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…
Kerrie Eade & Bethan Comley
What is the name of your business?
What is your role within the business?
Kerrie is a Platinum Course Director and Bethan is an Elite Master Instructor.
How long has the business operated for?
ProDiveUK was founded in May 2017 and fully launched at the 2017 Dive show in Birmingham.
How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?
We have over 20 years of diving experience between us reaching the heady height of PADI Course Director and Master Instructor.
What is your favourite type of diving?
Any diving is enjoyable and we are fortunate that we get to see a wide range of dive sites across the world from the glorious wrecks and life in the Red Sea, to the fantastic reefs of the Caribbean, and the well maintained lakes and quarries of the UK.
If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?
We provide high value, positive Pro training laced with an abundance of additional content, and a lot of fun and laughter along the way!
What is your favourite dive in your location and why?
Our favourite dive would have to be the Tabarka in Scapa Flow as this is where the name of our company, Otter Enterprises, came from! We’re not going to give this away though, you’ll have to get in touch to ask more about this!
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
The best bit about our “job” is seeing the confidence of all our candidates grow during their training, and hearing their tales of teaching and passing on their passion to others once they have certified as PADI Instructors.
What is your favourite underwater creature?
One of our favourite dives was at Lundy Island diving with the seals. It was a truly humbling and awe-inspiring experience.
Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?
With the impending launch of the new IDC syllabus we’re really excited to be at the forefront of the new syllabus, especially as a lot of the new workshops are things that we have been including within our training since we began. We must be doing something right!
Is your centre involved in any environmental work?
We actively promote Project AWARE and train all of our candidates as Dive Against Debris Instructors as we really believe that this is a powerful specialty that can enable divers at all levels to start making a positive difference towards the health of the seas and oceans.
How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?
We are really excited about the upcoming changes to the pro level programmes from PADI and also the focus of the entire industry towards cutting waste with initiatives such as Mission 2020.
Where can our visitors find out more about your business?
You can look us up online at www.prodiveuk.com or give us a call on 07854 554809 or 07585 020303
Minke whale spotted off Cardigan Bay – A first in 10 years!
In a thrilling encounter that left a team of marine researchers in awe, a majestic minke whale was sighted during a line transect survey on June 15, 2023. The remarkable event took place approximately 10 nautical miles off the coast of Cardigan Bay, amidst an area teeming with shearwaters. The whale’s behavior, as observed by Katrin Lohrengel, Sea Watch’s Monitoring Officer, indicated potential foraging activities, as it gracefully engaged in deep dives.
This exceptional sighting is the first documented instance of a minke whale in the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) since 2013, during one of Sea Watch Foundation’s line transect surveys. The significance of this encounter cannot be overstated, as it underscores the importance of continuous scientific efforts in studying and conserving the abundant marine biodiversity of this region. Notably, this is the first minke whale sighting in a decade within the Cardigan SAC, with sightings being more prevalent further down in Pembrokeshire. Additionally, another minke whale was sighted the following day, June 16, 2023, 11 nautical miles off the Llyn Peninsula during a separate survey conducted by Professor Peter GH Evans, Director of the Sea Watch Foundation.
Line-transect surveys play a pivotal role in Sea Watch’s research, providing invaluable data on the presence, abundance, and distribution of marine species in their natural habitats. The sighting of a minke whale further emphasizes the ecological significance of the Cardigan Bay SAC, highlighting the urgent need for sustained conservation efforts to safeguard this vital marine environment.
Renowned for their agility and inquisitive nature, minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) captivate with their smaller size compared to other baleen whales. These graceful creatures embark on deep dives, skillfully hunting for their preferred prey, including fish and krill.
The sighting of the minke whale stands as a testament to the effectiveness of the team’s research methodologies and their unwavering dedication. Moreover, it serves as a beacon of hope for future discoveries that can contribute to the ongoing conservation endeavors in the Cardigan Bay SAC.
As Sea Watch celebrate this momentous milestone, they reaffirm their commitment to expanding our understanding of marine ecosystems and advocating for the protection of vulnerable species. The team extends our heartfelt gratitude to the local community, volunteers, and stakeholders whose unwavering support has made sightings like this possible.
About Sea Watch:
Sea Watch is a leading marine research organization dedicated to the study and conservation of marine mammals in the United Kingdom. Through scientific research, education, and advocacy, Sea Watch strives to protect and preserve our marine ecosystems for future generations.
For more information, please visit www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk.
Pictured: Minke whale sighting off Cardigan Bay by Katrin Lohrengel/Monitoring Officer at Sea Watch Foundation on 15 June 2023.
New year, new dive centre: Duttons to open on Anglesey in January 2023
Duttons Divers, who have recently announced a new hard boat to join their growing fleet over on the Llyn Peninsula based at Hafan Marina Dive Centre and a second dive centre that opened in January this year, have another big announcement to end the year on!
It seems that there’s just no stopping the Duttons Divers team as they announce their third dive centre opening – this time on Anglesey!
The dive centre will be open from January 2023, and is based just off the A55 at Llangefni Services, offering ease of access from all over the island and to those visiting for the day who will be passing by on their way to dive.
The centre will offer a fully stocked shop with all major brands, as well as a classroom and meeting place for teaching and briefings for the day’s guided dives around the island, equipment servicing and air fills – perfectly located to get your fills on your way too or from sites all over the island.
Owner Clare Dutton says: “We are extremely excited to announce the new centre. We have looked at Anglesey for a while, but the perfect place just did not come up until now. We wanted somewhere central that has easy access for divers to visit.”
If you would like to find out more about the new site, go to their website www.duttonsdivers.com