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New British National Records set in Freediving

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British National Records set in the new Depth Discipline Constant Weight Bi-Fins by Dean Chaouche & Helena Bourdillon!

British freedivers Dean Chaouche and Helena Bourdillon have set new national records of 98m and 75m respectively, in the constant weight bi-fins (CWTB) depth category.  The discipline has been recently recognised by AIDA International, whereby a diver descends using only bi-fins as propulsion. Dean and Helena are the first UK athletes to set records in this discipline.

Image: Alex St Jean

This is the first time Helena has set a national record in freediving, and she set two over the course of just two days!  The first of the two British records took place on 4 August when she swam down to 73m, the next day, 5 August, she went to 75m, both times at the Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition.  Helena had this to say:  “I’m thrilled to have done this and enjoyed it a lot!

Image: Potti Lau

Dean set the first of four CWTB records at the Asian Freediving Cup on 9 June, going down to 90m; he went two meters deeper on 24 August at the Korean Cup organised by Freedive Panglao in the Philippines and then to 95m on 29 August and finally to 98m on 31 August at the Freedive Panglao Mini Comp.

Dean said: “After my 90m bi-fins dive which I had made earlier in the year I was surprised by how much fun deep bi-fins dives can be and so I decided that I would push the depth a little more and enjoy the process of developing a new discipline.  My other goal for these string of comps, organised by Freedive Panglao, was to achieve a greater state of relaxation similar to what I feel on training dives and to build slowly. I began with a 92m dive on the second day of the Korean Cup, following that dive I decided to go for 95m on day one of the Mini Comp, it was a very relaxed and enjoyable dive, exactly the experience I was looking for.”

“I made a slightly more challenging dive to 98m due to current, though I am very happy with the numbers, what I’m more happy about is the circumstances and the quality of dives and focus.  There was quite a bit of current all the way down, I was aware of this before my dive but I still maintained a very relaxed state of mind.  When I started the dive I could feel it was taking more energy to keep straight and I could feel the current moving me around on the descent but I realised I was still in a very comfortable state of mind and knew that I could make the dive even with the added difficulty.  The swim up was for sure harder than the previous dive but ultimately successful and a clean protocol. I’m super stoked with how relaxed I can feel even in competition and will aim to build on these satisfying dives.”

Dean Chaouche from Swansea has broken several national records in both the free immersion and constant weight no fins depth disciplines and is currently ranked in the world’s top 5.  You can follow Dean on Social Media under the handle @deanfreediver.  Helena Bourdillon is a motivational speaker as well as a competitive freediver and is based in London.

For more information about the BFA visit their website by clicking here.

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Book Release: Diving the Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Guide to a World War II Shipwreck

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Diving the Thistlegorm is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s best-loved shipwrecks. In this highly visual guide, cutting edge photographic methods enable views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo which were previously impossible.

This book is the culmination of decades of experience, archaeological and photographic expertise, many hours underwater, months of computer processing time, and days spent researching and verifying the history of the ship and its cargo. For the first time, Diving the Thistlegorm brings the rich and complex contents of the wreck together, identifying individual items and illustrating where they can be found. As the expert team behind the underwater photography, reconstructions and explanations take you through the wreck in incredible detail, you will discover not only what has been learned but also what mysteries are still to be solved.

Find out more about:

  • One of the world’s greatest dives.
  • Incredible ‘photogrammetry’ shows the wreck and cargo in a whole new light.
  • Meticulous detail presented in a readable style by experts in their respective fields.

About the authors:

Simon Brown is an underwater photographer and photogrammetry/3D expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia. Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”. Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.


About the book:

  • Release date 25 November 2020
  • Limited run of Hardbacks
  • RRP £35
  • ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5
  • 240 photo-packed pages
  • 240 x 160 mm

Available to pre-order now from Divedup.com, Amazon, online, and from retailers.

Check back on Scubaverse.com for a review of the book coming soon!

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Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

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Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience.

Paul Rose, Deptherapy’s Vice Chair, and a world renowned explorer, author, broadcaster, who is a former Vice Chair of the RGS said: 

“This is a huge achievement by Richard. His Fellowship is richly deserved, and a direct result of his steadfast commitment to preserving our oceans through Deptherapy’s very powerful ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ Programme.  I know the top team at the RGS are looking forward to welcoming Richard into the Society.”

The RGS was founded in 1830 to advance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, as well as by advocating on behalf of the discipline and promoting geography to public audiences.

Paul Toomer, President of RAID, said:

“I have been close friends with Richard for many years and his passion for our seas, even at 70 years of age, is undiminished.  Deptherapy are the world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching and are our much valued partners.  Taking UK Armed Forces Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges and engaging them in major marine biology expeditions, is to most of us beyond the realms of possibility.  The skills these guys have to develop is just awesome.  This is a great honour for Richard, a great honour for Deptherapy, and also for us as their partners.  The diving world must come together to celebrate and acknowledge Richard’s achievement.”

Richard joins some distinguished Fellows of the RGS.  Former Fellows include Ernest Shackleton and many other notable explorers and geographers.

Richard said:

“I am both honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. When I was invited to apply for a Fellowship, I was, which is very unusual for me, lost for words.  I hope it will allow me to take our message of Protecting Our Oceans to a larger audience and to further develop our programmes.  The Fellowship is a recognition of the charity’s work to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans.  The credit belongs to a group of individuals who have overcome massive challenges to let alone qualify as divers but now to progress to marine biology expedition diving”.

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

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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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