Learning to Dive with SISAC

Inland Diving Sites – SISAC generally use two inland dive sites for open water training these are:

Guidenburgh Water

Stoney Cove

With more than 20 nationally qualified open water and advanced instructors in the club, SISAC is able to fully train new divers, and also advance already-qualified divers to the highest levels of sport diving.

There are four BSAC dive grades, including Ocean Diver, Sport Diver, Dive Leader, and Advanced Diver. Training for all these grades can be undertaken within the club environment, at a pace suited to each individual that guarantees the time, experience, and attention needed to become practised and proficient at each level.

This is one of the benefits of learning to dive within a club environment – there is no rush, and no pressure to finish your dive grade in a weekend. Our instructors work on a one-on-one basis within a time-frame that suits each individual. As you only pay an annual subscription to the club that includes your training, there are no additional fees to pay whether it takes six weeks or six months to complete your training. All your training is included within your annual subscription fee.

Another benefit of learning to dive within a club is the wealth and breadth of experience and knowledge possessed within the club, that members are willing to share. Within SISAC, we have a number of technical divers who enjoy deeper diving, those who dive on rebreathers and with full face masks. We have members who enjoy underwater photography, those who enjoy nautical archaeology, and yet others who have a penchant for marine life. So whatever your interest in learning to dive, there will be SISAC members who share your enthusiasm.

Also, with a very active dive calendar, there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy your new dive skills and gain more underwater experience. The club organises day trips, weekend trips, and longer weekly trips to destinations around the UK throughout the year, including Plymouth, Scapa Flow, Brighton, and Swanage; but also to further-flung destinations including the Red Sea, Malta, Ibiza, Truk Lagoon, and the D-Day wrecks of Normandy (as recent examples, or of forthcoming trips).

Throughout the year we also run a range of different specialist courses, such as oxygen administration, practical rescue management, first aid for divers, and chartwork.

Details about each dive level are included below. The qualifications are recognised throughout the world, with BSAC widely considered to be one of the safest and most thorough diver training organisations there is.

Course Details Click titles to see details…
Ocean Diver

This is your basic dive grade, which allows you to dive to a maximum depth of 20m. The course will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for open water diving, and to use your equipment properly and safely.

Your training will begin in the pool (at the Ivo Centre, St Ives), alongside a series of classroom lessons. Once this has been completed, your training will continue with in-water lessons and experience dives in the open water environment. These are usually undertaken at the inland sites of Gildenburgh (Whittlesey) or Stoney Cove (Leics).

Your membership fee includes the use of club equipment to complete your pool lessons, your study notes needed for the theory lessons, as well as your dive book to chart your progress. 

Equipment List – Some basic advice for beginners.

Local Dive Shops

Parwin Scuba – Glatton nr Sawtry – Good local advice.  Servicing available.

Dive Northampton – Good advice and equipment.  Trimix and Nitrox.  Servicing available.

Dive In – Guildy – Local diving, fills and equipment.  Serving available.

Stoney Cove – Underwater World – Servicing, fills and diving.

Planet Scuba – Bishop Stortford – Servicing, fills, trimix and nitrox.

Divers Warehouse – Buying equipment on-line.

Go Dive – On-line shopping.  If you know what you are looking for, Go Dive is competitive and next day delivery.

Apeks Regulators and Equipment

Diver Net – Website with advice on diving and equipment.

Sport Diver
This level builds on the skills learned during Ocean Diver, to enable you to become a more proficient and self-confident diver. On completion, you will be qualified to dive to a depth of 35m, with a similarly qualified buddy.

Training begins initially with a pool lesson focusing on rescue skills, but the rest of the training for sports diver is undertaken in the open water environment. There are also a series of classroom and dry practical lessons to complete at this grade, and a range of experience dives.

Dive Leader
The dive leader grade allows divers to take on more responsibility, and a wider range of experience and adventure in their diving to a maximum depth of 50m. It concentrates on the responsibilities and safety aspects of leading other divers in the open water, and provides a solid grounding in rescue management and rescue skills to give you the confidence and ability to deal with those unforeseen emergencies.

Training consists of open water and classroom lessons, as well as a varying range of experience dives and dive managing/trip organisation.

Advanced Diver
This is the most advanced award that can be gained within the club, and extends on previous awards so that divers can further the limits and experiences of their own diving. It is ideally suited to those who want to broaden the horizons of adventurous diving, by exploring new sites and finessing their broad range of skills.

Training consists of classroom lessons, open water lessons, dry practical lessons, as well as a vast range of experience dives and dive managing/trip organisation. Aspects of small boatwork, chartwork navigation, and many other organisational skills are covered.

