Welcome to Bristol Channel Divers!

Bristol Channel Divers

Latest Club News

Scapa Flow

We're finally getting this ticked off on our bucket list. We've booked with the very popular and recommended MV Huskyan & Divers' Lodge for 12-19 August 2017 (yes, 19 months away), diving on 13-18 August. There are a handful of spaces available. Please contact Simon or Fiona if interested as we are advertising widely.
Added 25/1/16

Diving in 2016

After a slow start, we've finally got some dates in the diary for 2016 (and 2017!!). We've got dives booked in Plymouth and Dartmouth and are in final negotiations over our annual trip to Lundy aboard Pride of Bristol. The diary has the dates and will be updated with details as the year progresses. If you haven't been asked for (and paid) a deposit yet you're not booked on these trips!
Added 25/1/16

Cattewater Wreck Archive

The Archaeological Data Service in York have made the material generated from the Cattewater Wreck Archive Project that was carried out in Plymouth City Museum available online, with funding by English Heritage.

This digital archive includes photos of all the finds in the museum at the time (so not the National Maritime Museum wooden objects since found in their stores and returned), excavation photographs provided by some of the original dive team, some finds research and scientific analysis (isotope analysis of fish bones, paid for by the City Museum) as well as the more boring and routine auditing and indexing of the finds and documentation. If you are interested in nothing else you might find images of the Cattewater before the developments at Queen Anne's Battery and on Mount Batten interesting, or just enjoy the diving photos from the 1970s. See theArchaeology Data Service's web page for further information.
Added 7/5/14

Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

BSAC has been negotiating with the Marine Management Organisation on behalf of all divers regarding this new act. For detailed guidance please refer to this BSAC web page.
Added 7/5/14

First World War Submarine Wreck Project

English Heritage have commissioned Cotswold Archaeology to carry out a strategic assessment of First World War submarine losses within England's territorial waters. English Heritage are seeking assistance from divers to provide reports and photographs. For further information scroll to the bottom of this English Heritage web page.
Added 9/3/14

Shipworm Survey

Bournemouth University is seeking collaboration on an English Heritage funded project.

Paola Palma, Programme Leader MSc Maritime Archaeology, is conducting research on shipworms dissemination – shipworms could potentially be present on ship wrecks, driftwood, wood structures in the marine environment etc; any kind of information you may have or evidence you may encounter could be important for this project.

Download the submission form you can use in order to let Paola know about your sighting or any evidence of shipworm or shipworm degradation. Any relevant information received will be part of a shipworm database which will be made publically available.

Please feel free to disseminate the form as widely as you can to diving groups, beach combers, archaeological groups, work colleagues, friends etc - your collaboration is appreciated.

Should you require more guidance please don't hesitate to get in touch with Paola. A dedicated e-mail is available for this purpose shipwormsuk@bournemouth.ac.uk
Added 23/2/14

Ioan II Dive Trail - Evening Talk


Graham Scott and Peta Knott from Wessex Archaeology will be giving a talk about the Iona II dive trail that is being developed for English Heritage. The hour-long talk will start off with the story of the vessel including recent historical discoveries. This will be followed by an interactive discussion about the results of the Iona II diver e-survey. During the last part of the evening, club members will be able to have their say about the dive trail including their preferred design. Draft versions of the underwater guide and website will be available for comment and samples of the waterproof paper for the guides will be available for testing. Details of some test dives on the Iona II will also be given on the night. We would encourage all divers to come along to this talk, whether or not they have dived the Iona II. Come and be part of creating the latest dive trail for a protected wreck.

Please do come along and circulate this amongst your club members and circulate to other dive clubs, all are welcome. There is no need to book.

