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RAID releases new Advanced Wreck Diver course

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RAID logo 2RAID International have announced the release of the second in their series of wreck diving courses: the RAID Advanced Wreck Diver Course.

On making the announcement, RAID International Director Terry Cummins said: “We at RAID believe our new series of wreck diving programs are the most diver responsive wreck programs ever released. Following on from the release earlier last month of Basic Wreck, Advanced Wreck takes wreck diving to a higher level. For example, while in Basic Wreck we acknowledged some divers may just want to go down and look around the outside of a wreck, Advanced Wreck caters for those divers that will definitely want to penetrate the wreck safely.”

As is the case with Basic Wreck, Advanced Wreck brought together a keen and experienced international team of wreck diving enthusiasts like Cummins, Karl Graddy, Paul Toomer, Mark McCrum and Joane Edney to provide the unique content. Also, well-known overhead environment diver Darrell Staight provided detailed guidance, still photography and video footage on proper reel and guideline use linked directly from the Advanced Wreck online platform to the also new RAID TV on YouTube.

RAID International Training Director Paul Toomer said: “Dive professionals and divers alike are getting use to and excited by the unafRAID approach we are taking at RAID to program development generally. They do not follow a traditional track. Clearly, these programs are unique in the diving industry. In the case of wreck, our programs enable divers to engage in wreck diving in a manner that suits their own interests, needs, desires and skill level. We conducted Beta Tests on the new RAID Wreck Diver and Deep 40 Courses in the UK and were super impressed with the awe-inspiring input we received.”

RAID International Recreational Training Director Mark McCrum said: “While Basic Wreck covers general information about wreck diving, equipment required, various gear configurations, dive management and open water considerations, Advanced Wreck takes all that and more to a higher level with further cutting edge ideas and comprehensive practical training. Of course, and as always with RAID, there is seamless integration to other RAID programs. For example, those that have completed the RAID Advanced 35 and RAID Basic Wreck and can easily progress further in wreck diving by completing the additional academic and practical skills in Advanced Wreck while receiving credit for training dives already completed. Dive professionals will also love the way the Basic and Advanced Wreck programs can be run together up to the point where the dives get deeper and more complex”.

RAID International CEO Jim Holliday said: “The wreck diving series we are releasing are a great addition to the RAID extensive list of online courses we have, easily the largest collection in the dive industry. What the RAID Team has produced with these is not only ground breaking, but illustrates and is indicative of what the RAID Team is capable of when stacked up against all our other achievements over the last 12 months since our relaunch in early 2014. If there was any doubt whether RAID was going to be a force in the diving industry that surely must have now evaporated.”

Toomer added: “you will have to wait for what we have in store for you with our Technical Wreck Course, but I must say that that one is going to be awesome, and again will bring together some of the most experienced technical and wreck diving educators on the planet.”

To learn more contact your local RAID Regional Office or find all the information you need on all RAID programs at www.diveraid.com and freediving at www.freedivingraid.com. visit RAID’s Facebook page here.

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Camel Dive Club to re-open in May

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It has been almost a year for Camel Dive Club in Sharm El Sheikh without diving, partying at Camel Bar and, most importantly, without their Camel divers. As the second wave of Covid-19 has spread throughout Europe and beyond, resulting once again in restrictions and lockdowns of which many of you are experiencing as you read this, Camel Dive Club feel that a March re-opening date is optimistic at best. So they have made the difficult decision to regroup and delay re-opening until May 28th, 2021.

Although it is a bit longer to wait, Camel Dive Club are taking this time to revitalize their services which include smaller and more exclusive dive groups when you head out onto the boat and exciting new renovations to their hotel and menus.

While the hotel is getting a face-lift, Giuseppe their Italian chef is winging his way over to cook up a storm, revamp their breakfasts and shake up the menu at Pomodoro. You can look forward to tickling your taste buds with something new as well as enjoying all the Pomodoro classics!

As always, the team at Camel thank you for your patience in this ever-evolving saga.

Camel Dive Club ask that you support them in the coming months by getting in touch and letting them make your escape to the beauty and freedom of the Red Sea a reality.

JUNE OFFER

  • 7 nights with breakfast at Camel Hotel, plus 5 days/10 dives from the boat and return airport transfers – only 423 Euro per person in a double room.

LIMITED AVAILABILITY. This offer is only valid for arrivals from 1st – 30th June 2021 and is not applicable for bookings already confirmed. Bookings need to be completed before 15th April 2021, so hurry up to take advantage of this amazing rate!

DIVE & STAY

  • 7 nights with breakfast at Camel Hotel, plus 5 days/10 dives from the boat and return airport transfers – 452 Euro per person in a double room.
  • 7 nights with breakfast at Camel Hotel, plus 3 days/6 dives from the boat and return airport transfers – 354 Euro per person in a double room.

LEARN TO DIVE

  • 7 nights with breakfast at Camel Hotel, plus PADI Open Water course and return airport transfers – 502 Euro per person in a double room.

NOT DIVING?

  • 7 nights with breakfast at Camel Hotel, plus 3 days snorkeling and return airport transfers – 354 Euro per person in a double room.

