Will I have to be super-fit to dive?
Will I need to buy any special equipment?
Where can I get the gear I need?
I qualified with PADI (or another agency) - can I join the club and dive with you?
I qualified with PADI - can I carry on training with you?
I'm qualified, but did the course ages ago and have forgotten a lot of it!
I've only dived abroad, will that be a problem?
What's the difference between BSAC and PADI training?
Will my qualifications be recognised around the world?
I am a member of staff at Sussex / Brighton Uni, can I join?
I am no longer a student, can I still join USSAC?
Where can I find out more?
When do you meet?
Where do you dive?
What does it cost?
What's it like diving in the UK?
Q: Will I need to buy any special equipment?
A: The club has the whole range of scuba gear for you to use, but we recommend that you get your own mask, fins and snorkel though as these really need to fit you properly.
Q: Where can I get the gear I need?
A: We'll be organising a trip to Ocean View, a dive shop in Lancing, where you can get a mask, fins and a snorkel. Otherwise good deals can be found online or on ebay for second hand gear. If you want advice on any of these, or want to know it what you're looking at is a good deal, just ask.
Q: I qualified with PADI (or another agency) - can I join the club and dive with you?
A: You certainly can. You can dive with us to the level (depth) that your qualification allows. Depending on when you did your last dive, we may ask you to do a refresher dive with us in the pool though. There are a couple of skills and bits of equipment that we use that you may not have come across before, but we can easily teach you these as and when you dive with us. Some of our senior members only have PADI qualifications.
Q: I'm qualified, but did the course ages ago and have forgotten a lot of it!
A: Not a problem. You can quickly get back into the swing of things at one of our regular pool sessions (every other Tuesday during term time). You might also consider sitting in on the lectures we hold for new trainees too (one Saturday in November). Then when you're ready to get back into the open water you can take it as easy as you like with some shallow diving first.
Q: I've only dived abroad, will that be a problem?
A: Not at all. For your first few dives with us we'll buddy you up with an experienced diver so both you and we can make sure your first few dives go smoothly. We can arrange trips to in-land sheltered water sites for open-water re-freshers if necessary too.
Q: What's the difference between BSAC and PADI training?
A: In as much as they are both professionally run organisations that offer well proven training programmes there isn't that much of a difference. The BSAC training programme, however, is better suited for both UK diving and particularly developing your skills in a club, amongst the reasons for this are these:
PADI is a commercial operation - most instructors will be paid for their time - with BSAC (as a club) all instructors are volunteers. This helps to keep costs to a minimum. Also, being members of BSAC we benefit from access to a national network of courses and materials that a single club might not usually be able to provide.
As far as the content of the training is concerned, perhaps the main advantage of the BSAC approach is that it incorporates the skills needed to use Nitrox from the very beginning. Put simply, in nitrox diving the diver uses a mix of gas that is more rich in oxygen than 'normal' air (usually 32% or 36% rather than 21%). This allows you to stay down longer and to get back into the water sooner after each dive. In PADI Nitrox diving is offered as an extra speciality course (which will usually cost around £100 to complete).
BSAC training also includes the skills you will need to perform decompressions stops - which can allow you to stay longer at depth (although there's no obligation to do so).
Q: I am a member of staff at Sussex / Brighton Uni, can I join?
A: We can accomodate a limited number of associate members but you need to bring something to the club. In most cases non students need to hold an instructor or assistant instructor qualification to join. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Q: Where can I find out more?
A: Keep an eye on our website and also check out www.BSAC.com for more general information.
Q: Where do you dive?
A: All over the place. Until the end of October we'll be diving from our 6m RIB (boat) from Newhaven or Brighton Marinas - come and join us if you like! We also organise trips all along the south coast - including trips to Devon & Cornwall. We also organise an annual overseas trip to locations like Malta and Egypt.
Q: What does it cost?
A: It's a little complicated as it depends on what you want to do and whether or not your a student - so read on for full details of what it costs, and what you get for your money - we're afraid that diving isn't cheap, but we're absolutely certain that you won't be able to do it any cheaper anywhere else!
Student Membership (with BSAC) - £98.
Club membership is £70 (paid to the Student Union), which covers general maintenance of our equipment and other overheads. You will also need to become a (student) member of BSAC (which gives you their third party dive insurance and access to their online magazine and databases of information) - this costs £28.
So if you want to just join so you can come diving with us (and be fully insured to do so) it will cost £98.
We try to keep all of our diving costs to an absolute minimum. We have small charges to go towards the servicing of equipment and its eventual replacement. Costs of diving from our boat will depend on how far we are travelling to the site, with the cost of the fuel being shared evenly, but generally a student would expect to pay around £12 for a boat dive. This is less than half the price of commercial charters and non student Clubs.
Ocean Diver - £225 + some dive expenses.
We charge a flat fee of £225 for the Ocean diver training which includes the pool fees, air, pool training and the BSAC Training Pack. It also includes kit (apart from wet/dry suit hire) for the open water dives that you do to complete the qualification, plus a weekend away diving.
This compares very favourably with the typical cost of £375+ for a commercial PADI Open Water course in the UK.
Q: What's it like diving in the UK?
A: F##king brilliant!