Mansfield British Sub Aqua Club want you to take the plunge

A MANSFIELD diving club which has been exploring the depths for more than 50 years is on the lookout for people to take part in its next ocean dive course. So, why not take the plunge?

The Mansfield 735 British Sub Aqua Club (BASC), based at Ashfield School and Lamas Pool, Sutton, is running a course this winter and hopes to have a new school of qualified divers ready for the season in May.

Instructor Helen Clare says the trainees will learn to dive to 20 metres and hopefully go on to higher grades within the sport.

“It is a fascinating sport like no other,” she said. “It is a truly magical world once you get in there. Every week there is a social event and people become part of a big social club.”

Helen has dived all over the world and seen sharks, including the infamous great white, in their natural environment.

She says the club accepts all ages and some of its original members still attend.

But anyone wanting to enrol on the ocean dive course must be at least 12. Trainees have seven theory lessons, learn skills in the pool, then revise those skills in sheltered water at the Stoney Cove quarry in Leicestershire.

Helen, who has been a member of the club for 11 years and is a British Sub Aqua Club qualified instructor, said beginners learn core skills, like using buoyancy to stabilise themselves in the water, mask clearing and removing the breathing regulator while under water.

“We work through the winter and hope to have them ready by May,” she said. “Some people get the skills straight away but with others it can take two years.”

The course costs £230 but budding divers can take as long as they need to complete it. Included in the cost is one-to-one instruction, equipment hire and membership of the British Sub Aqua Club.

If you are a nautical novice, however, you can Try a Dive for a fiver, where first-timers from the age of eight upwards can have an hour-long session.

Helen added: “At the end they say they absolutely love it or they are terrified. It is a very family-oriented club so if someone wants to learn to dive, the wife and kids can come along and watch.”

Mansfield 735s meet at Ashfield School on Mondays between 7.45-9.45pm and at Lamas Pool on Saturdays between 5-6pm. For more information email dave.ansty@gmail.com.