BSAC Fast Track

Divecrew are a BSAC Fast Track Centre with an area covering the South East of England. So what is BSAC Fast Track? Divecrew have crossed instructors over to BSAC. So it means any club in the South East of England can refer a diver to Divecrew. Divecrew takes that student diver and progresses them through their chosen course, for example Ocean Diver. As Divecrew trains every week and has full time paid instructors the course goes ahead on agree dates regardless. Working on Fast Track the student could finish the theory and confined on two consecutive weekends. The open water element then being completed in one weekend. So three weeks, qualified. This removes the months of training within the club itself.

Once the diver is certified, Divecrew puts the diver back with the club. They then can go an dive, rather than being in training for months. This takes pressure of the BSAC Club Instructors. However, the Fast Track divers are going to need to gain experience. They are raw new divers. Certainly to be signed off, their buoyancy will be acceptable as will their mastery of the skills.

Divecrew have committed to the BSAC Fast Track programme and will deliver divers back to the respective clubs. Divecrew instructors are in the water every weekend teaching. However, Fast Track is not for everyone. Some students need a slower pace of learning and mastering skills. In which case they need to be trained by their club.

The Fast Track programme is in its infancy. However, Divecrew already have circa 20 students wanting fast Track.

A major coup was the Imperial College London who want Divecrew to Fast Track a group of Ocean Divers and Sport Divers.

So what about the PADI versus BSAC stand off? Well our Director of Instruction is a Master Instructor of  three different agencies and an Instructor of BSAC. Add to this being an Instructor Trainer for Adaptive Teaching, Martin has a powerful set of tools available to him.

Martin stated, ‘Every agency thinks they have it right and everyone else is wrong and therefore inferior. I have met good PADI divers and really poor PADI divers. Ditto SSI, ditto RAID, ditto BSAC. No one agency has it right 100%. Being mutli-agency I steal great techniques from each agency, add adaptive teaching where needed and make the techniques my own. This truly benefits the student on any course I run. As an instructor, I sometimes cannot get my head around the sheer arrogance of pompous instructors who know it all and know best. I would love to make it mandatory for every instructor to teach up to 16 school children and teach a triple amputee. No agency in its IDC makes enough effort about thinking outside the box. A number of the main agencies are too focused on liability and standards that must be met. Example. We work with veterans, troops who have suffered life changing injuries. A social media picture of a diver with no legs completing a course (open water) was met with some idiot instructor stating he should not be qualified as he cannot perform a giant stride. Unbelievable? I have come across this a number of times. Not just with a diver with no legs. I had it once with an autistic group where the diver refused to do a giant stride. She opted for a roll in to deep water. Job done. Check the standards! Divecrew are constantly developing its pro team and challenge agency standards as to their validity and interpretation. Divecrew will always be a high profile industry leader, not a follower. We are really pleased to be approached to be the South East BSAC Fast Track Centre. We are looking forward to breaking the past divides of PADI v BSAC. In Divecrew’s eyes – a diver is a diver regardless of the training agency’.

If you are interested in becoming a BSAC Fast Track Diver contact Divecrew. If you would like to become a Partner Club to Divecrew Fast Track Centre contact Divecrew.

Lord of the Rings

Martin has been dubbed “Lord of the Rings”. He currently has 100% success record of finding and retrieving lost rings even in zero visibility.

How does this come to Divecrew?

Normally Divecrew gets a telephone call, can we help retrieve rings, mobile phones even a boat cover. It really helps when the client knows roughly where the item was lost.

On arrival at site, the conditions are checked including boat traffic, current, weather, water movement, bottom composition, depth of water. It is also important to establish the best entry and exit. The Grand Union Canal job proved tricky getting in and out due to steep piled banks. Once a search area has been determined a few methods are tried. Can you see underwater? On the River Thames job there was no visibility whatsoever. No torch would work. The bottom was silt and blanket weed. Depth was about two metres. The hardest thing in the Thames was orientation. So easy to go off the search area. The location position was achieved by coming to the surface, getting a point of orientation and dropping again. Obviously, great care is needed that your fins are not burying the actual object you are looking for. It is important to have the current wash away from the search site any disturbed silt.

Searching needs to be methodical, slow and precise when you cannot see anything. We use a “pin pointer”. It is a small underwater metal detector. Not only does it have bright LED’s (could not see them in the Thames), it vibrates when it detects metal. The bigger the metal, the stronger the vibration. The Thames search took around 50 minutes. Once the pin pointer alerted Martin to the metal, it is a case of carefully fur tilling around in the silt and weed. Bingo, a ring was found.

Finding a lost ring is a bit needle in an underwater haystack. One has to be methodical and patient.

In the Grand Union Canal job, the challenges were different. The client knew roughly where the ring entered the water. It was close to a lock sluice. The fast moving water could have pushed the ring down stream? Getting in was a challenge. Once in swimming against the current was difficult. Eventually getting to the place of the search, due to fast moving water, a john line was attached to keep Martin in place. The water was around one metre deep. However, the fast moving water had a bonus, the visibility was good. After checking with Ben (the owner of the ring) where to start the search, the rain stopped and the sun came out. As Martin descended he immediately saw a glint. The ring was being vibrated by the strong current and the sun was catching the edges of the ring. No pin pointer needed. Underwater search, less than one minute.

In previous searches, a lost iphone took 40 minutes to find when a paddle boarder dropped it in the lake. Another iphone with sensitive information on it? Took about 20 minutes to locate. A boat cover took less than a minute to locate.

Divecrew will attempt to recovery lost items. However, we make it very clear there is no guarantee of recovery. So much can affect the chances of the find. Wrong search area. Boat movement. Strong current. Zero visibility.

If you have something precious be it in value or sentimental value and you have run out of options, call Divecrew. 01344 771113

We do charge for the search regardless of whether we find the item or not. This is all explained honestly on the booking.