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Can we go diving yet?



By Mark Powell

After an unprecedented year, it finally looks like we are getting into the final phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Vaccines are starting to be rolled out and cases are starting to fall. In a number of areas, it is possible to anticipate lockdown restrictions being lifted, and as a result, people are getting ready to get back in the water. For some people, it has been a year, or even longer, since they have been diving. In many cases, this may be the longest time out of the water they have ever had to endure. Before you jump back in, there are a number of things to think about in order to ensure you can get back to diving safely.

Are you dive fit? If you have been out of the water for any length of time, there are a number of things to check

The first is to have an honest look at your fitness levels. If you were used to diving regularly, you may have taken your diving fitness for granted. Many people have used this period of lockdown to work on their fitness through walking, running, or other forms of socially distanced exercise. However, if lockdown has resulted in you putting on some weight or caused a reduction in your activity levels, it might be worth thinking of a gentle fitness plan to get back in shape. The last thing you want is to injure yourself by putting on your dive gear for the first time in several months or get into trouble if you cannot swim as well against a current as you could before the enforced dry season. Start to slowly build up your stamina and strength levels so that you can comfortably resume diving.

A note if you’ve had COVID-19 

If you are one of the millions of people who caught and then recovered from COVID-19, then you should ensure you are fit to dive. Your respiratory system can be affected by the coronavirus and it can have long term effects on your lungs and other systems that could impact on your ability to dive safely. The new UHMS 2020 Medical for screening divers undergoing training specifically covers COVID-19. If you have had COVID-19, then a doctor will need to confirm that you are fit to dive. It is likely that there will be a high demand for advice from diving doctors, so if you know you have had COVID-19, get in contact with your doctor as early as possible just in case an appointment may be necessary.

Mental Fitness 

In addition to physical fitness, we also need to consider mental fitness. Start reviewing your training material to refresh your knowledge. You can review physical course manuals, but also remember that if you did eLearning you can always go back and review the course content online. You can also work through various “what if” scenarios to deal with various hypothetical situations, including normal dives as well as emergency situations. This can be done alone, but works well as a group exercise with your dive buddies.

There is plenty of evidence that diving and being near water is beneficial for good mental wellbeing. I know many divers look forward to getting back in the water in order to get back to their “happy place”. Equally, it is perfectly normal for some people to feel nervous or apprehensive about their return dive. Making sure you are properly prepared, both physically and mentally, as well as checking all of your equipment is in full working order can reduce these concerns and ensure you are in the right frame of mind.

Your equipment 

If your equipment hasn’t been used for some time, then it is essential to take the time to ensure it is in working order. Cylinders may need to be tested or cleaned. Regulators will need to be serviced. Batteries will need to be charged or replaced and all of your other equipment will need to be checked. Make sure you allow plenty of time for this. There is likely to be a high level of demand for cylinder testing and regulator servicing in the next few months. If you wait until last minute, it is highly likely that your local dive shop won’t be able to get all of your equipment serviced. Even for equipment that doesn’t need to be serviced at your LDS, spend some time checking that it’s all working so that you have time to resolve any issues, rather than having to rush at the last minute or ever worse, lose a dive because your equipment isn’t working.

Skill levels fade if not used regularly and diving skills are no exception. Things that were slick and easy last year may feel awkward and clumsy now. Any diver, no matter what their level, should start their return to diving with a shallow shake down dive to ensure their kit is working and all of their skills are up to scratch. It’s a good idea to review all the skills that form part of your various diving qualifications and, starting from the basic qualification, make sure you can still perform each of the skills. Although a lot of things will come back quickly, it is always surprising to see how rusty divers are during that first dive after an extended time out of the water.

To find out more about International Training, visit

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.


Dive Training Blogs

My Dive Buddies Episode 1: Alejandro Dutto’s Best Wreck Dives! (Watch Video)



My Dive Buddies Episode 1: Alejandro Dutto’s Best Wreck Dives!

The first in a new series, where I invite my local scuba diving buddies into the Dive Locker for a beer and a chat! This week I’m chatting with Alejandro Dutto, Co-Founder of the International Scuba Divers Club and Publisher of the digital scuba magazine ‘Trim.’ I know Alejandro is a man after my own heart. Before covid hit, we dived South Florida wrecks together frequently and I’m looking forward to getting back in the water with him.

But for now, I’m happy to have a beer with him and talk about our top three favourite South Florida Wreck Dives. Alejandro also talks about the challenges of filming at technical diving depths and about his new Spanish language dive magazine.

Please follow Alejandro’s channels here:

Thanks everyone! D.S.D.O James

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Dive Training Blogs

SSI Launches New Website



SSI, the world’s largest professional dive business-based training agency, has launched its new website.

Over the last four months, SSI has been hard at work, redesigning its website to make it more user-friendly for divers and more profitable for SSI centers. With increased interactivity, dive customers can easily search for dive courses offered at their level and explore other related activities like freediving and mermaiding.

SSI also put a lot of time and effort into redesigning their website to drive traffic to their SSI Centers. With the “Find Your Training Center” map prominently displayed on every course page, SSI is driving potential business to its Training Centers around the world.

Here’s a comprehensive list of what the new SSI website has to offer new divers searching for their first certification, current divers looking to expand their dive experience, and valued SSI dealers.

  • Quality course and product content – Each page now features a link to a Free Course Preview and map of Training Centers currently offing the course. There is also a revised facts table based on actual SSI Training Standards with a link to the pathway poster and various certification options, if applicable.
  • Intelligent cross-linking to other tools like the SSI Center Locator with Event Calendar and MyDiveGuide DiveSpots and Destinations. SSI always aims to drive business directly to SSI Training Centers and Resorts.
  • New Site Map with enhanced navigation has a stronger focus on the user experience with the start-continue-lead approach, and an updated Header/Footer with optimized search functionalities.
  • SEO optimization for better search results and higher reach, as well as updated landing pages to create leads.
  • Improved performance by consolidating and simplifying the SSI system architecture. This will also centralize data and content management in one place.
  • More possibilities for Cross-Marketing Campaigns with strategic SSI partners.

Go to to explore SSI’s interactive course offerings and map to get you dreaming of diving again.

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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

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