Directions to Severnside's Club House
Added 11/2/14

Ioan II Dive Trail

Wessex Archaeology are designing a Dive Trail for this paddle steamer wreck with connections to the American Civil War. The Ioan II is a protected historic wreck that sunk to the east of Lundy in 1864. Bristol Channel Divers have a licence to dive this site when we next visit (we're waiting for dates for the Pride of Bristol to return to service). In the meantime, you can read about the dive trail here, with apologies that this post is not too current!
Added 29/1/14

English Heritage

The latest edition of the English Heritage members' magazine features an article on the work of English Heritage underwater. You can view the article here.
Added 23/10/13

New Newsletter

The Scientific Diving Supervisory Committee (SDSC) have produced their first ever newsletter. It gives updates from the SDSC, news from scientific and archaeological diving projects and details of forthcoming conferences. You can download it here.
Added 13/5/13

Lundy Trip

Unfortunately, the Weather Gods decided that we couldn't go on this trip on 11 & 12 May so it has been postponed until later in the year. Martin is negotiating with the Pride of Bristol Trust for a suitable weekend. Despite the fact the trip was fully booked it is possible there may be spaces on the new date so please keep in touch.
Added 11/5/13

Dave Walker - Videos

Dave has been posting on You Tube videos of our trips this year including Eddystone Reef, Bolberry Gullies (off Bolt Head) and our trips to the Red Sea and Malta. You can pick which to watch on this page: http://www.youtube.com/user/dvwlkr/videos?flow=grid&view=0
Added 13/11/12

Diving Programme 2012

The committee are turning their thoughts to the 2012 diving season. There are already some dates in the diary and we're investigating further options. We're hoping to be able to run a trip to Lundy providing the issues with our regular diving platform are resolved. We've also got trips booked to some special sites off Plymouth with our friends from Discovery Divers and 7 members are already booked onto a Red Sea Liveaboard in October (contact Fiona for information).

So, what would YOU like to do? Let one of the committee know soon...
Added 23/10/11

Club Night Change

Due to popular demand from our members we have decided to change our club nights to the LAST Monday of the month. Where this is a Bank Holiday we'll meet on the previous Monday. The change starts with two club meetings in July. The time and location remain the same, 18:30 at The Cornubia.
Added 19/7/11

Coastguard Closures

Read about the revised proposals regarding the reorganisation of the Coastguard:

Added 16/7/11

Cumberland Basin Closures in 2010

We have found out that Cumberland Basin is being closed for works this year. As a result we have had to re-schedule our trip to Lundy which will now take place between 11/6 and 13/6. Click here for information about the works and scroll down to notice 40/09.
Added 5/1/10, Updated 31/1/10

Jumbo squid invade San Diego shores

Saw this article whilst surfing. Divers are getting in the water with these beasts and getting attacked! Added 19/7/09

AGM News

Our AGM was held tonight and the following people were elected for the forthcoming year:

Chairman Fiona Hampton-Matthews
Diving Officer Rob Parsons
Secretary Dave Walker
Vice Chairman and Equipment Officer Martin Glanvill
Treasurer Simon Hampton-Matthews
Committee Members Mark Siggins and Mark Wollacott

Added 16/3/09

BCD Club Calendars

There are still a few calendars available, just £6 each. They will be on sale at the next club night and the AGM so bring along your money! Added 8/2/09

Google Earth goes diving!

Google's popular program for seeing the Earth from composite satellite pictures now can show you features of the ocean bed. See the BBC news story here. Added 8/2/09

BCD Celebrates its Birthday!

Yes, the branch is 10 years old this year and we've received a certificate from BSAC HQ in recognition! Phil Harrison is the only founding member who is still active with the club. If the others are still out there we'd love to welcome you back. Happy Birthday to us all and let's hope for a memorable year's diving. Added 28/1/09


We now have a Facebook group to provide another way for members and friends of the branch to keep in touch. To join the group click on this link and if we know you we'll let you join! Sorry, but we are keeping membership of the group only to people we know so if you want to join the group please join the branch first! Added 31/12/08


We're very pleased to announce that we have another instructor in the branch! Dave George (our Training Officer) has just completed the necessary courses and exams and is now a fully-fledged Open Water Instructor. Dave managed to get 58 out of 60 in the final exam so should know everything there is to know about diving! However, if he hadn't stopped to read the directions to the exam location it would be an entirely different story!

Well done, Dave, a fine effort! Added 29/11/08


Well done to the club members listed below on completing their courses:

All that hard work has now paid off! Added 27/7/08

New Club Equipment

We’ve just acquired a few bits of new kit for the club. This includes a dry-bag for the first aid kit, a book on diver first aid and oxygen analyser so club members can analyse their own Nitrox.

