'Underwater Photography Masterclass' – Now Available in The USA

Alex Mustard, Underwater Photography Masterclass, photography book, how to take photos, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving PR, diving news
Alex Mustard's 'Underwater Photography Masterclass' has gone on sale in the USA today.

It looks as though this book will become the standard tome for learning underwater photography. It is well written, structured, very informative and cuts through some myths.

‘Underwater Photography Masterclass’ was a lot of hard work to write“, Alex Mustard told us. “It took a significant amount of time specifically because I had a lot to say and I did not want to waste one sentence. What was equally important to me was it had to be easy to understand and follow for anyone picking the book up. The book is aimed at the enthusiast who wants to learn more, but even beginners have loved the book and can see how they will grow with it.

This has possibly been the fastest selling photography book in Europe. The publisher ordered a re-print within a fortnight of 'Underwater Photography Masterclass' being launched because they could see the first print / edition would sell out in weeks. It did!

What has been hugely rewarding is that I have received feedback from users saying that they have found useful stuff on every page. Other readers have said they took the book away on a trip and used the techniques and suggestions and their photographs were transformed! A common response is that this book is now an essential part of their photography kit.” Alex Mustard

Whilst the book is called 'Underwater Photography Masterclass', it is worth 'above surface photographers' taking a look at it too. Mustard has considerable technical knowledge and experience and he has included some good technical ideas that are useful for land based photographers. For example the book goes into sufficient detail explaining details of lighting and composition with excellent examples that hammer these points home.

'Underwater Photography Masterclass' is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and some specialist retailers. You can also access free video tutorials that augment the book on the accompanying website.


Ghost Fishing Comes To EUROTEK.2016

Pascal van Erp, EUROTEK, ghost fishing, healthy seas, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, OceanPositive, Fourth Element, recycling fishing nets, recycled clothing
Pascal van Erp

It has just been announced that 'Ghost Fishing' founder Pascal Van Erp is to speak at EUROTEK on 8th and 9th October 2016.

Pascal is a passionate temperate wreck diver. However much to his dismay, he often found the North Sea wrecks he was diving were covered in nets that 'ghost fished'.

'Ghost Fishing' is the term given to an abandoned fishing net, snagged on reef or wreck, that continues to trap marine wildlife. The marine life eventually dies, whilst the net continues to fish. It is estimated that up to 640,000 tonnes of nylon fishing gear lurks beneath the ocean, and more is added daily.

One day on a dive, Pascal recovered some net. It changed the ethos of his diving - from being an ardent wreck diver to a passionate environmental diver. He was soon heading up a team of divers actively recovering discarded and trapped nets from Netherlands waters. The 'Ghost Fishing Foundation' was born.

Ghost fishing, Pascal van Erp, Heather Hamza, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, EUROTEK speakerToday a number of divers from Global Underwater Explorers are involved around the world (Germany, Greece, Pakistan, Spain, USA) with this dangerous, demanding and hazardous pursuit. And it has even come to the UK! Last year Pascal lead a team of Brits to recover ghost fishing nets in Scapa Flow.

You might think the story would finish there, but that would be to underestimate this tall quiet Dutchman. Pascal wanted a suitable solution. The answer was to recycle the recovered fishing gear into usable, knittable ECONYL® nylon yarn.

Enter stage left EUROTEK co-founder Rosemary E Lunn. She heard Pascal speak about the Ghost Fishing Project and thought the new fabric fascinating and something that divers would want to wear. She briefed Fourth Element about the project knowing that this Cornish company is heavily environmentally focused. In 2014 Fourth Element fully closed the loop on the recycling circle, by launching their 'grave-to-cradle' 'OceanPositive' range of water-wear garments.

Pascal Van Erp is going reveal the latest projects the Ghost Fishing Foundation have been involved in at EUROTEK.2016. Tickets for this advanced diving conference are selling quickly. To secure your pass click here.



