At the end of every year we find ourselves reflecting on “Perhaps I shouldn’t have eaten or drank so much?!”…. and what went well (and not so well) in 2022. 

Thankfully for Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club the year 2022 has been one of the most successful years we have had in regards to club training and dive trips.  We have also invested in the clubhouse and our RHIB, Sea King.


Trips abroad to Spain, Malta and the Red Sea (finally!) came close together, partly due to prior COVID postponements, and there were also UK trips to Lundy and the Farne Islands and our usual dives from Portland, Plymouth, Newhaven, Swanage, Eastbourne, some of which we visited multiple times.

Training and Membership 2023

Kingston and Elmbridge has seen its biggest growth in members in recent years, now almost totalling 100. We have maintained this number for the last few years as people came out of lockdown, refocused and were ready to get back to socialising, trying new sports and seeing the world – not just from an armchair!

But as any BSAC club knows, growth is maintained and built upon through an active and full diver training programme, coupled with actually going diving.

For our then Training Officer, Nick Sims, there were many challenges coming out of COVID to get a training programme underway and to meet the huge latent demand from new joiners and existing members who wanted to get their diver training underway again.  Nick, who picks up a new role in 2023 as Diving Officer, has left a legacy of some incredibly high training statistics of diver grade training undertaken, qualifications earned, SDCs run in-house and support given to our newly qualified instructors. Thanks to Nick for his tremendous efforts in coordinating and encouraging new and existing members in their training and skills development. 

Nick’s Favourite Photo (Source BSAC)

Of course Nick didn’t do it all on his own, he had great support from Craig Daniel (former Diving Officer) and by building an active and enthusiastic team of new and existing instructors, who have been able to deliver 44 new diver grades in the club and 30 skills development course qualifications in just one year!   

Building a strong base of active instructors not only makes our club an exciting place to learn, but has allowed us to move on divers who hadn’t progressed their training in a while so they could achieve high grades, meeting goals they may not have expected they could attain. In doing so it has enabled them to take on active roles in the club, whether taking new instructor qualifications and also having the confidence to organise trips themselves. 

If you are interested in learning to dive, or you are a diver who has already qualified through  another agency background who perhaps wants to further their diver training or just enjoy friendly club diving, then please get in touch with us through our Contact Us page.

Diver Training in 2022

First Class Diver1CD
Advanced Diver2NS, JW
Dive Leader6AS, DB, NT, LC, SA, LC
Sports Diver12MC, TB, GD, SW, RS, GE, ID, AM, ZB, DS, SE, FG
Ocean Diver14FG, OM, JC, PK, DK, MJ, GJ, JT, JM, SE, MB, DS, MM, JW
Open Water Instructor4NS, DB, SH, BM
Assistant Instructors5NT, DB, RS, GE, TB, EC
Total Diver Qualifications44
Diver Grades Achieved in 2022

Practical Rescue Management (PRM)5
Accelerated Decompression Procedures (ADP)3
Chartwork & Positioning10
O2 Administration7
Mixed Gas Blending5
SDC Total Students30
Skills Development Courses Places in 2022


We have been able to invest in the club this year, and our Buildings Officer, Ian Angus managed the building of an additional classroom within our clubhouse.  Not only does this new room provide the opportunity to teach different diver grade theory on the same night, but it has allowed us to shift our expanding range of scuba equipment into a bigger room, laid out in a much more practical manner.


It’s not all about the diving! The benefit of being a club has allowed us to hold a number of social events over the year, from two club bbqs, the annual dinner dance, a talk on Scapa Flow, visit to the Mary Rose Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and of course our Christmas Party at the clubhouse.  

Our newest event came at the end of  the year, a Christmas Pool party – where lots of members got put into teams and took part in relay races that built upon diving skills such as sign language (official and not so official) trim and buoyancy, lifting bags and a bit of search and find with some mental maths included!


We bade farewell to our second RIB, Britvic, to her new home on the Isle of Wight with BSAC 0807 Wight Dolphins.  The RIB was donated by the branch as we weren’t able to use a second boat, so through contacts we found another branch willing to make Britvic seaworthy once more. We look forward to meeting up with Wight Dolphins once they have finished repairs and upgrades to Britvic and to bring along our other RIB, Sea King, to go diving off the Isle of Wight.

