respond to the consultation document (instructions are on the MCA website). If you require advice or assistance in filling in the response form, would like it in paper copy, or have any queries on the technical matters within it, please call us on 01851 702013 / 702014 (24 hours) or e-mail us at:

    Thank you for your support, Stornoway Coastguard

    NAS Introduction Course in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology

    Updated - 4/12/10 UP

    NAS Introduction Course in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology 
    Saturday 22nd January 2011 at Headland Archaeology, Edinburgh 

    Celebrate 25 years of NAS training with this one day course which will introduce the NAS and nautical archaeology, offering a mix of theory and practical sessions covering topics such as ‘What is Archaeology’ and ‘Archaeological Dating Methods’.  

    Hands on survey tasks will teach you some 2D survey methods on dry land before you have the chance to practice them underwater and really test your skills!   The course costs just £55.  

     If you would like any further information on the course or if you would be interested in booking a place, please contact Mary at the NAS on or give us a call at the office on 02392 818419. 


    NAS dive
    NAS NAS 3

    New Membership Forms on trial

    Updated - 2/11/10 UP

    You may have noticed a slow improvement of our membership forms over the last couple of years. We have been testing a combined form suitable both for new members and renewals and now the long awaited new medical forms have arrived for testing. The existing forms are still available but the new forms have been sent out to those due to renew in November and they can also be downloaded here.

    The idea of the form is to put all the significant information on the front page and the support notes etc on the 2nd page. Those who are joining for the first time just complete everything but those renewing only need complete the boxes with a grey background plus the medical declaration. It might not be fully optimised yet but we think we're getting there based on feedback so far.

    The next step is to move the form to the website so that you can join/renew on-line and make your payment with PayPal or credit card - we have a little way to go before that happens as we haven't sorted out how to deal with the medical form and linking the payaments to the data.

    Have a look and let us know what you think: New ScotSAC Membership Form

    Feedback to


    SSACN Wins Conservation Award

    Updated - 2/10/10 UP

    Conservation work recognised by Dreamstore

    The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN - is pleased to announce we have received the Dreamstore Active Conservation Award in recognition of the work we have done towards increasing public awareness of the urgent need for the conservation of inshore fish stocks in Scottish waters and for our contributions to public policy development.

    In making the award, Dreamstore’s David Hoey said: “As an independent Charity, the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network has undertaken outstanding work in creating focus on conservation issues and the marine environment, especially those affecting sea anglers. Its education, environmental awareness, research and events programme is an exemplary example of the power of harnessing voluntary endeavour in conservation.

    “SSACN has worked hard in building collaborative partnerships, and sought practical solutions to problems created by inefficient and ineffective fisheries management and practices which have left many species void in several areas and have destroyed many habitats. This includes their “Give Fish A Chance” (GFAC) awareness campaign, and the very impressive Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (, which they have popularised through Tagathons.”

    Accepting the award, Denis Kelly, SSACN's Secretary said : "The award recognises the huge efforts made by SSACN's volunteer anglers and our various partners to try and help ensure there will be 'Fish for the Future' for all."

    SSACN was formed in 2006 to focus on conservation issues caused by decades of ineffective and inefficient political and fisheries mismanagement.

    Our primary goal is to help ensure the regeneration of inshore fish stocks and their environments through a variety of initiatives including angler education; environmental awareness; shark tagging programmes; political lobbying and scientific research. The Dreamstore Award highlights the huge volume of work undertaken by SSACN and the fantastic levels of commitment and dedication of the volunteers involved.
    Normally work in the angling voluntary sector goes unrecognised, but thanks to the Award, everyone involved can be confident they are making a difference and it has not gone unnoticed.

    For more info email  ::

    Websites :: and 
    The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN) is an independent Charity registered in Scotland which was created to focus on conservation issues in the marine environment, especially those affecting sea anglers.

    Billy's Red Sea Trip - Sept 2011

    Updated - 1/10/10


    Billy Symington invites ScotSAC divers to join him on the Grand Sea Serpent next September.

    7/14 SEPTEMBER 2011

    NOW only £1057.50 plus visa £15



    contact Billy for bookings:

    Membership Fees 2010/11 - New rates from 1st Nov. 2010

    Updated - 28/9/10 UP
    Membership Type
    Annual Subscription
    Joining Fee
    Ordinary £48.00 £9.00
    Joint (cost for pair) £73.00 £10.00
    Junior (14-17 yrs) £31.75 £6.00
    Associate (non diving) £29.00 £0
    Student* £35.50 £6.00
    Family** £88.50 £12.00
    Junior Snorkeler £10.00 £0
    Branch Members normally also pay a Branch levy, set locally by the Branch committee, and ScotSAC membership fees . The local Branch levy varies depending on the type of equipment the branch has, those who own and run a dive boat or compressor may have higher annual levies than those that don't.
    • *Students please enclose a photocopy of your current matriculation card or student ID

    • **Family membership covers up to 4 people (children up to the age of 18 years only), for each additional person add £2.50 per person joining fee.

