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 learn to dive?
You will also need to purchase your own mask and snorkel for the training. Additionally, there is the registration and entrance fees to Capernwray for the weekend as well as air fill costs. We estimate these to be around £70 plus whatever you wish to pay for your mask and snorkel.
Payment plans are available. Please contact us to discuss your options.
Once you have completed your course, you will need to start paying your branch subs which are currently £13.50 per month payable by standing order plus you will need to renew your BSAC membership once your 3 month free membership expires.
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, an old T-Shirt and a mask & snorkel
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.
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.
Realistically though, you'll need to be comfortable spending between £1,000 to £1,500 on kit after your Ocean Diver course.
We do not loan or hire kit to qualified divers - even ones who've trained with us.
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' or ROHO's know-how if you’re not sure what to buy or whether you should be considering a new or second-hand item.