Blog Archives

Guest Diver Dates for 2017

It’s that time of year again where we’re looking forward to another great diving season.  Once again we’re hoping that service divers will continue  to come and help us out by acting as either guest or rescue divers during our various courses. The dates below are when we require people.

If you are interested then please get in touch with Mr Graeme Crouch on 9375 54729 or [email protected]

Rescue Divers

  • Ocean Diver Course ODC1: 3rd – 7th April
  • Ocean Diver Course ODC2: 12th – 16th Jun
  • Ocean Diver Course ODC3: 31st Jul – 4th Aug
  • Ocean Diver Course ODC4: 7th – 11th Aug
  • Ocean Diver Course ODC5: 4th – 8th Sep
  • Ocean Diver Course ODC6: 13th – 17th Nov

If you would like to help out and have not rescue dived with us before you would need to come in and complete some paper work on the Monday of the course and then on the Tuesday take part in some skills and drills in the pool at HMS Raleigh along with diving with a 3ltr pony as a alternate independent air source. If you cannot make either the Monday or Tuesday please let us know at the earliest opportunity as we can then look to do all this on either the Monday or Tuesday. If you have already completed the paper work and pool dive with us there is no requirement for you to come down and rescue dive until the Wednesday of the course, we look to do 5 open water dives 2 on the weds, 2 on the Thursday and then a depth progression on the Friday if the weather is good (normally on HMS Scylla).

Guest Divers

As part of the BSADS and ESADS course, we need to give the students the opportunity to plan and manage diving with realistic numbers of divers. This provides a great opportunity for individuals to come along and enjoy a few days diving whilst also gaining the opportunity to see what these courses are all about.

  • BSADS 1: 13th – 17th Mar
  • BSADS 2: 24th – 28th Apr
  • BSADS 3: 12th – 16th Jun
  • BSADS 4: 7th – 11th Aug
  • BSADS 5: 4th – 8th Sep
  • BSADS 6: 9th – 13th Oct
  • BSADS 7: 6th – 10th Nov
  • ESADS Assessment 1: 20th – 24th Mar
  • ESADS Assessment 2: 19th – 23rd Jun
  • ESADS Assessment 3: 14th June – 18th Aug
  • ESADS Assessment 4: 11th – 15th Sep
  • ESADS Assessment 5: 13th – 17th Nov

In order to guest dive on these courses you need to have completed a divesin the last 2 months to depths greater than 20m for the BSADS and 25m for the ESADS Assessment.

If you are interested then please get in touch with Mr Graeme Crouch on 9375 54729 or [email protected]


FTRS Vacancy at JSSADC

A vacancy has arisen for an OR4 (LH/Cpl) or OR6 (PO/Sgt) of any specialisation to serve as a Diving Instructor (DI) in the Joint Service Sub Aqua Diving Centre Plymouth on FTRS(FC) Terms and Conditions of Service (TCOS).  Full details can be found at the links below:

Please note that it is possible to transfer into the RN Reserve so applicants from other services will be considered.  The closing date is 31 Jan 17.

Any questions then please contact us!

2017 JSSADC Programme

The 2017 JSSADC Programme has now be approved by the JSSADPAC and can be downloaded at this link – 2017 JSSADC Programme.  The pages for individual courses have also been updated with the new dates so you can start to plan ahead.

Once again we’re focussing heavily on the high level courses that will provide branches and expeditions with the instructors and supervisors that are critical to there success.  This means four combined instructor events, seven Branch SADS courses and five ESADS assessments.  Hopefully even the busiest person can find a course to suit!  There are also three Dive Leader and two Advanced Diver courses, one of the latter which includes an expedition to Porthkerris.

We’re also running a plethora of SDCs including the ever popular Small Boathandling, Marine Radio and Chartwork and Position Fixing.  Many of these have been grouped together into a combined boat week which allows you to get all three together.

Of course we’ll also be running lower level courses with opportunities for Ocean and Sports diver training throughout the year.

For the very first time ever, we’re also running the practical elements of the First Class Diver exam over 7 days in October 17.  This will comprise the expedition and project preparation followed by the two day practical exam.

Finally there are another two Advanced Diving weeks programmed which are an ideal opportunity for decompression and technical skills to be developed or refreshed in a service environment.  We hope to get plenty of divers on them both.