Goodbye Britvic RHIB

Committee Changes

Every November Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club holds our Annual General Meeting, where the committee is elected for the coming year.  This year we say goodbye and thank you to some long serving committee members and welcome new ones in. We always encourage new faces on the committee, bringing new ideas and suggestions.

Social SecretaryGemmaEmma
Training OfficerDebbieNick
Building OfficertbcIan Angus
Diving OfficerNickCraig
Recruitment and Retention OfficerNathanDebbie
Marketing and WebsiteThomasNathan
Committee Changes in 2023

All other committee members remain the same, click here to see all positions.

Looking forward

2023 is looking to be another exciting year full of training, holiday and weekends away….and for the lucky few retired mid week diving too!

We have already started our Advance Diver course, Sports Diver starting in February, Ocean Divers courses have started, try dives keep coming (groups – scouts, and individuals). Dry Dives at Whipps Cross Hyperbaric Chamber with LHM Healthcare at have taken place with more to come. Mixed Gas course also just starting and we have only made it to January!

If you are already a diver looking to join a club, advance your training or you are wanting to learn and find out what it’s like to be floating free, exploring an underwater world that only a few get to see first hand, come join Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club – open to all divers from any agency.

Please find the agenda for the 2022 Annual General Meeting to be held at our club house, on Thursday 24 November 2022 at 9pm. This meeting is for club members only.

A Downloadable PDF of the Agenda below is available to download here.

Proposal by committee for Nitrox availability to all club members can be found here.

We just heard about the diving in Malta last month, but our Chairman (Len) and Dive Manager due to unforeseen circumstances, gives us his view and video evidence of club member antics in Malta:

Finally following a long four year wait due to Covid, we were ready and keen to return to dive systems dive centre in Sliema bay, Malta.

We all arrived at Gatwick South for our mid-day flight with Air Malta. There were 15 of us in total, Nick and Amanda went out on a earlier Easyjet flight that morning. After checking in and off lading our luggage we headed to the duty free and bars, a small flight delay gave us more more time to relax in the bars. Plus more time to fill in the customer and medical questioners from dive systems, Malta has tightened up on certification due to a big increase in deco. chamber visits recently. This resulted in some of us needing more than one form and another needing a medical from a local doctor that afternoon.

Day one two dives at  the ferry port, one on the P29 and on the north reef, followed up by a very welcome ice-cream on the way back to the dive centre, in the extreme heat, then a beery debriefing. The main talking point was the very choppy exit from both dives, slippery steps and Jackie “putting her knee out” and Brian putting it back in again, all caught on camera, swear words and all.

How to exit from a shore dive like a true professional

The first day completed, the next four days I volunteered my four dive marshals, a big thanks to Leanne, Nick, Lucy and Jackie, standing in for me as I’m not diving at present, tears. Over the week they dived the usual sites Um El Faroud, Cominoland, Imperial Eagle, the new recently sunk wreck and The Santa Maria caves, with the usual Kit troubles, tanks not tied on properly, mislaid kit and lost diving log sheets, all blaming each other and me not being able to “check them” until the last day. The diving finished with No incidents, so a big thank you to all the divers in my absence.

The change of hotel to the Preluna also seemed to work with no complaints, it had a very nice roof top bar, floor 14, and a sea fed outdoor pool and restaurant, plus a indoor “penis shaped pool” 😲 I’m told. The Hotel was in a different part of Sliema Bay, with new restaurants and the “Hole in the wall” bar around the corner and close to the “chill out bar”.

It was good to get away with some old friends and some new trippers, Nick, Amanda  and Lucy in  our group. Hopefully I will be a diving member on the next visit to Malta with some new club members to enjoy the Malta trip.


If you want to be part of the next Malta Trip and many similar great club trip abroad and in the UK then why not join Kingston and Elmbridge Dive Club.

As summer is ending there is more time to write up our club trips. Lucy Besson writes about last month’s trip to Malta:

For a week in September, 11 divers and 6 sun-seekers flew out to Malta. Thanks to Len for organising, we shared a week of successful diving, no bus fares needed to get home (this time Ade!) and slurped plenty of soft whip ice-cream.

Kingston and Elmbridge (Minus Nick) and Dive System Guides

Malta is home to some of the best wreck diving and with caves and reefs offered the group had plenty to grin about. The dive guides from Dive Systems, Carston, Mark, Robin and Sergei welcomed K&E back after a Covid break. I’m sure they’re missing us now we’re back in the UK, despite an interesting introduction to the group on day one: Jackie handing over weights mid-dive, Ros close to losing her weights, and Len filming us clamber over rocks out of the water rather than lending a hand.

