Introducing the ‘How To’ series featuring helpful tips on mask clearing, equalizing, regulator recovery and more as you discover the underwater world. If you’ve just started the PADI Open Water Diver course, or simply haven’t been in the water for some time, we’ve got you covered with a full visual breakdown on how to perfect these skills so you feel the most comfortable in the water.
PRESS RELEASE On behalf of the British Diving Safety Group 21 May 2020, Embargoed until 17.00 – for immediate release
The BDSG issues guidance for the resumption of diving in England Earlier today (Thursday 21 May 2020) the British Diving Safety Group COVID-19 team met to discuss the resumption of recreational diving activities.
The working group has cautiously welcomed a mindful, progressive return to shore diving, because it naturally lends itself to social distancing above the surface. It is worth noting that below the surface divers routinely dive in full personal protective equipment (PPE).
The BDSG has today issued clear guidance for diving in England. When the devolved Government advice changes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the BDSG will also amend its advice. The Republic of Ireland resumed limited diving activities on Monday 18 May, eg recreational non-training shore diving to 12 metres.
BDSG Guidance for diving in England, as of 21 May 2020
You must follow the Coronavirus (COVID-19) government guidance for your country at all times.
You must follow the normal safety protocols recommended by your training organisation, and any special guidance provided by them regarding COVID-19.
Without any specific guidance on water sports or diving, it is the BDSG’s interpretation that diving is considered as an outdoor activity and as such, shore diving should be practical if done while following points 5 and 6.
Boat diving will be inherently less practical, but some boat operators may be able to meet these recommendations.
You can dive with one other person not from your household if you follow the two-metre rule while out of the water.
You can dive with anyone from your household and there is no need to follow the two-metre rule while out of the water.
If you have had symptoms or positive testing for COVID-19, consult with a doctor before diving, ideally a doctor specialising in diving medicine, eg UK Diving Medical Committee (www.ukdmc.org). In any event, you should be following self-isolation guidelines relevant for your country if you have tested positive for COVID-19, came into contact with anyone tested positive or have any symptoms or suspect that you may have COVID-19.
We strongly recommend that only experienced and fit divers return to diving at this stage, due to the limited capacity of the emergency services.
Additional guidance and advice on the possible consequences of COVID-19 for diving is available from DAN Europe (www.daneurope.org ‘COVID-19 and Diving Activities: 10 Safety Recommendations’).
We believe that the Scottish Government will amend their COVID-19 restrictions on 28 May 2020. At present the BDSG COVID-19 Working Group is meeting on a weekly basis, in order to review this guidance as the situation evolves.
BDSG Members The members are
▪ BHA (British Hyperbaric Association) ▪ BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club) ▪ DAN Europe (Divers Alert Network) ▪ DDRC Healthcare (Diving Diseases Research Centre) ▪ Diving Ireland (Irish Underwater Council) ▪ FIDS (Federation of Inland Dive Sites) ▪ GADAP (Global Association of Diving Assistance Providers) ▪ GUE (Global Underwater Explorers) ▪ HSE Diving Inspectorate (Health & Safety) ▪ IANTD (International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers) ▪ IDEST (Inspectorate for Diving Equipment, Servicing and Testing) ▪ PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) ▪ PBA (Professional Boatman’s Association) ▪ PSAI Europe (Professional Scuba Association International) ▪ RAID UK (Rebreather Association of International Divers) ▪ RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) ▪ SAA (Sub Aqua Association) ▪ ScotSac (Scottish Sub Aqua Club) ▪ SITA (Scuba Industries Trade Association) ▪ SSI (Scuba Schools International) ▪ TDI / SDI (Technical Diving International / Scuba Diving International) ▪ UK DMC (Diving Medical Committee)
Frogfish are masters of disguise. Spot one during a dive and you will win the admiration of every diver in your group – especially photographers. Frogfish, a type of anglerfish, have a textured exterior that aids in their camouflage. While they do not have scales, their amazing ability to camouflage themselves serves as protection from predators. Frogfish vary in color and often have unique spines or bumps that change with their surroundings.
Here are some more interesting frogfish facts:
1. Unlike many animals that use camouflage as a defense from predators, frogfish mostly use their abilities to attract prey. 2. Frogfish have a modified dorsal fin that has a retractable lure resembling a shrimp, which is used to attract their prey. If their lure is eaten or damaged it can be regenerated. 3. Frogfish are carnivores. They eat fish, crustaceans and even other frogfish. 4. A frogfish’s mouth can expand to 12 times its resting size. This allows it to catch all sorts of prey. 5. Because frogfish lack a swim bladder, they use their modified pectoral fins to walk, or even gallop, across the seafloor (check out this great video of a frogfish in action).By Steve Childs (Flickr: Painted FrogFish yawning)
There are many fish in the sea that use camouflage, but the frogfish is a real treat to see. Frogfish can be found in tropical and subtropical oceans and seas off the coasts of Africa, Asia, Australia and North America. Next time you take a dive in one of these regions take a closer look at the reef.
Picture it. You’re on a dive taking in the beautiful marine life all around you when you feel something brush past your ankle. Immediately, an intense burning sensation travels up your leg, and you realize you’ve been stung by a jellyfish. Now what?
It depends on what kind of jellyfish stings you
There are over 2000 different types of jellyfish with some as large as adult humans and others smaller than a grain of salt. Found in every ocean, lakes, and even in some freshwater bodies of water, roughly 70 of the 2000 species can hurt humans.Moon Jellyfish
Not So Bad
Moon jellyfish, otherwise called “saucer jellies,” “moon jellies,” or “common sea jellies,” are one of the most common types of jellyfish. Their moonlike bell shape and short tentacles make them easy to spot. They can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, mostly near the coast in warmer waters.
Though mostly benign, these jellyfish sometimes sting. However, the sting is mild in nature and restricted to a precise area of contact.
The lion’s mane jellyfish, otherwise known as the “hair jelly,” is one of the largest known jellyfish growing up to 120 feet/37 meters long. This species prefers the cooler waters of the Arctic, Northern Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans but can also be found in the southwestern Baltic all the way to Australia and New Zealand.
Due to the insane amount of tentacles (up to 1200), these guys can be dangerous both in and out of the water. It is reported that up to 50 people sustained jellyfish stings from a lion’s mane that washed ashore on a US beach. Like most other jellyfish, their tentacles can still fire even after they have died.
The stings are painful, causing localized swelling and redness, but are rarely fatal.Box Jellyfish
Seek Help Immediately
The box jellyfish, otherwise known as the “marine stinger” or “sea wasp,” packs quite a punch, containing enough venom to kill 60 people. It is said that the box jellyfish is the deadliest creature in the ocean. “These dangerous jellyfish are common in the tropical Indo-Pacific, but some species of box jellies inhabit subtropical oceans, including the Atlantic and East Pacific. Species occur as far north as California, the Mediterranean and Japan and as far south as South Africa and New Zealand.”
That being said, if your dive ends with you encountering one of these, it does not mean your meeting will be fatal, but you should seek medical attention immediately.
The best course of treatment for all jellyfish stings is to rinse affected area with vinegar (avoid using freshwater), remove all visible tentacles, immerse the affected area in hot water, or use the localized application of a cold pack to alleviate pain. Look for signs of an allergic reaction and seek medical attention if necessary.
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