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BSAC publishes guidance for a phased return to safe diving activities

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BSAC has released guidance to help members and the wider diving community prepare for a safe return to diving. A new website section – Safe Return to Diving guidance – is now live on bsac.com.

Working with other stakeholders including the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG) and the Sports and Recreational Alliance (SRA), BSAC has formulated guidelines that support a safe resumption of our sport, initially commencing with shore diving, which addresses all aspects that impact on facilitating our activities whilst contributing to the continued prevention of the spread of Covid-19.

From today (21 May), a phased resumption of diving activities commencing with limited shorebased diving is being supported by BSAC in England and Northern Ireland (although travel restrictions still apply). In Scotland and Wales, the return to diving has not yet been confirmed. We will continue to work with various agencies to monitor the situation and to advocate for a responsible and safe return for divers in all parts of the UK.

Safe return to diving guidelines

A comprehensive set of guidelines have been prepared for the use of BSAC members and the wider diving community. The guidelines are all interrelated and each should not be read in isolation. Further notes relating to the guidelines:

ž  – The guidelines are made in relation to safe conduct of that activity but do not imply that it is currently acceptable for that activity if it is not consistent with the prevailing government rules.
ž – Divers should ensure that they fully read all the relevant guidelines in order to ensure that they do not place themselves or their buddies at increased risk of either infection or diving injury.
– Divers should take account of the significant break from diving caused by the lockdown and build their dive fitness slowly and avoid undertaking more challenging dives to reduce any increased burden on an already strained emergency services and the NHS.
ž – Divers who have either tested positive or been treated for Covid-19 should consult a with medical specialist before returning to diving.

BSAC National Diving Officer Dai Atkins said: “NDC Safety Group has spent time digesting the easing of lockdown rules issued by the UK government to determine how they may allow a return to limited diving activity. These rules are further complicated by the different routes followed by the devolved administrations. However, we believe that this framework takes the first steps in providing the necessary guidance to allow a safe return to diving activities where allowed by law. When followed in conjunction with their training, safe diving protocols, and whilst exercising due caution and social distancing, members may now be able to resume shore diving activities and still act responsibly and considerately towards others. The guidance will continue to be updated to reflect the understanding of the impact of the pandemic and changing national and devolved government rules so please check regularly for updates.”

For more information visit the BSAC website by clicking here.

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Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap

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The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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