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.

 

 

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.

Chairman:

  • 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

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."

BSAC To Assist Member With Legal Costs

The British Sub Aqua Club Council has just released this statement regarding the Stephen Martin involuntary homicide case due to be held in Gozo.

"As a BSAC member, you may be aware of the case involving one of our members, Stephen Martin. Stephen was present on a dive in Malta when two divers very sadly died in June 2014. An inquest held in the UK in February 2015 returned a verdict of diving accident. However, Stephen has been charged with involuntary homicide by a court in Gozo, and served with an extradition order to return to Malta.

Stephen Martin, scuba diving in Gozo and Malta, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, involuntary homicide case, scuba diving deaths, diving insurance
BSAC would very much like to assist Stephen in his defence of the charge. We have been advised that the 2014/2015 BSAC Third-Party Liability Insurance that was in place at the time of the incident does not cover Stephen’s defence costs. Council has taken legal advice as to whether BSAC is liable to fund Stephen’s legal costs and has been advised that it is not. Of course this does not help Stephen, which is something we would like to do.

At a special meeting Council agreed that BSAC will assist Stephen with the legal costs of his defence of the case, up to £100,000. We have met with Stephen today to move this forward. Stephen has also agreed for this statement to be released.

BSAC is a members’ organisation and Council is elected to represent all its members’ diving interests. In reaching the decision to support Stephen, Council has considered the needs of the membership as a whole, and we believe that this is an appropriate use of BSAC funds. BSAC Council hopes that the majority of our members will feel the same way.

Stephen Martin, scuba diving in Gozo and Malta, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, involuntary homicide case, scuba diving deaths, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing CompanyBeyond our deep regret that two fellow divers died in this incident, and our sadness that Stephen has faced hardship since that day, we are extremely sorry that we have been unable to release this news previously.

We are aware that there is a school of thought held by some of our members that BSAC has been lacking, to date, in its support for Stephen. We were unable to make any financial commitment to Stephen until we had exhausted all our discussions with our insurers on his behalf and received legal advice. It would have been entirely inappropriate for us to comment either privately (to Stephen) or publicly until those were complete. The lengthy delays in deciding how to proceed are regrettable. We would like to say sorry to Stephen for the concern this has caused and promise our members that we will do better in the future.

We will make further details regarding diving responsibilities and diving in Malta, along with a detailed FAQ guide to the current Third-Party Liability insurance to complement the official policy document, available to all members as soon as possible. The 2015/2016 Third-Party Liability Policy with Liberty Insurance includes criminal defence costs for manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and culpable homicide."

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.

Help Shape The Future Of BSAC!

BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving surveyThe British Sub Aqua Club would like feedback from the diving community to understand how it can use digital tools and services (website, data management, emails, social media etc) to better effect.

To that end they have commissioned an independent research study. They would like to hear from existing members and lapsed members. The survey is also for divers or snorkellers that have never been a member of BSAC. This is your opportunity to feed into the process and have your views taken on board.

As a small thank you for completing the survey, all participants will be entered in a prize draw to win one of five AP Diving Self-sealing Surface Marker Buoys worth £30 each.

The survey will be open until midnight on Thursday 12th February.

You can take the survey now via this link.

BSAC Diving Conference 2014 Winners Announced

BSAC logo_Rosemary E Lunn_Roz Lunn_Mary Tetley_BSAC ConferenceThe 2014 BSAC Diving Conference was held on Saturday 25th October at the Birmingham NEC. Attending delegates enjoy a packed and informative programme of BSAC news, diver training updates and open forums.

