The initial Scot SAC dive qualification is called Sport Diver. The whole training typically takes about six to twelve months and is designed to make you a safe and competent diver. Training is FREE on joining the club.
Scot SAC allows Sport Diver training from age 14, although the club instructors prefers not to start training till age 16 or 17. All members must complete a medical self declaration to confirm their fitness to dive. Any Member answering 'Yes' to any of the questions on the self declaration will automatically be referred to the Scot SAC Medical Advisor. Diving is potentially dangerous for some illnesses or disabilities. There are more details about medical issues on the Scot SAC website.
Before starting training, each person must complete a Swimming Test (an easy one!) to ensure a certain level of confidence in the water.
Initial training is carried out in the pool where basic snorkeling and diving skills are learned in a safe environment. The skills are taught at a level and speed to suit each trainee.
Generally, there is one instructor per trainee.
Alex and Gordon practicing a Rescue Drill in the pool, watched by Allan, the Branch Diving Officer
There are also a series of lectures that teach the theory behind the skills that you are learning.
After the pool skills are complete, it is time to practice the same skills in the sea. The club provides the diving equipment for all this training FREE OF CHARGE. Every second Sunday is a designated ‘Open Water Training’ day, so there are plenty of opportunities to practice your skills in Loch Fyne with an instructor.
You will be awarded the Sport Diver qualification after completing the training, passing a written Theory test and carrying out a number of Open Water dives. This is an internationally recognized qualification – a Passport to dive around the world.
Two Moray Eels in a coral reef in one of the North Male Atolls in the Maldives (by F Davies)
If you wish, you can continue your instruction and gain an advanced Master Diver qualification. Other courses are available through Scot SAC on a number of diving related subjects such as Oxygen Administration, Nitrox & Deep Diving.