Malta Trip 2022 021 (Nick Sims)
Photos by Nick Sims

Over 5 days, we dived 6 wrecks, including one sunk on 29th August 2022 called the Hephaestus: A 60m long tanker which ran aground earlier in the year. The other 5 wrecks make up some of the best dives in Malta: P29, Karwela, Um El Faroud, Imperial Eagle and Cominoland.

A trip highlight on day three: Having charmed our guides, they were willing to split the group, with 5 of us diving the Um El Faroud a second time, and 4 doing a reef dive where ‘seahorses had been seen’. On reaching the wreck, we followed the stairs down past the boiler into the engine room at 34m. From there we ascended through each compartment until arriving at the top of the bridge in 16m. Glorious opportunity for keen wreck divers.

While de-kitting and debriefing this spectacular dive, the reef divers appeared beaming from ear to ear. Not only had they seen 100’s of octopus, but yes, they had seen a seahorse. Just one, but at least there is a photo!

Other highlights included Carston’s driving – guess the language he’s swearing in, diving from a Maltese Luzzu, and cocktails at the hotel’s rooftop bar.

In summary, fantastic diving, brilliant guides, non-stop sunshine and the usual K&E banter.

Bring on the next club trip to Malta in 2024!

If you want to be part of the next Malta Trip and many similar great club trip abroad and in the UK then why not join Kingston and Elmbridge Dive Club.

This week we bade farewell to our second RHIB, Britvic to her new home on the Isle of Wight with BSAC 0807 Wight Dolphins.

Andy, Fiona, Craig, Jonathan, Jason and David (photographer) with Britvic all cleaned up and ready for a new home across the Solent

Wight Dolphins’ own RHIB, “Wight Dolphin”, had a catastrophic engine failure preventing the club diving from their own boat.

It was by chance that BSAC National Instructor Andy Hunt mentioned this to our Diving Officer Craig Daniel while preparing him for First Class Diver.

Kingston and Elmbridge SAC had been given a mandate by club members to find a new “home” for Britvic and decided to donate the RHIB as she still had a good engine but needed some work, and in doing so found a way to support another BSAC club.

Andy and his partner Fiona came across from the Isle of Wight to collect Britvic, but not before Craig, Jonathan, Jason and David (photographer) gave her a good scrub down and ensured she was fit for the journey back.

We look forward for @kingstonsac to meet up with @wight_dolphins on SeaKing our other club RHIB when Britvic is back in the water and go diving together!

Getting Britvic Ship shape
Britvic all ready to go
Britvic, Andy and Fiona preparing to leave to go back to the Isle of Wight
Hope to see you in the water soon Britvic!

#clubdiving #kesac #bsac17 #bsac0807 #bsac #scubadiving #clubsupport

11 Club Members Ready for a days diving in glorious, yet chilling spring sunshine!

Although many club members dive all year round, the first main club sea dive of the year (except for training) was out of Swanage at the beginning of April. This two-dive shakedown took place on one of those wonderful Dorset Sunny days, despite the -4oC “frosted car windows start” from London. Thankfully ropes off wasn’t until 11:30 so for Hywel my driver for the day and I it was a tranquil 07:30 start.

Nick and Amanda chartered Vyper boat from Swanage Boat Charters skippered by owner Bryan for 12 members to dive from. This is a great boat, lots of comments on how nice it was to have space in the centre of the boat to move around in as kit and seating was around the sides of the boat, rather than set up in a centre configuration that you find yourself dancing around each other to get back to your side of the boat.

Unfortunately a few members had to drop out last minute due to the dreaded C-19 and usual excuses from CCR divers that their box was not functioning correctly – JOKE! 😉 (still better safe than sorry!)

Glorious Spring Day!

SS Betsy Anna

This was also the first dive of the season for Bryan and Swanage Boat Charters on the SS Betsy Anna, so no one knew what the conditions were going to be, but with such lovely sunshine clear day and a storm that passed on Thursday out the way (we were diving Sunday), vis should be great right!

Steam Ship Betsy Anna

We will get to that, but first a bit of background on SS Betsy Anna. Taken from Swanage Divers Colour Coded Depth Interactive Wreck Map.