Changes to Basic Life Support Guidelines 2016

Every five years, experts in resuscitation from organisations around the world, including the European Resuscitation Council and the Resuscitation Council (UK), conduct a review.   Following the 2015 review, BSAC now recommends the following in-water rescue sequence:

  • Give one minute of rescue breaths (10 RBs)
  • If no spontaneous breathing returns then either
    • Tow the victim to shore as quickly as possible without further RB, or
    • Continue on the spot with approximately 10 RBs per minute until support from rescue boat or helicopter arrives to take over the resuscitation. This decision will depend on
      the local situation, such as sea conditions, distance to shore, and availability of rescue boat or rescue helicopter.
  • In either case, when reaching shore, or having access to the boat or helicopter, the casualty should be promptly dekitted and landed as quickly as possible without further rescue breaths. Once the casualty is landed, basic life support should be carried out in line with current guidance.

Full details can be found in Diving Information Sheet T.13d – BSAC Basic Life Support Guidelines 2016.

BSAC training materials have not yet been updated to reflect this new sequence but this will happen in due course.


2016 JSSADC Programme

The 2016 JSSADC programme has now been produced and all courses can be found on the website.  The key change is that we’ve simplified the process to get to ESADS.  From the end of this year, there will no longer be separate Expedition SADS Development and Branch SADS courses.  They’ve been merged together to create a single course which will be tailored to those attending.

In order to build on the increasing numbers going through the SADS process, we’re also now offering more opportunities to get on the Branch SADS course and take the ESADS assessment.  It is very much hoped that this will further increase the numbers of active BSADS and ESADS out there.

Some other particular highlights of the 2016 programme are:

The programme is also available to download from this link (version 4 – dated Jan 16)


Improvements to SADS Email List

We’ve just made improvements to the way that individuals are contacted to inform them that expeditions need a SADS.  This will now mean that as soon as we become aware of a requirement for a SADS that an email is sent out to everyone who has registered with us.

If you are an expedition leader who requires a SADS then you should click here and complete the form.

If you are a SADS who has previously registered an interest in being sent emails then your details should be already on the database.  If not, or you wish to check,  then please go to this link and input your details.


The Branch Sub Aqua Diving Supervisor (BSADS)

When I first heard about the Branch SADS qualification I was quite sceptical and I suspect I wasn’t alone in this view.  It seemed to me that there wasn’t much point to the qualification as it was relatively restricted in what they could supervise.  I was also concerned that the Dive Leader qualification produced divers too junior to be given that level of responsibility.  Before arriving at JSSADC in July 13, I also hadn’t encountered a BSADS ‘in the wild’ so approached the first BSADS cse with a certain degree of trepidation.

Having spent 18 months in post, I’m now pleased to report that I’m now a complete convert to the idea of the BSADS qualification.  Not only do I believe that they offer a very viable solution to the long running shortage of SADS at club/branch level but they’re also starting to make their presence felt acting as deputy SADS on expeds.  Those of you who follow the various service diving groups on facebook will have seen plenty of evidence of both of these.


The first concern I had was over the actual utility of the qualification and what the BSADS could supervise.  The key to this is for clubs and branches to ensure they assemble and maintain a comprehensive branch site register which then allows the BSADS to supervise diving at any of those sites.  The rationale behind this is that the BSADS has either already dived the site themselves or is able to find other experienced divers in the club who can provide them with the necessary information.   BRd 2806(5) will offer a number of improvements to this process by aligning the date for branch site register update to that of SADS registration (1 Oct) and removing the 48hr limit.  It will also clarify the numbers of divers who can be supervised; those who are Advanced Diver BSADS will also be able to supervise greater numbers than those who are Dive Leaders BSADS.

An element of the BSADS qualification that I initially overlooked is that they are able to deputise for an ESADS on expeditions.  Given the usual difficulties of locating an Advanced Diver or second ESADS then this is a very useful capability and one that I have seen being regularly used.

My concern over whether a Dive Leader was capable of acting as a SADS is also one that I have had to revise.   At JSSADC, we see every BSADS who gains the qualification and they’re mentored by exactly the same SADS Assessors who examine ESADS candidates.  As you’d expect, the start level at the beginning of the course can be variable but by the end we’re very happy that they’re up to the level required.


Perhaps the key test of the BSADS qualification is how it would be perceived by service divers and whether it would be seen as worth having.  When it was introduced, another expected benefit was that it would lead more people to attempt the ESADS assessment.  In order to check on both of these we’ve been keeping track of the statistics which can be seen in the table above.  Although it is still early days , I’d say that things seem positive on both fronts with the reversal of the downward ESADS trend particularly welcome.

For anyone who is interested in attending a BSADS cse then you can find full details here.   Alternatively, those who attend the ESADS development course also gain the BSADS qualification.