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.



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.

#OTD Mary Rose Wreck Site Found Today

Fifty years ago today two divers - John Towse and the late Alexander McKee - pinpointed the whereabouts of King Henry VIII’s famous flagship.

Anthony Roll, Mary Rose, Alexander McKee, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Southsea BSAC, Solent, Prince Charles, Margaret Rule
The Mary Rose as depicted in the Anthony Roll

"On May 14, 1966 Alex and myself visited the penultimate resting place of the Mary Rose." John Towse

McKee and Towse were members of Southsea BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club).

Alexander McKee's widow stated "while we were living in Hamburg, he used to express his interest and admiration for the raising and preservation of Vasa – a Swedish warship – in 1961. I remember he said, ‘I want to make my mark in life.’ He has achieved that.”

John Towse wrote about the useful break that helped to find the ship. John and Alex discovered the location of the Mary Rose whilst looking at charts in Cricklewood. "There laid before Alex and myself was a magnificent hand-drawn chart [by the Deane brothers in 1836] of the approaches to Portsmouth Harbour. In a very short time and prompted by one of the Hydrographic Office staff, the actual charted site of the Mary Rose was clearly shown."

In 1965 McKee initiated ‘Project Solent Ships’ in conjunction with Southsea BSAC. The aim was to investigate wrecks lost in the Solent. His real quest was to find the Tudor Warship and he was the driving force behind the hunt and discovery of this Tudor Battleship.

Mary Rose, Henry VIII, Tudor Warship, Battleship, Alexander McKee, John Towse, Southsea BSAC, OTD, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Margaret Rule, X-Ray Mag
The wreck of the Mary Rose undergoing conservation in Portsmouth Photo Credit: Mary Rose Trust

Without Alexander McKee's dedication and pioneering work, it is likely this ship would still be buried beneath the soft Solent mud. John Lippiett, the Rear Admiral who leads the Mary Rose Trust said "The project wouldn’t be what it is today without the foresight and inspiration of Alex and the divers.” (McKee's stubbornness was later rewarded when he received the OBE for finding the Mary Rose).

Many years of seabed searching followed. Cynics dubbed the wreck 'McKee's Ghost Ship'. Between 1968 and 1971 volunteer divers explored the Solent. They used sonar scans and plunged long steel rods into the soft mud until they struck timber. Then the team employed dredgers, water jets and airlifts to excavate a strange shape underneath the seabed. Alex Hildred, curator of the Mary Rose, confirmed that this was the first time that remote sensing technology sub-bottom profiling and side scan sonar had been used in England.

"We were very fortunate that on the first dive of the year [5 May 1971] we slightly missed our target—the area that we had been searching. We were about 150 metres to the south. Percy Ackland, who I always called our underwater gun dog, came up and whispered to me, 'The timbers are down there Margaret [Rule].'” Ackland had found three of the port frames of the Mary Rose. By some miracle half of the hull had been well preserved by Solent mud. It was as though someone had chainsawed through the wreck from bow to stern and the entire starboard side of the Mary Rose survived.


Mary Rose Website
Obituary of Margaret Rule, X-Ray Mag
The Portsmouth News
Culture 24

On 29th August 2014 BBC Radio 4 broadcast 'The Reunion' with Sue MacGregor. Sue reunited some of the members of the team of marine archaeologists, divers and engineers who raised Henry VIII's sunken battleship Mary Rose from the sea bed in 1982. This link goes to a RAM (Real Audio File) recording of that programme.


Woz Elected Chairman of BSAC

Alex Warzynski, Woz, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club Chairman, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba news, diving PR
Alex Warzynski aka 'Woz' - BSAC's latest Chairman

Overnight the British Sub Aqua Club has released the results of their recent election. (This election was independently operated by the Electoral Reform Services.)

BSAC welcomes a new Chairman, Treasurer and three council members.

The new Chairman is Alex Warzynski. He polled 1,040 votes and replaces Eugene Farrell who was elected in 2014.