We’ve also got 2 new computers. The Mares Puck does air, Nitrox and gauge modes and is a nice simple level-entry computer. Club members can borrow these computers (and any other club equipment) free of charge (first come, first served). Please contact Martin to make arrangements to collect. Added 14/7/08

Club Nights

On 2 June we tried an experiment to see if changing the club night to an earlier would result in a larger attendance and it did! We've therefore decided to have all future club nights start at 18:30, still at the Cornubia. The next club night is Monday 7 July - why not pop in after work for a chat about diving? Added 8/6/08

Seahorses in the Thames

Probably not somewhere we would choose to dive but nevertheless the BBC have reported that Seahorses have been found in the River Thames. Click here to read the story. Added 18/4/08

Dolphins can talk to Whales?

This is an interesting story from the BBC News website. A dolphin apparently saved two beached whales. Click here to read the story. Added 15/3/08

LIDS 2008

Once again we are running a competition to win 2 tickets to the London International Dive Show (LIDS) being held at the ExCel Centre in London on 8th & 9th March. Only members of the branch are able to enter so someone you know (and it could even be you) is going to win! Click here for information about the show. All you have to do is answer this simple question:

Who is giving advice on kit configuration again this year?

E-mail your answer to Simon by Friday 29th February and we'll get them sent straight to the winner. Added 23/2/08

Phil Harrison

Congratulations to Phil on the completion of his First Class Diver qualification. This is the highest qualification awared by BSAC and is testament to Phil's extensive range of knowledge and experience. We are very lucky to have him as a member of our branch and instructor team. Added 2/10/07

Latest BSAC Products

BSAC have launched 6 new products. Click here for details. Any club member wishing to purchase items from the BSAC shop can order them via the club, saving on the postage, but you have ot be patient and wait until there are a few items to be ordered for other members. Alternatively, you can order direct and pay the postage yourself! Added 2/10/07

Dive 2007

Dive 2007 is being held at the NEC, Birmingham on Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th October.

Once again, we are running a competition to win a pair of tickets - only members of the club can enter and someone will win! All you have to do is answer the following question:


What is the partial pressure of oxygen at 25m when breathing Nitrox 36 and what is BSAC's recommended maximum operating depth if this is a no-stop dive?

E-mail your answers to Simon by the


Added 26/9/07


If you turned up at the Cornubia last night after 21:30. The pub was closed by the temporary landlord as he had hurt his back and needed to go to hospital. We meet again, at the Cornubia on Monday 1 October. Added 18/9/07

Club Equipment

We've just purchased 2 new BCDs and 2 x 15 litre cylinders which club members may borrow, free of charge. This gives us 4 complete sets of equipment that are suitable for open water use by our members - just the thing you need when you are starting your diving career or when you've put you gear in for servicing. Members: please remember all equipment is available on a first come, first served basis and you need to make arrangements to collect from and return to the store. Added 11/9/07

Mark Wollacott

Congratulations to Mark for on the completion of his Sports Diver course. The depths beckon, but Mark failed to break the elusive 30m around Falmouth last weekend! Added 11/9/07

3 Foot Lobster Caught!

The BBC is running a story about a 3 foot long, 50 year old lobster that has been wrestled into a goodie bag by a diver. Click here for the full story. Added 10/7/07

Martin Glanvill

Congratulations to Martin on completing his Dive Leader qualification with superb trip to Lundy aboard Pride of Bristol. Martin decided to take the course steadily so it only took him 3 years to complete! It is nevertheless an achievement, so well done!
Added 3/6/07

AGM Report

The following people were elected to the committee for the next 12 months:-

  Post Name
  Chairman Fiona Hampton-Matthews
  Diving Officer Rob Parsons
  Secretary Mark Siggins
  Treasurer Simon Hampton-Matthews
  Equipment Officer & Vice Chairman Martin Glanvill
  Committee Members Dave Walker
    Mark Wolacott

The meeting agreed that our club nights would be permanently moved to the Cornubia. This newly re-opened pub is located on Temple Street, behind the Central Fire Station. Click here for a map.

