Oban Rescue !!

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Rescues and adventures in Oban 2013


MEMBERS of an Evesham club helped rescue a family of four from a stricken yacht off the Scottish coast during their most unusual diving expedition yet.

The dramatic rescue took place while Evesham Sub Aqua Club members were on a recreational long weekend in Oban in western Scotland.

Six members had completed their first dive of the day in mid-September, and were about to start their second venture into the deep when their boat got a mayday call.

It came from a family whose yacht had crashed on the rocky coastline in strong winds while attempting to sail into Oban port after the vessel lost power overnight.

The divers immediately headed to the scene.

Club member Stuart Bond, an architect from Evesham, said: “You could see the boat had its bow right into the rocks and was getting banged about quite badly.”

They found a distressed family of four, two adults and two teenage children, trying to collect their belongings.

“They were scrambling around,” said Mr Bond. “The dad seemed pretty petrified.

We then pulled the boat off the rocks. The skipper did a great job of holding us steady.

“We pulled them to safety as the lifeboat was arriving.


We helped to secure the boat and then were asked to get the two kids off the boat.

“If we hadn’t been there, the lifeboat was another 20 minutes away and the damage at the front was of the boat was quite significant. I imagine the family would have had to get off the boat and on to the rocks. That would have been very dangerous.”

Fellow member James Wilks said: “It was immediately apparent that we needed to tow it off the rocks to be able to get close enough to get the crew to safety. The arrival of Oban lifeboat was a great relief, not least of all to the coxswain of the yacht.”

The club meets on Wednesdays from 8pm-9pm at Pershore Leisure Centre. For more information visit



PlymouthDive trip

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Plymouth 2013 BY NIck Brooker

Combined – Evesham Sub Aqua Club & Cotswold 332 BSAC Weekend Trip

This was the first joint weekend of diving – both ESAC and Cotswold BSAC branches joining forces to share resources and costs for a weekends diving in Plymouth.

Half the mixed contingent stayed on Mountbatten side, and the other half at the Queen Ann Battery side. Both groups deciding hotels would be much cosier/dryer than camping at this time of year!

The Saturday saw both teams join up, mix the groups up to even the boats, dive teams and head out towards The Scylla. The weather stayed kind, fairly warm and a modest breeze, overcast and dry.


Cotswold RIB                                                         ESAC RIB

The Scylla, although having other divers on it from other boats, was still enjoyed with some 3-4m viz and warm 16 degree water temp – Special mention goes to Evesham’s own “Last of The Summer Wine” trio of Howard, Al and Andy Hislop – combined age “god-knows!”.


Dive completed all headed back to Mountbatten for lunch and air fills.


Next up both RIBs decided to do something different but in the same area. ESAC headed to Hilsea Point – where diving was reported to be excellent, with some 10-15m viz – loads of sea life and large fish! Cotswold headed to dive The Mew stones – again, very enjoyable gullies teeming with sea life with great viz.

Congratulations to Anthony from Evesham, diving from the Cotswold RIB who enjoyed his first ever sea dive as an Ocean Diver!

With diving completed for the day, both teams headed back to their respective pontoons for the evening.

Sunday seemed easier – mainly as both RIBs were ready on their respective pontoons, so the getaway was swift. Both teams decided to dive the James Egan Layne.


Howard Painter (ESAC) kindly “boateed” for Cotswold – and gave Scott F (Cotswold) and impromptu days boat handlers course!


Again conditions were good and soon both teams where getting pairs and 3’s into the water. The JEL is most divers favourite wreck in the area – haunting structure, pretty swim-throughs – all teeming with life.


Bryan (Cotwold) & David P                                          David P (ESAC) decending the shot for

(ESAC) swim thru’ the JEL                                          the JEL

After a further lunch break/re-fill – both teams decided upon different ultimate dives of the weekend. Cotswold went out to do Hilsea Point – encouraged by such good reports from the previous day, with the ESAC RIB deciding upon the trip to Edistone Lighthouse for some deeper diving to suit those on board.

Although the viz had been slightly reduced, all had a great dive, many doing Hilsea Point for the first time!

There was further excitement when Nick (ESAC & Cotswold), David (ESAC) and Bryan (Cotswold) were on a 3 minute safety stop at 6m when they were summonsed up quickly as a snorkeler had been reported missing nearby on the radio by the coastguard! The 3 were recovered in super-fast time allowing the Cotswold RIB to respond to assist in the coastal search. Thankfully the snorkeler was reported to have been found safe soon after! Phew! – Time for shore!  After RIB recovery, washing and being made ready all headed home Sunday night following an enjoyable and exciting diving weekend!



August Bank Holidsay at the Lizard

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Another great weekend away with Evesham Sub-Aqua Club, albeit a quieter August Bank Holiday than normal with 22 attending. Again some members made this weekend part of their annual holiday with others braving the traffic over the busiest weekend of the year.

Saturday saw us diving the wreck of the Volnay in the morning and a trip to the Mohegan in the afternoon.

The Volnay, a British Steam Ship was sunk by contact with a mine in 1917. Diving with Sarah, we descended down the shot line straight onto the boilers. Whilst quite a silty dive, the fish life was prolific.  A good dive with plenty to talk about.