Duncan Price Receives CDG Fish Award!

The Cave Diving Group (CDG) is the world's oldest diving club. It was founded in 1946 by cave diving pioneer Graham Balcombe. Today its function is to "educate and support cavers for recreational and exploratory operations in British sump conditions".

Michael Thomas, Gavin Newman, Cave Diving Group, Andrew Ward, CDG, Duncan Price, Fish Award, Mike ‘Fish’ Jeanmaire, Brian ‘Scoff’ Schofield, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving awards, John Buxton, John Cordingley, Clive Westlake, Dave BrockCave diving in the UK is not particularly straightforward when compared with overseas sites. It is quite possible to park a vehicle near to the cave entrance, kit up and pretty much fall into the water in many countries. This rarely happens in the UK. The only site that instantly springs to mind for having simple logistical access is Wookey Hole in Somerset.

In the main, a British cave diver has to be a pretty competent dry caver and they only tend to learn to scuba dive to be able to access passageway beyond a flooded sump. (A sump can be described as a submerged or flooded section of cave.) It is not surprising therefore that since its inception the CDG has attracted some remarkable characters and explorers.

One such character was CDG Chairman, Mike 'Fish' Jeanmaire. Brian 'Scoff' Schofield, current Chairmen of the CDG said, it was Fish’s honesty and his ability to both respect tradition whilst allowing frontiers to be pushed back, that made him such a good Chairman of the CDG. Fish was to hold the post of Chairmen of the Cave Diving Group for thirty years until his health started to fail him. Following his death in November 2010 the 'Fish Award' was created.

Cave Diving Group, Andrew Ward, CDG, Duncan Price, Fish Award, Mike ‘Fish’ Jeanmaire, Brian ‘Scoff’ Schofield, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving awards, John Buxton, John Cordingley, Clive Westlake, Dave Brock
The Fish Award

This is awarded annually to a member who has made a significant contribution to the CDG. Whilst the nature of the contribution is not precisely defined, the guiding principle is that the individual should have served the CDG rather than any other organisation or themselves.

Previous Fish Award Winners

2012 John Buxton
2013 John Cordingley
2014 Clive Westlake
2015 Andrew Ward

Traditionally the award is made by the previous winner. Andrew Ward  - the 2015 recipient - presented the 2016 Fish Award to Duncan Price at the Cave Diving Group AGM and reflected on why Duncan was nominated.

"Duncan joined the CDG in the mid-1980s and seems to have stayed. I have known Duncan since he joined and was the examiner for his pool test on a dark, wet night in Yate piggybacking onto a BSAC club's training night. We needed a victim for the recovery part of the exam and the BSAC club kindly provided one. Unfortunately, the gentleman was of generous proportions, so this part of the test was more like a Greenpeace re-floating operation. I must have been lax in those days as he passed the test.

Stuart Gardiner, Cave Diving Group, Andrew Ward, CDG, Duncan Price, Fish Award, Mike ‘Fish’ Jeanmaire, Brian ‘Scoff’ Schofield, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving awards
Duncan Price stood in the downstream sump pool of Young Boods' Passage, Wigmore Swallet, Dorset — Photo Credit: Stuart Gardiner

From the start, Duncan has been active in all areas of caving and along the way found a reasonable amount of new passage. On top of this he has mentored new members as well as helping at training sessions where has passed on his expertise. Surveying was always a good session and a forte of Duncan’s. At one time or another Duncan has been the Welsh Section's Training Officer, Secretary and Examiner - positions that allowed him to pass on his knowledge and experience that he gained as a trainee all those years ago.

Duncan continues to be active within cave rescue and for that we can all be grateful. He has always been keen on producing gear to his own design and rebreathers are a speciality with their names generating interesting, and arguably contrived, abbreviations!

