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!
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!)
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
It was so great to be back in the club house for this years Christmas Party. So good to see old and current members of the club. Thank you so much for our Social Secretary Emma for organising all the food, even though she couldn’t make it herself. Thanks also to Debbie Butler, Recruitment and Retention Officer arranged and presented the evening on behalf of Emma as well as Jon Phelps and Eileen our Bar Manager and staff member.
There was a small raffle of Wine, Gin and Chocolate prizes won by Zoe, Leanne and David.
Here are some more photos from a wonderful evening with friends new and old!
Christmas and New Year Club Closure
The club is now closed until Thursday 6th January 2022!
However if you are interested in joining or finding out more about learning to scuba diving or making new diving friends and going on trips in the UK and abroad contact us anytime and one of the team will be in touch.
The Committee would like to thank members for another great year of diving and all who have given their time in developing, maintaining and promoting the club and making it such friendly and happy place to be this year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…looking forward to 2022!
At last!…the Kingston and Elmbridge Annual General Meeting, held every November, could once again be held in the flesh, so to speak!
Although last year’s online AGM was a great success, it was brilliant to be back in the club house with 31 live human beings who were able to make it on Thursday night.
Our AGM allows club members to hear officers reports on various aspects of running the club, such as club finances (income/expenditure), memberships, diving reports, new initiatives, awards, plans 2022 and of course election of officers and committee members.
There was some exciting news from our Membership Secretary, David Nicholson, who confirmed that our numbers this year had increased from 65 to 88 members!
This year we see the departure of two members of the committee that have given a lot of their time and effort into building and developing the club over years.
We say goodbye, at least from sitting on the committee, Paul Eyden, our former club Secretary, who has served as Secretary since 2015. Paul has previously served as club Secretary between 2003-2009 and even as an equipment officer between 2000-2003. Paul’s keen eye for detail and procedures kept the committee in line according to our constitution and made sure everyone in the club was involved, informed and had opportunity speak. Thank you Paul for your service and continued membership with the club.
We also say goodbye to Jim Molyneux our former Buildings Officer, who joined the committee in 2014, and for the last seven years has done so much to improve the club house facilities and surrounding compound area. Jim has also been the point of contact for our regular weekly and weekend hirers and on site as soon as any problems or issues arise. Jim has invested a lot of time in developing the training room facilities, putting in new LED lighting throughout the building, new heating, new water boilers, insulation of the roof, the annual painting of the floor, waste and utility contracts, the list goes on! Thank you Jim for all you have put into the club allowing our current and future members to enjoy such great and unique scuba club facilities.
Although these two members are taking a step back, both Paul and Jim will continue to work in the background to help support the running of the facilities as and when needed.
New Committee Members and Changes
Each year Committee members are either elected or re-elected into their roles. All existing committee members remain the same this year, except for Jonathan Markwell who moves from Treasurer to take over Paul’s former role as Club Secretary. Jason Stark moves from Compressor Officer to Treasurer and we welcome onboard the committee Mark East as our new Compressor Officer. And finally, but not least we welcome back Ian Angus to the committee who served for a number of year as bar manager before stepping down last year…this time he rejoins the committee as Building Officer taking over from Jim.
For a full list of committee members and their roles please check out our committee page.
Every year the AGM is place where awards are given out recognising members successes and mild mishaps while diving during the previous year (November 2020-2021).
Our club Chairman, Len Hards, in the weeks prior to the AGM goes around as many club members who come on club night and asks for nominees and votes for each category, while our club President Brian Deluce holds Best Find on a Dive and Photo competitions. Unfortunately this year there were no photos put forward by club members but there were a few finds.
So without much more ado….Congratulations to:
Nick Sims who wins the Marian Trophy. A trophy voted on by members that recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond to develop the club over the last year. Nick is our Training Officer and with membership increasing as mentioned above there has been 17 new or progressing student divers requiring training. This has meant Nick needing to coordinate both instructors and students for their theory and practical lessons at a time when COVID and swimming pool closures have made it all much harder than it should have been!
Jim Molyneux and Paul Eyden win the Chairman’s Trophy. This special trophy is decided upon and presented by the club Chairman himself to members he feels has done so much for the club. A worthy award to be shared by both Jim and Paul as they leave the committee.
Dave Tresidder wins Jeff Betts trophy for the best find on a dive.
Shirley Deluce wins John Parker trophy for the best presentation of a find from a dive.
And finally – the infamous Wooden Spoon for when things don’t go as planned during a diving trip. That person will remain anonymous on the website, however here is the award winning or damming photo:
We must say they all did really well and all came away enthused to have another go, with a few saying they would like to take further lessons.
Kingston and Elmbridge Scuba Club enjoy providing “Try Dives” for those wanting to see if Diving is for them or just for the experience. There’s definitely nothing more fun than being there for someone’s first try dive and as they learn to become fully fledged divers themselves through the Ocean Diver courses we run.
If you would like to have your own Try Dive or maybe you are in a group, company, club, school/college and would like to organise unique experience then please contact Brian Deluce, his details can be found on our Contact Us Page.
This is a Notice of the Kingston and Elmbridge Sub Aqua Club Annual General Meeting and Agenda that will take place on Thursday 25th November 2021 at 9pm. The meeting will be held at the club house and is open to all club members. Directions to the club can be found here.