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Oyster Diving’s PADI Specialty Of The Month: Wreck Diver

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Having been a diver for over 15 years I have been lucky enough to experience all sorts of dives including fast drifts, walls, pretty coral reefs, lakes, sharks, night, underwater scooters (DPV) as well as numerous wreck dives.

Of all of these types of dives wrecks have to be up there amongst my favourite. Many countries are sinking wrecks as it has several benefits; they act as artificial reefs which helps to protect and grow the local marine life, and they attract divers which benefits the local economy.

Personally I get more of a buzz out of non-artificially sunk wrecks. They tend to be historical moments frozen in time that the vast majority of the world’s population can never get to explore.

Probably the most famous wreck for scuba divers in the world is the SS Thistlegorm in the Egyptian Red Sea. Sunk by the Germans in World War II, it lies at 30m in the same position on the night it was hit. Inside you can still see the motorbikes in their racks, aeroplane wings, Enfield Rifles and Wellington Boots. Externally lie a couple steam engines, munitions and the guns that failed to protect the ship. Unfortunately in the last 10 years or so, many unsavoury divers have removed many of the artefacts and some irresponsible dive guides have damaged the wreck by tying their dive boats to weak parts of the ship. If you have never dived this wreck, it’s definitely worth a visit but get there soon before it is totally ruined.

The most famous area in the world to dive with wrecks is Truuk Lagoon which is often referred to as the ‘Japanese Pearl Harbour’. Other places closer to home are the Zenobia in Cyprus, a huge 178m ferry that sank in 1980 along with its £200m worth of Cargo that includes 104 lorries. Malta has some exciting wreck diving which includes a Blenheim Bomber from WWII, and Portugal has recently sunk about 5 ships close to each other to form Ocean Revival, a large reef system and playground for divers.

On our own doorstep we have some of the best wreck diving in the world. Dotted around the UK coastline are wrecks from both world wars and some go back many hundreds of years. Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands is one of the best places in the world to experience wreck diving as it has many British and German warships from both world wars – definitely worth a Google!

While diving with wrecks is fascinating you do need to take extra precautions. If you penetrate them it can be easy to get lost and there are more obstacles to get entangled on, so you need to make sure you are prepared and your skills are more than adequate.

So if you relatively inexperienced and are planning on diving on wrecks then it is recommended that you take a wreck diving certification first such as the PADI Wreck Diver course. The Wreck Diver course teaches you things like:

  • Safety considerations for navigating and exploring wrecks.
  • Surveying and mapping a wreck.
  • Using penetration lines and reels to guide exploration.
  • Techniques to avoid kicking up silt or disturbing the wreck and its inhabitants.

The course can be completed in four fun dives over one weekend. The minimum age is 15 and you will need to be an Adventure Diver or equivalent, or a higher qualification before you start.

Not only will it make you a safer diver but it will also help you to protect the wrecks so that they can be enjoyed by other divers for many years to come.

Oyster Diving are offering a 10% discount for anyone who signs up to a Wreck Diving course  in May. Simply call 01273 384971 or e-mail info@oysterdiving.com for more information or sign up to your course.

[youtube id=”U9RFfTMGB_k” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Photo: Stuart Philpott

Having worked as a Dive Instructor in the Virgin Islands, Thailand and Egypt, Mark returned to the UK in 2006 when he founded Oyster Diving. His principle aims for the new diving centre would be to appeal to the more discerning customer by offering the best facilities, having an integrated travel agency so customers can complete their dives abroad as well as in the UK. In 2010 Mark won Sport Diver magazines' 'Best Diving Instructor'. For more information on Oyster Diving, visit www.oysterdiving.com.

Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1

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Over the next seven days, join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy as we publish a Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy made the very brave decision to book an expedition to our home in Egypt as soon as Roots Red Sea received their certificate from the Egyptian Authorities that the camp and dive centre was COVID secure. Roots is one of very few resorts to receive a certificate from the Egyptian Government.

We arrived in Roots the day after they re-opened.

Getting together an expedition was a major task. Very few Approved Medical Examiners’ of Divers or Dive Referees are conducting consultations at the moment. Availability of beneficiaries and the requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt affected the number of beneficiaries available.

There was also a requirement to pass a COVID PCR virus test within 72 hours of travelling.

We had decided on a small expedition and on the day of travel we had six flying to Egypt.  Unfortunately, Chris Middleton had to drop out the day before we travelled after emergency wisdom tooth surgery.

Our group comprised of Richard Cullen, Michael Hawley, Tom Oates, Tom Swarbrick, Keiron Bradbury and Corey Goodson.  Keiron was undertaking his RAID Master Rescue Course and, as it turned out, Corey was undertaking the RAID Open Water 20 course.

A deserted Gatwick Airport at 0900 on 10 October

Our outbound flight was before midday on Saturday 10 October and I must admit we were all shocked at how deserted was.  Checking in with easyJet took minutes and when we boarded the plane, we found it less than half full.

Corey is a paraplegic since a car accident two years ago while he was training prior to joining the Royal Anglian Regiment.  Corey has no sensation below the waist and is unable to use his legs.  The cabin crew on our flight were quite amazed to see the two Toms and Michael lift him from his wheelchair and place him in his seat for the flight.

Mask protocols were strictly observed by the team, the flight was uneventful, and the easyJet Cabin Crew superb. We also took a digital thermometer to check temperatures prior to flying.

Corey having a pre-flight temperature check

Hurghada Airport was very quiet and we moved through Immigration and collected our baggage in very quick time.

Two things to note:  If you are travelling to Hurghada you need to complete a COVID declaration for the Egyptian Authorities. If not, you have to fill out the rather lengthy form when you arrive.  You can undertake a COVID test on arrival at Hurghada Airport but the queues are long.  It costs much less than the tests we had done in the UK – BUT – you are required to be quarantined at your hotel until the test result comes through.  This means two days with no access to resort facilities.  If the test comes back as positive you have at least two weeks being confined to your room.

COVID guidelines

Transport to Roots was, as ever, on hand and we were soon at the camp and being briefed about the COVID arrangements.  A lot of work has been put in place to make Roots COVID compliant – and all at considerable expense.

None of the usual hugs with the Roots team and you have your temperature checked every morning and every time you return from the dive centre.  Your dive kit is sterilised every night ready for the next day’s diving.

Sterilised Dive Kit

We all felt very COVID secure.

Check back for tomorrow’s Blog and our first day diving…


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

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Dive Training Blogs

Dive Instructor! Is Your Paycheck rubbish? Here’s 4 passive income ideas for Scuba Pros (Watch Video)

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How much money does a Dive Instructor make? The easy answer is not much. Here’s 4 ways a Scuba Diving Professional can diversify their income streams.

You hear it all the time: Being a Scuba Diving Instructor is a labor of love. Why is it that Scuba Instructors, when compared to almost any other professional in a sports training or educational role, make less money? Well, we’re not going to dive into that topic, because nobody here has the time for that!

What we are going to do is give you 4 ideas for generating passive income using your expertise as a Dive Instructor. Each of the ideas requires a little effort and investment on your part, but with a long term strategy, you can absolutely add money to your monthly income.

If you’ve just finished your Instructor Development Course, I strongly encourage you to diversify your income streams by trying your hand at some or all of the ideas we explain in this video.

We want to thank all of our subscribers for supporting this channel and being such an active and engaged audience! We appreciate you all! And thanks for making our most recent video our most watched video yet!


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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