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)
Everyone is entitled to a binge watch from time to time and why not do it like a diver with these 20 ocean-related movies!
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
This might not be Bill Murray’s most revered movie but Wes Anderson’s story is certainly watchable. Plus, the film was dedicated to Jacques-Yves Cousteau. In the movie, fictional Oceanographer Zissou, plans to get revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, which leads to much offbeat humour. Did you know that Bill Murray even became a PADI Open Water Diver prior to making the movie?
Into The Blue (2005)
This film tells the entertaining story of a group of young divers who go looking for a legendary treasure ship in the Bahamas. While diving, they stumble upon an airplane-wreck full of drugs, leading to an underground storyline of mobs and underwater action. The movie has an abundance of shark footage, the majority of which was filmed using live, wild sharks. The movie stars Jessica Alba and Paul Walker and the exotic scenery will take you off your couch and into your next dive trip!
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
No movie list can ever be complete without a James Bond movie (or two). For Your Eyes Only includes up close, underwater footage of Roger Moore in Greece and the Bahamas. But what you might not have known is that most of the scenes were actually filmed on a soundstage, with special effects added later to give the impression of water moving around them.
Turning back the James Bond clock to the nineteen sixties when Sean Connery was the man of the moment in Thunderball. In this Bond classic, Connery dives with sharks in the Bahamas. During filming, clear plastic panels were placed in the water to separate the actor from the sharks. But, this didn’t work as intended and the sharks soon found their way around the panels and were swimming up to the cast – of course, aside from the odd fright, everyone lived to tell the tale.
Men of Honour (2000)
This Oscar winner movie starring Cuba Gooding Jr. was a box office hit. Gooding plays Carl Brashear, the U.S. Navy’s first African-American Master Diver. Discouraged and driven by his instructor (Robert De Niro) in equal measure, Brashear overcomes the racism of the 1940s and his incomplete education to achieve his goal of becoming an operational diver in the Navy. A feel good movie with a message – and you might want to have tissues on hand for the multiple tear jerking moments in this scuba movie!
The Deep (1977)
This seventies hit movie was based on a novel by Peter Benchley andfollows a vacationing couple who stumble upon some mysterious artefacts while wreck diving off Bermuda. It is rumoured that the making of The Deep required 8,895 dives, 10,870 hours underwater and 1 million cubic feet of compressed air.
The Abyss (1989)
Aliens and deep sea diving rolled into one by James Cameron – what’s not to love about that? Did you know that James Cameron has a passion for the ocean, is an avid scuba diver himself, and was the third person ever to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench? In “The Abyss” a US nuclear submarine sinks near a massive underwater trench after encountering a mystical underwater entity. If the storyline doesn’t wow you then the amazing special effects still make this a worthwhile watch!
The Big Blue (1988)
Released in Europe as “Le Grand Bleu” the storyline is around two lifelong friends who grow up to be free diving rivals in the Mediterranean Sea. This is a great movie to whisk you away to tropical locations and the dolphin scenes are bound to brighten up your day on lockdown!
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)
Despite numerous remakes over the years, the original Walt Disney Productions version is an all-time classic. From scenes of battling with giant squid through to Nautilus divers scouring the ocean floor for sea life to help feed the crew, it’s bound to keep you entertained – which explains why it won two Academy Awards!
Loosely based on a real life experience, Sanctum is a cave diving thriller produced by Jim Cameron. This tense and gripping movie is not suitable for those who are claustrophobic, or planning to take their open water certification!
Dark Tide (2011)
Halle Berry stars as a “Shark Whisperer” who is haunted by her memories of her shark attack – which she inevitably has to overcome and win the day. This is not one of Halle Berry’s most famous movies and it didn’t have a big impact at the box office but it’s still very watchable.
Open Water (2004)
Open Water is the story of two people being left behind in the open ocean by their dive boat. As expected, sharks appear and tensions rise as the couple’s holiday rapidly takes a nose dive. Very watchable but probably not one for new divers who are about to embark on their first boat diving experience!
