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Duncan Price Receives CDG Fish Award

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The Fish Award

The Fish AwardThe Cave Diving Group (CDG) is the world’s oldest diving club. It was founded in 1946 by cave diving pioneer Graham Balcombe. Today its function is to “educate and support cavers for recreational and exploratory operations in British sump conditions”.

Cave diving in the UK is not particularly straightforward when compared with overseas sites. It is quite possible to park a vehicle near to the cave entrance, kit up and pretty much fall into the water in many countries. This rarely happens in the UK. The only site that instantly springs to mind for having simple logistical access is Wookey Hole in Somerset.

In the main, a British cave diver has to be a pretty competent dry caver and they only tend to learn to scuba dive to be able to access passageway beyond a flooded sump. (A sump can be described as a submerged or flooded section of cave.) It is not surprising therefore that since its inception the CDG has attracted some remarkable characters and explorers.

One such character was CDG Chairman, Mike ‘Fish’ Jeanmaire. Brian ‘Scoff’ Schofield, current Chairmen of the CDG said, it was Fish’s honesty and his ability to both respect tradition whilst allowing frontiers to be pushed back, that made him such a good Chairman of the CDG. Fish was to hold the post of Chairmen of the Cave Diving Group for thirty years until his health started to fail him. Following his death in November 2010 the ‘Fish Award’ was created.

The Fish Award

The Fish Award

This is awarded annually to a member who has made a significant contribution to the CDG. Whilst the nature of the contribution is not precisely defined, the guiding principle is that the individual should have served the CDG rather than any other organisation or themselves. The award is made by the previous winner – in 2015 the recipient was Andrew Ward, for his significant efforts over the past 30 years.

This year the Fish Award was presented to Duncan Price at the Cave Diving Group AGM.

Andrew Ward reflected on why Duncan Price was nominated.

“Duncan joined the CDG in the mid-1980s and seems to have stayed. I have known Duncan since he joined and was the examiner for his pool test on a dark, wet night in Yate piggybacking onto a BSAC club’s training night. We needed a victim for the recovery part of the exam and the BSAC club kindly provided one. Unfortunately, the gentleman was of generous proportions, so this part of the test was more like a Greenpeace re-floating operation. I must have been lax in those days as he passed the test.

From the start, Duncan has been active in all areas of caving and along the way found a reasonable amount of new passage. On top of this he has mentored new members as well as helping at training sessions where has passed on his expertise. Surveying was always a good session and a forte of Duncan’s. At one time or another Duncan has been the Welsh Section’s Training Officer, Secretary and Examiner – positions that allowed him to pass on his knowledge and experience that he gained as a trainee all those years ago.

Duncan continues to be active within cave rescue and for that we can all be grateful. He has always been keen on producing gear to his own design and rebreathers are a speciality with their names generating interesting, and arguably contrived, abbreviations!

But his contribution doesn’t stop with his practical help to the Group. he is also an accomplished writer, co-authoring technical bulletins on numerous cave diving topics. In addition, he has contributed to, or written, the CDG Manual, Wookey Hole book, and the Welsh and Somerset Sump Indexes. He was also short-listed for the Tratman Award in 2016 for his most recent writing, Underwater Potholer: A Cave Diver’s Memoirs.”

Roz is the Founder of The Underwater Marketing Company, Co-founder of EUROTEK, and established TEKDiveUSA. She is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, a BSAC Advanced Instructor, and a rebreather and Trimix diver. Before moving into the PR field she worked as a full time recreational instructor in the UK and abroad, on History Channel and National Geographic documentaries, as a safety diver, and modelled underwater.

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Get moving with the new RAID DPV training programs

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The thrill of speeding through the water behind a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) is an experience that really gets the blood racing. Using a DPV provides divers both immense fun and the means to achieve goals that would be impossible without their use.

RAID is proud to announce the new two-tier DPV training program with certifications for DPV and Advanced DPV.

Why DPV and why now?
Recreational and technical divers are using DPVs to access sites that would be difficult to reach and explore using traditional propulsion methods; to help propel large amounts of heavy equipment; to increase the safety of dives in areas of strong current; or just for the pure exhilaration of shooting through the water at speed and performing underwater acrobatics.

By extending your capabilities and extending your range, using a DPV opens new vistas for exploration and fun.

DPV
This certification option is aimed at the recreational diver who wishes to learn how to use a DPV to enhance their diving by using mainly natural navigation.

Advanced DPV
This certification option is available to anyone who is familiar with longhose configuration, has logged a minimum of 20 dives and is certified as Navigation specialty divers.

This certification option is aimed at the slightly more experienced diver with preexisting navigational training and diving on a single, twin or sidemount setup with a longhose. Although this level is slightly more challenging, the more advanced navigation exercises provide an important base for more complex types of DPV diving within a team.

PREREQUISITES
You must:

  • Be a minimum of 12 years old.
  • Be certified as RAID Open Water 20, Junior Open Water or equivalent.

Just visit www.diveRAID.com to put some extra dash into your dives.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Beers raise cash for ocean clean-up

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The Driftwood Spars Brewery, a pioneering microbrewery based on the North Cornwall coast, is donating a percentage of all profits from its Cove range of beers to Fathoms Free, a certified charity which actively cleans the ocean around the Cornish peninsula.

Each purchase of the small-batch, craft beers – there are four different canned beers in the Cove range – will help generate funds to purchase a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and fund retrieval dives; every brew will raise the equivalent cost of a fully-funded dive. 

Fathoms Free is a Cornwall-based charity whose day-to-day mission involves dives from their fast-response specialist vessel to recover ghost fishing gear; abandoned nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life.

The campaign to raise funds for an ROV is a new initiative which will take the clean-up work to a new level; the highly manoeuvrable underwater vehicle will be used to scour the seabed, harbours and remote parts of the coastline for abandoned fishing gear and other marine litter.

Project Manager Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free said: “Apart from helping us locate ghost gear underwater, the ROV will also be capable of recording underwater video which is always great for raising awareness about marine pollution issues.”

She added: “We are really excited to be partnering with The Driftwood Spars Brewery and appreciate the proactive support of Mike and his team in bringing the purchase of an ROV a step closer to reality.”

Head Brewer Mike Mason personally approached the charity after their work was featured on the BBC 2 documentary, ‘Cornwall with Simon Reeve’.    

He said: “As a keen surfer I am only too aware of the problem of marine litter and had heard about Fathoms Free, but seeing them in action prompted me to find a way of contributing. The scale of the challenge is scary, but the determination of organisations like Fathoms Free is inspiring.”

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

The Driftwood Spars Brewery was founded in 2000 in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes; the microbrewery is just a few steps away from it’s co-joined brewpub, The Driftwood Spars; both pub and brewery are well-regarded far beyond the Cornish cove they call home. 

You can hear the waves and taste the salt on the air from the door of both brewery and pub, and the rough seas along the rugged North coast often throw up discarded nets and other detritus; Louise Treseder, Landlady of The Driftwood Spars and a keen sea swimmer, often collects washed up ghost gear on her daily beach excursions.     

Louise commented: “This is a great partnership to support a cause close to our hearts – I know the money we raise will have a positive and lasting impact. The Cove range was inspired by our unique surroundings and the artwork – by local artist Jago Silver – reflects that. Now donations from each purchase will contribute towards the vital ocean clean-up taking place right on our doorstep.”

The Cove range can currently be purchased online here, and is available in good independent bottle shops in Cornwall.

To find out more about Fathoms Free visit their website here.

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