After the meeting Ralph Mortimore showed us a selection of his stunning underwater photographs. Thanks, Ralph, for showing us what is possible!

Thanks also go to Martin for arranging the use of the meeting room at Speedwell Fire Station and also to Avon Fire and Rescue Services for hosting the meeting.
Added 16/3/07

Club AGM Notice

The Annual General Meeting of Bristol Channel Divers is on 5 March at 19.30, at Speedwell Fire Station, Speedwell Road Bristol.

The formal business will be followed by the award-winning photographer, Ralph Mortimore, showing us some of his shots of underwater wildlife in the Red Sea and in other parts of the world.

IMPORTANT. We cannot park anywhere in the fire station itself - all fire station property is strictly off-limits to our vehicles. Please park in the tyre-fitters next door to the station. We have permission from them, on the usual proviso that they accept no responsibility for loss, damage, etc.

The fire station is on Speedwell Road, just where it runs west into Whitefield Avenue. Click here for a map.

For those of you with SatNav/GPS units: Latitude 51 degrees, 28', 1.74" N, Longitude 2 degrees, 31', 48.81" W

Added 1/2/07

Club Nights

Those of you who turned up to the Hole in the Wall on Monday 15 January, will have spotted that it was closed!! This came as a bit of a surprise to us all, but we're a versatile lot and re-located to the Cornubia. This newly re-opened pub is located on Temple Street, behind the Central Fire Station. Click here for a map. We'll continue to use the Corunubia until further notice.
Added 23/1/07

BSAC 2006 Incident Report

The 2006 Diving Incidents Report is now available to read and download on the BSAC's website. There has been a small reduction in the total number of incidents logged and the number of fatalaties is below the 10 year average. Please browse through the details in this report and use them to learn from others’ mistakes. They have had the courage and generosity to record their experiences for publication, the least that we can do is to use this information to avoid similar problems..
Added 3/1/07

Toxic U-Boat to be Sealed

U-864, sunk in the second world war has been identified as a toxic hazard and is to be covered to prevent further leakage. The BBC are reporting the details.
Added 24/12/06

Basking Sharks

Basking sharks have been spotted off the coast of south Devon this month, which is unusual. The BBC are reporting the details.
Added 11/11/06

Did you know....

At the start of the year BSAC, having consulted with various international bodies, changed its guidelines on resuscitation practices. Principally, the ratio changed to 30 compressions and 2 'rescue breaths'. Click here to read the full details. We have already introduced these new guidelines on all courses.
Added 5/11/06

Calling All UK Photographers

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency have asked for some good quality underwater images of UK diving for their own publicity. These are for display boards for their showstands and safety leaflets and should include divers rather than just underwater scenery. You would need to allow them full copyright access for publication but obviously will get some recognition as the photographer. Digital JPEG format preferred and as high a quality as possible. Please forward to Fiona and she will collate for the MCA.
Added 30/10/06

Competition Winner!

Debbie Ford has won our competition for tickets to Dive2006, being held at the NEC, Birmingham this weekend. Debbie correctly identified that Cogol de Veci is in the Dolomites and the cheesy connection is Rick Stanton's talk on diving Wookey Hole in Cheddar.
Added 11/10/06

Win Tickets to Dive 2006

Once again we are running a competition (for members only) to win 2 free tickets to Dive 2006 at the NEC in Birmingham. To enter all you have to do is answer the following question:

Where is Cogol de Veci and what is its cheesy connection?

Please e-mail you reply to Simon at his personal e-mail address (see Fiona's e-mail 8/9/06). Closing date Friday 6/10/06.
Added 28/9/06

Bristol Swimming Pools to Close??

The BBC is running a report about the possible closure of Jubilee and Bishopsworth swimming pools. Click here for the full story.
Added 26/9/06

Congratulations to...

Chris and Kris Grey for completing their Sports Diver qualifications also to Simon and Fiona Hampton-Matthews on becoming BSAC Advanced Divers. Lots of hard work has been put in by all 4. Thanks to all the Instructors involved as well.
Added 7/9/06

BSAC Depth Limits

In this month's BSAC talk (August 06) the Safety Section discusses the logic behind depth limits related to qualifications. Click here to open the document and scroll down towards the bottom of the page for the safety article.
Added 2/9/06

Mark Siggins...

