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BSAC Diving Conference reboot a big success




This year’s BSAC Diving Conference is being described as a triumph and the best conference in years. The new breakout sessions were well received, as were the improved delegate packs, greater opportunities to have meaningful discussion, top-notch external speakers and free drinks at the end of the day.

The day delivered a sense of unity as the challenges and opportunities of the organisation were shared and members fed back. The increased opportunity for members to discuss and feedback on topics important to them was well received.

As Mick Barraclough from Bradford Sub-Aqua Club put it: “I particularly enjoyed the interactive sessions that gave us an insight into the forward plans of BSAC. They were an innovative way to test out new ideas and thoughts.”

The open forum session saw many topics raised. And it wasn’t just a case of delivering answers; the committee members were taking on board feedback with interest. The strength of feeling on one issue – voting for students – is now being taken to the next Council meeting in November, and many other areas will be looked at as result of feedback from members at the conference.

BSAC Marketing Manager Debbie Powell who led on the changes for the event is delighted with the outcome from the day. “The positive feedback so far has been overwhelming, I’m thrilled. We won’t sit still though and when the feedback survey data is in we’ll look at evolving the event further in 2016.”

The keynote speakers – world-renowned hyperbaric doctor Professor Simon Mitchell and shark expert Cristina Zenato – didn’t fail to impress as they informed and entertained the conference audience. Advocate of BSAC, Simon Mitchell summarised his thoughts of the organisation at the beginning of his talk.

“I’m struck by what is in front of me. I don’t know if you know how unique you are. I travel the world speaking at meetings like this… there’s nothing else like this, this is a club, a club with thousands of members, running its own training programme and surviving in this commercially hostile environment. It’s extraordinary. I can tell you there’s nothing like it in the world. I can only offer my congratulations.”

If you have any feedback on the conference or ideas for future events, email

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Gear Review: Gemini Switch Box from Lungfish (Watch Video)



In a video shot exclusively for, Jeff Goodman reviews the Gemini Switch Box from Lungfish.

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Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… A career in diving



A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’

I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!

I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!

If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles. 

Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at. 

There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.

So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour. 

Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at

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