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  • As part of your BSAC membership, you have third-party liability insurance which includes member to member liability insurance. You should check the policy details published on the member insurance pages of this website, or speak to BSAC, to make sure the insurance meets your needs.
  • Make sure you are adequately insured for other risks, for example, if diving overseas.
    - Travel insurance policies often have territorial limits, and are only valid in certain countries.
    - In addition to civil and criminal liability cover, you may need rescue and medical insurance to avoid potentially huge bills in the event of an accident.
    - Some policies place restrictions on the type of diving they cover depth limits, within the limits of your qualification, with/without an instructor (if you exceed the limits this may invalidate the policy).
    - Look at the depth limits of the policy; check on cover for criminal acts, check on cover for kit, what repatriation costs are covered; check whether recompression chamber treatment costs are included; check the medical treatment cover.
  •  The BSAC policy does not cover personal or club diving equipment or boats, and it is a BSAC rule that all boats used for branch diving, whether privately owned or not, must be insured for third-party risks with a minimum indemnity limit as recommended by BSAC. Your club therefore needs to make sure that this is in place.
  • If you own a boat which you use for diving it is your responsibility to ensure it is properly insured.
  • If your club uses the club boat for water skiing then you should make sure that this is covered by your insurance policy. 
  • If a diver has an incident likely to result in a claim on the BSAC insurance policy, then they must make sure that it is reported to BSAC promptly. Further details on reporting incidents and the insurance policy can be found on this website.


  • There are relatively few UK laws or regulations covering recreational diving, however you should be aware of basic UK wreck law.
  • If you recover any item from a wreck (whether cargo, parts of the wreck, or other items) you need to declare it to the Receiver of Wreck, a government official. You must also declare items that you have recovered abroad, but are bringing back into the UK. Report wreck material
  • Some historic and military wrecks are protected. 

    - In some cases this means that all diving is forbidden on or near the wreck.
    - In other cases, you are allowed to dive the wreck, but need to obtain permission from the licensee beforehand. The licensee may stipulate restrictions, such as no penetration, when granting a licence.

  • You are generally not allowed to take items from protected wrecks.

  • Protected wrecks are marked on nautical charts, and a list can be obtained from the Receiver of Wreck.

  • In the UK, you may need a licence from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) if you plan to lay permanent structures or remove material from the seabed, including wreck, shellfish, marine litter etc. (see MMO website)
    - There are UK minimum landing sizes and maximum numbers for fish and shellfish, including lobsters, crabs, and scallops. There may also be close seasons for some species.
    - In some areas of the sea there are restrictions on whether, or when you are allowed to take shellfish. In some cases you must have a licence before doing so. You should check the local by-laws before taking any shellfish.

  • There is legislation covering boating and towing boats on public roads. You can find out about this by attending the BSAC Boat Handling skill development course, and by finding out 'what you can tow' on and find out more about boats and seamanship on this website. 

  • If you are teaching ‘at work’ in the UK then the Diving At Work Act 1997 and its Attendant Codes of Practice (ACOPS) apply to you. ‘At work’ means that you are diving for profit. Having legitimate expenses reimbursed does not mean that you are ‘at work’.
    - Some elements of the ACOPS apply to all types of paid diving. 
    - Other elements only apply to specific sectors of the industry. 
    - The sectors most relevant to BSAC divers are when diving as part of an archaeological or scientific survey; when instructing for reward; or when diving as part of a media project. Each of these genres have a dedicated Code of Practice which is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

Reporting accidents and incidents

  • You should tell BSAC about any diving incident, by completing an incident report form, which is available on the incident reporting pages of this website.
  • You should not only report incidents that might give rise to an insurance claim. BSAC collects and collates incident data. It uses this information to analyse trends in diving incidents, and to improve diver training and safe diving practices.
  • You should report incidents even they were successfully resolved and no-one got hurt. For example, if your buddy’s octopus free flows and you successfully share gas to the surface, you should still report this as it will help us understand how well the techniques we are teaching work in practice.

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