...has completed his Sports Diver course after giving up his surface interval on the Falmouth trip (somewhere off Gull Rock) to take his exam, so can now can get officially 'narked' at 35m. Congratulations Mark; after your success with Swanage, when's the next trip?
Added 9/6/06


Simon tore his drysuit neck seal whilst on the Falmouth trip and thought his diving was over for the weekend - it might be elsewhere in the country but not in Falmouth! Aqua-Seals, based in Penrhyn, offer an emergency wet and dry suit repair service and will collect free in the Falmouth area. Three hours after handing the suit over on the dockside it was returned to the B&B with a new seal and for a modest £35. Brilliant service. To get in touch with Aqua-Seals call 01326 372399 or 07779 445851 or e-mail info@aquaseals.com. Make a note of the number now if you're planning a trip to Falmouth!
Added 9/6/06

Cromhall Quarry

We've just discovered a new inland diving site just off J14 of the M5 in South Gloucestershire. It is an ideal open water training site with a maximum depth of 17m, good underwater visibility, boat cover with oxygen on board. Open 09:00 to 17:00 at weekends, boat cover ceases at 16:00. You can either do a stride entry off a substantial pontoon or wade in at the opposite end of the lake. At either point you can park your car within walking distance of the water (even with a cylinder on your back). Entrance fee is £10 - instructor free if accompanied by 4 paying trainees. On-site facilities are sparse at the moment: make certain you take all the food, drinks and air you need.

Directions: (Click address for map then click top left red arrow to find the M5) Cromhall Quarry, Cromhall, South Gloucestershire, GL12 8AA. Phone: 07970 1832862. The quarry is on the north side of the B4058 and the entrance is next to some steel pallisade railings. It is sign-posted with a picture of an old -fashioned yellow diver's helmet on the railings. Follow the diving helmet signs through a lorry/coach park, taking care as you go.
Added 9/6/06

Interesting Facts

Did you know it was World Environment Day on 5th June? Here are some water-related facts:-

  1. 30% of the world's surface is land
  2. 30% of the world's land is desert
  3. 30% of land (other than deserts) is affected by desertification
  4. It takes 500 years for 2.5cm (an inch in old currency!) of soil to form
  5. The largest desert in the world is the Antarctic (13 million square kilometres, Sahara 9 million, Gobi 300,000. The definition of a desert is an area of land lacking vegetation, usually due to lack of water, but frozen water is not available to plants)
  6. The average bath uses 80 litres of water
  7. Only 2.5% of the world's water is fresh
  8. The average 5 minute shower uses 35 litres of water, less than half that of a bath
  9. Only 20% of the world's deserts are covered by sand
  10. A camel can drink 200 litres of water in one day, or even 100 litres in 10 minutes. Gaining water from their food, they can survive all winter without drinking and their humps are full of fat, not hollow water containers (although fat does contain water!)
  11. A slow dripping tap wastes 75 litres of water in one day, enough for two showers
  12. Bottled water costs a staggering 1,000 times as much as treated tap water
  13. 7,000 litres of water is used in the refining of one barrel of oil
  14. 3% of fresh water is found in rivers and lakes, almost 70 % is contained in ice while the remainder is in groundwater aquifers. In the water cycle only a fraction of the time of any individual water molecule is spent in the atmosphere, most is spent in the oceans, ground and ice.
  15. 5,000 litres of water are used in the production of one barrel of beer, so appreciate those Friday night drinks (and never go drinking with a camel, they can down them a lot faster than us!)!
    Added 9/6/06

'Hope for Coral' as Oceans Warm

Click here to read BBC's coverage of scientific discovery that corals may adapt to warmer temperatures.
Added 8/6/06

Mark Wollacott

Congratulations to Mark who has completed his Ocean Diver course. Well done Mark!
Added 1/6/06

Check Your Own Equipment

In May's Diver magazine (page 69 and now on their web site), John Liddiard explains how to perform a health check on your regulators, especially after the winter or after the kit has been serviced. There are many stories of people having their kit serviced professionally and it not working correctly. A check before you go diving may save your dive.
Added 11/5/06

Dump Your Lead!

