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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!



Old Aluminium Cylinders – Warning

Following a number of recent incidents, the HSE have recently issued a warning concerning the risk of catastrophic failure of old aluminium scuba cylinders.  This concerns cylinders manufactured between 1963 and 1995.

The action required is :

  • Check to see if any of your cylinders are manufactured or suspected to be manufactured from aluminium alloys HE30/AA6082 or AA6351. Check for specific alloy-related markings or for a manufacture date (the earliest date stamped on the cylinder) prior to 1995. If you believe that a cylinder may be made from either of these alloys, then you should assess the risk of continued use by considering the cylinder’s age, history of use and previous testing.
  • If you cannot determine the alloy and appropriate information as described in BS EN 1802—e.g., if you cannot easily read markings on the cylinder or if markings are missing—you must remove the cylinder from service, safely release the gas and render the cylinder incapable of holding pressure.
  • If you are unable to confirm that eddy-current testing was performed on an HE30/AA6082 or AA6351 cylinder, remove it from service, safely release the gas and do not use the cylinder until eddy-current testing can be performed.

The full details of the warning can be accessed on the HSE website at

DSM 02-18 – SCUBA Emergency Breathing Systems

Following discussions with HSE, JSSADPAC and at the JS Diving Safety Conference the Defence Safety Agency (DSA) has issued DSM 02-18.  This supersedes DSM 01-18 which is now obsolete.

The DSM can be accessed on the DST website or at the link below:

DSM 02-18- SCUBA Emergency Breathing Systems v.3


2018 JS Diving Incident Reports

The table below contains a sanitised version (no names or units!) of the service diving incidents that have been received by JSSADC in 2018.

18/3During a planned decompression dive to 32m, a diver was wearing two computers from the same manufacturer that used the same algorithm. Towards the end of the dive they notice that the secondary device required significantly more in water stops than the primary.

In order to clear the stops on both computers, additional gas was required and a signal was sent to the surface requesting more. This was deployed and the divers completed the higher level of stops returning to the surface without further incident.

A subsequent download of the secondary computer revealed significant anomalies on other dives that indicated that it was unserviceable.
If using multiple computers then divers should always monitor them all.

The ability to deploy additional gas to divers conducting decompression stops is very useful under certain circumstances.
18/2A group of service divers observed a civilian group in distress following a dive to 20m. They assisted with the recovery to shore and provided oxygen until the emergency services arrived. Subsequently it was learnt that the casualty made a full recovery and was grateful for the assistance that they had received.
18/1Whilst diving to 7m, a diver was unable to clear there ears. After visiting a walk in clinic, and phone consultation, with the DDMO they were prescribed medication and did not dive for 5 days.

Further details on incident reporting and the latest form can be accessed at this page.

Admin Instruction for JS Diving Safety Conference

The admin instruction for the 2018 JS Diving Safety Conference has now been emailed to everyone who registered with JSSADC.

Unfortunately a number of registration forms were not received by due to an out of date email address for JSSADC.  If you haven’t received the admin instruction then please use the contact us form so this can be rectified.

2018 Joint Service Diving Conference

The next Joint Service Diving Safety Conference will be held on 7 Mar 2018 at RAF Brize Norton and will offer the opportunity for sub aqua divers from all 3 services to meet, share experiences and knowledge.  There will be a wide range of speakers including a BSAC representative, the Superintendent of Diving, Diving Standards Officer (AT), and of course JSSADC. A key note speaker hasn’t been booked yet but we’re happy to take suggestions!

There will also be the opportunity to have a Q&A session with members of the Joint Service Sub Aqua Diving Policy Advisory Committee (JSSADPAC) and a social event in the evening.

Once again we’ve laid on courses both before and after the conference:

Full details are at the link below:

To book your place please complete the form below and send back:

JSATW(C) – Winners of Alan Broadhurst Award

At the recent British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) Diving Conference a number of divers from the Joint Service Adventurous Training Wing (Cyprus) were given the prestigious Alan Broadhurst award which recognises lifesaving endeavour using good diving technique.  This followed an incident in January where a civilian diver surfaced near their RIB and they successfully performed BLS and recovered the casualty back to the shore and into the care of the emergency services.

Many congratulations to Ralph Cantrell, Georgina Davies-Capper, Martin Keane, James Kerr, Jenny Watkins, Robert Watkins, Phil Welch.

Further details on the BSAC website.


Aqualung Safety Recall

Aqua Lung is conducting a voluntary product check of select regulators with the Automatic Closer Device (ACD) yoke systems. The concerned regulator models are:

  • The Titan LX ACD Yoke Regulators
  • The Core ACD Yoke Regulators
  • The Legend ACD or the Legend LX ACD Yoke Regulators

Further details can be found at this link.

DSM 07/17: Northern Diver Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG)

Following recent incident reports received from an expedition, Diving Safety Memorandum 07/17 has been issued regarding Northern Diver Submersible Pressure Gauges.

All JSAT divers should download and read the DSM from the link below or on the MoD Diving Safety website (intranet only):

DSM 07/17: Northern Diver Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG)




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.