United Kingdom

Diving Then and Now: The Wookey Hole Caves—Birthplace of Cave Diving

Penelope Powell and Graham Balcombe kitted up in Wookey Hole Cave for the first ever cave dive in 1935. Historical photo courtesy of Mendip Cave Registry and Archive Cave Diving Group.
Penelope Powell and Graham Balcombe kitted up in Wookey Hole Cave for the first ever cave dive in 1935. Historical photo courtesy of Mendip Cave Registry and Archive Cave Diving Group.

The beginnings of cave diving can be traced to the Wookey Hole Caves in England. And 85 years later, divers like Matt Jevon are still doing their part to discover this cavern’s full potential.

Lady in red. Helen Farr loved red! She is pictured here at Jug Hole, Florida

The cave diving community mourns the loss of Helen Farr

Helen Farr was "a massively committed and active cave diver" of two decades. Although you might not realise it, you will have probably seen her photo in a diving magazine, a mainstream newspaper, a cave diving book (such as the iconic 'The Darkness Beckons', third edition) or featured in a presentation.

Helen was 100% committed to the sport [cave diving]. Richie Stevenson, Underwater cinematographer

Weymouth's attractive and historic sheltered harbour is an destination for UK divers because it offers access to a huge range of wreck diving.

Weymouth charter boat industry on the brink of collapse

Berthing Fees Issue

It is standard operating practice for harbours to charge harbour dues and mooring fees. The monies raised are used to cover the cost of managing and looking after the infrastructure of the harbour.

Simply Scuba won Diver Magazine's 'Retailer of the Year' ten years running, from 2009 to 2018
Simply Scuba won Diver Magazine's 'Retailer of the Year' ten years running, from 2009 to 2018

Simply Scuba Goes Into Administration

In the mid 90's Gerrard Dennis attended a DEMA seminar where it was stated the future of diving was online. Shortly afterwards in 1995 Dennis founded 'Simply Scuba'. Simply Scuba was either the first, or one of the very first internet-based scuba equipment retail businesses in the UK.

Simply Scuba, Gerrard Dennis, Joanne Dennis,

When Simply Scuba was launched in 1995, its original logo featured a shark wearing sun glasses

Anglesey Sea Zoo has over 40 tanks displaying the best of British marine wildlife
Anglesey Sea Zoo has over 40 tanks displaying the best of British marine wildlife

COVID-19: Anglesey Sea Zoo launches 'Just Giving' campaign

Anglesey Sea Zoo has been a part of the community and business life on Anglesey island, Wales for over 36 years. In that time the aquarium has done a massive amount to protect and nurture local marine life.

Remaining a valuable local employer and a fundamental contributor to Anglesey is very important to us. Frankie Hobro, Anglesey Sea Zoo

Study identifies key loggerhead turtle foraging grounds

After tracking female loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean, scientists at University of Exeter discovered that they feed at the same locations every year.

Specifically, these were in the Adriatic region, Tunisian Plateau and the eastern Mediterranean. Unfortunately, some of these locations are not ideal, and lead the loggerheads into danger.

Ansti Test Systems sold to James Fisher

James Fisher (JFD) now owns the business, and all intellectual property rights and assets of Ansti Test Systems. It is not known at this time what implication this will have for the recreational diving industry.

Ansti manufacturer test systems display the performance of breathing apparatus under test, in real time. It can be configured for any diving equipment and life support systems, hence a number of dive manufacturers and dive centres use Ansti machines on a daily basis, to test to British, European or Worldwide standards and regulations.

Record numbers of marine mammals, like bottlenose dolphins, have been recorded in the United Kingdom.

UK sees record sightings of whales, dolphins and seals

The Wildlife Trusts, which comprises 46 individual wildlife trusts around the country, reports record numbers of more than 800 sightings of whales, dolphins and seals in the waters of the United Kingdom in 2019.

Its Yorkshire project reported hundreds of individual sightings by trained citizen scientists. Among these were a pod of bottlenose dolphins making their way from Scotland to Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire-the farthest south they had been officially identified.