St Ives Sub Aqua Club (SISAC) trip guidelines of the Club responsibilities in planning and undertaking a diving expedition/trip.
The purpose of this document is to clarify the responsibilities of SISAC, its members and Trip Organizers – who will be designated by the Diving Officer to take the trip planning and organisation forward. Throughout this document the words ‘trip’ and ‘expedition’ can be read as being interchangeable in terminology.
Expedition Dive Manager
SISAC encourages club members to organise dive trips/expeditions for the benefit of themselves and other club members.
Club trips must be authorised by the DO and Club Committee and will take place under the umbrella and guidelines laid down by BSAC.
The Committee will try to ensure there is a balanced portfolio of trips catering to the full range of club member’s abilities, though individual trips may be targeted at specific skill sets (e.g. Ocean Divers for a training trip). Trips should be timed so as to avoid overlap so they have a good probability of being filled.
Trips not approved by the SISAC Committee are not covered by these guidelines, but are still expected to adhere to BSAC good diving practice, and are the responsibility of the individual(s) organising that trip. (For example a small group of divers on a mutual trip somewhere). It is requested that where possible these trips are made known to the Committee so as to try to avoid potential clashes of dates.
Training trips approved by the SISAC Training Organiser are covered by the branch.
Individuals wanting to organise a trip should investigate costs, date and times, state of the tides (if relevant), accommodation, location (and route), qualifications and equipment required and other expected costs as fully as practical in order to present a properly costed invitation to the membership. This should be summarised and presented as a proposal in good time for review by the Committee before publicising the trip. If necessary a mentor will be appointed for the organiser to help them develop experience in running such trips, though it is anticipated that most Trip Organizer will be qualified to at least Sports Diver.
All trips should be publicised initially on the Club website via the Forum
It is the aim of the Club to cover all trip costs on a trip by trip basis.
In general, if a boat (+ accommodation) is capable of holding twelve divers (for example), the trip price should be based on ten divers. If more than ten divers attend, typically the surplus is retained by the club to offset other trips that may have incurred a loss. But in exceptional cases a refund of the excess split evenly between the divers can be agreed with the Club Committee.
On authorisation SISAC will pay the deposit for a Club trip. It is then the responsibility of the Lead DM to ensure deposits and remaining balances are paid to SISAC on time. Deposits should be considered as non-refundable. SISAC will underwrite any additional costs should the trip be cancelled, but these must be detailed to the Committee and agreed with the Skipper/Dive Centre Manager before the trip is booked.
If the cost per head is less than £70, deposits should be payment in full. For higher cost trips deposits should be at least 33% of the final cost.
Some trips are inclusive of accommodation: so if the organisation supplying the trip then cancels it there is no exposure to the club. But if a trip is NOT inclusive of accommodation, then members should be made aware that they are responsible for booking and providing a deposit for that accommodation. They should also be made aware that if the trip is cancelled by the Dive boat skipper due to bad weather for example, then they will probably still be liable for the costs of that accommodation booking.
Dive trips should be advertised on the Dive Club website. Details that should be published are shown in Appendix 1.
Generally, members reserve places on a first come first served basis. The committee, may, at their discretion, apply other booking rules to trips as they so determine.
If a deposit is not paid by the specified due date, then that place may be forfeit.
Full payment for a trip must be made to SISAC no later than 4 weeks prior to departure.
Trips may be cancelled or withdrawn by SISAC due to poor patronage or adverse weather conditions. If this happens, under normal circumstances trip payments will be refunded less any amounts payable to accommodation, skipper or dive centre in the event of cancellation. Pre-payments for accommodation may not always be refundable if the accommodation has to be cancelled at the last minute.
SISAC from time to time may request suitably qualified and experienced members to attend trips so as to maintain required buddy pairing.
The Trip Organizer may advertise any unfilled spaces outside of the club membership at a timing determined by the organiser/committee, so as to ensure trips are sufficiently patronised. Any suitably qualified non-club member divers must pay 100% of the cost of the trip to secure the place. Note that any non club members must produce evidence that they are qualified to do the diving, are dive-fit, and recently been diving to check fitness, kit, etc. The Diving Officer retains the right to exclude such third parties if there is any doubt of their suitability.