Fool’s Gold (2008)
A must watch scuba movie for Matthew McConaughey fans. McConaughey’s character is a deep sea treasure hunter who rekindles his relationship with estranged wife Kate Hudson, during a quest to find a Spanish shipwreck full of treasure. This is great family entertainment, despite the questionable diving techniques, and the smattering of charm and humour make for easy and entertaining watching.
Finding Nemo (2003)
It’s impossible to be a scuba diver and not have some affinity with this movie. The fish ‘characters’ brilliantly display real-life characteristics which have been transplanted into their personalities. Perfect family entertainment and ideal for teaching kids some fish ID skills!
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Deep Blue Sea stars Samual L. Jackson whose character takes on genetically modified sharks at an isolated research facility – from which the sharks are trying to escape into the open ocean. This one is packed with action and suspense, as Samual L. Jackson fights his way to victory over these fishy fiends.
Sphere is another Samuel L Jackson movie which also stars Dustin Hoffman and Sharon Stone as a crack team of scientists. The team are sent to investigate a 300 year old space ship 1,000 feet/304 meters underwater which turns out to be an American craft presumably from the future, sent back through time after a mission through space. The movie is based on a novel by Michael Crichton and with an all-star cast it’s worth a watch.
After years of waiting for an Aquaman movie, this did everything that was expected of it – non-stop action and adventure which spans the vast underwater world of the seven seas. The storyline is a rather predictable super hero affair but what’s not to love about that?
The Cave (2005)
While on a dig in a Romanian forest, a group of scientists find a huge abbey which was built over the entrance to a network of caves. They hire a team of divers who are armed with new high-tech scuba gear that allows them to stay under water for a full 24 hours. They soon discover they are not alone though, as scary creatures make their presence known.
You can’t talk about ocean movies without mentioning the famous Jaws movies. Despite there not being much scuba related content, this movie forever changed the perception of sharks for many people. This is often cited as one of the most ground breaking motion pictures of all time but it has undeniably contributed to the image of sharks as man eaters around the world.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
Known for his crazy stunts, Tom Cruise learned freediving skills to prepare himself for the making of this MI movie. Cruise reportedly became a very competent freediver, achieving static breath holds of six minutes – very impressive!
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet there is no scuba diving, but some of the most memorable underwater scenes in cinema. James Cameron admitted he made the movie only so he could dive the Titanic himself – which he did, using the Mir submersibles and a Russian exploration vessel. The details contained in the movie are reportedly all accurate portrayals of the real vessel (even down to the crockery used in the restaurant) and when combined with a love story, it’s a gripping movie and a real feat of movie production.
Have you got your popcorn ready? After you’ve binge-watched all that you can, why not check out some of the awesome locations and their scuba guides so you can start planning your first ‘after-COVID’ dive trip!
There’s more to scuba than that magical weightless feeling and seeing amazing creatures in their natural habitat. There are also a ton of fun games you can play in scuba or snorkel gear. Here are our ten favorites:
Underwater BINGO/scavenger hunt Using a laminated BINGO card or waterproof list, divers search for objects underwater. The objects can be poker chips hidden in a wreck, or natural objects like a sleeping octopus, a rock that looks like an egg, etc. For natural objects, divers snap a pic with an underwater camera in lieu of removal.
Spoon Race There are a few variations on the spoon race, but the basic premise is balance an object on (or under) a spoon and swim as fast as you can without losing it. In this video from Utlia Dive Center, divers balance eggs on a spoon as they race to the finish line. Another option is to use an upside down spoon to keep a ping pong ball from escaping to the surface. For an added challenge, divers can try to hand off the egg or ping pong ball to a partner – relay race style.
Underwater Darts Divers can test their skill at hitting an underwater target using a toypedo or other throwable object. For an added challenge, try tossing the toypedo while hovering.
Underwater Hockey Underwater hockey is played in a pool with snorkel gear and curved sticks that are only a foot (.3m) long. World championships take place every two years and with approximately 25 different countries vying for the title. A more extreme version was played upside down under ice.
