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Diving with… Nic Emery, The Fifth Point, Blyth, Northumberland, UK

UK DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Nic Emery

What is the name of your business?

The Fifth Point

What is your role within the business?

Director

How long has the business operated for?

Coming up to 2 years.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I started diving in Hurghada way back in 2005 so I’ve been a diver for nearly 15 years. I qualified as an OWSI in 2010 and I’m currently a Master Instructor

What is your favourite type of diving?

It may seem a bit weird, but my favourite type of diving is litter picking! Every dive at The Fifth Point is a Dive Against Debris as we’re always picking up litter when we see it, but I love those days where we’ve organised a big clean up. Seeing the trash we’ve removed gives an amazing feeling of accomplishment. 

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

When people walk into The Fifth Point for the first time, their initial reaction is always “wow, what an awesome set up!”. Our dive centre looks completely different to any other. It’s made from as much reclaimed materials as we could get our hands on and it has a really chilled out atmosphere.

Dive Dog Haldane always gives a warm welcome and our team are there to make your experience amazing. We’ve got an onsite training tank which means we can offer course schedules to suit even the busiest lifestyles and we always keep our sessions one to one.

Once you’re qualified, you join our army of eco-warriors. During our courses we arm you with all the skills you need to be an environmentally responsible scuba diver!

What is your favourite dive in your location and why?

My favourite dive in Northumberland has to be up at The Farnes. There’s a huge grey seal colony around the islands and when they come to play it’s an amazing experience. I never get bored of them! You’re more likely to see the seals in the autumn but diving The Farnes has a lot to offer all year round including deeper dives, wrecks, swim throughs and a striking underwater landscape.

We dive with our friends at Sovereign Diving. They’re awesome skippers and as divers themselves, they know all the sites inside out. They always take us to the best locations and give us detailed dive plans to make the most of our dives.

What types of diving are available in your location?

We are so lucky to have some cracking dive sites right on our doorstep. We regularly dive St Mary’s Island, Browns Bay and Collywell Bay which are only 15 minutes away from the dive centre. They’re teeming with life. A huge bonus is that The Farnes and our Project AWARE Adopted Dive Site at Beadnell’s Knacker Hole are less than an hour away. We can go and play with the seals whenever we want! Venturing a little bit further north, we can dive around Eyemouth. The boat dives to St Abbs are amazing, and the shore dives in the gullies are just as good! If I’m feeling a coral withdrawal, this is where I go!

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

We’re still a relatively new dive centre but I feel that we’ve created something really special. It’s so cool to watch new divers become so passionate about ocean protection. We’ve got a lot of youngsters coming through the ranks. My favourite thing is to go diving with the gang and help them pick up trash. They’re true advocates, educating everyone they meet and protecting their future. It’s just AWESOME.

What is your favourite underwater creature?

I love all underwater creatures. Well… apart from jellyfish, I don’t get on with them so well…

I think my favourite depends on where I am in the world. In the UK, it’s got to be the seals. They’re so curious and playful. I love nudis too, especially the look on peoples faces when we point them out in the North Sea! Divers only expect to find them in warm waters!

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

As the first PADI Green Star dive centre in the UK, we’ve recently launched a whole new set of environmentally focused courses. Our PADI Open Water courses now include the Project AWARE Specialty as standard, and our Advanced courses include the Dive Against Debris Specialty.

We’ve got something top secret planned for the training tank. I don’t think it’s been done anywhere in the world yet, so my lips are sealed!

As a centre what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

One of the biggest problems is when we see student divers from other centres in washed out, sun faded, second hand equipment. It’s so old, it belongs in a museum! It’s not doing much to promote our awesome sport to the younger generation. We must be careful that scuba diving doesn’t get left behind. Especially when compared to other activities like stand-up paddle boarding, surfing and rock climbing which are so trendy right now.

Is your centre involved in any environmental work?

Heavily! Our whole business revolves around protecting the ocean. Alongside our regular Dive Against Debris surveys, we also conduct monthly beach cleans. Since 2016, our volunteers have removed over 1,800kg of trash from the Northumberland coastline.

We are a no take, no touch dive centre. We’re proud that our divers will never remove marine life or wreck artefacts. We are one of the very few dive centres in the UK that will never take lobsters. In fact, we help to put them back! We work with our local lobster hatchery at Northumberland Seafoods in Amble to release baby lobsters back into the sea, bolstering local populations.

