BSAC has released guidance to help members and the wider diving community prepare for a safe return to diving. A new website section – Safe Return to Diving guidance – is now live on bsac.com.
Working with other stakeholders including the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG) and the Sports and Recreational Alliance (SRA), BSAC has formulated guidelines that support a safe resumption of our sport, initially commencing with shore diving, which addresses all aspects that impact on facilitating our activities whilst contributing to the continued prevention of the spread of Covid-19.
From today, a phased resumption of diving activities commencing with limited shore-based diving is being supported by BSAC in England and Northern Ireland (although travel restrictions still apply). In Scotland and Wales, the return to diving has not yet been confirmed.
We will continue to work with various agencies to monitor the situation and to advocate for a responsible and safe return for divers in all parts of the UK.
Safe Return to Diving guidelines
A comprehensive set of guidelines have been prepared for the use of BSAC members and the wider diving community. The guidelines are all interrelated and each should not be read in isolation. Further notes relating to the guidelines:
- The guidelines are made in relation to the safe conduct of that activity but do not imply that it is currently acceptable for that activity if it is not consistent with the prevailing government rules.
- Divers should ensure that they fully read all the relevant guidelines in order to ensure that they do not place themselves or their buddies at increased risk of either infection or diving injury.
- Divers should take account of the significant break from diving caused by the lockdown and build their dive fitness slowly and avoid undertaking more challenging dives to reduce any increased burden on already strained emergency services and the NHS.
- Divers who have either tested positive or been treated for Covid-19 should consult a with a medical specialist before returning to diving.
BSAC National Diving Officer Dai Atkins said:
NDC Safety Group has spent time digesting the easing of lockdown rules issued by the UK government to determine how they may allow a return to limited diving activity. These rules are further complicated by the different routes followed by the devolved administrations. However, we believe that this framework takes the first steps in providing the necessary guidance to allow a safe return to diving activities where allowed by law.
When followed in conjunction with their training, safe diving protocols, and whilst exercising due caution and social distancing, members may now be able to resume shore diving activities and still act responsibly and considerately towards others.
The guidance will continue to be updated to reflect the understanding of the impact of the pandemic and changing national and devolved government rules so please check regularly for updates.