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Q&A

Most common questions that we are asked, if your question is not covered please feel free to contact us.

Who are Stockton Divers?

Formed in 1980 we currently have around 72 members. We have twice been awarded dive club of the year. 


The club meets up on a Thursday evening at Thornaby swimming pool for training or just a swim, later we meet up socially at Thornaby Football Club where we have our clubhouse.

Training takes place all year round and we have an active diving program which runs from March to December.

The club has its own dive boat with all the latest safety and wreck finding technology onboard

Is scuba diving is safe?

Scuba diving has a really good safety record and this is mainly due to the training we do before participating in our adventurous sport. Stockton Divers training is renowned for being extremely thorough and what's different about our club is we build in safety skills and training from the start. Scuba diving's good safety record is justified by good training, sound equipment and safe practices. Stockton Divers will teach you everything you need to know to be a competent safe diver.

Do you have any age limits or restrictons?

The minimum age for training with our club as a SCUBA diver is 14yrs

There is no maximum age for SCUBA training your own fitness will dictate.

The minimum age for a try snorkel session or full snorkel training is 13yrs. 

The minimum age for participating on a try dive in full SCUBA equipment is 14 yrs

Anyone under the age of 14 can take up SCUBA diving but this will be with the local PADI dive centre in Stockton, which is Fourth Element Diving.

Can I book a Try Dive at the pool?

Yes, use the contact form on the home page and we will arrange this for you. Try dives cost £15. Payment for the session is cash only as we have no card facilities at the pool.
Minimum age for participants is 14 yrs.

I wear glasses, will this stop me from diving?

Absolutely not
You can either have lenses made exactly to your prescription (full lenses, reading lenses or bifocals) or have readymade corrective lenses fitted to a mask body. Most manufacturers of diving masks have models designed to accommodate prescription lenses, and also supply the corrective lenses in a range of standard minus dioptres for those who do not require astigmatic correction. 
Dive shops can fit these lenses at the point of sale. (Of course, as soon as you remove your diving facemask, you will need to put on glasses or fit contact lenses to recover normal surface vision). Most leading manufacturers of diving equipment include ready-made corrective lenses and masks to accommodate them in their product ranges.  Your local dive shop should be able to help you find a suitable mask.

I trained with SAA-PADI-CMAS-SSAC-NAUI-SSI- Divers, can I join you?

Great news you can continue your diving with us without any need for crossovers to another agency, all you need to ensure is you have your own third party insurance. Just join together with like minded people in your locality to enjoy scuba diving.

It doesn’t matter who you trained with or if you have never dived in UK waters before, A warm welcome awaits

I am a PADI trained self sufficient diver what can a dive club offer?

As a PADI or similar trained diver you may have gained your qualification and now may feel isolated . Being in a club offers you the safety of group diving and the opportunity to meet and mix with like mined individuals, share  experiences and plan future diving activities. At the end of the diving day you can take part in the dive debrief and raise a glass or two.

I have a tech diving qualification with TDI, GUE, PADI or another agency could I fit in with your membership.

All divers with technical qualifications are made most welcome,  we have members who are trained on Inspiration and Revo units and are available to assist with your technical questions and share your technical diving activities and future skills progression.

Do I need a medical certificate?

Our training agency rules currently state that no new member may take part in any SCUBA or open water activity without a completed Self-Declaration Medical Form appropriate to their class of membership.
A Self-Declaration Medical From is valid for one year and is required at each annual membership renewal.
If you do not meet the criteria you will have the opertunity to be signed off by an approved Diving Doctor before you can dive.
There is no maximum age limit for either a Try Dive or Diving as long as you meet the current self-declaration medical requirements.

Do I need insurance?

All members who use our pool facilities or take part in Open water diving activities require third party insurance .
This is available through the diving agency that you are associated with or taken out privately through DAN, insurance4sport etc.
The membership co-ordinator will discuss your requirements

What equipment will I need?

Club members undergoing Ocean Diver training in the pool will have free use of club equipment and free air fills
It is a good idea, however, to buy your own basic kit, of mask, fins and snorkel as soon as you can. You can get these from 4th Element in Stockton or Denney diving in Redcar. Basic kit costs a few pounds for a snorkel, masks are about £25+ and fins start at around £25. For open water training later on you will need to get your own full set of kit and you will be given this information during your training.

Do Stockton Divers provide the ability for online learning?

For the first training grades of Ocean Diver and Sport Diver the  training will be held exclusively in-house. It is imperative that our experienced instructors have face to face interaction with the trainees at this level and can help with any problems that may crop up.
For Dive Leader and above , online learning can be undertaken after consultation with both the Training Officer and the Diving Officer.

I am a trained diver and would like to become an instructor can you help?

We encourage it. Although we cannot run instructor training in house, if you want to become an Instructor we can help you along the way. The first step on the ladder will be the Instructor Foundation Course once you have completed that, the club will subsidise the costs of the next stages. We have a lot of instructing experience in the club all of which can be useful in gaining the correct tecniques.

How much time do I have to invest?

For Ocean Diver your 6-8 pool sessions will take place at Thornaby pool from 7pm until 8pm, following that you will have 7 lecture sessions on Thursday evenings from 8.15pm until 9.30 - 10.00pm.

What happens if I miss a training session?

