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2018 JS Diving Safety Conference – Report

This year’s JS Diving Safety Conference was attended by approximately 90 people and was hosted by the Royal Air Force Sub Aqua Association at RAF Brize Norton.

After the initial welcome and admin brief, the conference opened with an update on BSAC issues from our outgoing National Diving Officer, Sophie Heptonstall.  This was followed by a brief delivered by Cliff Pearn on how to obtain maximum benefit from the ATG(A) funded BicesterLoan Pool and the annual BSAC safety report from Jim Watson.

After lunch, the keynote presentation was delivered by two members of RAFSAA.  Group Capt (Retd) Dave Rae provided a fantastic look at the early days of RAFSAA when improvisation was the order of the day and clubs thought nothing of making their own equipment up to and including boats.   Sqn Ldr Mark Brabon brought us more up to date with an overview of the very successful MALTESE EAGLE series of expeditions which are an excellent model of how to achieve qualifications at scale.


Lastly the new Superintendent of Diving, Cdr Don Crosbie, introduced himself and provided an insight into the challenges he faces in ensuring safety across a challenging array of different diving disciplines.  He also gave his views on many of the issues facing AT diving.

Finally the JSSADPAC took questions from the floor which provided an opportunity for in depth questions.

Copies of all presentations can be downloaded at the links below:

One of the attendees, Tim Gort, has also produced a really detailed summary of the points made by each presenter on his excellent rectotec blog which can be found at this link.


Looking forward it has been agreed that the next conference will be held on 20 Mar 2019 so everyone is requested to keep their diaries clear on that date!



Annual SADS Registration & Branch Reports Due

November is nearly on us which means that it is time for supervisors to complete their SADS registration forms and branches to submit their annual reports.  Details of both can be found in BRd 2806(5).

Revised Electronic SADS Slate

A number of people have highlighted that the electronic version of the new (2017) SADS slate contained in BRd 2806(5) has a number of issues.  These included only 7 spaces for divers on the reverse, incorrect spellings and insufficient space for details.

Fortunately these have now been resolved in the version of the slate available to download from the link below and also now contained in the BRd 2806(5) zip file.

>>> JSSADC_SADS_Slate <<<


Amended Branch Annual Report Form

A number of branches have highlighted issues with the Annual Branch Report form that was published in the most recent BRd 2806(5).  This has now been amended and version 1.1 produced which can be downloaded from the link below:

Annual Branch Report Form v1.1

AT Diving Regulations (September 2017)

From 1 September 2017, there will be a significant change to the regulations governing Adventurous Training diving.  The existing suite of documents will be replaced by the following:

The master versions of these documents are located on the Defence intranet but can also be downloaded from the links above.  The following points should be noted:

  • BRd 2806(5) is a large zip file (approx 9 MB) that will require extracting onto a local machine
  • Many of the pdf annexes in BRd 2806(5) require Adobe Reader to be viewed properly so may not work in browsers such as Safari (apple devices) or Chrome (android devices)
  • Despite a request for annexes to be in word the RN policy is that they should be in pdf format.

All diving supervisors (SADS) should have a copy of these documents in their possession, be familiar with the contents and comply with the regulations within.

Revised Incident Report Form

Following the change of email addresses for JSSADC, the JS BSAC Incident Report Form has now been updated.  The latest versions can be downloaded at the links below

It is requested that old versions of the incident report form are deleted or destroyed.

Testing of Breathing Gas

Many people will have seen the recent unfortunate incident where a number of school children have been hospitalised after a diving lesson and the subsequent urgent message from the HSE regarding breathing gas from Aqualogistics in Stockport.

