This year turned out to be a tough one, the majority of the ice diving that I offered ended up cancelled due to Covid19 restrictions, however we did manage to run a couple of courses for some divers planning to work with the British Antarctica Survey, as well as for someone who is now working as a diver with the US Antarctica Program at Palmer Station.
Ice diving can be a serene and beautiful aspect of scuba diving. As a winter activity, ice diving offers the opportunity to enjoy sport diving year round. Diving under ice presents hazards not common to the open water diver, and special training is required. The purpose of this course is to acquaint the diver with the hazards associated with ice diving, as well as how to plan and execute an ice dive.
My own background of working in ice and winter conditions comes from over 30yrs of mountaineering and diving in some of the harshest conditions around the world. Bringing this experience of extreme conditions into the ice diving world gives me a better, real world appreciation of what is involved. It is a phenomenal experience and one that I recreate in the UK.
The problem with UK ice diving is that we cannot guarantee having ice, so in order to do our best to get the ice I locate all the training in Scotland, predominantly out of Loch Insh, and utilising the nearby lochs to get the ice. Sometimes even heading into some altitude locations to ensure getting the ice.
If you’ve never tried ice diving before, then this is an amazing experience that you must try. The course involves a theory section that you can complete online, followed by a day of practical, where not only will you get two dives under the ice, but also get to learn the practical safety management and rescue skills side of ice diving for real.
Its too late this year to do it in the UK, however add it to your bucket list for 2022 and enjoy the video of this year courses.