Book with confidence: flexibility is what you need when it comes to planning travel. Book with confidence, knowing that if plans change you can change your booking without losing a deposit. If you are unable to honor your booking as a direct result of the Covid-19 Pandemic, your deposit of 120.00 Euro per person will be made redeemable as credit for use in any future booking with Camel up to 31.12.2022.

Oops, accidently booked to stay somewhere else in Sharm el Sheikh? You can still come and enjoy some quality time with the Camel Tribe by taking advantage of their diving only deals!

3 day/6 dive package  162 Euro; or 5 day/10 dive package – 260 Euro including your transportation to and from your chosen hotel in Sharm, free of charge!

All deals include weights and FREE 12lt Nitrox 32% tanks for Nitrox certified divers

For more information visit the Camel Dive Club website by clicking here.

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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

Sea Turtles rescued in Grenada during clean up

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On Feb 20th twenty volunteers gathered for one of Eco Dive’s regular monthly clean up dives off Grand Anse Beach in Grenada, a shore dive site adopted by Eco Dive under the Project AWARE Adopt a Dive Site programme. With a mix of snorkelers, freedivers and scuba divers, including junior divers, the squad set out to find and recover as much ‘treasure’ as possible from the patch reef, sand patches and extensive seagrass beds skirting the beautiful 2 mile beach.

With a plan in place to cover as much of the beach as possible and focus on the high risk areas (storm drains, public jetty, public park accesses) the group set off. Divers were dropped by the dive boat up the beach in teams, a meeting time was set, mesh bags were issued and the they were off. Two more teams one of divers and a snorkel/freediving team headed off from the dive shop to cover the home base and down current zone of the beach.

With the clean-up underway the beach station was set up for sorting, counting and weighing of the haul. The debris gets sorted and the data recorded with Project AWARE to help track global trash trends and local hot spots and events. The first team back to the beach however was the freediving team, and they brought a VIP. Found tangled in kite line was a juvenile Green Sea Turtle. These juvenile turtles love this seagrass habitat off Grand Anse Beach and there is a rotating population of juveniles that join snorkelers regularly.

The team at Eco Dive are familiar with these endangered babies and work closely with Ocean Spirits, a local conservation organization, to tag and monitor these juveniles in the hopes of gaining more information on their movements, risks, health and a better estimate on the size of the local population. For anyone who has worked with a sea turtle project before you would know that catching a wild turtle is a stealth act of athleticism, especially juvenile Green’s who are deceptively quick when motivated. To see our snorkel team carrying a turtle (on a non-tagging day) had to mean something was amiss.

Sure enough timing on this clean up dive turned out to be serendipitous. This little turtle, later named Cora, was alive but exhausted. She had managed to tangle herself in a kite line and struggled so much that the line that immobilized her fore-flippers and dug cuts into her skin. Unable to reach the surface this little baby was struggling for her life, so she provided no resistance to rescuers as they freed her up to the surface and back to the dive shop for some TLC.

The right place right time nature of the day continued… with Ocean Spirits’ Director, Chair and veterinarian was on the clean up dive already, there were a further 5 veterinarians also on the clean up dive (it turns out vets love to help save the ocean and make great clean up dive buddies!) so little Cora was in good hands. Cora received some antibiotics to help prevent infection in her cuts, some fluids to help her relax and a safe place to stay for 4 days before her release safely back into the sea. Normally turtles would be tagged at the base of their fore-flippers to help identify repeat individuals and track growth etc however with the tissue damage and bruising Cora suffered under her fins on this occasion she was not tagged but marked with her name and well wishes on her shell and set free.

As for the trash clean-up dive the team successfully removed more than 38 kg of trash from the sea including 2 kites, 10+ kite lines, fishing line and lots of plastics and clothing. Juvenile octopus, mantis shrimp, cleaner shrimp, crabs, grunts, wrasse and gobies were found within the trash treasures and were released back to the sea by the sorting volunteers. Cora definitely stole the show and had all of the volunteers extra grateful for having made the effort to come out and join the clean up. More kite line remained in the sea however as some run for 100’s of meters. A plan was made by some particularly keen volunteers to come back during the week and target some of the known areas where kite line remained, the Eco Dive crew also committed to daily clean up dives for the week to get these lines out of the sea.

As the working week started, Eco Dive were back to their daily routine and booked a clean up dive with just 4 regulars for the next Friday morning. The divers were out for an hour and one of the dive teams found another turtle tangled. A different turtle, and a different kite line, but a very similar scenario. Kite line in the spring windy season is a known risk item that is found on the clean ups but a tangled turtle has never been found before until this week, and now they had rescued two! A call went out to Ocean Spirits saying “you’ll never believe me but ..” and the dive team got to work freeing the second turtle of the week from a fore-flipper straight jacket caused by kite line.

This juvenile green sea turtle, slightly bigger than Cora, was named Aurelia, after Eco Dive’s Junior Open Water Diver who is an adamant clean up diver and has been on a trash mission for weeks. Aurelia weighted in at just over 7 kg and was exhausted but safe.

Eco Dive’s tally for their clean up dives for the week: they removed over 50 kg of lines and plastic from the sea and rescued two baby turtles. A pretty good week all round!

For more information, or to join a clean up day, with Eco Dive Grenada visit their website by clicking here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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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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