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And the BSAC Diving Conference 2013 award winners are…



More than 400 delegates enjoying a packed programme of news, diver training and skill development course updates and open forums at BSAC’s Diving Conference which was held this year at DIVE 2013. The speakers at the conference – renowned Diving physician Prof Simon Mitchell and polar cameraman and diver Doug Allan – also went down a storm.

BSAC have revealed their Diving Conference award winners. There will be a full report and pictures from the BSAC Diving Conference 2013 in the December issue of SCUBA magazine (out from the 12th November) but in the meantime here are the winners:


COLLINS & CHAMBERS OWI AWARD – for the most meritorious candidate on the Open Water Instructor Course

Winner: Damian Gascoyne

ANALOX AI AWARD – for the most meritorious candidate on the Advanced Instructor exam

Winner: Jason Hall

FIRST CLASS DIVER – Awarded to the successful 2013 candidates

Martin Smith, Maria Harwood, Gordon Lambert and Hubert Desgranges

AP VALVES AWARD – awarded for the most admirable performance in the First Class Diver exam

Winner: Maria Harwood

NATIONAL INSTRUCTOR – Awarded to the successful 2013 candidates

Louise Whitehouse and Michelle Kim

WEEZLE AWARD – awarded to the person who performs meritoriously in the National Instructor exam

Winner: Michelle Kim

WILKINSON SWORD – awarded for the most admirable performance in a BSAC nationally assessed examination

Winner: Louise Whitehouse

BSAC SAFETY AWARD – presented in recognition of endeavouring to save a life without involving diving techniques


Fort William: D Sydenham, S Duncan, C Harvey, R Higgins, G Melville, P Johnson, R Douglas, K Douglas, S Gosden, R Hollstein

Wraysbury: Joanne White, Yvonne Tatchley, Mark Bruce, Paula Hutton, Mark Edwards, Paul Compton

ALAN BROADHURST AWARD – awarded for the use of good diving lifesaving techniques


David Williams, Marian Boyde, Peter Craig, Chris Tridgell, Jackie Bush, Clive Bush; Anthony Smith; Neil Hope

BSAC EXPEDITIONS TROPHY – presented to the organiser of the most significant British diving expedition of the year

Winner: Tyneside Branch 114 (for their Skerryvore expedition to Tiree)

PETER SMALL TROPHY – for the branch who has undertaken the most worthwhile underwater project of the year

Winner: Southsea SAC (for their project ‘Kedge Hook’ – HM Landing Craft Tank 427)

COLIN McLEOD AWARD – to the person/s who in the opinion of the BSA Jubilee Trust has contributed to international cooperation and harmony in diving and associated activities.

Winner: Dr John Bevan (a founding member of the Historical Diving Society)

SCUBAPRO COUSTEAU AWARD – for the BSAC member who goes that extra mile in the promotion of the Club’s aims and objectives

Winner: Mark Wilson


Retired from Regional Coaching positions during 2013 – Dr Pat Farrell, Mark Callaghan and Len Young

For long-standing support as BSAC liaison officer to the UKSDMC – Dr Pat Farrell

HEINKE TROPHY – for the branch judged to have done the most in furthering the interests of BSAC and its members

Winners: Oxford BSAC

Commended: Abu Dhabi SAC

SUUNTO BRANCH VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR 2013 – nominated by their fellow branch members

New Volunteer of the Year – Angela Clewes (Chorley SAC)

Young Volunteer of the Year – Lucy Fanet (Budehaven SAC)

Event Organiser of the Year – Sandra Burgen (Bradford SAC)

Long-serving Volunteer of the Year – Paul Nusinov (Swansea Yacht & SAC)

Instructor of the Year – Nigel Hilburd (Rhondda SAC)

Branch Volunteer of the Year (general) – Dave Hoskins (Swindon SAC)

JONATHAN CRUSHER OF THE YEAR – presented to the most outstanding Volunteer of the Year

Winner: Nigel Hilburd

you can check out BSAC’s Facebook page for more photos and news from the BSAC Diving Conference 2013.


Indo siren destroyed by fire



Indo Siren

Indo Siren, a vessel from the Master Liveaboards Fleet, has been destroyed by a fire this morning. Thankfully, all guests and crew members are safe.

Master Liveaboards have released the following statement:

During our current cruise in Raja Ampat, on the morning of 30th November, a fire broke
out on Indo Siren. At the current time we are still assessing the events around the incident,
and will be working with authorities, so cannot currently comment further.

All guests and staff departed the boat, without further incident. They are now with our
ground crew who have organised accommodations while we assist with all their other
needs going forwards.

We are currently evaluating the issues created by the fire on upcoming trips. Guests who
are likely to be affected by enforced cancellations or changes will be contacted in due time
when plans are finalised.

We are incredibly grateful that this incident was not more serious and that everyone who
was onboard, both crew and guests, are safe and well.

