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Deptherapy’s 2021 expedition plans underway

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Ongoing travel restrictions due to COVID-19 may have led to a temporary pause in Deptherapy’s expeditions but divers from the rehabilitation charity are already engaged in home-based training in preparation for the recommencement of programmes in 2021.

Last year, Deptherapy, supported by its strategic partner the Endeavour Fund, secured a grant from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) Positive Pathways programme.  The grant was to cover two Marine Ecology courses in 2020 that would look at coral cover and fish assemblages. Following in 2021, course students would join a 10-day liveaboard to the Red Sea where they would compare coral and aquatic life on two historical WWII wrecks. The courses and liveaboard have now been re-scheduled for 2021 and 2022.

Deptherapy – changing and saving lives through scuba diving. Photo: Dmitry Knyazev for Deptherapy.

The two Marine Ecology courses are being led by Dr Deborah McNeill and Guy Henderson of the Open Ocean Project, which operates the Open Ocean Science Centres in El Quseir and Dahab in Egypt. Programme Members for the first 2021 course have been issued with supporting materials and Deborah is setting work that will establish a secure base of knowledge prior to travel. The whole team is active on a private online group, where there has already been plenty of discussions about the course and Marine Science in general.

The two practical courses will run at Deptherapy’s Egypt base Roots Red Sea and the 10-day liveaboard will be on Roots’ brand new accessible liveaboard ‘Big Blue’.

The 2022 liveaboard expedition will form a comparative study of the iconic and much dived SS Thistlegorm, alongside the rarely dived SS Turkia. The study of the two wrecks, which were both sunk in 1942, is an international first. The results will be shared with the Hurghada Environmental Protection & Conservation Association (HEPCA) and Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS). A formal presentation either to the Egyptian Embassy in London or at the British Embassy in Cairo is also planned.

The study reinforces Deptherapy’s ecological work on the wreck of the Shinkoku Maru in Chuuk Lagoon in 2018 and is part of the charity’s Protecting Our Oceans project.

Dr Deborah McNeill will be leading the project and it is hoped that Deptherapy’s Vice-Chair, Explorer and TV Presenter Paul Rose, will be part of the expedition team.

Those selected for the 2022 liveaboard will need to have completed one of the two Marine Ecology Courses in 2021, be certified to at least RAID Advanced 35 standard, as well as having a minimum number of dives that will reflect the challenging nature of the expedition.

Tom Oates with Deptherapy MI Andy Alfred diving in Egypt. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev.

Deptherapy Programme Members who have progressed through the charity’s training to Divemaster and Divemaster trainee standard will need to qualify as RAID Advanced Wreck Divers before the expedition, and it is expected that they will subsequently lead the dives.

Divemaster Trainee Tom Oates,  a Deptherapy Ambassador and Protecting Our Oceans’ Champion said:

“I start my Marine Biology degree at a Hull University in September. The Marine Ecology courses that Deptherapy has introduced are really exciting.  My knowledge has increased massively since the courses were announced and being part of the expedition will be a once in a lifetime experience.”

Divemaster Trainee Tom Swarbrick, a Deptherapy Ambassador and Protecting Our Oceans’ Champion said:

“I missed out on the 2018 Chuuk Lagoon Expedition as I didn’t have the level of experience required.  Being part of this new project is something very special. I am already working with the rest of the team on the first Marine Ecology course and the learning is hard but fun. Looking forward to a challenging Advanced Wreck course on the way!”

Dr Deborah McNeill, who is based at the University of Glasgow, said:

“I’m very excited about running these field courses for Deptherapy. The courses are designed to develop a specific set of scientific skills, but they also represent an excellent opportunity for team building. We’ve already made a promising start on the academics and it will be brilliant to see these skills put into practice in the amazing classroom that is the Red Sea.”

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.

Marine Life & Conservation

Students’ litter picking data to help clean up UK seas

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The Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean invites schools across the country to clean up the UK’s seas, no matter where they are.