At Stockton Divers all our instructors are volunteers. It is therefore very important that you try your hardest to attend all the organised training sessions. If you have a genuine reason for not attending please contact the Training Officer at the earliest opportunity. We will always try our best to organise another training session. However, it may not always be possible to rearrange your training straight away.

What is it like diving in the UK?

You remember those wonderful pictures of the on TV, of clear blue seas and divers in wet suits swimming though colourful coral forests surrounded by multi-coloured fish? Yes? Well, it’s nothing like that. It’s colder, darker and the visibility is usually much lower (although it can at times surprise you). Why do we do it then? It can be very rewarding, UK waters around the UK are rich with marine life and are some of the best in the world for wreck diving – the feeling of descending a shot line down onto the deck of a wreck, turning on your torch and startling a lobster out of its hole is hard to describe. You glide along the deck towards the wheel house shining your torch into passing portholes, stopping to look at some piece of wreckage. It’s a very different sort of diving that you’ll get abroad in warmer climes. You just have to try it …
The reduced visibility also means that we dive in a different manner here in the UK compared with warmer climates. In warm seas diving is mainly in escorted groups led by guides, whereas in the UK we dive as an independent two person team (known as a buddy pair), each diver being fully trained in navigation, rescue, life saving etc. That is why the UK based training agencies take longer to train a basic diver: there is more to learn.

What social media  do you use?

The Dive Club uses many types of social media. All members are contacted about diving activities and social functions internally by Scuba Text based on What's App. Club activities are also published in a diluted form on our Twitter account. We also have a Facebook page which is a social group used for sharing information about diving, interesting news, selling equipment etc. It is not used for organising dives. Members will always contact the Diving Officer when organising a dive.
Both Facebook and Twitter can be linked to at the bottom of this page.

What are the membership fees for Stockton Divers?

The membership fees of Stockton Divers are due each year on the common renewal date of 1st July. New members joining at other times of the year pay fees on a pro rata

quarterly basis.

Full member = £170 (£3.27 per week, less than a price of a pint)

Snorkel member = £70

Social / associate member = £5
Fees are reviewed on an annual basis. 

Is there a discount for Family Membership?

There is a family membership discount which is given to a family unit that contains a junior member under the age of 18.

Qualifying families having one fully paid up adult diving member shall be entitled to a discount of 25% of the appropriate individual membership fee applicable to each additional family member.

For example - for a family of 4 comprising 2 adults [1 full diving member, 1 social member] and 2 children [1 aged 15, a full diving member training to be an ocean diver, and 1 aged 11, a snorkel member], shall be charged as follows:- adult diving member - full fee; adult social member - 25% discount; child diving member - 25% discount; child snorkel member - 25% discount.

Once a child reaches the age of 18 they shall no longer qualify for inclusion in the family discount scheme unless they continue to be students in full time education. Such individuals shall be expected to be an individual club member in their own right. Thus in the above example family once the older child reached the age of 18 and if no longer a student he/she would become an individual member and the 3 remaining family members would qualify for the discount scheme. Once the younger child also reached the age of 18 and if no longer in full time education then all 4 family members would become individual members paying the full club membership fee applicable to their grade of membership.

What are training fees?

Training fees are fees that are charged by the British Sub Aqua Club for them to supply membership to their organisation, for the supply of BSAC training packs and qualification record books, BSAC certification cards and their third party insurance. Local diving amenities and air suppliers are also covered by this fee.

Fee covering both Ocean Diver and Sport Diver if completed in 1 year will cost £404, based on 1 adult, junior diver will be slightly less.

Do you train members to the BSAC Advanced Ocean Diver Grade.

No.
The BSAC Advanced Ocean Diver grade has been brought in to compete with the PADI Advanced Open Water qualification, Stockton Divers do not train to this qualification as we believe it is just a money maker for BSAC schools.
We train to Sport Diver as this contains rescue and other skills missing from the AOD.
It is more financially viable and you will receive a more complete skills base going straight to Sport,
Although we do not train this grade the club welcomes divers already at this level.

How does your costs compare to PADI?

Stockton Divers membership, personal third party insurance and training fee to BSAC etc = £464

During your first years training you will be taught many different aspects of SCUBA diving, which are listed below.

PADI can also provide the same skills training but you will find that they are broken down into individual courses all with their own price tag.

Below are the skill sets you will be taught by Stockton Divers and the price charged by PADI for their courses, for comparison.

PADI. Dry suit course £118

PADI. Open water Diver £450

PADI. Open Advanced Water Diver £300

PADI. Rescue Diver £163

PADI. Nitrox Diver £163

PADI. Underwater navigator £118

PADI. Peak performance buoyancy £118

PADI. Boat Diver £118

PADI. Emergency first response £64

PADI. Wreck Diver £118

PADI. Search and Recovery diver £118

Total costs you would pay for PADI training to the equivalent qualification level you will achieve as a Sport Diver with Stockton Divers is £1848. An extra £1384 more to learn all your skills with PADI.

(Prices taken from PADI course catalogue at PADI.com)

I will be going on holiday where there is a dive company, can you teach me  to dive before I go?

A club based dive training is probably not the best route for you to take, you will be required to purchase your own kit to continue your open water elements with us. If you are wanting to train as a now and again "holiday diver" you will be better off attending a PADI dive school where you can rent equipment as your  training requires. 
If you do get the bug once you have tried holiday diving, then come along and discuss this with us and we can plan a route forward for you.

FAQ: FAQ
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