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The healing powers of adaptive diving



PADI highlights how scuba diving helps enrich and heal lives

This International Disabilities Day (3rd December) PADI is reminding the world of the healing aspects that the ocean (or any body of water) can provide and how important it is for helping those with physical or mental challenges improve their wellbeing. From simply being within close proximity of it or diving beneath the salty surface for an underwater adventure, the ocean has the power to heal.

Regardless of your age, ability, or even limitations, the ocean can benefit us physically, emotionally and even spiritually. This is why PADI is on a mission to make those benefits accessible to all, with their Adaptive Techniques Diving Course in the hope that all of humanity can experience the full transformational power of the ocean.

While many are more familiar with traditional therapies, diving, mermaiding or freediving, has changed the lives of those around the world by connecting with the water and enabled them to conquer mental or physical perceived limitations.

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty course is unique in that it’s a pro-level specialty designed to educate and empower PADI Professionals who wish to make scuba and freediver training more accessible.

Through classroom, confined water and open water workshops, dive professionals further cultivate their ability to be student-centered and prescriptive in approach when adapting techniques to meet diver needs. This hands-on training increases awareness of differing abilities and explores adaptive teaching techniques to apply when training divers with physical and mental challenges. PADI Pros learn to adapt course content to accommodate virtually any student diver.

PADI Members Helping those with Disabilities

This International Disabilities Day PADI highlights a shining example of a member who is championing teaching those with disabilities how to dive.

DiveHeart Empowers Individuals Worldwide Through Adaptive Scuba Programmes

DiveHeart, a PADI Dive Centre founded by PADI Scuba Instructor Jim Elliott in 2001, continues to revolutionise the world of adaptive scuba. Using zero gravity and adaptive scuba, DiveHeart aims to instil confidence, foster independence, and elevate self-esteem among individuals facing physical and cognitive challenges.

DiveHeart has established Adaptive Scuba programmes across North America and the Caribbean and reaches global destinations including Malaysia, Australia, China, Israel, and the UK. Through a combination of donations, grants, and strategic partnerships, DiveHeart ensures inclusivity by providing services to children, veterans, individuals with ALS, autism, and others, irrespective of their abilities or financial means.

A significant milestone in DiveHeart’s journey was the hosting of the inaugural Adaptive Scuba Symposium in 2009, held at the prestigious Our World Underwater event in the Midwest. This pioneering symposium attracted a diverse array of experts, including researchers, physicians, professors, therapists, adaptive dive professionals, and participants from across the globe. The event delved into the current state and the future of adaptive scuba, scuba therapy, the adaptive scuba market, the latest in adaptive scuba training techniques and the latest in scuba therapy research.

At the forefront of adaptive scuba initiatives, DiveHeart offers specialised training courses for certified scuba divers to become adaptive dive buddies. Every diver with a disability is paired with two dive buddies to form a cohesive dive team, ensuring a safe and empowering experience.

DiveHeart further hosts regular pool diving programmes catering to divers of all skill levels nationwide and organises immersive week-long adaptive diving trips to ocean locations like Cozumel, Roatán, and others at least three times annually.

Jim Elliot, the Founder and President of DiveHeart, a scuba diving instructor since 1997, recognised the transformative potential of adaptive diving for individuals with physical disabilities. Witnessing firsthand the holistic benefits encompassing physical fitness, emotional well-being, and mental health, Elliot embarked on a mission to make scuba diving accessible and empowering for all.

DiveHeart remains committed to breaking barriers and creating opportunities for individuals facing challenges, enabling them to explore the vast wonders of the underwater world while unlocking their true potential. For more information on DiveHeart and its impactful initiatives, visit

People Who Have Healed from Diving

For people with disabilities—whether they use a wheelchair, have a sight impairment or a neurological condition like cerebral palsy—scuba diving can be a fun activity that offers freedom and mobility in the weightlessness of the water. PADI’s Adaptive Support Diver specialty is a course designed to teach friends and family adaptive techniques for diving with a buddy who has a disability. Many students take the course to support a particular person in their life, and the instructor can work with them on the specific skills they require.

Ryan Chen: Diving to Heal the Mind, Body and Spirit 

Ryan is a PADI Open Water Scuba Diver who was in a tragic accident as a teenager that left him paralysed. He found healing and clarity through scuba diving with his dive buddy Kent Yoshimura – so much so that during one scuba diving trip he and Kent ended up creating their current company Neuro Gum – a collection of functional gum and mints that help you get energised, calm or focused that has now led him to be named on Forbes 30 under 30.

“Scuba diving was one of the ways I learned that I can do anything, I just have to do it differently,” Chen says, “Scuba diving is one of those things that can change your whole framework. There’s no cooler feeling than taking that first breath underwater. All of a sudden you have this superpower, to breathe underwater and explore.”

Scuba diving continues to be his physical and mental therapy he continually seeks out amidst his busy entrepreneurial life. Now, with Neuro a national success and leading wellness brand in the United States, Chen has kept up his diving, and remained close to PADI as an organisation. Neuro even has a collaboration with PADI’s coral reef restoration project coming up—a special pack of Neuro, with proceeds going to PADI’s non-profit foundation.

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