Following the reopening of swimming pools in England in August, we ran COVID-compliant pool sessions until England’s second lockdown started on 5 November. While Ironmonger Row Baths were open, Clidive was the only occupant of the complex during its shortened session (8.00pm-9.00pm). Drawing on BSAC guidelines, and in agreement with IRB staff, we developed our own procedures and protocols that all users had to comply with.
We are waiting to find out whether we will be allowed back into the pool once the Tier system is reintroduced, but are currently assuming that this won’t be the case. We will update members once we have some clear information.
We carried out some limited pool training for members who were unable to complete their courses before lockdown, and started a new Sports Diver course at the end of September. Even while the pool was open, we didn’t have the facilities for face-to-face theory training, which we continued to run over Zoom. As mentioned above, some pool training took place, but we can’t yet fully teach all the rescue skills.
We are half way through Dive Leader theory sessions. These will be completed as soon as is feasible.
During lockdown, we ran a short programme of non-qualification training on a range of diving-related topics, using Zoom. We are planning a further programme for next year and will keep members fully informed.
Open Water Training
Quarry training possibilities are currently limited by new procedures at Stoney Cove and Guildenburgh Water, as well as by difficulties hiring wetsuits. We will get in touch with trainee ODs as soon as we can find a sensible way forward.
Sports Diver and above
We hope to be able to organise some open water training opportunities next year and will be in touch with trainees in person as soon as we can.
We ran one hard-boat day and three COVID-compliant weekend RIB trips to Plymouth and West Bay. Numbers had to be limited as the maximum number of divers we can take on the RIB is four, or up to six if we have couples participating. We also ran a trip to the Lake District in October for experienced Sports Divers and above.
Based on our experience so far, we have developed our own guidance for RIB diving with Clidive during COVID-19, which we will continue to review as BSAC and government guidance evolve.
We are currently putting together a full programme of diving for 2021. All members will be sent a copy and the programme will be published on our website in late December as usual.
During lockdown we are running regular Thursday night Zoom sessions, comprising a talk followed by chat. Weekly email reminders are going out to members – please join us!
Last updated 26 November 2020