If the Club cancels the trip, any payments to non-club members (excluding independently booked accommodation as discussed above) will be 100% refunded. If an individual cancels their place on the trip, any payments made are not refundable, but the club will at its discretion refund part or all of the payment if the place is filled by another diver.
It is the responsibility of the Trip Organizer to ensure the outside individual is aware of these conditions.
Organising trips is a joint effort between SISAC and its members. Members are requested to make their intentions known regarding any potential trips via the club forum or directly to the Trip Organizer. If a member wants to fill a place on a trip, it is their responsibility to inform the Trip Organizerand they should make sure that they have been added to the trip list & the deposit & balance are paid in good time. If a member subsequently has to pull out of the trip, it is their responsibility, in conjunction with the Trip Organizer, to fill the place with another suitably qualified and experienced diver, in order to secure the return of their payments. Failure to fill the place may result in full payment being required regardless of attendance.
Members on a club trip agree to abide by:-
- safe diving practise,
- follow the instructions of the nominated Dive Manager, Trip Organizer, or their assistants.
- behave in an appropriate manner
- ensure they are sufficiently fit and equipped
- have appropriate recent diving experience.
The Diving Officer will nominate a Trip Organizer for the trip. It is the responsibility of the Trip Organizer to ensure any trip is fully subscribed to the best of their ability.
In conjunction with the Diving Officer, the Trip Organizer should ensure a suitable spread of qualifications and skills so as not to breach BSAC guidelines regarding suitability of buddy pairings.
The Trip Organizer will maintain communication with boat skippers and the Diving Officer so as to confirm weather conditions and suitability for diving. Where trips are cancelled e.g. due to adverse weather conditions, inform all trip members of cancellation.
One or two weeks before the trip the Trip Organizer should set up a briefing to give details on the following:
1) Accommodation: Location, costs, facilities available (food, linen etc.)
2) Suggested routes and timetable.
3) Meeting place.
4) Required equipment, such as DSMB, air fills, spare cylinders etc. or where such facilities are to be found
5) Outline of sites intended to be dived
6) Special instructions
7) Collect completed Next of Kin forms and contact details if not already gathered.
8) Ensure relevant dive insurance is in place where relevant.
Expedition/Trip Dive Manager
The Diving Officer will nominate a Dive Manager for the trip. And that Dive Manager is authorised by the Diving Officer to nominate an Assistant Dive Manager that may be changed on a daily basis during the trip, so as to share the planning and responsibilities accordingly amongst the divers on the trip. This provides useful learning and planning experience across the club members on the trip.
The Trip Dive Manager acts with the full authority of the Diving Officer.
As a general rule:-
- Sports Divers are trained to the level of assistant dive manager
- Dive Leaders are trained to manage diving to known sites
- Advanced Divers are trained to manage diving to any & all sites
In addition, specialist skills & knowledge may be required. i.e Diver Coxswain, Trimix etc.
The Trip Dive Manager will have been appointed by the Diving Officer. They may be under instruction or assessment, as such the instructor will be appointed by the Diving Officer. The Instructor will have overall responsibility & authority.
The duties of the Trip Dive Manager include:-
- ensuring suitable safety equipment is available i.e. First Aid kit, O2 kit, Dive tables etc. (this may also be provided by boat skipper) and returned to the club after the trip. (letting the Equipment Officer know if any action is required prior to it being reissued for use.)
- ensuring suitable briefs are carried out pre and during the trip.
- completing a suitable risk assessment for the proposed diving activities.
- ensuring a dive log of all dives is undertaken during the trip and returned to the DO at the end of the trip.
The Trip Dive Manager should be the first to arrive on the trip and meet the skipper, and direct loading of kit onto the boat.
- Ensure all divers have completed and submitted Next of Kin forms
- Carry suitable charts, tide tables, decompression tables and so forth as required by the dives.
- Allocate responsibilities to daily Dive Managers and assistants on a day by day basis if appropriate.