But his contribution doesn't stop with his practical help to the Group. he is also an accomplished writer, co-authoring technical bulletins on numerous cave diving topics. In addition, he has contributed to, or written, the CDG Manual, Wookey Hole book, and the Welsh and Somerset Sump Indexes. He was also short-listed for the Tratman Award in 2016 for his most recent writing, Underwater Potholer: A Cave Diver's Memoirs."



Swanage Pier Trust Update

Swanage Pier, scuba diving, dorset, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
On 5th July 2016 - a mere 16 days ago - I wrote in X-Ray Mag that a Crowdfunding campaign had been launched to raise funds for Swanage Pier. This iconic British scuba diving site on the south coast of England needs to replace 41 Greenheart timber piles following years of adverse sea conditions and waterborne woodworm damage.

The Swanage Pier Trust has successfully secured a heritage lottery grant of £800,000 to cover restoration costs. However there is a catch. In order to release this grant Swanage Pier Trust must raise £900,000 in matched funding by November 2016.

The July 2016 Crowdfunding campaign needed to raise £18,000 in 35 days. I am really delighted to confirm that when this campaign closed yesterday morning, £18,6350 had been donated.

UPSAC, University of Portsmouth Sub Aqua Club, Ryan Crawford, Swanage Pier, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing CompanyWhat has been even better news was that the British scuba diving community stepped up and helped hit this target by collectively raising £1,505!

The University of Portsmouth Sub-Aqua Club raised a massive £405 in less than a week, and then went on to inspire another local club - Swanwick Divers - to donate £250 as well. Nice one UPSAC.

Meanwhile two diving training agencies - the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) and the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) each donated £250.

On the pledge front, the Scuba Industries Trade Association (including IDEST) and the 'Real AP Divers' Facebook group have pledged £250 and £100 respectively.

Thank you everyone who gave something towards the Swanage Pier Trust.



DDRC Seeking Diving & Hyperbaric Medicine / Emergency Medicine Doctors

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DDRC Healthcare has a six month vacancy for two junior / middle grade doctors. The first position commences in February 2017, the the second one starting in August 2017.

You need to have a minimum of two years post graduation experience, fully registered with the GMC or be eligible to become fully registered. Finally you must hold a diving qualification.

The post will be an average of 6 sessions per week at DDRC Healthcare and 4 sessions per week in the Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. Derriford Hospital is adjacent to DDRC Healthcare and is the largest teaching hospital in the southwest with a busy Emergency Department.

For full information - job description, person specification, application form etc - click here.

Closing date: 25th August 2016 @ 17.00 local time
Interview date: 9th September 2016



2016 Georgia Williams Diving Scholarship Announced

This spring a campaign was launched to find a special young person with a spirit of adventure.

Georgia Williams Diving Scholarship, Jo Flack, Lois Adams, Eleanor Jackson-Smith, Immerse School of Diving, Monty Halls, Otter Drysuits, The Underwater Marketing Company, EUROTEK Advanced Diving Conference, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, scuba news, diving PREarlier today Jo Flack of revealed the campaign's result when she announced the name of the 2016 .

This remarkable scholarship was inspired by the action packed life of Georgia Williams - a Shropshire based teenager who was murdered in 2013. In the summer of 2014, her family created a fund in to help 11 to 18-year-olds based in and around Telford (UK) to pursue an interest in the underwater World.

Georgia Williams Diving Scholarship, Jo Flack, Lois Adams, Eleanor Jackson-Smith, Immerse School of Diving, Monty Halls, Otter Drysuits, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, scuba news, diving PR
Eleanor and Jo after Eleanor's first scuba dive

"Following an arduous application process I am delighted to reveal that Eleanor Jackson-Smith will be this year's scholar", stated Jo Flack. "Jackson-Smith, 17 will embark on a training programme to attain PADI's Master Scuba Diver rating. In addition she will undertake a range of scuba diving experiences tailored to her interest in biological sciences and marine life. During her scholarship year Eleanor Jackson-Smith will also have the chance to meet some of the leading names within the scuba diving industry."