Jim Watson, BSAC's Safety and Development Manager has published an article in this month's BSAC Talk urging all divers to carry out buoyancy checks to get rid of excess lead. He argues that many divers carry too much lead which, coupled with unfamiliarity with jettisoning weight belts in emergency situations, contributes to many incidents. Read Jim's full article now by clicking here and scrolling down to Safety Talk.
Added 3/5/06

HSE Calls for Better Regulator Servicing

Dive Magazine's web site is emphasizing the need for better regulator servicing following a recent Health & Safety Executive report.
Added 3/5/06

Nikki Rowe

John has let me know that Nikki has completed her Sports Diver course. Congratulations Nikki, a fine achievement!
Added 24/4/06

Club Member Wins Photo Competition

(©David George 2006).

One of our newest members, David George, has won Dive magazine's monthly 'Hot Shots' competition (see page 117 of May's edition). Click the picture to see a larger version of the winning photo Or visit Dave's own website by clicking here. Added 22/4/06

Subaquaholics - Mike's Dive Stores

Simon visited this dive shop, located in St Anne's to have his cylinders filled and found a very well-stocked shop that provide PADI training, equipment sales and hire, air fills and equipment servicing. The shop has plenty of free parking so there is no need to drag your cylinders a long way for them to be filled! It is run by Spike & Louise Johnson who took over the store and franchise in January. See the listing on the Local Dive Shops page for contact information. Pop in when you are passing and see what they have on offer! Added 22/4/06

AGM Report

The following people were elected to the committee for the next 12 months:-

  Post Name
  Chairman Fiona Hampton-Matthews
  Diving Officer John Prince
  Secretary Mark Siggins
  Treasurer Simon Hampton-Matthews
  Equipment Officer & Vice Chairman Martin Glanvill
  Committee Member Helen Howells

Thanks go to Martin for arranging the use of the meeting room at Speedwell Fire Station and also to Avon Fire and Rescue Services for hosting the meeting.
Added 22/3/06

Club Subscriptions Now Due

Will all club members please send a cheque for £40 to Simon, payable to Bristol Channel Divers SAC or pay by electronic transfer. Please also print and complete a medical self declaration form and send it to Simon at the same time. Click here to download the form. Details in Simon's e-mail dated 14/3/06.
Added 22/3/06

LIDS Competition Time!

This year’s London International Dive Show will be a feast for existing divers and newcomers alike. More than 250 companies will be lining up at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre on 1 and 2 April to show off the latest kit, holidays, training options, dive leisure wear, and much, much more. So, regardless of whether you have many years of experience under your belt or have just taken up the sport, LIDS 2006 will be one of the most important dates in your diving calendar.

With a whole year of fantastic diving ahead of you, LIDS is the perfect place to update and replace your old kit, catch up with the latest products to hit the market and keep abreast of diving courses on offer from, among others, BSAC and PADI.

And, if you’re stuck for dive holiday ideas, a wealth of destinations will be represented at the show, with holidays that range from the exotic to the adventurous and from the magical to the mysterious.
If all of this is not enough, when you’ve had your fill of shopping on the exhibition floor you can dip into a programme of presentations being given by some of the sport’s biggest names.

Divers Raise Graf Spee's Eagle

The Graf Spee was scuttled in the River Plate in 1939 and despite only lying in 10m of water, divers have only recently started salvaging the wreck. For full details click here to see the BBC's coverage
Added 10 Feb 2006

Artificial Gills for Divers?

An Israeli scientist has developed a machine that extracts air from water that might one day allow us to dive without tanks. Click here to read more details from the BBC's news story.
Added 2 Feb 2006

Seamanship Specialist

Our friends at Pembrokeshire Dive Charters are launching their status as BSAC Premier Dive Centre by running all the courses required to gain this BSAC qualification over the Easter weekend. For more information click here.
Added 14 Jan 2006


Your webmaster would like to wish you all a Happy New Year!
Added 1 Jan 2006

Click here to see older news items.

Respect Our Wrecks!