Poker Run/Underwater Poker Tournament Using specially-made waterproof playing cards, scuba divers can enjoy many common card games on an extended surface interval, as part of an underwater poker tournament, or by participating in a poker run. During an underwater poker run, divers navigate to different checkpoints where they receive a playing card. After visiting all the stops, the diver has a poker hand that may win them prizes. Conniving buddy pairs have been known to exchange cards to create an ideal hand before surfacing. If organizing a poker run, make a unique mark on the cards for each stop (a red dot for the cards handed out at the first stop, a green dot for cards from stop number two, etc.), or record what card each diver receives, so they can’t be easily swapped.
Underwater Rugby Fans of underwater rugby call it “the only 3D sport.” Besides being a contact sport, underwater rugby does not have a lot in common with topside rugby, but both are fun to watch. In underwater rugby, players attempt to put a saltwater-filled ball into a basket anchored to the bottom of the pool. Anyone with the ball can be “attacked,” but must be released if they lose contact with the ball. Players are prohibited from blocking the goal (by sitting in the basket, or laying on top of it), but they may actively prevent the ball from going into the basket by grabbing the ball, the opposing player’s arm, etc.
Obstacle Course Swimming through a suspended hula hoop is one of the fun activities you may try as part of the Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty course, and it’s also a great component to an underwater obstacle course. Swimming through a web of bungee cords or criss-crossing PVC pipe can also be a fun challenge. For advanced divers, create a passageway that requires the scuba unit to be removed and push it in front of them. To ensure this activity is fun and safe, ensure there are safety divers accompanying participants ready to provide assistance and an additional air supply.
Underwater pumpkin carving contests are a popular activity conducted in lakes, quarries and oceans throughout North America. Check out these helpful underwater pumpkin carving tips from our friends at DAN.
Video: Jay Maxwell
Underwater Running As divers, we like to feel as though we’re one with the fish – gliding along effortlessly and moving with the current. But have you ever tried propelling yourself underwater the same way you do on land? Hand your fins to a buddy and try “running” along the bottom of a pool. It’s even harder (and funnier) than you might imagine. For added hahas, challenge another buddy pair to a race across the pool.
Find New Depths for Your Favorite Games Chess, checkers, dominos, even tic-tac-toe on a dive slate becomes infinitely more challenging when buoyancy is involved. Use weighted playing pieces and have each player hover for the entirety of the game.
Self-isolation and practising social distancing is the new way of life for the moment. By now the boredom has probably set in and you’re going crazy staring at the four walls in your house. Don’t worry because we have you covered! We may not be able to go diving at the moment, but here are 7 diving related games that you can play at home.
1. Diving Themed Lego
Honestly how cool is Lego! No matter what age, it’s something everyone can enjoy. Lego have some awesome diving inspired sets from diving yacht to deep sea creatures, which will be sure to keep you entertained for hours.
2. Scrabble – Use Diving Related Words
If you’re not familiar with scrabble it is a word game with two to four players. For those of you that love the game but want a bit more of a challenge, try using diving related words only. It’s a tough one but we have time.
Not only are puzzles good for all you “Dories” out there by improving your short term memory, it can also be super relaxing. Why not pick a puzzle with beautiful underwater scenery or with your favourite sea creature. You can even customise your own puzzle with your very own snap from your favourite dive site – how cool is that.
4. Video Games
It’s time to dust off your old gaming console and immerse yourself into a few diving inspired games. You can go on an underwater adventure in an alien ocean planet with Subnautica, explore the depths of the ocean with Abzu or try a realistic diving exploration with Endless Ocean. This is a great way to pass the time.
If you have an artistic flare, why not try painting one of your many diving pictures. Painting can be a fantastic way to relieve stress and foster creativity growth. If you’re not so creative give it a go anyway – you may surprise yourself.
6. Board Games
Submerge yourself into the underwater world with a diving inspired board game. Some board games to look out for are Deep Sea Adventure Card Game, Deep Blue and a spin on the classic Monopoly with Scuba-opoly. These games are sure to provide hours of entertainment for the whole family.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.