Where do I start?
Before taking up scuba diving a try dive in a swimming pool with Marlin Sub-Aqua Club will help you decide whether you’ll enjoy it!
What happens on a try dive?
Each try dive starts with a brief introduction to diving techniques, and the equipment that you will be using, under the supervision of one of our instructors. You will need to ensure you are medically fit to participate in the try dive, and will need to confirm this by signing a simple self-declaration form. Your try dive buddy will assemble your scuba kit and show you how it works, so you don’t need any prior scuba diving knowledge – everything will be arranged and safely assembled for you.
Once you have changed into your swimming gear and an old tee-shirt you will move to the swimming pool, climb into the water and then put on the scuba kit. In stages you will slowly start to breathe underwater, first while standing close to the side and moving on to kneeling. Once you are happy your try dive buddy will guide you around the pool slowly progressing to a maximum depth of two metres.
The aim of the try dive is for you to experience scuba diving in a safe and fun environment.
When do try dives take place?
What does it cost?
A try dive costs £15. This includes approximately forty-five minutes introduction to the equipment and forty-five minutes in the pool. All fees go to maintain club equipment and cover running costs. The £15 fee must be paid in advance to confirm booking as spaces are limited; we accept Paypal, BACS or cash in advance.
How old do I need to be to have a try dive?
Try dives are available to anyone aged 12 and over providing a supervising parent/guardian is present for the whole of the try dive session.
How do I book?
Contact us to book your try dive. Further details will be agreed via email.
How do I get qualified?
The club’s nationally qualified instructors are able to deliver the complete British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) Diver Training Programme from Ocean Diver to Advanced Diver, as well as many Skills Development Courses (SDCs), e.g. first aid, rescue management, photography etc.
Each course is designed and updated by BSAC, and each contains a comprehensive series of modules developed over many years to teach you everything you need to know to go diving safely. Each course is a mix of theory and practical sessions where skills are first taught in the swimming pool and then practiced again in open water.
For the initial Ocean Diver course, which qualifies you to dive to 20m, an average of five hours in the pool will have you ready for your open water training, but you will not be rushed though the pool training and so the duration will depend on your confidence, competence and attendance at training sessions.
The completely revised and updated Ocean Diver 2017 syllabus consists of the following elements:
- Six theory modules
- Theory assessment
- Basic swimming assessment
- Five sheltered water modules (in the swimming pool)
- Four open water modules
All of your open water training is tailored to meet your needs. Sessions can take place on most days during the diving season, subject to club instructors’ other commitments.
We benefit from our close proximity to Stoney Cove, one of the country’s leading inland scuba diving sites. This thirteen acre quarry of clear, sheltered spring water provides a great location for teaching new divers. A variety of entry and exit points, depths of 7m, 22m and 36m and on-site facilities provide the perfect safe site to take the first plunge. As a new member this is where you will do most of your open water training. In addition, trainees can usually join our organised trips to the coast or to other inland sites where there will sometimes be time for training as well as just diving for the fun of it. Even as a trainee, not every dive need be a formal “training” dive, but every dive is a learning opportunity.
How long does the Ocean Diver course take?
Everyone is different and learns at a different pace so it is hard to say, but learning in a club environment means you won’t be rushed. Each lesson is an hour long but if there is something you would like to cover again then we have no problem repeating parts. Your initial training fee allows you to work towards your Ocean Diver qualification for up to a year, although most people take from three to six months to complete the course.
How much does it cost?
When training in a club you only pay for what you use. Club membership is valid for a whole year and gives you access to all club events and the knowledge of all our members. During your training the club provides all of the scuba equipment you need so there is no need to purchase anything yourself; a fee is added to cover air, maintenance and wear and tear. Open water training takes place at Stoney Cove and typically takes two days; you need to pay your own entry fee, air, and hire of a wet or dry suit. As our instructors are volunteers you will also need to pay £25 per day as a contribution towards their expenses, although this cost can be shared between a group.
Here is an example of the typical costs to complete the Ocean Diver course:
- Twelve months Marlin Sub-Aqua Club membership £50
- Twelve months BSAC membership (direct debit) £49
- Ocean Diver training fee £100
- Ocean Diver training pack (course notes) £45
- Two days open water training £130 (estimate)
Approximate cost £374
Once you have qualified as an Ocean Diver, should you choose to continue to dive in the UK, you will need to purchase your own scuba kit, dry suit etc (although air cylinders can still be borrowed from the club for a small fee). The cost of equipment varies considerably, not least depending on whether you buy new or second hand, but expect to pay £1,500 or more.
One of the great benefits of diving is that almost everyone can take part; there are very few reasons why you wouldn’t be able to enjoy diving due to health reasons. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from completing the UK Sport Diver Medical Form (self declaration form) you will need to have a diving medical to obtain a Certificate of Fitness to Dive. These are available nationwide but the closest to our club is the Midlands Diving Chamber who currently charge £60 for a “Fit to Dive” medical.
How old do I need to be to start?
Marlin Sub-Aqua Club is currently able to offer training to new members (who are medically fit to dive) from 18 years of age.
Children between the age of 14–17 are able to undertake training providing that parent/guardian is a qualified/trainee diver within in the club subject to assessment by the Diving Officer. The parent/guardian must take full responsibility for the supervision of the child at all times.
Who are the British Sub-Aqua Club?
BSAC is the world’s largest scuba diving club and the sport’s National Governing Body in the UK, providing an internationally-recognised diver training and development programme via a network of branches (clubs) and centres across the country and overseas.
In May 2014 HRH The Duke of Cambridge took over the BSAC Presidency from his father HRH The Prince of Wales. HRH The Duke of Cambridge spoke of his own goal as the new BSAC President:
“I look forward to working with BSAC to encourage even more young people into the sport, for they are the next generation of underwater explorers, pioneers and protectors. The skills and experiences gained through snorkelling and scuba diving can have a positive and lasting impact on their lives, giving them confidence and building their aspirations.”
So whether you’re a qualified BSAC (or other agency) diver or only just started, tried it on holiday or would like to learn to scuba dive – if you want the highest standards of training and great diving in good company, then BSAC is for you.
For more information visit the BSAC website.
What are the benefits of club training?
As a BSAC branch all of our training is provided voluntarily by club members. Training is provided by instructors who are nationally qualified, which means the training you receive is of the same quality as you would find at commercial dive centres. However our instructors teach diving purely for the enjoyment they receive from passing on their knowledge, and not for payment, which means training can take place at your own pace. By joining our club and learning with us you will continue to learn new things all the time and hopefully make some new friends as well along the way.
Please contact us to learn more – we are all very friendly and will be happy to answer any questions or just chat with you about any aspect of diving.