This scholarship has a pay-it-forward policy, in that Eleanor Jackson-Smith has to fulfil an advocacy role for the . This will include raising awareness of the work of the Trust and its work with Telford based young people.

There was a surprise announcement by Trustee Steve Williams. "We have decided that the two runners-up in this year’s Scholarship selection will also be supported to follow their underwater ambitions."

12-year-old Alix Tomlinson (shortlisted for the second year in the row) has a strong interest in aquatic life. To this end she will receive funded training allowing her to complete the PADI Underwater Naturalist course. Meanwhile 13-year-old Cameron Bates is to undertake a funded PADI Rescue Diver course after demonstrating his desire to become a commercial diver.

Georgia Williams Diving Scholarship, Jo Flack, Lois Adams, Eleanor Jackson-Smith, Immerse School of Diving, Monty Halls, Otter Drysuits, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, scuba news, diving PR
The 2016 Georgia Williams Scholarship ambassador, Eleanor Jackson-Smith with her scuba diving instructors / mentors. From left to right Tony Flack, Jo Flack, Eleanor Jackson-Smith, Peter Vickers

“The Scholarship has become an integral part of our life at the Immerse School of Diving", stated Jo Flack. "We are pleased to welcome Eleanor as this year’s Scholar, as well as to support Alix and Cameron, enabling them to take their love of diving further. We know Eleanor will make the most of the life-changing opportunities this Scholarship presents - she has already shown her passion for youth diving and as a Georgia Williams Trust ambassador. We are going to have another exciting Scholarship year!”

Shropshire Based Diver? Come To Shrewsbury Tomorrow!

Quarry Swimming Pool, Shrewsbury Sub Aqua Club, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba PR, diving news
The Quarry Pool, Shrewsbury

Shropshire residents and officials have been involved a mass-debate for many months regarding the future of a 150 year old swimming pool. In the 1860's two public baths were created in Shrewsbury. Over the years the site has been redeveloped and refurbished into the current 'Quarry Swimming Pool'.

Recently Shropshire Council has issued a report recommending that the Quarry Pool in Shrewsbury should be closed and replaced by a new pool at Shrewsbury Sports Village in Sundorne.

Shrewsbury Town Council leader Alan Mosley stated that "Shropshire Council had not properly considered the impact of closing the town centre pool."

The Council report questioned a claim that the Quarry pool provides an economic boost to the town centre. It states: “There is no existing hard evidence about the economic benefit of the Quarry to Shrewsbury town centre, although anecdotally, it is clear there is some." Shropshire Council has confirmed that "huge efforts have been made to evaluate the best location."

This has provoked passionate lobbying from residents and users. Now the scuba diving fraternity is making it's voice heard.

'Midlands Today' is interested in filming the Shrewsbury Sub Aqua Club at the Quarry Pool on Tuesday 12th July.

The aim of this broadcast report is to demonstrate that the Quarry Pool is used by many water-based activities including scuba diving.

The main 33 metre pool has a depth of 3.8 metres, the deepest in Shropshire. In recent years there has been a move in the UK to build shallower public swimming pools. Hence there is a legitimate worry that if the Quarry Pool is closed, the new public baths will be shallower. Having access to a 3.8 metre pool is an invaluable teaching and training resource for all scuba divers.

If you are a scuba diver (from any agency) with an hour or two to spare tomorrow, Shewsbury Sub Aqua Club would appreciate your support. The BBC is planning to film between 15.00 and 18.00 at The Quarry.

If you can attend, please email Kevin Murphy or telephone 07947 576 905 as soon as possible.

RAID Joins RSTC US Council

RAID, Rebreather Association of International Divers, Jim Holliday, RSTC, Recreational Scuba Training Council, Dan Orr, Paul Toomer, James Rogers, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving news, Diving PR

The Recreational Scuba Training Council Board of Directors has confirmed that they are welcoming the diving training agency RAID as a member of the RSTC.A vote was held earlier this year and it was unanimously agreed that the Rebreather Association of International Divers will join the RSTC US as an Associate Member.

