The Diving Community Pulls Together And Proves That Scuba Diving Is A Friendly Community Which Looks After Its Own

There is no doubt that the scuba diving community is a kind hearted lot, and a group of scuba divers from Clitheroe aim to prove just that by undertaking a five mile relay to remember one of their club members. The Ribble Valley branch of the British Sub Aqua Club will be participating in their second sponsored charity event challenge to remember Duncan Priestly who died in August 2013 from cancer. Mr Priestly was from Accrington and 59 years old when he died. A popular member of the club, his fellow members are now raising money to raised funds for the RNLI.

Lake District Challenge

20 pairs of buddy scuba divers will use a relay system in Lake Coniston to cover fiver and a half miles of water. Fiona Imlach, the club’s training officer, said:

“It’s going to be quite a job scuba diving the length of Coniston underwater. We will be doing it in buddy pairs with divers keeping to a depth of six metres. The pairs will use a compass and will trail a surface marker buoy so the safety crew knows exactly where they are. We will have two rigid inflatable boats with the second one ferrying the next pair of divers.Duncan was one of our most active members, a hugely popular guy, always up for a laugh.”

“That’s why, last year, we decided to do ‘silly’ things underwater to raise money for Pendleside Hospice where he spent his last days. The hospice was fantastic and even arranged for him to marry his partner, Joan. Last year we did all sorts of sponsored silly things such as an underwater gym session, underwater draughts, one diver wrote 100 lines, one ate lots of different types of fruit and one munched his way through a pile of sausages. We were thrilled with the amount we raised and decided to make it an annual event in Duncan’s memory with a different charity benefiting each year.”

This is a tough challenge which would not be suitable for first time divers. However, the community spirit on display is much more positive than another recent diving story that hit the headlines.

Environmental activist attacked in Hawaii coral reef

Rene Umberger was attempting to document a diver illegally collecting fish in Kailua, Kona. When the man noticed Rene he swam over to her and pulled out her air supply. Understandably, this has outraged the diving community around the world and there are strong calls for the man to be found and charged with attempted murder.

Authorities are investigating the incident. Fortunately, Rene’s training kicked in and she managed to stay calm and reattach her air. It just goes to show the importance of receiving proper professional training. It is also always a good idea to get specialist insurance when scuba diving in case equipment becomes damaged. The vast majority of the scuba diving community are fantastic people, and one bad apple should not be allowed to spoil the bunch – the divers in Clitheroe won’t let him!

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