Organising a Dive!

Organising a dive

All divers in GUSAC are welcome to organise a club dive, and are encouraged to do so, whatever your level. It’s the best way to ensure that you get to go diving! This guide is designed to give you a brief checklist of SOME of the essential steps and safety precautions required to organise a GUSAC dive.

This is only intended as an overview, but there is a lot of information! So if you are not sure about anything, ask someone on the committee or one of the more experienced members of the club for help.

Don’t forget all planning must include our friendly Diving Officer, and all plans must be run past the DO for approval at least 48 hours BEFORE an intended dive. In some cases more advance notice must be given (e.g. first time organising a dive, an expedition, a new site).

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Advance Planning

  • Choose the purpose of your dive (fun, training etc.) and in conjunction with the D.O. select suitable dive site to start your dive planning.
  • Inform the T.O. if you wish to conduct/receive any training on your trip.
  • Select a suitable dive level for the divers e.g. open to Ocean Divers and above or is the trip aimed at more experienced divers?
  • Is this a day dive/week long expedition? Contact the Expedition Officers and D.O. for advice- you may be asked to research an expedition site i.e. does this require a charter boat/accommodation etc.
  • Use the Mailing List to contact other interested divers AFTER you have contacted the D.O./T.O.. Make a note of those attending ensuring that all divers are appropriately dived up and are of a grade and experience level required for the proposed dive. Check with the D.O.
  • For longer trips ensure you have booked the charter boat/accommodation far in advance.
  • Organise payment for the trip if accommodation etc is involved this may require deposits and full payment far in advance. Money for day trips is usually collected on the day.
  • Book whatever equipment that is needed for the dive (O2 Kit, First Aid Kit, Boat,etc) with help from the Equipment Officer.
  • Individuals are expected to look after the booking of personal club gear (BCD’s, Regs etc.) and if required dry suit hire.
  • Organise the transport to the dive site. You may need to hire a GUSA minibus in which case you will need a qualified driver.
  • Appoint a Dive Manager for the day, you MUST have a Dive Manager that is DL+ and you MUST have adequate Shore Cover (check with D.O. if unsure of the training level of participants)
  • Finalise dive plan with the D.O. including Dive Site, Time, Tides, Weather, Depths, Equipment, Emergency plan, and Participants (Dive Manager, Shore Marshall, Divers and likely buddy pairs etc).
  • Wait for approval from the D.O. and email dive plan to participants, giving enough notice for them to organise gear for themselves.
  • 24 hours before dive check: final numbers, weather forecast, tides etc. Make appropriate changes to the dive plan, circulate any changes to DO and all participants.

Day Of the Dive

  • The appointed Dive Manager should check out the weather forecast and the dive site first to ensure conditions are still suitable.Consult with other divers and/or fishermen in the area as to the conditions. If conditions are too rough, cancel the dive. If all is OK then give the go-ahead.
  • Ensure you have picked up a DIVE PACK from the Lock up which contains: Dive Slate, Dive Log forms, Emergency procedures etc.
  • It is the Dive Manager’s job to manage the dive site, they will delegate jobs as needed and an Assistant Dive Manager will act as Shore Cover whilst the Dive Manager is in the water.
  • Cox’ns are in charge of checking that the boat and boat equipment are in working order and safe to use for the dive. They will also ask for help launching/recovering the boat.
  • The Dive Manager should brief everyone involved, noting the weather, wind direction and tides, dive site, max depth, max dive time, buddy pairs, emergency plan, emergency procedures, shore marshall etc.
  • All divers MUST undertake full buddy checks and ensure safe diving practice.
  • Shore cover MUST fill in the dive slate with timings, air in/out, dive plan etc for EVERY diver, EVERY dive.

After Diving

  • After the Dive, Dive Manager should do a Debrief.
  • Ensure upon leaving the site all equipment is collected, no litter left behind etc.
  • Inform the D.O. that all diving is complete and everyone is safe. Report any incidents to the D.O.
  • The Dive Manager should ensure all kit hire costs, petrol money is collected and inform the Treasurer.
  • The Dive Log MUST be filled in ASAP- usually on arrival back at the equipment Lock Up. The Dive Log should include all the information from the dive slate.


Purpose of Trip: Fun, Training, Expedition, Experience building, Exploration etc.
Date: Proposed dates for the trip. Local day trip vs. expedition. How much advance notice is needed?
Dive Type: Wall, Wreck, Scenic, Drift
Dive Platform: Shore diving, Inflatable boat, RIB, Hard boat
Dive Level: All levels or for example Sports Diver + etc.
Training Requirements: Any specific training requirements needed e.g. experience in boat diving and using a DSMB before the trip
Cost: Approximate costs inc: fuel (minibus/car and boat), accommodation, kit hire, food
Number of places on the trip: How many people is the trip open to?
How to secure your place Does the trip require a deposit? Non-refundable to secure the place? When is it needed? How much? Is there a final payment needed for the trip? When? How much?
Transport Minibus/private cars? Do you require a boat handler?
Training Opportunities E.g. Sports Diver and Dive Leader trainees may have the opportunity to get boat dives, wreck dives, dive leading and depth progression. Ocean Divers can gain general experience, etc. Are any instructors willing to teach a lesson?