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.
What 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.
Image Credit: Nina Hukkanen / Underwater Explorers
Underwater Explorers in Dorset, England has advised us of an update on a popular Portland wreck.
Following an incident in May, Portland Harbour is taking measures to avoid diving incidents related to the Countess of Erne. The wreck is to be permanently marked with a buoy on the bow. Detailed handouts are also being prepared to give to visiting divers to help reduce in-water accidents.
On 22nd May three divers were swept out of the East Channel as a 90 metre tanker was being piloted in. The divers had apparently failed to find the Countess of Erne and started an ascent. During the ascent they conducted a 5 metre safety stop and ended up drifting through the channel as the tanker with a draft of 5.4 metres was being piloted in. It was only because the pilot boat spotted the divers' SMB and the tanker was small enough to alter her course, that an incident was avoided. Had this been a larger less maneuverable vessel and the timings been a little different, this may have resulted in a very serious incident.