Originally Posted by Rupert Bear
I have heard this in many clubs and it is generally not true. Most club insurance doesn't require any qualification to drive the club boat but rules are generally put in place by the branch themselves. The usual one and the one I find funny is that everyone must be a "qualified" boathandler having completed BSAC boathandler. This is not a qualification but a familiarisation with boats, not that most folk believe that when you tell them!
This is not the case within our club for a RIB, although it was the case with inflatables.
We are totally independent & not affiliated to any other organisation (probably one of the last few remaining independent clubs in the country now) and as such getting insurance is starting to get more difficult by the year & this was one stipulation they insisted on.
Everyone assumes to be a diver you have to belong to BSAC or PADI, this is not true there are other diving organisations such as SSAC (Scottish Sub-Aqua club) SAA (Sub Aqua Association) CMAS (Confederation Mondiale Des Activites Subaquatiques) wow that was a mouth full ! To name but a few. The insurance companies are now pulling out of the independent market stating well you can always get insurance through BSAC of PADI.
Why are we still independent ?
Well it’s a long story dating back to 1967 when our club was first formed. A new swimming pool was opening in Swanley; a few BSAC members from the Maidstone branch approached BSAC with a view of starting a new BSAC club in Swanley. The reply from BSAC at that time was “we don’t need another club in the area we already have clubs at Maidstone & Croydon” not to be put off by their reply the club was formed in 1967 as an independent club, using methods & techniques taught by BSAC after all our founder members were instructors & diving officers etc from other BSAC clubs.
After a few years BSAC realised there was a need for a club Swanley, so they approached the club with a view of becoming a BSAC club. It was put to the club members that we could now become part of BSAC but it was going to cost them half as much again on their membership fees. This was rejected by all the members.
A few years later we were approached by SAA, this again was put to the members BUT this time because it wasn’t going to cost much we joined the SAA.
After a number of years with the SAA, membership costs started to creep up to the point where a third of our membership costs was going to SAA. It was decided to go independent again to cut the cost of membership & allow us to get new equipment without costing members more.
I personally have been through PADI open water training & BSAC training, they are all good in their own way & what a lot of people seem to forget is basic training is just that BASIC, you never stop learning.
We enjoy our independence & hope to stay that way, if legislation & insurance allow us. We have member trained by nearly all the different organisations, and all those with any sense would agree you can never get enough training or stop learning.
Sorry for going on a bit, I know this is a RIB forum but there does seem to be a lot of divers looking in from time to time.