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  http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/aluminium-cylinders.htm

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


Cyprus – Divers Required

Fancy diving the Mediterranean this year for free??   JSATW(C) need Sports Divers and above to act as a Rescue Diver on one of their 20 scheduled Ocean Diver Courses.   Each course requires at least 2 Rescue divers so there are plenty of spaces available.

JSATW(C) will provide flights and accommodation so this will be nil cost.

The full list of the Ocean Diver Courses is as follows:

  • 9 – 13 April 18
  • 16 – 20 April 18
  • 23 – 27 April 18
  • 14 – 18 May 18
  • 21 – 25 May 18
  • 28 May – 1 June 18
  • 11 – 15 June 18
  • 18 – 22 June 18
  • 25 – 29 June 18
  • 9 – 13 July 18
  • 16 – 20 July 18
  • 23 – 27 July 18
  •  27 – 31 Aug 18
  • 3 – 7 Sept 18
  • 10 – 14 Sept 18
  • 17 – 21 Sept 18
  • 1 – 5 Oct 18
  • 8 – 12 Oct 18
  • 11 – 15 March 19
  •  18 – 22 March 19

Anyone who is interested should email: [email protected] or phone 00357 24724249.  They can also be contacted on Facebook as  Joint Service Adventurous Training Wing – Cyprus


Ex MONS CALPE – Divers Required

Ex MONS CALPE 18 is a diving expedition to Cyprus led by 43 Cdo RM which will take place over the period 22-31 May 18.  There are currently spaces available for the following:

  • A second ESADS or BSADS/Advanced Diver
  • Slots for 4 experienced divers (Sports diver or higher)

There is no personal contribution required for the ESADS and a small cost of up to £250 for the experienced divers.

Anyone who is interested should contact Sgt Benny Benson on 93255 5598 or [email protected]

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.


The RNRMSAA is conducting an expedition to Belize in Central America from 03 – 18 Sep 18. Ex Belizean Adventure (EXBA 18) is aimed at experienced BSAC Sports divers and Dive Leaders or higher, or an equivalent qualification from another diving agencies (PADI, SSI etc) that are looking to progress within the Joint Service AT Scheme.

EXBA 18 is centred on Sub Aqua diving on the barrier reef and ATOLS of Belize, encouraging dynamic leadership, planning and resource management whilst operating self-supported from remote locations away from the mainland.

Personal contribution is estimated at £800PP, with a non-returnable deposit required to secure a place.

For more information all interested applicants should email Capt Lee Piper RM on [email protected]


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.

What Did You Achieve in 2017?

The 2018 JS Diving Conference is coming up in March and it is hoped to highlight what has been achieved during 2017 by service expeditions and clubs.

To allow this to happen, it is requested that photos and videos are sent to OIC JSSADC who will collate them into a format that can be used.

Imagery should be sent electronically along with the following information:

  • Name of exped and/or club
  • Dates
  • Location
  • Any specific achievements

2018 Expedition Allocations

Expedition slots at JSSADC have now been allocated for 2018 as follows

9-12 MarRAF Cosford
24-25 MarAFC Harrogate
7-8 AprRAF St Mawgan
20-22 AprRAF Brize Norton
25 AprRM Chivenor
2 MayRM Chivenor
5-6 MayRESDA
7-11 May1 Rifles
11-14 MayRAF Odiham
19-20 MayRAF St Mawgan
25-28 MayRAF Cosford
31 May – 3 JunRAF Henlow
15-22 Jun225(S) Med Regt
23-24 JunRAF St Mawgan
25-29 JunRESDA
7-15 JulRSME
14-15 JulRAF St Mawgan
16-22 Jul9 Regt RLC
27-30 JulRAF Cosford
31 Jul - 3 AugColchester SAC
4-5 AugRESDA
17-20 AugRAF Cosford
25-31 AugRAF St Mawgan
7-9 SepRAF Benson
22-23 SepDMSD
4-8 OctRAF OdihamRESDA
12-15 OctRAF Cosford
2-4 NovRAF Brize Norton
24-25 NovRAF St Mawgan

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 JSSADC Expedition Slots 2018 and complete the bidding proforma