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The Unassuming Guardians of Sharm el Sheikh

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At the very heart of Sharm el Sheikh, there is an unsung hero.

Quietly hidden away just past the Old Market area (aka Souq, in Arabic) is a small building where many life-altering events happen and an extremely inspiring team reside – The Hyperbaric Chamber, Sharm el Sheikh.

Dr Adel Taher and Dr Ahmed Sakr – both keen scuba divers themselves – are the resident doctors at Sharm el Sheikh’s hyperbaric chamber which opened and was fully operational over 25 years ago on the morning of 10th March 1993.

Many people are not even aware of the Chamber’s existence unless they need to make use of the facilities.

We all know that diving is a relatively safe activity as long as we play by the rules and we all hope we will never need to pay a visit to this location. However, on the off chance that something does happen whilst diving, it is reassuring to know that you will be in one of the best places in the world to be treated.

This is proved by the vast experience provided by the sheer number of cases that have been successfully treated, with over 1,700 people of different nationalities walking out of the doors after they entered with potentially life threatening injuries. In addition to the local incidents that have occurred, the Doctors also coordinate and assist with remote area medical evacuation in the Red Sea and provide medical consultation and referral to patients all over the globe.

It is not that diving in Sharm el Sheikh is particularly dangerous for scuba diving: it is all a numbers’ game. When you take the number of divers that have visited and continue to visit Sharm el Sheikh, it is inevitable to expect that some of them are bound to need the Chamber’s service.

In addition to standard activities, Dr Ahmed and Dr Adel have implemented several pioneering treatments, which have been developed by the fantastic Team at Sharm’s hyperbaric facility.

“The chamber” as its friends fondly know it, also takes the time to educate those that want to learn. It offers internships for young doctors from all over the world, in addition to training keen members of Sharm’s dive industry and turning them into chamber tenders and operators.

At Camel Dive Club, we are proud to say that many instructors past and present have taken these courses, which they found to be informative, fun and a life changing experience. Many have subsequently volunteered at the chamber to gain more knowledge in the hyperbaric field.

Now, diving hyperbaric treatments do not come cheap with the minimum cost being Euro 750 per hour (due to the high costs of transporting the required gases in Egypt and routinely replacing the chamber components before they deteriorate) and with an average treatment taking 8 hours 45 minutes, you had better have some good dive insurance. This being said, the chamber has never refused anyone treatment due to lack of insurance or funds; this is very humbling.

They rely strongly on donations to survive, especially after the quieter years that have been experienced recently. A good way to help is at the end of your diving holiday at Camel Dive Club, you will be asked if you would like to make a one Euro per diving day donation to the chamber; please say yes and make it more if you are able.

The chamber is also a place that Camel Dive Club recommends you visit if you have a “yes” on your diving medical form. With the charge being only Euro 35.00 for a fit to dive medical and the doctors being more knowledgeable than your average non-diving GP, it will give you peace of mind to continue your diving adventures safely.

Being on call 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, the doctors are always friendly, professional and courteous; with kind advice for residents and holidaymakers alike.

Please join me in thanking and congratulating “The Chamber” on its 25th Anniversary and for its many years of service to all, divers and non-divers alike. We wish you many more.

In honour of this amazing milestone, there will be a 4-day celebration planned for November 2018. These days will include: lectures on technical and recreational diving by world renowned experts aimed at diving professionals, an open house during which you can receive a guided tour of the hyperbaric chamber, a Divers Alert Network (DAN) day (which will aim to provide information about the latest research in diving medicine) and of course some diving!

If you wish to make a donation or you are interested in their anniversary events in November, please email sharmchamber@gmail.com for more information.


Interested in diving in Sharm el Sheikh? Take a look at www.cameldive.com and book your trip!

Beth "my lovelies" Sanders achieved her PADI Open Water in her native Wales and became completely addicted to the underwater world. Her fixation has cost her jobs, boyfriends and a whole load of other 'respectable' things so finally she had to make the diving pay! Becoming a Scuba Instructor was the only option... Beth was very lucky to combine this with her love of warm weather and has lived in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt since 2007. After joining the team at Anthias Divers as General Manager, Beth can usually be found chatting with guests and even occasionally underwater!

