I'm a diver, but not certified by BSAC, do I need crossover training to dive with you?
If you have certified with a diving agency other than BSAC (e.g. PADI, SSI, SAA, NAUI etc.) then you can dive with us when you join the club and within the limitations of your existing agency certification. There is no need for you to do any crossover training. However, if you have not dived in a drysuit or in UK waters before, you will need some training which we can provide.
What's the difference between your club and PADI?
There are a few differences but the main one is that we are a club and not a commercial organisation. We have an enthusiastic group of divers who arrange dives for fun and not for profit. We have a social scene, meeting for drinks, BBQs, dinners etc. We go on dive trips and holidays together. Our training is delivered on a not-for-profit basis by enthusiastic, nationally trained volunteers so training courses are delivered at cost only (after the basic training, they are typically free, or at nominal cost). Like PADI, our training is thorough and recognised internationally, however BSAC training additionally focusses on safety and rescue and diving in cold water (UK) conditions.
It’s some time since I dived, do you offer refresher training?
Yes, we offer refresher training but only to divers interested in becoming club members.
When and where do Try Dives take place?
We run Try Dives once a month on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. They take place at Bridge of Don Pool from 7:45pm to 10:15pm. We provide all of the equipment and instruction you need. You will need to complete a medical self-certification before you can take part.
What is the minimum age?
There is no minimum age for Try Dives and diver training can start at age 10, however we find that anyone under 12 struggles with the weight and restrictions of the equipment necessary for UK diving - it's also very difficult to find suitable equipment to fit very young divers. It’s best to talk to us about anyone of this age or less wanting to take part.
How fit do I need to be?
You don't need an Olympic athlete to dive but reasonable level of fitness is required for UK diving. The equipment is heavy, and you will need to carry it, you will be climbing in and out of boats and a certain amount of swimming can be involved. Also, in order to dive with us, you need to be free of certain medical conditions that are a risk to divers. The current medical conditions which may prevent you from diving are on BSACs website. If you suffer from any of these conditions, you can only dive if you are approved by a diving doctor (we can link you up with one).
How much does it cost to train with you?
Training to become an Ocean Diver costs around £400 and takes about 6 months. Once qualified, you can dive to 20m - which is deep enough to dive at all of our local sites. After qualifying, we provide further training to all BSAC certification levels. Ongoing training is free to club members other than some small incidental costs for manuals and log books (about £45).
How long does diver training take?
It takes about 6 months to get fully qualified as a BSAC Open Water diver. The course consists of six 90 minute theory lectures which we normally conduct by Zoom. A theory test. Five pool lessons of about an hour each and four open water (sea or quarry) lessons. We typically start lecture training in October, conduct pool sessions over winter and conclude the open water sessions when the water is warmer in March/April. You can proceed a little faster or take more time if you wish to.
When can I train?
We run one entry level training course per year. We commence in October and have most people qualified to dive by March.
What equipment do I need?
For basic training you will need a drysuit, appropriate thermal undergarments, hood, gloves and a dive computer. The rest can be rented from the club for £20 per day. You can continue to rent equipment indefinitely but most members buy their own equipment sets typically within their first year.
What equipment does the club have?
We have a number of air compressors and an inflatable boat. We have access to two other RIBs which we use for local diving. In addition we have a reasonable stock of full equipment sets (tanks regulators, BCDs, mask, fins, etc.) which we can rent to club members. We do not provide drysuits as these are tailored to individuals.
How much does the equipment cost?
New equipment can cost over £3,000. Considerable savings can be made buying second hand but there is a risk of purchasing poor quality equipment. We provide club members with help and support when buying their own equipment. The club has a limited stock of equipment that we can rent to members for £20 per day, however you will need to purchase your own drysuit, thermal undergarments, hood, gloves and dive computer which is still expensive (around £1,200 for new items).
Where do you dive?
We dive locally at a number of sites around the north east coast. Popular sites are at Stonehaven, Cove, Peterhead and Pennan. We also organise weekend, week long and two week trips to dive more remote sites around Scotland and beyond. In 2022 we had 9 dive trips including Oban, Scapa Flow, St Kilda, Orkney and Dunbar. Please see our Galleries page to view recent photos of dive trips, local dives and sea life.
When do you meet?
We meet monthly on the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:30pm in Brewdog Castlegate, Aberdeen city centre. We also have pool sessions on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.
Do you accept guest divers who do not belong to your club?
BSAC members from other clubs may dive and train with the club at the discretion of our Diving Officer. Trained divers from other agencies expressing an interest to join the club can dive with the club for a limited number of times.