The Mohegan was a different experience altogether. It was intended for this to be dived on slack, 1 to 2 hours before low water. Seems this particular bit of information was wrong!!! It was pulling harder than Elwyn’s dog on a rope!! On the bottom we decided to deploy a DSMB, which on breaking the surface at the end of the dive, it became apparent that it was the right decision.

Leaving the boat buoyed overnight, we headed back to the camp site and prepared for the P Party. Thanks to Marcie for organising and cajoling people into going in costume. A really good laugh with several Penguins, Popeye, a Punk, a couple of Pixies, Princesses, a Pirate, a Power Ranger and a Persian Prince from Pershore!

8.30am and back to the diving. The first dive was to be on the Carmarthen, a steamer sunk by a German submarine. Using co-ordinates we made our way to the general area then honed our search using transits but could we find it, no! Fortunately a hard boat came along, at least we thought it was fortunate until the skipper declined to assist us. We carried on our search but still no luck. This time fortune shone on us and the skipper of the hard boat could wait no longer and dropped in a shot line. He suggested we dropped our own shot line to the East of his and bingo, we dropped straight onto the boilers. A really good dive, big intact boilers and lots to rummage around in.

Back to shore for a bit of lunch and then out to the Manacles to find a reef that drops from 4m to 40m. Having located the pinnacle it was determined that the sea was running far too much so we headed back to the more sheltered waters where the Volnay lies. A very different dive from the day before with wreckage well spread and shoals of fish.

Back to the shore, boat pulled out of the water and back up to the camp site. A quick shower and out for a group meal at a local pub The Mounts Bay.

Monday brought the haul back home. Surprisingly the traffic was not bad.

A great weekend. Thanks to Anthony for organising.



Skomer Island

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Having travelled down to Pembrokeshire early on a Saturday morning to spend a day diving The Smalls, we were advised by the Skipper of the hard boat (Predator) that the weather forecast would not allow us to dive The Smalls and we would therefore head for Skomer Island. The voyage to Skomer was a mixture of calm waters along the estuary towards the open sea and a meeting of tides which created extremely agitated seas.

Our first dive was to be on Rye Rocks and the very adjacent wreck of the Lucy.  Having decided on buddy pairs and got kitted up the skipper reminded us that we were going to be Diving in a no take zone. A stride entry and in no time my buddy (Stu) and I were descending to the sea bed. Setting a heading North towards the wall we soon came upon the scallop beds referred to during our briefing. Scallops the size of plates, this was the positive results of declaring a no take zone. Curious wrasse followed us during the dive. On the wall was such variety of anemones. Cracks and crevices in the rocks revealed velvet crabs and squat lobsters.


On arrival back at the boat, an easy lift to the deck, de-kit, a welcomed cuppa and a catch up on all the dive experiences and stories.


Motoring towards North Haven, a nearby calm bay, we cracked open lunch.


The second dive was to be on Stack Rocks. This was outside of the no take zone and the skipper was keen for one of us to bring up a couple of decent spider crabs. Kitch volunteered and took the skipper’s goody bag.

Stu and I jumped in and started our descent down the shot line. 10m down the shot and I looked up to check on Stu. Just above his head was a huge colourful jelly fish with long sprawling tentacles. I shone my torch on it, Stu turned around and quickly fumbled for his camera. This beauty was just the start of what was to become a brilliant UK dive. During the dive brief the skipper told us to head North or West, either way we will come to a wall.  Once on the sea bed we headed North but this found us trying to head into a flow of water so around we turned. What a stroke of luck, deep crevices lined with jewel anemones with surprises around every corner and under each overhang of rocks. Large spider crabs which looked like aliens to our planet, a large edible crab, lobsters, shrimps lurking in the overhangs and the usual inquisitive wrasse. With so much going on the time just flew by and we were soon finding ourselves with 70 BAR of air left and 5 minutes of no deco time.  We started to ascend to reduce our depth and suddenly there on the rock was a pair of eyes staring at us. A shake of the head and a double take confirmed that a large octopus was watching us. I had never been this close up to an octopus. I shone my torch on it and it started to move hugging and following the profile of the rock, stopping and changing colour to match its surroundings. I shone my torch again, but no movement this time so I thought I would touch it. Expecting a squirt of ink, no such luck, the octopus just moved gracefully away mid water. Sadly air and time meant we needed to leave. What a fantastic experience. Back at the boat and everybody was euphoric about their Great British dive…….. And what’s more it wasn’t cold!!


Are you and your kit Dive fit?

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As we all know Diving is a physically demanding sport and those first dives of the season are always really hard and make us stop and think about getting dive fit.

BSAC advise the following to us all so lets take the advice on board and use the winter pool sessions to get ourselves ready for the season.

Fitness to dive
“Diving uses as much energy as moderate to heavy work. Before resuming diving, after a lay off, you are advised to regain physical fitness, practice basic underwater skills in the pool or sheltered water training area and complete a series of ‘work up’ dives before diving to depth. Ensure all divers are both physically and psychologically fit for the dives they plan to undertake.”
Its also been a while since your equipment has seen the water so coming to the pool to check it over and getting out to the quarry to do a test dive is a good idea.
So get your self along to the pool the on Wednesdays be sociable find out what happening in the club and come for a beer.

Most importantly and get yourselves fit and safe ready for another great seasons diving.