The Marine Conservation Society has developed a suite of new educational resources for this year’s Great British Beach Clean, running from 17th to 26th September. There’s plenty of opportunity for students to get involved in a beach clean or inland litter pick and learn about ocean pollution no matter where they are.

The charity has created a pack of lessons and resources for primary and secondary ages focusing on marine litter. Students can explore the plastics problem from their classroom or take part in their own beach, street, park or playground clean.

Jenny Griffiths, Education Manager at the Marine Conservation Society: “The Great British Beach Clean is a fantastic way to bring the issue of ocean pollution to life. Whether you’re by the beach or miles from it, we’ve created a pack of helpful resources to engage young people with the issue of littering and explore the link to beach and ocean pollution. As well as in class and outdoor learning, our resources will help young people to identify practical ways we can all play a part in reducing marine litter and raise awareness of this important issue.”

For schools by the coast, students can take part in a beach clean and help gather data for the Marine Conservation Society using the charity’s survey form. Inland, the charity’s Source to Sea Litter Quest is a great way to illustrate how far pollution travels to make it to the ocean. The Litter Quest form pulls out some of the most common litter items on UK beaches and asks volunteers inland to see how many they can spot.

By taking part in the Litter Quest students can help to stop pollution at its source and keep the UK’s beaches clean from miles away.

Last year, Marine Conservation Society volunteers found an average of 425 items of litter for every 100 metres of beach cleaned in the UK. Inland, 70% of litter picks taking place on streets and in parks found PPE litter, 99% found drinks containers.

Dr Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society: “All of the data our volunteers collect on beaches, streets and parks across the country helps to make a real difference. Data collected in previous years has helped us make the case for the 5p carrier bag charges across the UK. We’re now pushing for Deposit Return Schemes for all sizes and types of drinks containers. We hope that a deposit on these will mean that in the future, we won’t be seeing cans and bottles littered and data such as this helps us show just how significant this change can be.”

The data also helps the charity to see the impact of things like the 5p carrier bag charges. Since their introduction from 2011 in Wales the charity has seen a 55% drop in the amount of single-use plastic bags found across UK beaches. The more data volunteers collect, the more policies the charity can push for to make beach and ocean pollution a thing of the past.   

Teachers can find all the resources for the Great British Beach Clean, and Litter Quest, on the Marine Conservation Society’s website. Resources are available for primary and secondary ages and are suitable for schools and groups. 

Images by Alisdair Naulls

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Gear News

Typhoon International’s new Storm3 Boot

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Typhoon International has introduced the Storm3 Boot, a wonderfully comfortable semi-soft boot that combines the comfort and thermal protection of a ‘wetsuit for the feet’ with a sturdy midweight sole for getting around on the water’s edge. A reinforced heel and toe provides even greater durability while maximising support at the same time.

The Storm3 Boot is made of 3mm neoprene, a popular thickness for year round use.  The neoprene fabric is super-stretchy so your feet and ankles can bend and flex the way they want to without any restriction.  A comfort-curved side zip makes the boot quick and easy to get in and out of.

The Storm3 Boot is perfect for dinghy sailors, surfers and windsurfers, in fact for all watersports enthusiasts, to give protection from the cold water. The boot is available in adult and children sizes. Also, as part of the 2021 Typhoon footwear collection, is the Storm3 Shoe.

The Storm3 Boot is part of Typhoon’s exciting new Storm3 range of watersports clothing which includes wetsuits, footwear and gloves, so water lovers can be dressed top to toe in Storm3 from Typhoon.

Visit www.typhoon-int.co.uk to see the full range and to find details of your nearest stockist.


Sizes:

  • Youth, 12 (30/31) UK1 (32/33), UK2 (34/35)
  • Adult 6 (39/40, 7 (41, 8 (42), 9 (43), 10-11 (44/45, 12 (46/47, 13-14 (48/49)

Prices:

  • Storm3 boot adult  £41.95 inc VAT
  • Storm3 boot child  £28.95 (VAT exempt)
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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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