Alex Warzynski - known to the Brit diving fraternity as 'Woz' - has an understanding of how dive clubs work, having been a member BSAC for 26 years.

Woz started diving in 1989 with Newcastle University. He joined Nottingham University SAC in 1999 when he was asked by their President to help out because they were short of instructors.

Today Woz is a BSAC Advanced Diver, BSAC Advanced Instructor, an ITS Instructor Trainer, and a Trimix rebreather diver.

In the past nine years he has previous held key positions in this club including 'Diving Officer' (2007 - 2009, and 2012); Assistant Diving Officer (2009 - 2010) and Boat Officer (2005 - 2007).

Woz told us earlier today that he is "passionate and driven to change BSAC into the organisation that you would have to be bonkers not to be a member of".

"BSAC is going through a period of substantial change with extensive plans in place to support members and reverse the decline in numbers. And crucial to this is a Chairman who can drive these changes forward, and they need to have skills in strategy development, implementation, business, innovation, negotiation and the trust of those who deliver this. My day job is managing director of a successful and growing engineering business with a similar turnover and size to BSAC, so have a proven track record with all of those skills and can transfer them to help grow BSAC into the organisation it should be." Alex Warzynski

Woz has already served on Council for six years, two of which as Vice Chair, therefore he should be ready to meet the challenges as the new Chairman of BSAC.

Alex Warzynski, Woz, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club
Woz has been diving since 1989

"Members need to be at the centre of everything - we need to focus on making members’ lives as easy as possible so we can concentrate on what we all want - to get in the water and go exploring with our mates.

What BSAC uniquely does really well is go diving and I want to strengthen that position by offering clear value for money with effective member support. I have already been working with the regional teams to deliver better club and member support to help clubs recruit, train and go diving.

I have a great relationship with the staff at HQ, NDC, Council and regional coaches and have the full support of National Diving Officer Sophie Heptonstall. It’s really important that we all work together to give members the support they need within a clear overall strategic direction so that members keep diving, and stay members of a great BSAC." Alex Warzynski

The new Honorary Treasurer is Louise Whitehouse. The new new members of BSAC council are Michelle Kim, Claire Howard and Rachel Sharp.

The successful candidates will take up their BSAC Council positions after the BSAC AGM, to be held on Saturday 14th May 2016 at 9.30am at The Manfred Suite, Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 2AL.

The result of the Special Resolutions vote will be announced at this year’s BSAC AGM.

BSAC would like to thank every candidate who stood for election, and congratulate those who were elected.


  • Alex (Woz) Warzynski – 1,040 Elected
  • Stephen Martin - 396
  • Mark Allen - 379
  • Damian Wozniak – 125

Total votes cast:1940

Honorary Treasurer:

  • Louise Whitehouse – 1,015 Elected
  • Janos Suto – 831

Total votes cast:1846

Council (three positions available):

  • Michelle Kim – 766    Elected
  • Rachel Sharp – 716   Elected
  • Claire Howard – 711  Elected
  • Dave Bell – 701
  • Trevor Brown - 671
  • Dai Atkins - 667
  • Rob Higgie –450

Total votes cast: 1,825

BSAC Forum Goes Offline

"It is with sincere regret and disappointment that BSAC wishes to inform its members that The BSAC Forum will be suspended for the foreseeable future. BSAC is unable to ignore the ongoing risk the forum presents to its members and volunteers individually, and to the organisation financially.

BSAC Forum, scuba diving forum, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing CompanyWe have always tried to accommodate our members’ more passionate opinions on the forum. None the less, the arguments were tolerated on the understanding that they remained good natured and in good grace on all sides. Sadly last week the debate was taken offline, resulting in threats of civil and Police action against BSAC and a member of the forum management team. BSAC cannot ignore these events, the anxiety caused to our members, and the disruption and time it takes our HQ staff to process these complaints.

