2020 JS Diving Safety Conference

As a result of COVID-19 it was necessary to cancel the JS Diving Safety Conference scheduled to take place at Gibraltar Barracks, Minley on 18 March 2020.  Fortunately modern technology allowed it to be moved online and it took place on 28 April 2020. Attendance was excellent with approx 100-125 participants online at different stages of the day.

One new development was that most of the presentations were recorded and can be seen on Defence Connect for those who have a Defence Gateway account. This can be reached via the JSSADC group page.

Our first speaker was Mat Skelhorn from DE&S who gave an insight into his work managing the wrecks littered around the world that are still owned by the Ministry of Defence and how recreational divers could assist. His presentation be viewed on Defence Connect and slides downloaded by clicking here. His contact details are on the Defence Connect page.

Next up was Dai Atkins who is the National Diving Officer of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC). His presentation covered topics such as recent BSAC activity and future developments. It can be viewed on Defence Connect and his slides can be downloaded by clicking here.

Sgt Ben Swinfield from JSATW(C) then provided a brief update on developments in Cyprus. This is available on Defence Connect and his slides can be downloaded here.

Jim Watson is the BSAC Safety Manager and he delivered his annual presentation on safety incidents and trends. This is available on Defence Connect and his slides can be downloaded by clicking here.

The key note speaker was Cpl Connor Roe MBE who provided a stunning insight into his role in the Tham Luang cave rescue in July 2018.  This was undoubtedly the high point of the webinar with 125 people online.  Unfortunately, Connor is also unable to let his recording or slides be published.

Following that was Maj Mick Stewart, Diving Officer of ASADA, who made the conference aware of the facilities available at Balmacara House which is an MOD owned facility on the Kyle of Lochalsh, near the Isle of Skye.  For those who have never dived there, it is a great location with excellent Scottish West Coast diving right on its doorstep.This presentation is available on Defence Connect and his slides can be downloaded by clicking here.

The final presentation came from Cdr Sean Winkle, SO1 AT from HMS TEMERAIRE, and Dom Robinson, OiC JSSADC.  This looked at the role of the Navy sponsor for AT diving, changes to the diving regulations and other topics that are likely to be of interest to the community. The presentation is available on Defence Connect and the slides are available by clicking here.

After some Q&A, this brought the 2020 Diving Safety Conference to a close with all participants agreeing that it was a great success under the circumstances!

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