Anyone from Ocean Diver level upwards can organise a day’s or weekend’s (or week’s!) diving. It simply involves deciding on a date and a venue; getting a list of people who are interested; and being by the phone the evening before so that people can call to check whether the dive is still on. You will also need to ensur
e that there is someone to tow the boat, that there are enough boat handlers and that there is the right ratio of Dive Leaders to Ocean Divers. The more experienced
members of the club can advise on the suitability of a given site and the weather forecast for the day in question.
Club rules dictate that the Diving Officer (or a designated deputy) MUST be informed of every club dive, and that a Dive Leader or above must be present on the day to act as the Dive Marshal. Either of these people can help with decisions regarding weather and tides and so on.
Diving Safety Guidance
These guidance notes cover what you should do before, during and after the diving you are organising. A Dive Marshalling Sheet is provided to help with planning the diving and recording dive details.
You MUST gain approval from the Diving Officer for your planned diving.
This can be done by a phone conversation, but leaving an voicemail or an email is not enough because the D.O. may be unaware of you plans before the dive. If the D.O. is unavailable, the Assistant D.O. (Training Officer) or other deputy designated by the D.O. can give approval. As the person responsible for diving safety in the branch, the decision of the D.O. is final.
The Dive Officer will expect the following types of information in the dive plan:
- Who is diving
- Qualification of each member and buddy list
- Where will the diving be undertaken, and names of wrecks
- What time will you be meeting on shore
- What time is the boat expected to be over the dive sites
- Estimation of RIB fuel required
- What is the expected weather conditions
- What is the expected visibility underwater
- When is the slackwater
- What direction is the current before and after the dive
- What time are you expected back
- Contact mobile telephone numbers (2)
- Any other risk assessment appropriate for the dive undertaken
You MUST have one Instructor as a buddy for each Trainee Diver.
Ocean Divers can dive with Sports Divers or with other Ocean Divers, but ONLY with the approval of the Diving Officer or a designated deputy.
You MUST have a Dive Leader or higher grade to act as the Dive Marshal.
Ideally, the Dive Marshal will be designated by the Diving Officer and will normally be the most experienced diver present on the day. This is because the Dive Marshal has delegated responsibility from the Diving Officer to oversee the diving.
You MUST adhere to the BSAC depth limits when planning dives.
These are 20 metres for Club Divers, 35 metres for Sports Divers and 50 metres for all other grades.
You MUST have sufficient Club-Approved Boat-Handlers to cover the planned diving
If using the Club boat, you MUST check with the Equipment Officer that the boat(s) and other equipment (radios, flares, oxygen kit, etc) are OK.
You should check the weather forecast the evening before diving.
The Shipping Forecast is broadcast on Radio 4 (long wave) at 5:35 a.m., 12:00 noon, 5:50 p.m. and 12:48 a.m. It´s also available on the Meteorological Office website. As a rule of thumb, any wind speed above a Force 4 will prevent diving offshore in exposed areas, so it´s a good idea to have an alternative, sheltered dive site planned.
The Dive Marshal will be responsible for the diving activities on the day. The dive organiser and others may assist the Dive Marshal, but the Dive Marshal is responsible for diving safety and therefore has the final decision on whether a dive goes ahead.
A Dive Marshalling Sheet is provided to plan the diving and to record the details of each dive: air in, air out, gas mix, bottom time, maximum depth, decompression stops, tissue codes and surface intervals.
All Divers must have an alternative air source.
Only Club Approved Boat-Handlers are permitted to drive the Club boat. Other Club members may drive the boats under close supervision by a Club Approved Boat-Handler for training purposes.
Whenever launched, the boat must be entirely self-reliant in safety equipment and fuel.
A buoyancy device must be worn whilst in the Club boat. This can take the form of a wetsuit or a zipped-up dry-suit or a buoyancy compensator (or other buoyancy-jacket). Weight belts should NOT be worn.
There must be a standby diver present on all boat dives to assist the cox. This person should be ready to enter the water with a mask and snorkel to help any diver needing assistance.
The “Dead-Mans-Handle” is to be worn by the cox at all times, either around the wrist or leg.
Romsey SAC adheres to BSAC recommendations on coloured DSMB:
- Orange DSMB, “normal surfacing”
- Yellow DSMB, “Emergency”
- One Yellow and One Orange DSMB, “Out of Air”
Please ensure that there are enough people to help with the washing and maintenance of the Club boat after diving don´t leave this to the people who tow the boat.
The boat requires re-fueling (including oil), and washing down with soap after every outing.
Inform the Equipment Officer about any problems with the Club boat and/or other equipment as soon as possible. This will help to make sure everything is ready for the next dive.
Inform the Diving Officer of any incidents which occurred, however minor. This will help to ensure that small problems don´t turn into potentially serious ones in the future. Any useful information about the dive site, etc. should also be passed to the Diving Officer for future reference.
The organiser must collect all diving fees and pay any expenditure for the dive from this money BEFORE it is handed to the Club Treasurer. The person towing the boat to the dive site will not be charged a dive fee, and may claim 20p per mile. A Boat Diving Account Sheet is provided to help in this process.