BSAC recognises the forums have given the majority of participants a great deal of valuable information and entertainment over the last 10 years. We are genuinely sorry to see them go offline at this time and hope to find a way to return them in the future.

Members wishing to contact BSAC for diving related enquiries can call 0151 350 6200 or email info@bsac.com"

BSAC Member? Received Your Pre-Election Email?

BSAC, dive with friends, BSAC elections, BSAC Council, BSAC Chairman, BSAC Treasurer, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing CompanyThis year elections for the positions of BSAC Chairman, Honorary Treasurer and Council are being conducted by Electoral Reform Services. The process will be (almost) wholly electronic.

If you are BSAC member you should have received an email in the last couple of days stating this. However if your email address is invalid or do you do not have an email address, you can contact BSAC HQ on 0151 350 6200 to update your details or register for a postal vote.

Stephen Martin Case DROPPED!

Today, Monday 18th January 2016, the British Sub Aqua Club issued this statement.

"This morning lawyers for BSAC member Stephen Martin were advised that all charges have been dropped by the Maltese Authorities, following a visit to the Island’s Attorney General by the British Sub-Aqua Club, last week. It brings to an end a horrific nightmare for Stephen who could have faced up to ten years in prison if he had been found guilty in Malta.

Stephen Martin, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, diving in Gozo, diving deaths, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
Scuba diver Stephen Martin

Stephen was charged last July with two counts of involuntary homicide, following the deaths in Gozo in June 2014 of Larissa Hooley and Nigel Haines, despite the fact a UK inquest had concluded in February 2015 that they died due to a diving accident.

Speaking of his relief today Stephen said: “I am overwhelmed. This has been an utter nightmare for me, and I am just so relieved it is over. I feel I can finally start grieving for Larissa and Nigel, I just can’t keep back the tears. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 12 months – I have been overwhelmed by the support of divers in the UK and worldwide and for all the efforts that have been made on my behalf to get these charges overturned. BSAC have also been really been fantastic. It’s a great example of how they look after their members, and I can’t thank them enough.”

BSAC chief executive Mary Tetley said: “First of all I would like to extend our sympathies from all at the British Sub-Aqua Club to the families of Larissa Hooley and Nigel Haines.

“This was a tragic accident and Stephen is among the many who are still grieving their loss.

I would like to thank the Malta Tourism Authority for facilitating the crucial meeting with the Attorney General. The decision today brings to an end the horrendous ordeal which Stephen has suffered since he was charged, and we are both delighted and relieved for him.”

Stephen’s solicitor in the UK, Edward Elwyn Jones of Hodge Jones and Allen Solicitors described the charge as “bizarre” because it was not at all clear how the Maltese authorities proposed to prove that Stephen had actually caused the deaths of Larissa and Nigel.

He said: “We received notification from the UK Crown Prosecution Service this morning that the European Arrest Warrant for Stephen Martin had been withdrawn. I have also received notification from the Attorney General in Malta that the intended prosecution will no longer be proceeded with. This brings to an end a long and painful nightmare for Stephen. It is rare for an extradition request to be withdrawn. Often when they are it is as a result of lobbying outside the courtroom and BSAC are to be commended for the work they have done to highlight Stephen’s plight at the highest level.”

Stephen’s MP Sir Peter Bottomley who has also been supporting his case, said: “I’m grateful to the Maltese Attorney General for meeting with BSAC and reviewing the case and to Stephen’s lawyer Ed Jones. I also pay tribute to the British Sub-Aqua club and Stephen’s lawyer Ed Jones for their efforts in this case.”

Update on Stephen Martin Case

The British Sub Aqua Club issued this statement at 3pm today, Tuesday 12th January 2016.

"This morning (Tuesday 12th January) BSAC’s Chairman, Chief Executive and National Diving Officer met with the Attorney General of Malta to discuss the Stephen Martin case.


Stephen Martin, British Sub Aqua Club, BSAC, involuntary homicide, diving death, scuba diving death, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, diving in Malta, scuba diving in Gozo

BSAC member Stephen Martin has been charged with two counts of involuntary homicide following a diving incident in Gozo in 2014, in which two people tragically died.

