Wave Shape
Wave Shape

FAQs

Wave Shape

Learning to scuba dive presents an exciting new challenge, and it’s natural that you will have lots of questions.  You’ll find some of our frequently asked questions below, but if you can’t find what you are looking for then just contact us to have a chat.  We’d be very happy to hear from you. swindive@hotmail.com

How much is club membership per month?

  • Full Diving Membership to the Swindon branch is £15 per month
  • Social Membership, Student Membership and Remote (Boat Only) Membership is £7.50 per month
  • Junior Membership (Parent must be a full diving member) is £5 per month
  • Associate Membership is included in the hire cost for private hire of the function room when the bar is required

All monthly memberships are paid via standing order, for full details of each membership option, please contact the club.

BSAC Yearly membership fees are £62.50* for new members

BSAC Family and joint membership packages are available – BSAC Membership fees and prices – British Sub-Aqua Club

*Correct at Feb 2023

What do I get for my membership fees

  • Access to our private, heated internal training pool
  • Two club rigid inflatable dive boats
  • One of the best equipped club gas rooms offering air (free with basic membership), O2 for an enhanced fee and Helium (at cost)
  • A substantial club room with bar (which members can hire for events)
  • The full suite of BSAC diver training, including progression into technical routes
  • An active and varied diving schedule, including frequent overseas trips.

In addition BSAC members also get:

  • Access to diving training and safety recommendations
  • Personal, equipment and public liability insurance
  • The club’s monthly magazine (Diver)
  • Access to exclusive scuba and snorkelling related benefits and prices
  • Access to diving training and safety recommendations.
  • Feel part of a community sharing the same passion and making a positive difference to UK scuba diving.
  • Support work to safeguard the UK’s precious waters and marine life and protect British underwater heritage for divers.
  • Support campaigning and other initiatives, we work to protect the interests of our members and other scuba divers

The club generally meets on a Wednesday evening between 7:30pm and 10:30pm and we welcome you to come and meet us and join in as we share our passion for the underwater world.

Where do you carry out your pool sessions and theory training?

We carry out our training using our own onsite pool at our Swindon clubhouse at Supermarine.  This is a great pool to get to no matter where you’re coming from as we are justa  few minutes off the A419 towards Highworth.  We use Open Water sites near Radstock just south of Bath and South Gloucestershire.  All Ocean Diver theory sessions are carried out remotely from the comfort of your own home via  BSAC eLearning.

What additional costs might I expect to incur?

Transportation is not included to any dive site but if we do have room we’ll happily try and accommodate. Inland dive site entry fees are also not included (if applicable), these can be between £16 – £23 per day depending on what site we use.  Although we do supply most diver gear for your course we have a very limited supply of exposure suits (wetsuits or dry suits) so you may have to hire or purchase your own for the course.  Additional costs will be incurred if you cancel or do not show up for any sessions, please refer to the Term and conditions for full details.

Are there age restrictions for scuba diving?

Scuba diving is an inclusive sport, and it is quite possible for the whole family to experience scuba diving together.  Children can learn to scuba dive from the age of ten. From the age of ten, children can earn their BSAC Ocean Diver qualification.  There is no upper age limit on scuba diving, as long as you remain in good health.  Therefore scuba diving is the perfect pastime to enjoy together as a family.

Are your staff DBS checked?

Yes; all of our instructors who work with children are all Enhanced DBS checked for your piece of mind. We can provide details on request. Most of us are parents as well and we want you to feel happy that your children are in a safe and secure environment while diving with us.

Are there health conditions or disabilities which might stop me from scuba diving?

Scuba diving should not be a strenuous activity, but lifting and carrying equipment together with the effects of water pressure on the body means that some medical conditions may prevent you from being able to scuba dive.  Before you start any course then you will be asked to complete a Medical Questionnaire to see whether you have any pre-existing condition which may affect your safety when diving. We can not advise you whether you should answer “yes” or “no”, and can only advise you to answer honestly and truthfully – the questionnaire is there for your safety and protection. If you answer positively to any of the questions then this does not necessarily disqualify you from diving, but you will need to see your doctor prior to diving to ensure that it is safe for you to dive. The doctor must be qualified to assess your condition and fitness to dive.  The examination takes about an hour and is very simple. There are a range of adaptive techniques which we can use to make sure that disabled divers can enjoy scuba diving too, and scientific studies are showing that scuba diving can help in the rehabilitation of a range of physical and mental conditions.

What happens if I fall ill during my course and I have to cancel?

If you fall ill during your course, everything you have completed up to that point is still valid and you can continue from that point forward at a later date. We will try to be as flexible as possible, given enough notice of the cancellation.