The Betsy Anna was a 880 tonne steel steamer, built on the banks of the river Tyne in 1892. She struck Prawle Point, Devon in October 1926, but we re-floated and was being towed to Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, for major repairs. Unfortunately on her way she started taking on water and sank in her current position some 5 miles East of Swanage. She is lying upright in 24m of water, making it a great wreck for Advanced Ocean Diver and above.

You can read more about the Betsy Anna and what can be seen using the interactive map link above and the video below posted by Dory Video on YouTube.

However, what we were able to see (or not) was, we think, just the main boiler and possibly the donkey boiler which we same round a number of times following the other pairs of divers and their lights. If it weren’t for Bryan’s expert shotting of the wreck we wouldn’t even have seen that!

Even prayers by our Diving Officer, Craig, didn’t work to improve the vis.
(or was he just checking his CCR computer)

Half way down the shot with my buddy getting darker and darker and vis was getting less and less I did think maybe should bin the dive, but we kept going, managed to stick together the whole time (vis was hand in front of face if torch was on kind of dive)….good practice in very low vis conditions is all I could keep thinking.

Needless to say on the surface some 30 minutes later in glorious sunshine, safely back on the boat, we were relieved with Bryan passing us a cup of hot chocolate while others came back to the boat. It was then a 20 minute journey back into harbour to refill tanks (those that needed it) and get ready for our next dive – the Fleur De Lys.

Fleur De Lys

Our next dive was in Swanage harbour, thankfully more protected from the storm that had come through the previous week and therefore Vis was slightly better on this dive.

The Fleur de Lys was a French Trawler built in Brittany in 1969, then bought by a local British fisherman in 1989, but sadly sunk on her way back to Brigham after a fishing trip to Alderney on Sunday 16th April 2000. The four crew were having problems with steam leaking out of the of the hot water system. At 15:12 there was an explosion that damaged the hull that caused the boat to begin sinking some 18 miles southwest of Portland Bill in Dorset.

The four crew members found themselves gradually submerging in cold water after their life raft failed to inflate. A mayday was sent out and nearby ships and coastguard helicopter were able to save them. Unsuccessful attempts were made to try and float Fleur whilst she was being towed to Poole and so in the end she was abandoned in Swanage Bay.

She is in 14m of water, not a lot of her is left now as she was mainly a wooden trawler, but you can do a circuit of what is left to see of her engine and other metal structural features. There is also a line that has been laid between the Fleur and a large barge that was sunk nearby that you can follow and then complete a circuit around and inside that barge to before coming back to the the Fleur an either ascend using the shot line (if you can find it again) or come up on your own DSMB.

This time the vis was probably a good 2-3m at times, and being shallow and lots of lovely sunshine above, meant torches weren’t needed and it was easier to keep together, if at times it did get a bit silty going between the barge and the Fleur.

The Fleur is a lovely simple dive and we call came up happy to have seen something that day as well as for being together enjoying each others company.

It was then back to the pier (that was under repair, which made it really easy to park and less people to manoeuvre around), fish and chips for those who wanted to stay longer and then off home in glorious sunshine.

Video shot by Pete “Hutch” Hutchinson (edited by Nate Dog)

If you are interested in learning to dive or you already are a diver looking to join a club, then contact us through this website, or check us out on Facebook and Instagram and contact us that way.

At the end of March on a chilly, yet sunny Vobster day, Nick our Training Officer along with instructors Peter, Leanne and Amanda were able to asses and sign off 4 club members – Matt, Gina and Rebekah as Sports Divers and Farah as an Ocean Diver!

Congratulations to Matt, Gina, Rebekah and Farah!

Newly Qualified Sports and Ocean Divers, Beka and Farah!

Below is the levels of diving that is open to club members and the extra Skill Development Courses, from boat handling, navigation, wreck diving, twin set diving, accelerated deco and more. Click on link below image for a larger PDF to version to review.

If you would like to learn to dive or join a club to progress your qualification and skills then please get in touch with us through our contact page.

BSAC Diver Grades and Skill Development Courses – Training for Nearly All Types of Diving and Interests!

