Q: Is scuba diving dangerous?
A: The honest answer is: It can be.
Scuba diving is an adventure sport and as with any adventure sport, it carries some risk.
Diving involves entering an environment that is extremely hostile to human beings. We are not meant to be underwater for an extended period of time and without the specialist equipment we use and the training we do, we would not survive for very long at all.
However, scuba diving is a very safe sport. The equipment used today hardly ever fails and you are taught from day one how to use your back-up systems in the rare event that it does. You’ll never dive without your buddy looking out for you and you will never be allowed to dive beyond your training limits.
What's more, rescue skills are an integral part of BSAC's diver training programme - they are not an optional extra that you have to pay for as is the case elsewhere – so everyone on the boat knows how to save your life.
So while we can’t promise you risk-free diving, we can say that you’ll never be safer than when diving with a BSAC club and we can promise that the rewards are very much worth it!
Q: From what age can I dive?
A: We train divers from the age of 12.
And there is no upper limit!
Q: What does it cost to join?
A: Our club membership fees are
currently £162 per year.
This includes your pool access, full training and loan equipment. This is payable upfront in your first year of membership but after that can be made by monthly standing order if preferred.
A further £59 per year is payable to BSAC HQ. This pays for your 3rd party dive insurance and monthly SCUBA magazine as well as funding the development of training schemes and all the other resources provided by HQ.
A discount is available if you pay this by Direct Debit.
The final cost is your training pack if you are a new diver or crossing over to Ocean Diver. This is currently £47.
Junior members get a reduced rate on some of these costs. Please contact us for further details.
Q: Do I need to be a good swimmer?
A: No. You need to able to swim and tread water for a few minutes, but we certainly do not demand athletes who can swim miles. Confidence in the water is much more important.
Scuba divers don’t swim – we fin. And we’ll teach you how to do that as part of your training.
Q: Do I need to be fit?
A: As with most activities, a good overall level of fitness will help; much of the kit is heavy on land and you'll need to hump it around. But again you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete, as evidenced by some of our current members!!
What you do need to be is “medically fit”. Scuba diving puts stresses and strains on the body that are not found in other activities. As part of your enrolment process, you will be asked to fill out a medical questionnaire. If that raises any concerns, we will either get you to see your GP or refer you to one of the BSAC’s specialist dive doctors or both. In the end it will be up to them whether you are fit to dive.
Q: I am disabled – Can I dive?
A: It will depend on the type and severity of your disability. Again, if there is any question as to your ability to dive safely, we will ask you to confirm with your doctor or one of the BSAC’s specialist doctors that you are fit to dive. Once medically cleared, you can be assured we will make whatever adjustments are needed to get you in the water with us!
Q: What kit do I need to start?
A: Just swimwear and an old T-Shirt
When you start your course we will provide you with a full set of kit to use while you are training. This kit will be yours to look after, clean and assemble just as if it’s your own. So there is no need to purchase any kit until you’re sure scuba is for you.
As you progress through your training and reach the open water sections of your course, you will need a dry suit to protect you from the cold. These can be very expensive to purchase, so we do not have any for trainees to borrow. However, trainees can rent dry suits from a number of local dive centres and suit manufacturers at very reasonable rates.
Once you have qualified and joined the elite group of people on the planet known as scuba divers, you’ll want to start getting your own kit together as ours is only for training and we’re sure you’ll want to be out diving with us straight away!
But don’t worry about it – we’ll guide you all the way.
Q: Can I buy my own kit from the start?
A: Of course you can. But we wouldn’t recommend it at first. There are so many different configurations of kit that we would recommend you try them out in the club before you commit to buying any of the larger items of dive kit.
If you really must dash out and spend some money, we would recommend getting yourself
your own well-fitting mask and pool fins.
Q: I’ve heard scuba equipment is expensive.
A: It can be!
As with most sports, the sky's the limit if you want to splash out on kit. If you were to purchase all
your equipment brand new from the really expensive brands, then a full set up including a
top-of-the-range drysuit could easily set you back £4,000. But there are reliable brands offering
better value, not to mention a thriving market in really good second hand equipment,
where you can get your kit for a fraction of the cost of new.
When diving, your safety is dependent on the reliability of your kit, so it’s important
to know that it’s been looked after and serviced regularly and performs well.
As a member of our club, we’re not going to let you get scammed or sold something useless or unsuitable. We’re here to look after you throughout your scuba experience and you can call on other members' know-how if you’re not sure what to buy or whether you should be considering a new or second-hand item.