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And the winner of our Tovatec T3500S Rechargeable Dive Light competition is…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a Tovatec T3500S Rechargeable Dive Light from our good friends at CPS Partnership.

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Catherine Thomas from the UK

Congratulations Catherine – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

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Miscellaneous Blogs

Book Review: Fire in the Night – The Piper Alpha Disaster (2008)

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At 10.00 pm on 6th July 1988 liquid gases, under high pressure, exploded in a fireball on the Piper Alpha oil production platform. All in its path were enveloped in super heated air and flame. The light from the explosion was seen by a diver working 50 feet below the surface; those onboard felt the violent vibration. Shrapnel from the explosion ruptured gas and crude oil pipelines that immediately fed the blaze. It also cut all electrical power and fire fighting water supplies on the platform. Within the space of two hours a two billion pound oil platform, “the most expensive real estate on the planet,” (p. 23) was destroyed and one hundred and sixty one men died. The blaze was visible from seventy miles away. Paint blistered on boats that tried to approach; rescue helicopters could not get closer than one mile.

Stephen McGinty, the author of Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster, has drawn upon interviews with survivors, witness statements and official testimony from the Public Enquiry led by Lord Cullen. However, it is more than a painstaking, forensic account of the events surrounding that night. His account describes the heroism and fear, leadership and confusion, professionalism and complacency surrounding those on the platform. It is all part of the human story of those who survived as well as those who perished.

Piper Alpha was a multi-level labyrinth of gangways and staircases, modules and gantries, pipelines and tanks. His account, of battling through searing heat and acrid smoke as workers searched for an escape route, is detailed, emotional and harrowing. However, it is an account that would benefit from a diagram of the platform and key landmarks included in his account. Also, in his attempt to be comprehensive McGinty includes the names and responsibilities of many who were on the platform that night. This includes accounts of their conversations and reflections. However, they are so numerous there is a danger they become bewildering and detract from the main story. Sometimes less information can provide a clearer picture.

Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster is a compelling book to read even though the content does not make it the most enjoyable. It does serve to illustrate that when we fail to follow procedures and cut corners it can be at a cost. Perhaps the final comment on the disaster should end with an extract from Lord Cullen’s damning report in which he describes:

“… a culture of complacency at Occidental where the monitoring of work was inadequate in an environment where mistakes proved lethal” (p. 259)


  • Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster (2008)
  • By Stephen McGinty
  • ISBN 9780230708068
  • 290 pages

About Stephen McGinty

Stephen McGinty is an award-winning journalist with the Scotsman newspaper. He has worked with the Glasgow Herald and the Sunday Times. His other books include:

            This Turbulent Priest: The Life of Cardinal Winning (2003)

            Churchill’s Cigar 2007)

            Camp Z: the Secret Life of Rudolf Hess (2011)


Find out more about Professor Fred Lockwood, who is also a published author, at www.fredlockwood.co.uk.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Andrea Marshall of the Marine Megafauna Foundation (Watch Video)

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To mark International Women’s Day 2021, Scubaverse is sharing a series of videos that shine a light on some of the amazing women working in the world of scuba diving and marine conservation.

In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Andrea Marshall, co-founder, board member and principal scientist for the Marine Megafauna Foundation, about marine conservation and her work with Manta Rays.

Andrea is a passionate conservation biologist directing an experienced global team of Manta Ray researchers. She is a professional underwater photographer, technical diver and ocean explorer. A seasoned public speaker, educator and ocean ambassador, with on-camera experience. Andrea is also owner of Ray of Hope expeditions, an adventure-science travel company.

Find out more at www.marinemegafauna.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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