    ScotSAC Annual General Meeting 2010 - Wed. 22nd Sept. 7pm,
    Caledonia House, 1 Redheughs Rigg, South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9DQ

    Updated - 29/08/10 UP

    The Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Sub-Aqua Club will take place on Wednesday 22nd September 2010 at 7pm at Caledonia House, 1 Redheughs Rigg, South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9DQ. All members will receive formal notice and a personalised proxy voting form with Scottish Diver magazine, or under separate cover in the case of joint members. Relevant documentation for the meeting can be found below. This AGM sees in the introduction of proxy voting, enabling all members the opportunity to vote whether or not they attend the AGM in person.

    Andy Murray, Chairman

    In the event that you have a problem downloading or opening any of the files listed below please contact the web editor

    Suunto/ScotSAC Awards 2010

    Updated - 12/08/10 UP

    Rewarding our volunteers

    In the January / February 2010 issue of Scottish Diver we heard about the 6 deserving recipients of the Suunto ScotSAC Diver award for volunteering. Suunto and ScotSAC have teamed up once again to offer this reward and recognition package to our volunteers.

    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.  

    There will be 6 prizes of Suunto D6 watch size dive computers with PC interface, and an embroidered SSAC jacket. A prize package worth £600 each. Judging will be 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 2010 with the winners being announced and prizes presented at the ScotSAC Dive Conference in November 2010. Nomination forms are available here

    ScotSAC Conference 2010

    Updated - 12/08/10 UP
    Everything is coming together with a fine line up of speakers, competitions and side shows planned for the ScotSAC Dive Conference as it returns to Eyemouth on November 13th. Plenty of accomodation so no excuse for not sticking around Saturday night, enjoying the entertainment and wonderful restaurants then cooling off with some local dives on the Sunday. More details to follow soon!

    AGM Update and Nominations for the Board and National Diving Council

    Updated - 03/07/10 UP

    At the 2009 AGM a change was made to the ScotSAC Byelaws moving the date of the Annual General Meeting, which must now take place by 31st October each year. The date has now been set and the 2010 AGM will take place in Caledonia House, Edinburgh on Wednesday 22nd September from 7pm. Further details, meeting calling notice and proxy forms will be issued to all members with our September issue of Scottish Diver. The 2010 AGM will see the introduction of new proxy voting arrangements as required by the new Companies Act.

    Under our current byelaws, nominations for Directors on the Board and Members of the National Diving Council must be submitted by 30th November prior to the AGM.  However, given the AGM date change for this year it was not possible to invite nominations so far in advance of the AGM.

    Nominations are now invited for Directors on the Board to fill the following vacancies:
    ·         Secretary  
    ·         Director – 2 posts
    .         Chairman

    The following Board members remain in post for the duration of their appointment

    Jim Anderson (Treasurer), Adrian Thomas (Director), Iain Graham (Director), Douglas Forman (Director)     

    In addition to the above posts, nominations are invited for six positions of National Diving Council Members. NDC Members are elected for one year.

    Job Descriptions for the posts can be found on the about us page on and clearly define the duties and requirements of the Directors. Role Descriptions. Existing post holders. This ensures any nominee is aware of their duties prior to nomination and of the skills/experience necessary to fulfil the role.

    A nomination form is available on our website or by contacting ScotSAC Headquarters. All nominations for Directors or NDC Members and any resolutions for changes to the Byelaws must be received at ScotSAC HQ by 31st July 2010. In the event of any multiple nominations, ballot papers and personal statements will be circulated along with AGM notice. Please refer to Byelaw 4.5 for further information.


    Updated - 03/06/10 UP

    PRESS RELEASE – 28 MAY 2010

    The quest is on to find the UK’s top underwater photographer. The title will be decided at the fourth annual British Splash-In Championship being staged at Plymouth on Saturday, July 3, 2010 by the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP). The winner of the title – chosen by an independent panel of judges - will be jetting off to the Maldives with a companion to enjoy a fabulous one-week liveaboard trip donated Maldives Scuba Tours.

    Said BSoUP chairman J.P. Trenque: “The event is open to any qualified diver or snorkeller and we hope that users of compact cameras as well as those with more advanced equipment will test their skills in this unique way. The winners of the one-day shootouts staged by the various local underwater photographic groups in the UK are also invited to take part.

    “All facing the same conditions underwater and working within a specific timeframe in the vicinity of Plymouth on that particular day, the battle is to produce the one image that is judged to be the best and worthy of the title.”