Members of the Mary Rose Trip 2022

Len Hards, our Club Chairman writes about one of our land based clubs trips looking at maritime history and in particular the Mary Rose:

Saturday 5th March 2022 – on a cold (cold enough to make you go “shiver my timbers”), but dry day all 13 club members that signed up for this day trip turned up on time in the Portsmouth Historic Dockyards…except, guess who? The trip organiser…who proceeded to blame it on the Trains, that old chestnut. Luckily, we found the most old-fashioned greasy spoon in England, purely by chance or was its club members initiative? After excuses were said and done and of course another cup of tea we crossed the road over to the Mary Rose exhibition and queued in a covid free large group to get into the dockyard.

Boats were everywhere as you might imagine including HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and several large modern carriers (Including the latest HMS Queen Elizabeth). There were boat building workshops, more museums, dry docks, gift shops and water full docks to look around.

So many artefacts were found well preserved in bows of the Mary Rose and can be seen on display throughout the museum!

After lots of group photos and selfies we rounded HMS Victory to find the purpose-built Mary Rose Museum. A swift ticket check by Emma and we we’re into a corridor for a Tudor introduction by “Henry VIII” …all about Mary Rose’s history, Tudor people and sailors, English history and politics. Then into another room built like the interior of the ship, that allowed you to look out of the gun holes and understand how the water came flooding in these very holes when the Mary Rose turned into the wind and sank, very realistic!

At this stage I think they noticed the general age of the party, they offered some of us to carry around temporary seating (the cheek! 🙂 ).

Inside the main exhibition, which is on three levels, there are over 19,000 artefacts that were retrieved from the seabed and half of the Mary Rose which had become buried in the Solent silt and luckily preserved all these artefacts and the boat for us to see some 477 years later.

Our 2 hours passed by exceptionally fast, and it was time to leave the dockyard. It was a fantastic day out with new and old members of our dive club, a chance to chat and get to know each other.

Lastly a very very big thank you to Emma for organising a much-needed club social outing after all the confines of Covid.

If you are interested in joining a diving club and coming on not just see based trips, but also land based social events then get in touch through our contact page!

Hope to see you soon on one of our next trips!

The hull of the Mary Rose that was preserved under the Solent silt and mud

….one very active and growing club.

Just this week alone Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club (KESAC) achieved:

  • One Advanced Diver (well done Nick)
  • Three Dive Leaders  (well done Amanda, Debbie and Nathan)
  • and as of last night surpassed 100 club members. Whoohoo!

KESAC is very fortunate to have our own club house and training facilities, a bar, two compressors (and we can blend nitrox mixes) and a RHIB boat, all of which has been built up over the years since it first started in 1955!   

However, it is the members that make a club, along with provision of training and ultimately the ability to bring divers from all agencies together to go diving that makes club diving at KESAC so special.

We currently have 16 Ocean Divers in training and 10 Sports Divers, many of whom qualified as Ocean Divers last year, or are crossovers from other agencies who are training for their next diver grade.

This growth has come from a dedicated and active committee, supported by an excellent team of instructors who put in a lot of hours, along with a friendly club to make sure new members are welcomed, training (theory and practical) is regularly taking place, membership paperwork is filled in efficiently, course books ordered, dive kit is available and ready to be used, social events are happening, the RHIB ready to go, finances are well managed and bills paid, facilities are maintained and most importantly (to some) the bar is well stocked! 

We welcome any diver from any background who wants to make new friends, go to new places, enjoy new experiences, learn new skills, test themselves and most of all enjoy the wonder of the underwater world.

If you would like to find out more then please contact us!

Wanting a new challenge in 2022? Get the feeling of being “locked up” too much and want to see more of this amazing planet. Visit new places and see amazing creatures, wrecks and worlds others may only see on TV. Then come learn to SCUBA dive with Kingston & Elmbridge Dive Club, a part of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC*), that has been diving since 1955 in the UK and abroad.

Kingston & Elmbridge is unique in that it has a dedicated club house, bar and training facilities as well as use of local swimming pool and club dive boat for training you are in good hands.

Maybe you are already a diver and want to dive more in UK waters and develop your skills further? We also offer Try Dives in the safety of a indoor swimming poolto allow you to experience the thrill of SCUBA diving.

Just get in touch either through our contact us page or Facebook or Instagram.

In the meantime check out the video below and see what fun club diving in the UK is! This could be you in 2022!

*BSAC is the National Governing Body of Diving in the UK and the largest and most successful SCUBA club in the world.

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