We recently received the PADI Green Star Award in recognition of our dedication to environmental conservation. We are the first and only Green Star Dive Centre in the UK, and one of only nine in the world.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkelling industry overall? What changes would you make?

It’s exciting! There are so many opportunities available to dive centres, we just have to make the most of them.

The Blue Planet Effect rippling out from Attenborough’s series has inspired so many potential underwater explorers. The next generation are looking to get involved in these activities to do their bit to help protect the environment for their future.

As an industry, we should embrace this and encourage ocean protection at every opportunity.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

We’re always looking for divers to join our army of eco-warriors. If you, or anyone you know would like to get involved with the leaders of ocean protection, then just get in touch!

We run regular boat trips to The Farne Islands and St Abbs. Even if you’re not local to us, we’d still love to take you diving!

You are more than welcome to call in at the dive centre and check us out. The kettle is always on!

Where can our visitors find out more about your business? 

News

New North Wales dive boat for 2023 season

UK DTA Team

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Duttons Divers, the North Wales based Scuba diving company, have been going from strength to strength with the expansion of a new dive centre last year, and now the addition of a second dive boat.

Duttons already offer guided shore and boat dives around the North Wales area, with their current dive boat, Little Viv, taking divers around the Llyn Peninsula. The area offers an array of marine life and variety of dive sites, including wrecks, caverns, scenic wall dives and of course their colony of curious seals at the Tudwals Islands.

The new hard boat has a diver capacity of 10, which can be booked as a single diver or as a group charter booking. The boat has toilet facilities, a kitchen for refreshments between dives and dedicated storage areas for kit.

Clare Dutton says: “We are extremely excited for the addition of the new boat. Little Viv is a great asset to our activities, but now being able to offer dive space only trips too for divers to explore the stunning area around here will make it even better.

The dive sites within this location offer something for all level of diver interest, from shallow interactions with the seals to deeper wrecks with tonnes of history. We are all very excited for the 2023 season!”

Duttons are now taking bookings for the 2023 season. Follow the link for more information: www.duttonsdivers.com/dive-boat

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Palaemon Divers to open new dive centre in Warrington

UK DTA Team

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Hugely popular scuba dive centre in the North West, Palaemon Divers have expanded and are opening their second dive centre, this time in Warrington!

Spreading across two floors, the new dive centre will become the only scuba centre in Warrington, with an in house compressor to provide air fills to both members and the public, classroom, workshop and fully stocked retail scuba floor.

With the new site opening, also comes a second pool night for those new to the sport and experienced divers to jump in and try it out or practice skills. With a pool night already on a Wednesday in Speke, and the second pool night starting on a Tuesday in the Warrington area it will allow easy access to training nights.

The existing 5 Star PADI dive centre in Liverpool offers training and scuba experiences within the dock itself along with a scuba club in which the divers take monthly litter pick dips and regular trips around the UK and abroad, and try dive experiences available for beginners all the way through to professional level courses.

After opening the site in Princes Dock in January 2022, the site has trained and introduced 100s of new divers from Merseyside to the sport, ran regular scuba kids clubs (aged 8+) in the pool and the Docks and numerous team building exercises for companies in and around Merseyside and is looking to introduce Warrington to the same!

Director Leanne Clowes said:

“We are really excited to open our second dive centre after the huge success of our Princes Dock site in Liverpool, and can not wait to introduce the Warrington community to the amazing sport that is scuba diving!

We have been looking for a while where our second site would open, and we have had are minds set on Warrington the entire time so really happy to find our perfect second centre at Evans House Business Centre, Norman Street WA2 in a previously converted micro brewery site!

Palaemon Divers Warrington will be open fully from January 2023, however we are available now to get in touch with for queries regarding courses starting in the new year. For further information on our open day please check out our socials!”

David (Director of Evans House Business Centre) says:

“We can’t wait to have Palaemon Divers on board, they will be joining an impressive number diverse companies that call Evans House Business Centre their base from an Escape Room, to specialist fitness suites, craft workshops and a number of trades. Evans House Business Centre really is an excellent facility to visit!”

Whether you have always wanted to see what scuba is like or you are a certified diver looking to join in all over the UK and abroad on sociable dive trips – get in touch, Palaemon Divers would love to have a chat!

To contact the Palaemon Divers team or find out more:

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