    In addition to the grand prize, other generous sponsorship for the Splash-In is being provided by Olympus Cameras, AP Valves, Ocean Visions, New Holland Publishers and Sport Diver magazine.

    Full details of the event can be found on BSoUP’s web site:

    For further information:

    J.P. Trenque (BSoUP Chairman), 0776 787 4046
    Martha Tressler (Splash-in organiser) 0776 460 3657
    Brian Pitkin (BSoUP President) 020 8668 8168

    Note for editors:

    Formed in 1967, the British Society of Underwater Photographers is the largest such society in the UK and also one of the oldest in the world. It was formed to create a forum for the exchange of ideas and information about underwater photography as well as to put the activity on the map. Today the Society has some 300 members ranging from divers who have just started to take photographs underwater to world-renowned professionals.

    Brian Pitkin MSc, DIC, PhD
    12 Coningsby Road, South Croydon, CR2 6QP, United Kingdom, e-mail:, tel. 020 8668 8168
    British Society of Underwater Photographers

    Access issues in Loch Fyne

    Updated - 03/06/10 UP

    Following reports of a significant incident involving unidentified divers in the Loch Fyne area, where local residents were subjected to alleged verbal abuse by divers, ScotSAC wishes to remind all divers of their rights and responsibilities under the Land Reform Act.  The Land Reform Scotland Act 2003 gives the public Rights of Responsible non-motorised Access to land and water for recreation and passage.  In the event that behaviour is deemed irresponsible then the individual(s) concerned loses their right of access. 

    The Scottish Outdoor Access Code guides both access takers and land managers regarding responsible behaviour.  Last year, ScotSAC published Land Access Guidance for Divers. The problem for all access takers including divers, walkers, cyclists, horse riders, and canoeists is that the provision of parking in many places is inadequate for the demand.  This obviously can lead to conflict with local residents and other road users.   

    ScotSAC considers irresponsible access unacceptable, to the detriment of the sport and any of our members demonstrating such behaviour may face disciplinary action.   

    Divers are reminded to:

    • Park responsibly - ensuring that you are not obstructing other road users, ensure that you are parked in a public car park or with the landowner's permission. Also ensure that equipment or divers do not obstruct access roads.
    • Ensure that local residents are treated with courtesy, as you would wish to be treated.
    • Where possible avoid causing offence when going to the toilet, if unavoidable, and ensure that you are discrete, bag and remove all solid waste immediately.  Above all do not use gardens or road verges.  If you would object outside your house, so will local residents.
    • Ensure that all changing is discrete and out of public sight.
    • Organised groups may wish to consider providing a portable chemical toilet and a small toilet tent of the sort used when camping for their members to use at dives.
    • If you see other divers behaving irresponsibly have a friendly chat - after all they could be losing you access to the dives you enjoy.
    • Groups might also want to knock on the door of any nearby house and politely ask permission to park or at least ask where they should park to cause least obstruction. 
    There is a strong probability that if the diving community do not take responsibility for their parking, changing and toilet discreetly then it is likely that communities will continue to object to their presence.  In the long run this may mean that restrictions on informal parking make it increasingly difficult for divers to enjoy diving from the shore. 

    ScotSAC Summer Solstice Dive

    Updated - 02/06/10 UP


    Sunday 20th June  - 09.00 - 16.30 hrs
    Quarry View Tearoom, Crarae, near Inverary
    Cost £3, redeemable as food voucher for the tearoom. 
    Welcome to all branches and ScotSAC members.

    Obviously - THE only place to be on the longest day of the year!

    Well done guys and gals

    Updated - 22/05/10 UP

    Contratulations go to Rolly Weigand and Johan der Heijer, both from Pentland Sub-Aqua Club, who recently qualified as Sport Divers. Congratulations guys, it was a long slow slog.

    Congratulations also go to Tiffanie Le Dantec and Rob Montgomery, both from Napier University branch for qualifying as Sport Divers

    And congratulations to Craig Dugdale from Musselburgh branch on completing his Branch Instructor award. Well done all of you.

    Kev Watson, Regional Coach.

    rolly and johan

    £3 access charge on road to dive sites.

    Updated - 22/05/10 UP

    Just a piece of info for members, Eyemouth harbour trust have put a £3 charge (per car) on the access road up the side of the harbour leading to greenend gulley, (also known as gunsgreen),

    David Carruthers B.D.O.  Musselburgh sub-aqua club.