Marine Life & Conservation

Dive Guides invited to apply for the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship

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Reef-World’s campaign is helping dive guides in need receive Green Fins environmental certification

The Reef-World Foundation – international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – is calling for dive guides to submit their application for the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship.

As a result of the Scholarship campaign, dive guides working around the world – including Brazil, the Philippines, Egypt, Colombia, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey – have received their certificate proving their status as a Green Fins certified dive guide. Yet, thanks to funding from Reef-World’s partner Paralenz, 149 more scuba diving guides will be able to receive their Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course environmental certification.

Dive guides who meet the criteria (outlined below) can apply for the scholarship at any time through the Green Fins website. To be eligible for the scholarship, guides must:

  • have completed and passed all modules of the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course
  • be able to demonstrate they or their employer are not financially able to purchase the certificate
  • be a national of a country which receives official development assistance from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Scholarship was created in response to feedback from dive guides who had passed the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course and were keen to download and display their personalised electronic certificate but were not financially able to cover the associated cost (£19 / $25 USD). The personalised electronic certificate can be displayed to entice eco-minded guests by informing them the guide has received this vital environmental certification and is aware of how to reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with diving.

Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris as well as the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures. The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course, created with the support of Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS) and running on their innovative EVO e-learning platform, teaches dive professionals how to prevent diving-related damage to coral reefs by following the highest environmental standards and better managing their guests to prevent damage to the reef.

Sam Craven, Programmes Manager at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’re proud to be offering dive guides around the world the opportunity to become Green Fins certified; no matter their background. Both the e-Course and the Scholarship have been a great success so far and we’re delighted to see so many dive professionals demonstrating their commitment to sustainable tourism by taking the course. We urge dive guides who haven’t yet taken the course to consider taking this step and welcome Scholarship applications from anyone who meets the criteria. Together, we can protect coral reefs through sustainable diving and we’d love as many dive guides as possible to join us.”


Dive guides who want to be considered for scholarship can visit www.greenfins.net/green-fins-dive-guide-scholarship-applications to apply.

To donate to the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship Fund, please visit www.greenfins.net/appeal/sponsor-a-dive-guide.

Supporters who are interested in helping additional dive guides receive their certifications can also donate to Sponsor a Dive Guide.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Go Fish Free this February

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There are no longer plenty more fish in the sea! Fish Free February challenges you to help protect our oceans by removing seafood from your diet for 28 days and helping to raise awareness of the issues caused by intensive fishing practices.

Our oceans are in a state of global crisis, brought about by ocean warming, acidification, pollution, and habitat destruction. However, the biggest immediate threat to ocean life is from fisheries. Each year an estimated 1-2.7 trillion fish are caught for human consumption, though this figure does not include illegal fisheries, discarded fish, fish caught to be used as bait, or fish killed by not caught, so the real number is far higher. It is no wonder then, that today nearly 90% of the world’s marine stocks are fully exploited, overexploited or depleted. If we do not act fast, overfishing and damaging fishing practices will soon destroy the ocean ecosystems which produce 80% of the oxygen in our atmosphere and provide three billion people with their primary source of protein.

Fish Free February, a UK-registered charity, is challenging people around the world to take action for marine life in a simple but effective way. Take the Fish Free February Pledge and drop seafood from your diet for one month, or beyond. Fish Free February wants to get people talking about the wide range of issues associated with industrial fishing practices and putting the well-being of our oceans at the forefront of dietary decision-making. A third of all wild-caught fish are used to create feed for livestock, so Fish Free February urges us to opt for plant-based dishes as a sustainable alternative to seafood, sharing our best fish-free recipes on social media with #FishFreeFebruary and nominating our friends to do the same.

“Not all fishing practices are bad” explains Simon Hilbourne, founder of Fish Free February. “Well-managed, small-scale fisheries that use selective fishing gears can be sustainable. However, most of the seafood in our diet comes from industrial fisheries which often prioritise profit over the well-being of our planet, resulting in multiple environmental challenges. In some cases, the fishing industry has even been linked to serious human rights issues such as forced labour and human trafficking! Fish Free February hopes to shed more light on fishing practices, create wider discussion around these issues, and offer solutions to benefit people, wildlife, and the natural environment.”

To learn more about these issues and to take the Fish Free February pledge visit www.fishfreefebruary.com

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Competitions

This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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