During the conference BSAC announced the full list of BSAC Diving Conference 2014 award winners:

COLINS & CHAMBERS OWI AWARD
– for the most meritorious candidate on the Open Water Instructor course

  • Winner: Lee Evans

ANALOX AI AWARD
 for the most meritorious candidate on the Advanced Instructor course

  • Winner: Chucky Kane

FIRST CLASS DIVER – awarded to the successful 2014 candidates

  • Alan Brown
  • Dai Atkins
  • Dominic Robinson
  • Duncan Reed
  • Robert Sewell
  • Simon Child
  • John De Lara
  • Joli Riley
Martin Parker, AP Diving, BSAC Diving Officer Conference, Mary Tetley, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, BSAC Awards, Colins & Chambers OWI Diving Award
Simon Child (left) was presented with an AP Diving BCD by Martin Parker of AP Diving


AP DIVING AWARD
 awarded for the most admirable performance in the First Class Diver exam

  • Winner: Simon Child

NATIONAL INSTRUCTOR

 awarded to the successful 2014 candidates

  • Maria Harwood, Martin ‘Smudge’ Smith

WEEZLE AWARD
 awarded to the person who performs most meritoriously in the National Instructor exam

  • Winner: Martin ‘Smudge’ Smith

WILKINSON SWORD
 awarded for the most admirable performance in a BSAC nationally assessed examination

  • Winner: Martin ‘Smudge’ Smith

BSAC SAFETY AWARD – presented in recognition of endeavouring to save a life without involving diving techniques

  • Winner: Colin Hill

ALAN BROADHURST AWARD
 awarded for the use of good diving lifesaving techniques

Winners:

  • Malcolm Avis
  • Claude Carletide
  • Mark Edmunds
  • Zack Halim
  • Jim Hallyburton
  • David Horton
  • Natasha Scott
  • John Sharp
  • Martin Smith
  • Ian Stirling
  • Fraser Sweeny

HEINKE TROPHY 2014
 for the branch judged to have done the most infurthering the interest of BSAC and its members

  • Winner: Bradford SAC
  • Commended: London No 1 Branch

BSAC EXPEDITION TROPHY – presented to the organizer of the most significant British diving expedition of the year

  • Winner: Darwin SAC

COLIN MCLEOD AWARD
– 
to the person/s who in the opinion of the BSA Jubilee Trust has contributed to international cooperation and harmony in diving and associated activities

  • Winner: Dr Ian Calder
Scubapro Cousteau Award, Jeff Reed, Margaret Baldwin, BSAC DOC, BSAC Awards, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Mary Tetley
Margaret Baldwin being awarded the Scubapro Cousteau Award by BSAC National Diving Officer Jeff Reed


SCUBAPRO COUSTEAU AWARD

 for the BSAC member who goes that extra mile in the promotion of the club’s aims and objectives

      • Winner: Margaret Baldwin

BSAC WRECK AWARD (new for 2014)

      • Winner: Severnside Sub Aqua Club
        – report on the SS Baygitano

Highly Commended:

      • Guildford Sub Aqua Club (HMT Pine)
      • Chester SAC (A tale of two trawlers.)
      • Calshot Sub Aqua Club (Sunderland Flying boat)
      • Richard Scarsbrook BSAC member individual entry (SS Stassa)

Commended:

      • Folkestone Sub Aqua Club (HMHS Anglia)
      • Mauritius Underwater group (HMS Sirius)

Thank you awards:

      • Chris Odell
      • Colin McCarthy
      • Jamie Heptonstall
      • Andy Botten
      • Steve Capes
      • Roy Evans
      • Kevin Holmes
      • Dave Bell
      • John Gibbon

More photos and news from the BSAC Diving Conference 2014 can be found here.

#TBT – Dive Girl; Get Off On Your Kit!

About a million years ago, to be precise December 1998, a new diving magazine was launched in the UK called 'Dive Girl'. It had a short life, but it is still remembered with affection by some divers. I didn't know it at the time, but writing an article in the debut edition would help launch my writing and PR career in scuba and technical diving.

This is the first piece I wrote. I could write about any piece of diving equipment I liked. I chose my Aquion Pro Harlequin drysuit. It had taken me three years of hard saving to get this suit, and when it arrived, I was that excited, I almost slept in it on the first night. I can get very attached to my diving equipment. Whilst I don't dive this suit any more, it still makes me smile every time I open the garage door.

Sixteen years on, it is also great to see the other lady featured on this page, Mary Tetley, is likewise still involved with scuba diving too. Today Mary is the CEO of the British Sub Aqua Club.

Dive Girl Magazine, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Mary Tetley, BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, Aquion Pro drysuit, Apeks valves,