Sea Survival

by    DiveSSI    3rd August 2020
Diver is waiting for the Sea Survival boat
The first presentation of the SSI Sea Survival program
SSI Sea Survival program

Sea Survival - How to safely plan and conduct sea dives

The Background

It was on a warm sunny day in June that I found myself back in the United Kingdom (UK) and on route down to the UK’s southern coastline to visit the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions’ (RNLI) head-quarters in Poole. A great weekend ahead was planned, spent with my colleagues from the SSI UK head office and an amazing group of our UK SSI Dive Center owners and SSI Instructor Trainers. Our mission, to officially launch the SSI Sea Survival program….

With approximately 17,820 kilometers of coast line, the UK has to be one of places in Europe with the most opportunities for sea diving. The marine environment rivals some of the best in the world, offering a fascinating range of wrecks and wildlife for XR divers around the coastlines to enjoy. What many divers might be unaware of are the potential hazards that UK diving can present. For open-circuit or rebreather divers who have made their training around the inland dive sites or in warm water holiday resorts, the UK diving presents some challenges that they need to be prepared for in order to reduce the risks of accidents. With the right training, experience, equipment and conditions, scuba diving in the UK and Ireland can be phenomenal.

The Aims

We were honored to be invited to the RNLI head office, led by Nick Fecher, with his amazing team of hardworking individuals all with one mission “to save lives”.

Our main aims of the weekend were:

  • Provide to our UK SSI Instructor Trainers’ the knowledge and training necessary for them to plan and conduct the SSI Sea Survival program
  • To brainstorm with the RNLI and the coastguards as to what we can do as a training agency to help minimize sea diving incidents
  • To see the RNLI’s well-equipped facilities where they put their trainees through their paces in an “all weather / all conditions” training pool
  • To take part in a joint training exercise with Poole and Swanage Life boat crews
  • To examine the use of various surface signaling devices and evaluate their suitability for sea dives
  • To practice how to recover divers from the sea in varying equipment configurations
  • To practice search patterns and techniques to locate a missing diver
  • To plan and conduct a UK Sea Dive in the local area

The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews provide a 24-hour rescue service in the UK and Ireland. There are over 350 lifeboats in the RNLI fleet based at stations around the UK and Ireland. Between them, RNLI lifeboats cover 30,000 kilometers of coastline and some busy inland stretches of water. The RNLI lifeboats are divided into two categories: all-weather lifeboats and inshore lifeboats. The different lifeboat classes within these categories means they can reach people in all kinds of situations and locations. To see these vessels in action is inspiring to say the least and it was a privilege to be able to work with them with the join mission to protect and educate our divers and ultimately save lives.

 The Outcome

I think that we would all agree, that we came away with more knowledge and experience which we can use to directly educate and train our UK divers. For more information on the SSI Sea Survival program contact your local SSI Diving Centre for the details and the availability of training dates.

For more information on the RNLI and the work that they do, or to make a donation head to

Many thanks to the RNLI and the RNLI photographer Nathan William for allowing us to share their amazing pictures from our time with them.

Source: image©Nathan William

Written by
3rd August 2020
Kenzo on Oct 14th 2020
very nice, what about a brazilian version... Curitiba, Paraná!?
admin on Aug 20th 2020
Hello Ray, please contact your local Training Center or Service Center in your area: Thanks and best regards!
Ray Brienza AIT 4612 on Aug 20th 2020
Looks like a great class. Will this be available in the US?
Noah Daniël Angela on Aug 15th 2020
very informative!! thank you

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