The RSTC announced changes to its membership criteria in November 2015 to accept members at two levels, Associate Member and Voting Member. This strategic change is driven by RSTC wishing to actively improve diver safety, and increase membership. RAID was the first training organization to answer that call.

RAID CEO Jim Holliday confirmed that “RAID is proud to be accepted as an RSTC Associate Member and RAID is committed to meet its commitment to help uphold the safety standards of the RSTC.

Dan Orr, RSTC Coordinator said, “we are very pleased to have another agency join our council.” He went on to say, “RAID was very enthusiastic and jumped at the chance to join. We look forward to their active participation.

RSTC training requirements are recognised around the world as the global industry standard. New members are assessed to ensure compliance with RSTC standards. Members must make an ongoing commitment to ensure compliance with RSTC standards.

Scuba training organizations interested in applying for membership with the RSTC may download membership information here.

RAID, which was founded in 2007, joins PADI, PDIC, SDI and SSI as members of the Recreational Scuba Training Council.

MV Spree Liveaboard To Change Hands

Melanie Wasson, Frank Wasson, MV Spree, tech diving liveaboard, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving news, diving PR
The 'Mighty Vessel' MV Spree moored up in Cuba

After 20 years of skippering the MV Spree around the Gulf of Mexico, co-owners Frank and Melanie Wasson have confirmed they are selling their USA based exploration liveaboard.

Until this announcement the MV Spree sailed from Key West in Florida, where she as acted as a superb base for recreational, technical and scientific diving expeditions.

Melanie Wasson, Frank Wasson, MV Spree, tech diving liveaboard, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
Melanie & Frank Wasson Credit: Rosemary E Lunn

"An offer was tendered for the Spree on 1st July 2016", stated Captain Frank Wasson. "MV Spree's final charter will be to the Dry Tortugas from 15th to 17th July 2016. She will then be dry docked, painted, and sent to her new home.

MV Spree has been a big part of our lives. Melanie and I met on the Spree, fell in love on her, and have operated her in close proximity for a long time.

During our ownership we have accomplished many projects on the old girl. We installed moorings to protect the reef in the Bahamas and across the Gulf of Mexico. We have counted more fish than anyone ever had a right to, supported 150 mt / 500 ft dives and explored some pretty groovy dive sites. We also took the first passenger vessel in over 60 years from the United States to Cuba in 2015. And I am really proud that we have successfully completed over 17 years and 25,000 NOAA dives without a single reportable injury!

We are pleased that the MV Spree will continue to participate in research projects in the Caribbean.

It will be tough to watch this 'mighty vessel' sail away to her new home. Over the years we have made a huge number of friends because of the Spree. It is therefore time to also thank our many loyal customers and friends. We are glad that you have been part of some truly great adventures!"

Frank Wasson has confirmed that the new owner will be taking over the MV Facebook page and website.

DUI's Susan Long Resigns

Susan Long, DUI, Diving Unlimited International, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, drysuit manufacturer

Susan Long of DUI has just issued the following statement.

"It is with a great deal of mixed feelings that I announce my resignation as President & CEO of Diving Unlimited International, Inc. (DUI). My last day is Friday 1st July 2016.

When I began at DUI in 1995 it was supposed to be temporary. I quickly realized that DUI was a very unique company with amazing employees and devoted customers. It was something of which I wanted to be a part. To have the opportunity to lead our team for the last 13 years has been an extraordinary experience.

I am eternally grateful for all that I have learned while here at DUI. I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years. I have grown both professionally and personally.

No matter where I go from here, you will still see me diving my DUI - the world’s best drysuit.

I wish everyone at DUI all the best for a happy, healthy and successful future."