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Guidance for Planning Diving Expeditions (Sep 2017)

Adventurous Training Group (Army) (ATG(A)) have just re-released their guidance for non-SMEs in the planning of diving expeditions.  It has now been revised to incorporate the 1 Sep changes to AT diving regulations.

At five sides it is concise but contains a large number of links bringing together other pieces of information

Click here for the ATG(A) guidance for planning diving expeditions (V2.1)

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Expeds The Old Fashioned Way

We regularly receive copies of PXRs from expeds which are very useful in maintaining a feel for the type of diving that is going on out in the ‘real world’.  Unsurprisingly the vast majority are from expeds to the main locations of Cyprus, Gibraltar and (until recently :() Ascension but we also get a smaller number are from more exotic venues such as Egypt, Belize, Philippines, Malta, Canaries and Mexico.

Although we all love overseas expeds it is also great to see a very occasional long exped to dive more local waters and we’ve just received an excellent example of this from the 4 units (RAF & Army) that make up the RAF Lossiemouth SAC.  In late May/early Jun they took 18 personnel, 3 boats & 3 portable compressors to the AT Lodge at Dundonnell on Little Loch Broom (see map).

Dundonnell – NW of Inverness

The Lodge is at the Southern Edge of Little Loch Broom

Those divers with longer memories will recall that this is the way that many more expeds used to be done.  As well as being relatively straightforward to organise, not to mention cheap, expeds like this are also an excellent way of developing people in the widest range of diving skills.  Operating from small boats in UK tidal waters, particularly at unknown sites, is also fantastic Adventurous Training.

Underwater Conditions seem half decent!

Loading and unloading boats is easy & close

Although this exped was based at the AT lodge in Dundonnell there are also a number of other locations around the UK which offer opportunities for AT diving.  Examples include Castlemartin (Pembrokeshire), Porthkerris (Cornwall), Balmacarra (Kyle of Lochalsh), Chickerell/Wyke Regis (Weymouth) and of course JSSADC (Plymouth).

If you’d like information (including PXRs) on planning diving at any of these locations then please get in touch – [email protected]




RN/RM Divers Required for Scapa Flow Exped

Ex RUSTY MERGANSER is a Naval Service sub aqua diving expedition to Scapa Flow that will take place 6-15 Oct 2017 and will be run by staff from JSSADC. The former RN Loyal class fleet tender and now liveaboard diving boat, MV Valhalla, will provide the base for the duration of the expedition.

Scapa Flow is world famous for the quality of its wreck diving. This was created by the scuttling of the German High Seas fleet in 1919 and the sinking of a further 43 ships by the Admiralty during both world wars in an attempt to block the entrances. Undoubtedly it is the best wreck diving site in Europe.

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Ex RUSTY MERGANSER will aim to dive all the major WW1 wrecks in Scapa Flow including the battleships Konig, Kronprinz Willhelm and Markgraf.

Due to drop outs there are places for two Royal Navy/Royal Marines divers.   The minimum qualification is experienced Sports Diver although Dive Leaders will be preferred due to the challenging diving.  Thepersonal contribution is a maximum of £450 although it is hoped to be less.

Anyone interested should contact OIC JSSADC on 9375 53718 or [email protected]

 

 




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

 




Cancellation of Asi 2017 Diving Season

Due to limitations with the Air Line of Communication (ALOC) to Ascension Island all diving expeditions have been cancelled until for 2017. RAFSAA are working hard with Ascension Island Base to ensure that they will resume in 2018.

Units are advised to continue to bid for slots through the normal process and more information will be forthcoming in due course.

 




2018 Expedition Dates for Ascension Island, Cyprus and Gibraltar

HQ Adventurous Training Group (Army) have just released 2017DIN07-067 which has dates for the slots in Ascension Island, Cyprus and Gibraltar.    Bids are to be submitted by 28 Jul 17.

The DIN can be downloaded by clicking on this link – 2017DIN07-067

 




Guidance for Planning Diving Expeditions

Adventurous Training Group (Army) (ATG(A)) have just published a document designed to assist non-SMEs in the planning of diving expeditions.  At four sides it is concise but contains a large number of links bringing together other pieces of information

Click here for the ATG(A) guidance for planning diving expeditions (V1.37)

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2017 Expedition Allocations

Expedition slots at JSSADC have now been allocated as follows

DateUnitReserve
17-19 MarDEMS Trg Regt
25-26 MarARMCEN
21-23 AprRAF Cosford
28-30 AprDEMS Trg Regt
13-14 MayARMCEN
26-29 MayColchester SAC
2-3 Jun165 Regt RLCRESDA
16-18 Jun165 Regt RLC
19-23 JunARMCEN
3-7 Jul1 R Welsh
15-16 JulARMCEN
27 Jul - 1 AugColchester SAC
3-8 AugColchester SAC
25-27 AugRAF Cosford
2-3 SepRESDAColchester SAC
9-10 SepARMCEN
30 Sep - 1 OctRESDA
11-12 Nov 17ARMCEN

This means that any date not shown in the table above is now available on a first come first served basis.  If you’re interested then please read 2016DIN07-140 Expedition Slots at the Joint Service Sub Aqua Diving Centre in 2017 and complete Annex A.

 

 




JSSADC Expedition Slots – 2017

Hopefully most service divers are aware that JSSADC provides support to visiting expeditions in the form of a RIB, diving gas and storage/planning facilities.  With the local area there is also plenty of service accommodation and dining facilities which should make organising expeditions relatively straightforward.

If you or your branch wishes to to bid for a slot in 2017 then the process for doing this is explained in the recently released 2016DIN07-140 Expedition Slots at the Joint Service Sub Aqua Diving Centre in 2017 (Annex A).

Please note that all bids need to be in by 6 Jan 17, after this they will be allocated on a first come-first served basis.

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Military Approved Centres (MAC) – Oct 16

The Diving Standards Team (DST) has just updated the list of Military Approved Centres (MACs) which can be downloaded at the link below.

20160922 Military Approved Centres (MAC) – Oct 16

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