And More…
The First Class Diver is awarded at a national level, and is the very highest level of BSAC sports diver. The club has a couple of divers who have been awarded this grade, and so although the club itself cannot award this grade, it can help with preparation and training.

For more details, or to check availability for the next course, please contact our Training Officer.

Special Development Courses (SDCs)
There are a wide range of BSAC special development courses, a number of which we can run locally through the club with our own qualified instructors. Some of these, such as Oxygen Administration, we run on a regular basis. Details of each of these courses we will be running in the near future is included below:

More SDC Detail...

Accelerated Decompression Procedures (ADP)
Longer, safer bottom times and optimum decompression using rich mixes.

Building on the foundation of Nitrox knowledge contained within Ocean Diver and Sports Diver training, the course develops this knowledge and in particular highlights the benefits that can be gained from using high oxygen mixtures to improve the efficiency of off gassing during decompression stops. This course takes your diving to a higher level.

Dive Planning and Management
Want to learn how to plan and manage dives?

Meticulous planning and good management help make diving trips successful, and this course will show you how. Aimed at potential Dive Leaders and Advanced Divers, this two-day course introduces and extends existing knowledge and practical skills in all aspects of the process of planning and managing dives.

Equipment Care
Want to learn how to prolong the life of your dive gear?

This one-day course is great for divers that own their own equipment or look after their club’s kit. The course acquaints you with the maintenance requirements of modern diving gear. It also distinguishes between what maintenance the owner may safely undertake and what should be left to a trained repair technician.
The course covers typical problems and has a mixture of lessons and hands-on sessions so you can practice and develop your new skills.

Mixed Gas Blender/Nitrox Gas Blender
Want to be able to mix diving gas (nitrogen, oxygen, and helium)?

This one-day course provides training in mixing Nitrox (or also helium mixes). Both courses covers theory, complemented by practice to test skills learned in aspects of mixing gas. Successful candidates will be confident to mix gas to within safe diving tolerances for either Nitrox or also gases using helium.

Search & Recovery
Want to learn effective search and safe recovery of underwater objects?

This two-day course teaches divers how to use the correct techniques and procedures required for search and recovery projects. It also provides practical experience of underwater search methods and the use of buoyancy to lift objects. Search and Recovery SDC covers DO4 in the Dive Leader syllabus and this element can be signed up after the course.

First Aid for Divers
Want to be able to provide first aid in a diving environment?

This one-day course teaches the basics of non-resuscitation first aid likely to be needed in the BSAC diving environment. There is lots of practice on the course (under the guidance of experienced instructors) giving you the confidence to give first aid in a real emergency. It includes making use of the resources likely to be available at the time including improvisation of dressings and splints using materials and equipment commonly found at the dive site or in a boat.
If you already have first aid training, this course is a quick and easy way to ‘practice, practice, practice’ your skills, while learning the best way to apply them in diving.

Lifesaver Award
Looking to build on your core first aid and lifesaving skills in a diving environment?

The Lifesaver Award assesses students’ lifesaving proficiency and diver rescue skills within a pool or sheltered water environment. The course also allows for additional or refresher training as required.
Holders of the Lifesaver Award will have demonstrated their lifesaving proficiency in diving and non-diving situations.

Oxygen Administration
Want to learn how to safely administer oxygen?

This one-day course is designed to teach the administration of oxygen as a means of increasing the effectiveness of First Aid treatment of diving accidents. Oxygen treatment takes place on the surface – either on a boat or dry land. This course gives confidence to divers so they can assist with a diving-related injury.
The course concludes with a practical and theory assessment. Only those who pass the assessment will be able to apply for a qualification card.

Practical Rescue Management
Want to learn how to be an effective manager in a rescue situation?

This one-day course teaches divers how to manage the resources at their disposal in order to make the most effective use of them in a rescue situation. Although the emphasis is on the development of rescue management skills, the course also provides an opportunity for further instruction in personal rescue skills.
This course involves hypothetical scenarios to practice and test your management skills. It helps divers avoid pitfalls that untrained divers can fall into in a rescue situation.

Chartwork and Position Fixing
Want to learn how to get a boat to a dive site and back?

This two-day classroom and practical course will teach you the basic techniques of marine navigation including how to locate a dive site. This will ultimately help you plan and manage dives undertaken by BSAC branches in any type of boat.
The course focuses on the techniques of chartwork, position fixing, and navigation. This course goes hand-in-hand with the practical Boat Handling course.


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