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BSAC’s war on plastic continues



BSAC is removing non-refillable water bottles from all its national and regional training events as part of the club’s pledge to eliminate single use plastic from its day-to-day operations.

Hot on the heels of removing the single use plastic wrapper from SCUBA magazine, BSAC organisers will now no longer supply single use water bottles or plastic cups on any of its national and regional training events.

This includes the Instructor Training Scheme and regional Skill Development Courses, and will be in place across the organisation by the end of the year. All course participants will be encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles instead.

The BSAC stand at the recent Birmingham Dive Show was also single-use plastic free and BSAC clubs are now being encouraged to adopt the pledge on dive trip and club activities.

BSAC’s Chief Executive Mary Tetley said the roll out of the single-use plastic commitment was an essential move.

Single-use plastic is the biggest marine pollution issue our oceans and marine life are facing and as divers and sea-users, we should be working together to reduce our plastic usage.”

BSAC has committed to eliminating single-use plastic from all BSAC branded products by World Oceans Day on 8 June 2020. Mary added: “With less than 23 per cent of single-use plastic water bottles ever making it to recycling globally, BSAC is looking to significantly reduce unnecessary plastic usage across the whole organisation.

Get involved in the BSAC Marine Clean 2018

There’s still time to join the many clubs and BSAC members around the country helping to turn the tide on plastic polluting our oceans and environment.

Get your Five-a-Day – embrace the Marine Clean ethos by pledging to collect at least five pieces of single-use plastic every day! Click here to take the Five-a-Day litter challenge.

Marine clean as you dive – get together with your club or your dive buddies and organise an Underwater Litterpick – or commit to be an ‘Underwater Litterpicker’ on every dive. Click here to get the resources that will help you get started.

Clean up topside – whether it’s part of a family day out to the beach, your surface interval on a club trip or a more organised group effort, make every trip to the coast a chance to have a tidy-up. Beach cleans – which can also include roads and areas leading up to a beach – can really make a difference in the amount of debris getting into our oceans.

Check out all the BSAC Marine Clean activities to get involved in by clicking here

Picture: Natasha Ewins, courtesy of Marine Conservation Society.


Mark Milburn’s Cornish Wreck Ramblings, Part 13: Dollar Cove, just what is the ‘truth’?



Reprising our popular series of Cornish Wreck Ramblings by Mark Milburn…

Part 13: Dollar Cove, just what is the ‘truth’?

For many years treasure hunters have been searching for the fabled “Dollar Cove” wreck. Dollar Cove’s actual name is Jangye Ryn; it got the name “Dollar Cove” from the silver pillar dollars, pieces of eight, that used to regularly wash ashore. Most stories online state that coins washed up from the 17thC wreck are dated up to around 1775, so late 18thC. The San Salvador is quite often listed as being the dollar wreck, it was a hundred years too early. Although it was reportedly wrecked near Gunwalloe Church Cove, the wrong side of St Winwalloe Church to be the Dollar wreck.

Underwater artefacts

Within the church records of St Winwalloe, there is an entry from 1787, it states that a Portuguese wreck occurred with several bodies washed ashore. There are no records of this wreck anywhere, which is no surprise. There are many wrecks along that piece of coast without any records.

The current suspect, is the Rio Nova, it sank in 1802, near Penzance. The whole of Mounts Bay was classed as close to Penzance, back in those days. The Rio Nova was carrying 19,000 silver coins, 12,500 of which were recovered at the time. Many coins have washed up over the years, on one day in the late 19th century, 484 coins were said to have washed up one night. The main problem with the Rio Nova being the dollar wreck, is that divers said they found the Rio Nova near Penzance many years ago.

A lone 18th Century Cannon, possibly from the Dollar Cove Wreck

Some other sources of information state:

A Spanish ship struck the cliffs midway between Gunwalloe Church Cove and the fishing cove, half a mile westward. She broached, end to end, and spilled her cargo of pieces of silver. In 1845 a limited company tried to recover the cargo by damming the mouth of the gully with the intention of pumping it dry at low water. However, their attempts were thwarted by a southwest gale which swept the dam away. (2)(3)(4)

The distance between Church Cove and Fishing Cove is a couple of miles, the gully they dammed was believed to be the one on the headland, between Church Cove and Dollar Cove.

Another attempt was made in 1847 when a gang of miners were hired to cut a passage down and steps down the cliff and sink a shaft 3 metres in diameter and 25 feet deep in the rocks. The miners then drove 40 feet under the gully, but no coins appeared; but the sea did and they just escaped with their lives. (2)(3)(4)

Some of their efforts are still visible around the headland, the main one being a cutting on the far most northern corner.

A 2006 attempt to locate the treasure

Thirty years later, a Mr Boyd, with engineers and divers, attempted to pump out and sieve the contents of the 1847 shaft. No dollars were found so they decided to blow up the shaft and sieve it but to no avail. (3)(4)

In 1877 two bankers from Helston sold 200 shares at £3 each to finance another attempt. The circular mentioned several ships rather than one and the promoter John Toy had occasionally picked up dollars around the cove. He had divers working within a caisson, but nothing was found during the first season. However, the following year an unspecified quantity of coin was recovered, but it was insufficient to repay the shareholders and the company went into liquidation. (3)(4)

There are several ships in the area, this story seems to have been echoed many years later, on another wreck in Cornwall.

In June 1890 another attempt was made by the Liverpool salvage steamer ZEPHYR, but it came to nothing. The last attempt was made by a London businessman, who hired a suction dredger and shifted thousands of tons of sand, but no coins were found.

Since the 1890 attempt, many people have looked, including the legendary Roland Morris. He implied that he may have known where it was, after an argument with the National Trust about ‘rights to wreck’, he left. The NT told Roland to tell them where it was, he just laughed and told them he never would,

The last I can remember was in 2007, when a business man from Chippenham, hired a boat with some local divers including myself, to try and excavate the site. We visited twice in 2007 and recovered hundreds of artefacts but no coins. The first visit found the inlet, which was dammed in 1845, to be completely void of sand, nothing was found apart from some steel beams and a sounding lead. So either all the coins had all been removed, or they were never there in the first place. He is still looking.

Artefacts recovered during a 2006 attempt


(2) Richard Larn 1987 A Diver Guide, Dive South Cornwall – 2nd Edition Page(s)116-17
(3) by Richard Larn 1996 A Diver Guide, Dive South Cornwall – 3rd Edition Page(s)166-69
(4) R. Larn 1983 The Diver Guide to South Cornwall – 1st Edition Page(s)134-35

Find out more about Mark and Atlantic Scuba at

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Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados



In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.

Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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