This year’s JS Diving Safety Conference was attended by approximately 50 people and took place at HMS RALEIGH in Torpoint.
After the initial welcome brief and introduction, we were treated to a presentation by Ginge Crook, JSSADC Chief Instructor, on the work done to understand the wreck of HMS Coronation. This was followed by the new National Diving Officer, Dai Atkins, bringing us up to speed with BSAC developments.
Following a short break, it was Fran Hockley standing in at short notice to cover Tom Hughes’ slot which he was unable to fill due to illness. Fran’s presentation was on the excellent recreational and technical diving to be found in Croatia which is only a short flight from the UK.
The last of the morning sessions was filled by Jim Watson, BSAC Safety Manager, who delivered the annual summary of diving incidents. As there was no DO’s conference in 2018 this was new to the majority of people present.
After lunch, we welcomed Nick Reed from the Isle of Purbeck Sub Aqua Club (IPSAC) who delivered a fascinating presentation on Project Valentine 75. This is the research that the club have carried out to survey the 7 Valentine DD tanks that sank near Swanage in 1944 whilst rehearsing for the D-Day landings.
The last presentation was given by the newly re-titled Superintendent of Defence Diving (SODD), Cdr Don Crosbie, who provided an update on changes to his organisation. He also explained how there were likely to be further changes to the Diving Regulations which it was hoped would address some the current shortcomings. Probably of most interest were the plans to support off-duty diving whilst allowing military personnel to use service provided equipment. Further details on this to follow later in the year!
As the conference drew to a close there was the usual Q&A session for members of the JSSADPAC which took place in a good humoured and constructive fashion. The very last item was a wrap up from Cdr Sean Winkle and a presentation to SODD who will shortly depart on posting.
Copies of all the presentations can be downloaded from the links below:
- HMS Coronation
- National Diving Officer Presentation
- Diving in Croatia
- BSAC Incident Update
- Project Valentine 75
- SODD Presentation
Next year’s conference will be on 18 March 2020 so please save the date!