    NAS Introduction and Part I Course in Foreshore
    and Underwater Archaeology

    Updated - 21/05/10 UP
    course The NAS is running an Introduction and Part I Course in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology at the Crannog Centre, Loch Tay on 25th-27th June 2010. This course will provide an Introduction to archaeological principles and how they can be applied to maritime contexts, both underwater and to sites which are found on the foreshore or even on dry land. The Course will combine theory and practical sessions covering topics from dating methods, to project planning to carry out surveys on archaeological sites, delivered in an informal, relaxed environment the course offers a great chance to learn some new skills and do something different with your diving. The course costs £225 for the three days and includes all course materials, three dives to practice your new found survey skills underwater and one year’s ‘Online Only’ Membership of the NAS. If you have already attended an NAS Introduction Course, why not build on your skills and knowledge further by joining us for the Part I Course on the Saturday and Sunday for just £175.

    If you would like any further information on the course or if you would be interested in booking a place, please contact Mary at the NAS on or give us a call at the office on 02392 818419.


    Carpet Sea Squirt set to invade Scotland

    Updated - 24/02/10 UP


    Are you aware of the threat from a new invasive species, a carpet sea squirt, which may have significant impacts on our boating environment.

    Please print off the poster, take note of the action number,
    and put it up in your clubhouse.

    A3 Poster PDF

    ScotSAC Red Sea Photo Workshop 2010

    Updated - 23/02/10 UP

    ScotSAC is pleased to announce the 2010 inter-branch photography workshop trip to the Red Sea. turtle

    The concept is simple: we are inviting ScotSAC members from all branches, with an interest in underwater phtography, to participate in a one-week diving trip to the Red Sea in the autumn/winter of 2010. We aim to have no more than 2 qualified divers from each ScotSAC branch so that a good mix of people will be making some new friends. We aim to have a range of talents from photographic experts to relative newcomers and we are hopeful that the old hands will share their talent and teach the novices a bit about photographing wildlife underwater. We will not be taking inexperienced divers unless they have a suitably experienced buddy who is prepared to dive with them throughout the trip.

    We have not yet fixed the dates(s) or the destination and we don't know which travel company we will go with. This is deliberate, we want to see what people want to do, particularly the experts, and we already have enough interest that we may have two or more separate trips, one on a liveaboard and one in a shore camp. Whatever happens, we plan to fill a boat or a camp (or both) so that it's 100% ScotSAC and 100% photographers! We haven't given much thought to non-diving partners yet but we'll probably take snorkelers so there's a work-around.tank

    Once we have a group of interested divers we'll try to work out some dates and destinations to suit the group and only then will you be asked to make a committment and pay your deposit. We plan to fly from Glasgow or Edinburgh and I'd expect the total cost to be under £1000. You provide the photographic kit and dive gear (except weights and bottles).

    So if you're interested, the first step is to register your interest
    (remember - first come first served) - Register Online at no cost.
    (If you have questions, you can ask them in the registration form)

    Adrian Thomas, ScotSAC.

    Photos courtesy of Keith Waugh

    Wanted! - First Aider Volunteers

    Updated - 08/02/10 UP

    ScotSAC needs volunteers to help run Heart Start, Oxygen Administration and diver First Aid courses.

    You do not necessarily have to be an Instructor – what we’re looking for is people who either have the knowledge, or who are willing to gain it. You should be able to communicate with others.

    Assessment and certification will be given as you help out our retiring Course Director, Bert Smith, with courses this year.

    The aim is to recruit a pool of people who are able to deliver the courses, on demand, on a local level to members of individual Branches.

    Don’t be shy – contact Kate at HQ, who will collate the responses from what should be a dynamic and wide-ranging team.  We look forward to hearing from you!

    Nigel Spike, NDO.

    BSAC release annual incident report

    Updated - 06/02/10 UP
    BSAC have released their annual incident report.

    There is some grim but compelling reading but no harm to learn from others mistakes.

    Marine Wildlife - working together towards a better understanding

    Updated - 26/01/10 UP

    Please find attached details of an event which we believe may be of interest to you.  The event is completely FREE of charge but places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.  If there are other operators within your acquaintance would find this of interest, we would be grateful if you would pass on the details. We look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards,
    Suzanne Kilbane, SGP Administrator, Battleby, Redgorton, Perth
    DD: 01738 458556       email:

    Scottish Natural Heritage
    Sharing Good Practice - Caring for nature

    Marine wildlife - working together towards a better understanding, 17 March 2010, Battleby

    Purpose: Scotland’s marine wildlife provides the basis for a popular and growing marine tourism industry. Scotland also has a strong conservation research sector which is discovering more about our fascinating marine life. As well as creating an environment for networking and forging stronger links between participating sectors, this event will offer opportunities for:-
    • Tourism operators - improve and update your knowledge of marine wildlife, learn about projects of potential interest and focus on ways of enhancing the marine tourism experience for the benefit of your passengers and your business
    • Researchers – highlight your research and engage with wildlife tourism operators, resource managers and the general public to improve the quality of data collection
    • For wildlife managers/policy makers – gain the awareness of change and developments in the marine environment to inform your own policy and practice.


    Promotion flyer (PDF)

    Download booking form