Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I learn to dive?

If you live in the UK and Ireland and are likely to do most of your diving around these coasts, so we recommend to students that they should undertake their entry level training with a local BSAC Club or alternatively with a recognised BSAC school. This ensures that the students get their initial open water diving experience in northern European waters.


Should I learn to dive on holiday?

Doing basic SCUBA courses on holiday in warm waters is great fun with lots of visibility. If that is where you mainly wish to dive, go for it.


At what age may one start to learn to SCUBA dive?

The British Sub Aqua Club will accept young people as members from the age of 12. However, the Belfast Sub-Aqua Club does not accept full diving membership applications or undertake any SCUBA DIVING EXPEDITIONS with persons under the age of 18.


Is it possible to have a try dive?

If you have never tried SCUBA DIVING before our instructors recommend that you come to one of our Try Dive sessions in the pool before committing yourself to the basic OCEAN DIVER course.


How soon can I start to learn to dive with the Belfast SAC?

The entry level course, OCEAN DIVER, is available with the Belfast club from October to April each year. Please contact us.


What does the OCEAN DIVER course entail and how long does it take?

The OCEAN DIVER course consists of 5 pool sessions of about 1 hour each, 6 theory lessons of approximately 20 minutes each, some home study followed by a multiple choice theory test. The pool training and lectures can be completed in 5 to 6 Monday club nights. Initially, the Belfast Club will supply all the SCUBA equipment for the pool training part of the course. For the open water training part of the course, students must provide their own equipment. Our instructors will advise on all matters relating to SCUBA equipment, The time to complete the follow on open water part of the training depends on how quick the student can get kitted out with the necessary equipment for open water diving. To be awarded the OCEAN DIVER qualification, the student must pass the theory test and complete some open water sea dives under supervision of an instructor and using their own SCUBA kit.


What are the Membership Fees?

The membership fees of the Belfast Sub-Aqua Club are due each year on the common renewal date of 1st May. New members joining at other times of the year pay fees on a pro rata basis. The fees include membership of both the Belfast Sub Aqua Club and the British Sub Aqua Club, which is the governing body of the sport. Fees are reviewed on an annual basis. The membership secretary will inform new members of the relevant fees due for both membership and training as the case may be.


What are the Initial Training Fees?

Students joining the club to learn to dive will be required to pay the relevant training fee for that course. This covers all training material as supplied by BSAC for specific courses. The membership secretary will advise you of the fee on joining.


Is it possible to do a dry-suit diving course?

The use of a dry suit is more or less essential for diving comfort in northern European waters. Learning to use a dry suit for diving is an integral part of the BSAC OCEAN DIVER course, that is, unless the student opts for a snug fitting wet suit or semidry suit.

If you are new to dry suit diving our instructors will advise you on the types of dry suit that may be suitable for your needs. Following purchase, they will ease you into dry suit diving, initially through some pool instruction and then onto sheltered open water instruction to fine tune weight and buoyancy control procedures.


How does the Belfast Club organise its diving programme?

Most local diving expeditions take place between March and the end of September. The Club's diving subcommittee prepares an agreed diving programme and appoints "dive managers" for the individual expeditions.

In addition to the published programme, numerous ad hoc diving expeditions are undertaken throughout the year organised by the diving officer in collaboration with members. These maybe organised at short notice to take advantage of favourable weather conditions.

In addition, members are proactive in organising diving expeditions to warmer waters, for example, the Red Sea, Malta, or alternatively colder waters, such as, Scapa Flow, Sound of Mull or the Norwegian Fiords.


I have Diving Qualifications from another training organisation; may I dive with the Belfast Club?

Yes. You may dive as a guest of a member of the Branch; within the health and safety limitations of your current diving qualification. Please liaise with the Club’s Diving Officer or dive manager for the particular expedition well ahead of the proposed expedition date.


I wish to progress my initial open water qualification?

Please pay a visit to the clubrooms and have a chat with our instructors.


I am a rescue diver and wish to convert to BSAC qualifications?

Please pay a visit to the clubrooms and have a chat with our instructors.


I am an open water diver but need a refresher course?

Please pay a visit to the clubrooms and have a chat with our instructors.


I haven't dived in several years, how do I get back into the water?

Please pay a visit to the clubrooms and have a chat with our instructors.


How can I get more information?

Please contact us by e mail including a return telephone number so that we can contact you. Alternatively, you are welcome to visit the clubrooms on a Monday night. We are there from 8 to late. We consider it essential for prospective students or new members to visit the clubrooms at their earliest opportunity to meet the membership secretary, instructors and be introduced to other members etc.



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