Do I need to be comfortable in the water to scuba dive?

You do not need to be an excellent swimmer but you do need to be comfortable in the water.  Therefore, before you can complete the BSAC Ocean Diver Course you must demonstrate basic water skill comfort by swimming for 200 metres (there is no time limit or requirement to use a particular stroke).  Most people find these relatively simple, and you can attend our pool nights to practice your water skills if you like prior to the course starting.

​We highly recommend completing a Ty Dive before booking on to a full Ocean Diver course to see whether you like it first.

Can I learn together with friends or family?

We actively encourage our divers to learn and dive with friends and family, as there is simply nothing better than sharing an underwater adventure with those who mean the most to us.  We do like to keep small intimate diving groups, as we feel our students gain value from small group numbers and high student to Instructor ratios, so if you would like to learn in a larger group of friends or family then just let us know and we’ll discuss with you how best to meet your requirements.  However, it is no problem at all to learn to dive on your own – we have a very active and friendly dive club, and you will meet diving buddies and new friends really quickly.

Do you offer dive experience packages for groups?

Yes – we offer Scuba Pool Try Dive sessions for groups including school groups, clubs, Guides, Scouts, family parties, in fact any group you can think of!   Each group member will have the chance to experience scuba diving for the first time in the safety of a confined water environment.  We can cater for up to 4 adults or 6 children at any one time (dependant on kit sizes)

What materials and equipment do I need?

In order to participate in most BSAC courses, you will need a current personal set of student materials, which we will always provide for you which is always included in your course costs.  We supply all of the Scuba equipment you need at no extra cost. If you have your own dive equipment then please feel free to use this on our courses*, but if you do not own your own dive equipment then we have a selection of club equipment which you can use.  We can provide advice and guidance to students thinking of purchasing their own dive equipment for the first time, or upgrading their kit.  (*Any equipment you own and would like to use on any of our courses must be fit for purpose and in service)

Where do you dive in the UK?

As we are based in the South West  we tend to use inland water sites such as lakes as quarries for the majority of our diver training and sites along the Dorset and Devon coastline.  The inland sites have the advantage of being available throughout the year, and provide an excellent training environment complete with sunken boats, planes and all manner of other objects!  We do however run trips to coastal dive sites and it is often possible to complete training on one of these trips too.  Being centrally based, we have the advantage that most coastal areas within the UK can be reached easily enough for a club weekend trips.

How frequently do you go diving?

There are divers from the club in the water most weekends; even in winter. If you fancy a dive; there is usually someone already going or wanting to go.  Most ad-hoc and organised diving is done through our members only Facebook group.

Can you help me to learn to scuba dive abroad?

Yes, our training partner DM Scuba Training can complete all of your theory and pool training right here in the UK very quickly on a fixed midweek or weekend date to suit you. This is called the BSAC Ocean Diver referral.   You can complete the knowledge development and confined water dives in the pool here in the UK, and then they refer you to a dive centre abroad (either of your choice, or we can recommend one) for you to complete your open water dives.  This means you can get straight into the water when you touch down abroad, rather than spending your holiday in a classroom.  The club also arranges dive trips abroad, and you can choose to complete your open water training with us on one of our club trips, rather than being referred to a new instructor abroad, if you prefer.

Do I need to be a very experienced diver to join the Club Facebook group?

The Swindon Sub-Aqua Members only Facebook group is open to all club members of all levels of capability and experience.  The aim of the group is to get divers together, pass on relevant information and occasionally organise some diving in a supportive environment. We believe that active divers means better divers. Our public Facebook page is open to everyone and can be found by clicking here – Swindon Sub-Aqua Club | Swindon | Facebook

Photography

Underwater photography is part of the Scuba diving experience and we actively encourage our students, parents and group leaders to take photographs if they wish. It captures memories and records events for advertising, newsletters and for Social Media use. We use photography on most of our sessions. Photos are always edited before use and typical photos of our sessions can be viewed on our Facebook site.  If you would like copies of any of our photos that were taken during your course, please see your instructor.  If you do not wish to appear in any photography that may be taking place please let your instructor know

Who are BSAC, and why should I do a BSAC course?

BSAC is the British Sub Aqua Club, founded in London, England in 1954. BSAC is unusual for a diver training agency in that most BSAC instructors are volunteers, giving up their spare time to train others, unlike many other agencies, in which instructors are paid employees, or self-employed. We can do things a bit slower than a commercial operation.

Do I need insurance to dive?

Just like most other sports or pastimes, scuba diving does present a level of carefully controlled risk of which you need to be aware of.  When you join BSAC, you have the benefit of diving knowing you’re fully insured as this is covered by your membership fees to BSAC.

Visit BSAC.com