ssweb.jpg Seasearch in East Anglia
Support the Marine Bill!

It's not hard to take part in Seasearch but there are a few questions which come up on a regular basis so here's a low down.

The standard conditions for taking part in an event organised by Seasearch require that you are:
These conditions do not mean that you and your club or friends cannot organise Seasearch dives for divers that do not meet these conditions - so long as you operate within the standards of your own diving organisation. This means for example that a club dive can pair a new Ocean diver/Open Water diver with an instructor or experienced diver to build their experience and complete Seasearch forms.

Dive Qualification:
Seasearch make these stipulations to control the complication and liability
of their events, we tutor surveying but do not train people to dive or act as dive guides. Seasearch operate to the standards of their coordinators qualifying organisations and add some standard forms to aid good practice. We're BSAC people so expect straightforward briefings, a preoccupation with what could go wrong and an expectation that people will use their common sense. Please let us know if you are an idiot ;-)

Some of our simplest shore dive events allow us to apparently 'blur' some of these conditions, don't get confused. What we will do is offer every possible assistance to autonomous groups who wish to dive the same site at the same time. Here the 'blur' is that you are responsible for yourselves but we will do our best to support your event. You'll need to satisfy yourself that our advice is sound and meet your own dive planning requirements.

For the Observer course itself the minimum requirements apply if we are organising the practical dives. If your club, shop or qualified friends organise the dive then, as above, their conditions apply not ours. If the course is arranged for a club group it makes a lot of sense for them to organise the diving. We need to dive the same site at the same time, so please make sure you have space for guests :-)

20 Dives:
The need for 20 dives is a sensible one, new divers have plenty to think
about and should get used to diving without loading marine survey work on top. 20 is the bare requirement, ideally you are confortable underwater to the extent that you now want to know more about you are seeing around you rather than still struggling out of the water and kissing the ground thankfully at the end of each dive.

10 Cold Dives:
The 10 cold, sea dive requirement is to cover that last part and is again a
bare, suggested minimum not a recommended, adequate level of experience. Seasearch events may be boat or shore based, possibly in poor weather and the other divers will have their own safety to maintain so you should be experienced with the conditions you may encounter or buddy with someone who can help. Seasearch divers love to help, just like other divers, but won't necessarily have come prepared to nurse someone less experienced. Please let the organiser know, honestly, how experienced you are. They will let you know whether it will be safe for you to attend and describe the conditions. This is no time to bluff your way onto a event, a twinset will not convince us you know what you're doing.

The 3rd party insurance requirement is another one which bemuses people. If you're a
club diver it's normally part of the membership package, so you're covered if you're in BSAC or SAA. We don't know about every organisation and a quick scan of the PADI website suggests that their 'Diving Society' is a 'lifestyle organisation' which doesn't include insurance...

There are specialist brokers insurers who will provide 3rd party insurance, a quick google or browse of Dive or Diver magazines will turn them up. For the sake of picking one at random it seems that Dive-Master is one of the best established they have a Sport Diver policy for 10.50 which seems reasonable. I would be inclined to consider whether joining BSAC, SAA or an individual club might be more worthwhile if you are keen to get into UK diving.

This information was compiled by humans, and not very many of them,
so it may contain errors - let us know if you notice any mistakes and we'll put them right.

Vivid Oceans and Secret Seas

If you still don't believe British dives can be colourful and interesting perhaps a browse through our UK galleries will help change your mind :-)


Constructive comments and corrections are welcome, as always :-)

Rob and Dawn