Marg Baldwin talks of planning snorkel trips away and how many things including accommodation need to be rethought

Snorkellers and divers are generally a social bunch this is certainly the experience in my Branch.  We have several young people and to help keep costs down for all on weekends away we seek out bunk houses, hostels and often Scout Huts as economic options for accommodation.  The current situation and the need to comply with social bubble requirements has removed many of our normal accommodation choices.  Ideally we still wish to visit the coast – so different ideas are needed such as identifying two social bubbles who can be together, reducing the number of trips and accepting we will have to pay more for accommodation; exploring suitable locations closer to home where a ‘day trip’ for a small number is possible. 

Once at a location we need to manage our snorkelling group, to stay within Government regulations, be respectful to the local people of the area we are visiting and apply all aspects of Snorkel Dive Management for the Safety of our Snorkellers. Remember in England we can only socialise outdoors in a group of up to six people from different households, or in larger groups if everyone is exclusively from one or two households.

Liaison with Coastal locations and Dive Centres

Dive Centres are keen to help, they are familiar with local conditions and Covid-19 related necessities in their area. They will welcome your business even if it is just to replace a lost snorkel. Many have links with local accommodation who are well informed as to how groups can organise themselves to retain social bubble and distancing requirements. Do allow yourself lots to time to get arrangements in place and be prepared to stay flexible as central government and possibly local government regulations change. If you already have long standing booking be prepared for the offer to transfer it over to 2021.

Respect the locals

Many locals at coastal locations will welcome visitors, some may be less welcoming, and others could be nervous of what they see as a disparate group of people arriving at their beach or cove. It will help if there are no more than six people together. We need to behave in an orderly organised manner with someone clearly acting as a group leader. We should take up the minimum of space and make sure than when we leave – no trace of our visit is left behind.

Snorkel Dive Management

The Snorkel Dive Manager course was completely revised and made available in 2019. A full set of detailed Instructor Resources in support of the Snorkel Dive Manager programme can be downloaded from the BSAC Website from the same location as the other Snorkel training resources. More info here on Snorkel Dive Manager 

The course aims to teach experienced Advance Snorkel Divers the relevant:

  • Theory knowledge required to safely organise, manage and supervise group snorkelling activities and manage incidents.
  • Practical skills required to safely organise, manage, and supervise group snorkelling activities and manage incidents.
  • And to encourage Advanced Snorkel Divers to develop their snorkel diving experience in a range of sites and conditions.

I am sure we will all find the revised SDM material relevant and helpful as we plan and engage in our snorkelling activities.

Remember to keep up-to-date on the latest guidance as lockdown eases on the Safe Return to Diving page.

Think safe - snorkel safe

Marg Baldwin

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Covid-19 Safe Diving guidance

BSAC has produced extensive guidance to help members and the wider diving community stay safe while diving, snorkelling and training during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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