We love driving boats
“Believe me, my young friend; there is nothing, absolutely nothing – half as much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” – Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows
Driving the boats does not excite everyone (it is a lot of extra responsibility) but many of us just love it. Clidive usually has fifteen to twenty active coxswains (boat drivers) that enable us to deliver an adventurous dive programme from our own boats. And with the right training, practice and qualifications there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to become one of them. Here is how to do it.
Boat Handling – two day course
The club runs the BSAC Boat Handling course. This is run over a weekend and gives you a basic grounding in handling powerboats, navigation, chart work, tides and boat care. Clidive has many Boat Handling Instructors and we run up to four courses a year on the Thames during the off-season.
Oxygen Administration – one day course
We carry oxygen on both our boats and it is important that we have as many people as possible qualified to use it. Almost every diving-related injury is helped by administering oxygen.
On the BSAC Oxygen Administration course, you will learn how to use our O2 equipment to provide first aid to a diver with suspected decompression illness, injury or shock. We will also teach you CPR (or refresh your skills) and show you how oxygen makes CPR more effective. The course is hands-on and fun, involving lots of practical scenarios.
VHF Radio – online course
Each of our boats carries two VHF marine radios to allow us to talk to each other, other boats and the coastguard. To use a VHF radio, you need to do an online course and exam. We have an in-house RYA instructor to examine you. You will learn how to operate a radio and what to say to make MAYDAY radio calls. It is a really interesting course and you will become a licensed VHF radio operator.
An internationally recognised boat handling certificate
Once you have done the Boat Handling course, you can drive our boats on club trips to build up your seamanship skills. This will always be under the supervision of one of our coxswains. When you have enough confidence you can take the BSAC Diver Coxswain exam where your boat handling skills will be assessed by one of our Diver Coxswain Examiners.
When you have passed the BSAC Diver Coxswain you can apply to BSAC for an ICC (International Certificate of Competence) for powerboats up to 10m. The ICC is widely accepted abroad as evidence of competence to allow you to charter and be in charge of boats within the level of your certification.
Becoming a club coxswain
With a little more experience under the supervision of our coxswains driving the boats in a variety of conditions, and safely managing diving from the boats, the last step is to apply to the Diving Officer to be ratified as a Clidive coxswain, which enables you to be in charge of and drive our boats without supervision.