Following BSAC’s last meeting in Malta in November regarding Stephen’s case, we have continued to work with the Malta Tourism Authority to secure a meeting with the Maltese Attorney General.

It was a very frank, open and direct meeting lasting 1 hour 40 minutes in which we questioned the strength of the case against Stephen Martin. We very firmly explained our dismay at this case ever being brought against Stephen. We believe there is a complete lack of evidence to support it and have questioned all aspects of this case.

While the Attorney General listened to our representations and views, he explained procedurally he is unable to withdraw the case at this time.

We also met with Stephen’s legal representative in Malta and continue to work with both him and Stephen’s legal representative in the UK as well as the Malta Tourism Authority to maintain pressure and to explore all possible opportunities.

Stephen has been fully updated as to what has taken place. There will be a further hearing in Malta on the 25 January at which we hope the Maltese authorities will reconsider their position and drop the case."

Job vacancy: BSAC Diving Support Adviser

snorkelling, scuba diving, Diving Support Adviser, The Diving Manual, dive buddies, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, BSAC, Mary Tetley, diving with friends, OThree,

Do you want to work for Britain's biggest diving club? BSAC - the British Sub Aqua Club - is currently looking for an experienced diver to join its Diver Resources Team (DRT) as a Diving Support Adviser.

This is a full-time, permanent position with a competitive salary plus pension contribution, to be based in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

The Job
BSAC represents 30,000 active scuba divers and snorkellers and this is an exciting opportunity to help drive forward BSAC’s commitment to quality customer service for all its members. Reporting to the Diver Resources Manager, the successful applicant will provide day-to-day diver advice and support to BSAC members, branches, centres, coaches and volunteers. There will also be the opportunity to play a key role in the coordination and development of dedicated areas such as BSAC Centres and the Regional Coaching Scheme as well as staffing support for the Instructor Training Scheme, subject to the individual’s particular skills and interests.  Additional training will be provided as required.

The Candidate
Comprehensive and practical knowledge of BSAC’s Diver Training and Development Programme is required and so you need to be a minimum level of Open Water Instructor and Advanced Diver (or other agency equivalent). You must possess excellent communication skills – both verbal and written - be computer literate and a team player.  A full driving licence is essential. This position will be based at BSAC’s headquarters in Ellesmere Port and some weekend and evening work will also be required.

How To Apply
Please submit your CV, along with a covering letter outlining why you should be considered for this post, via email.

You can also post your application to: Jim Watson, BSAC, Telford’s Quay, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 4FL

If you would like to informally discuss any aspects of this position prior to application please contact Jim Watson, DRT manager, on 0151 350 6210 or Wendy Meadows on 0151 350 6218.

Closing date: Midnight BST, Tuesday, 30th June 2015.

Applications received after this date will not be considered.

BSAC Welcomes Youngest Ever National Diving Officer

Sophie Heptonstall, NDO, National Diving Officer, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, Ellesmere Port, Dive With Friends, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving

The British Sub Aqua Club has announced that National Instructor Sophie Heptonstall has been elected BSAC's NDO (National Diving Officer). She takes over from Jeff Reed who has held this position for the last six years.

Sophie Heptonstall is an active member of Hartford SAC and has been a BSAC member for 16 years. She is well-known on the BSAC Instructor Training Scheme circuit and has spent time on BSAC’s National Diving Committee (NDC), and worked as an Area Coach.

“Thank you to all BSAC members that voted. I am excited about taking on the role of NDO and look forward to encouraging existing members to develop their diving skills further and attracting new members into the BSAC.” Sophie Heptonstall

Heptonstall is an open and closed circuit diver and has an extensive knowledge of the full BSAC Diver Training Programme. She also brings business acumen to the role - she is a marketing professional. Sophie Heptonstall is the third female BSAC NDO and is the youngest BSAC member to take up this position.