The Diving Standards Team wish all service divers to be reminded about the importance of testing breathing gas in accordance with the standards in JSP319 and BRd2806(5).  Specifically the following should be complied with:

  • All breathing gas requires an annual laboratory test at a UKAS accredited lab to BS EN12021:2014.
  • Three monthly tests are also required to comply with  HSE DVIS No.9 (Rev. 1)
  • Non-service compressors need a before use test using the Factair F2235
  • Expeds and Branches should also remain vigilant and if any compressor maintenance is observed or divers report feeling ‘unwell’ then CNBA should be re-tested to confirm the quality of the gas before the start of any dive evolution

Recent expeds have also highlighted the following items in their PXRs which may help with transporting and using the Factair F2235:

  • Transport the FACTAIR F2235 as hand luggage and NOT hold luggage.
  • Print off a copy of the FACTAIR F2235 operating instructions from the FACTAIR website in case you are challenged on what the kit does
  • If you are transporting the FACTAIR F2235 through a ‘FRAGILE’ country and you feel the equipment might be challenged have the ‘purpose of the FACTAIR’ translated into the local language to ease security clearance.
  • When ‘testing’ CNBA in countries with high humidity remember to run the compressor for longer or have the owners change the filters if you are struggling to meet the ‘water content’ of the BS EN12021:2014.
  • Order enough DRAGER sampling tubes which are ‘in-date’ and keep them in a refrigerator if in hot climates.
  • The purpose of the 5 minute ‘run through’ at 2 bar prior to the test is to ensure all moisture has been removed.
  • You have more tolerance on ‘water vapour’ at a lower cylinder pressure (<200 bar 50mg/m3 or >200 bar 35mg/m3)

More information on gas testing is contained in BRd 2806(5) and Annex K has details of the Factair F2235


May 2017 BRd 2806(5) – Summary of Changes

The significant changes between the 2016 and May 2017 versions of BRd 2806(5) have been summarised in the document at the link below:

20170612 Summary of Changes in May 2017 version of BRd2806_5

It should be noted that this document should only be used as a guide to comprehension.  The authoritative document is the May 2017 BRd 2806(5) which is available via DII and from this website as explained in this post.

Dates for New Diving Regulations Confirmed

At the Joint Service Diving Safety Conference, SOfD stated that he was going to request a delay to the implementation of DCOP 22 until later in the year.  This was after a request from stakeholders at the JSSADPAC to allow further work to be completed on the draft.

The publication of Diving Related Information (DRI) 7/17 has confirmed that the dates for the new AT diving documentation (DCOP 22) will be as follows:

  • Stakeholder meetings; 25-26 Apr and 10-11 May 17
  • DCOP 22 published 31 May 17
  • DCOP 22 come into effect on 1 Sep 17

It is also anticipated that there will be a minor revision to BRd 2806(5) to be published in the interim.

2017 JS Diving Safety Conference – Report

This year’s JS Diving Safety Conference was attended by approximately 80 people and, once again, we were grateful to HMS RALEIGH for allowing us use of the Roebuck Theatre and the accommodation in the Le Fanu block.

The most important part of the conference were the two presentations from the Superintendent of Diving, supported by Diving Standards Officer (AT), covering the changes that we are likely to see to our service diving regulations.  It was also great to have high level representation from the BSAC with both the Chairman, Alex ‘Woz’ Warzynski and National Diving Officer, Sophie Heptonstall,  in attendance to provide us an update on developments.   Jim Watson, BSAC Safety Manager, provided a precis of the annual Incident Report which was followed by an insight into a recent DCI incident from the perspective of SADS and casualty.  The RNLI presented on water safety and offered the opportunity for individuals to have their fitness assessed which seemed very popular.  It was also great to have Cdr (Retd) Lanny Vogel give us his thoughts on the lessons that recreational divers can learn from cave diving, with only a small plug for his Underworld Tulum Diving Centre in Mexico.   Finally the JSSADPAC took questions from the floor.

Copies of all presentations can be downloaded at the links below:

We also took the opportunity to bid farewell to Cdr Mark Atkinson, Superintendent of Diving, who will be posted in late May 17 and to thank him for the work he has put into improving the quality of diving regulations.  A small presentation was also made.

Both before the conference there was an opportunity to visit the Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC) in Plymouth which were very well received by those who attended.  JSSADC also ran a number of courses including a Diver Coxswain Assessment (DCA), Marine Radio Operator, SADS Refresher and Collective First Aid Training course.

Looking forward it has been agreed that the next conference will be held on 7 March 2018 so everyone is requested to keep their diaries clear on that date!