Caroline Sampson of Anglesey Divers died on Saturday 8 June 2019. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on Friday 24 May, just days after her 51st birthday
Scuba divers and industry personnel across all agencies have acknowledged the passionate contribution Caroline Sampson made to British scuba diving.
BSAC Chief Executive Mary Tetley said:
Caroline and Martin ran a BSAC School of Excellence - it was one of the best centres in its day. Caroline’s attention to detail and providing an excellent service in her BSAC Centre meant the world to her. She was the nicest person, a gem of a person. Nothing was too much for her. She was very positive and upbeat. She will be so missed by all who knew her.
Caroline’s diving days started with “Bristol No3” BSAC in the 1980s…
On 5 March 1985 two young divers from the Bristol Diving Club – affectionately known as ‘Bristol No3’ BSAC – went out on a date. Martin Sampson (23) had been teaching Caroline (17) to dive. This was the start of an exceptionally strong personal and business partnership that was to last 35 years.
In 1989 Martin took a gap year from the Polymer industry and moved to North Wales to teach scuba diving at the 'Anglesey Diving Centre'. Martin quickly fell in love with the place, and when Caroline moved up to join him later that summer, she was of the same mind. They have never left.
Martin and Caroline subsequently bought the business in 1996 and established the 'Anglesey Diver Training College'. (It was later renamed Anglesey Divers). Martin was a BSAC National Instructor, whilst Caroline was a BSAC Advanced Instructor. Together the Sampsons ran an exemplary BSAC Centre. The couple were forward thinking and adopted tech at their centre long before rebreathers, nitrox and staged diving were the norm.
Caroline was a skilled BSAC Instructor and Advanced Diver. In Martin’s words:
Caroline did a lot of BSAC teaching. Everything from Club / Ocean Diver through to Advanced Diver. She particularly enjoyed teaching the First Aid and Oxygen courses. She had a wicked sense of humour, and she was terrific at conjuring up inventive different scenarios for people to work with. It was all relevant and it certainly added to the fun of the day. It meant that our students really learnt their stuff.
The dive centre was popular with the Regional Coaching teams. Martin Sampson said:
I was on the BSAC circuit for 13 years teaching for the North West, Wales and South West regions. Caroline and I ran a lot of instructor training courses at the Anglesey Diver Training College. We made a great team. I taught and she was the Local Organiser, joining up all the dots and making the logistics work.
Caroline also organised and ran a number of British expeditions and trips and favoured using MV Maureen of Dart. Martin recalled:
Caroline liked running trips for fairly new divers. We would take BSAC Sport Divers or PADI Advanced Open Water Divers and give them their first experience of diving off a British liveaboard… I can remember Caroline having to chivvy individuals off the boat because they just did not want to go home after such a fantastic trip. They had been converted from being a beginner into a proper diver who loved British sea diving. She was such a great advocate of our sport.