Scuba diving is something the whole family can participate in. Children from the age of eight can begin to learn how to scuba dive with an experienced qualified diver. However, they can only dive in a closed pool. Children are not allowed to learn in open water until they are at least ten years of age. PADI’s Bubblemaker and Seal Team programs are an excellent way for youngsters over the age of eight to learn safely with a qualified instructor in no more the six feet of water. The SSI also have the “Scuba Ranger” course and this is for children who are twelve years of age and is also held in a pool no deeper than 6 feet. If your children are over ten years old then a fantastic way to have some fun is to introduce them to the open sea with an introductory scuba course. They learn from professionals while the whole family has great fun.
The question that is often asked is “How good a swimmer do you need to be to Scuba Dive”? Well, the answer to that question might surprise you. The PADI requirement is that you are required to have the basic swimming skills. You need to be able to swim 200 metres (or 300 metres in a mask, fins and snorkels) and be able to tread water for ten minutes if you can do that you’re on your way.
Equipment you need for UK Diving
- Scuba Diving Mask
- Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)
- Dive Computer
The waters of the UK can be very cold so where you may wear different gear in warmer climates it is better in the UK to wear Dry suites this will give you a warmer and far more enjoyable experience when diving.
Kent Diving Equipment Suppliers and Clubs
To be able to dive you will need a club, a boat and equipment as well as local knowledge of dive sites that suit your abilities.
Kent Scuba (Margate)
Kent Scuba are there to assist you with anything you want to know or anything you may require and they are based in Margate.
Thanet Diving & Water Sports (Ramsgate)
Thanet Diving and Water Sports will offer a first class diving experience whatever your abilities are. Whether you want to join the Seals or wish to become a Master Diver, Thanet Diving and Water Sports will help you achieve your targeted ambitions.
Children over eight years of age can join the Seals course which takes place in a pool no deeper than six feet in a controlled environment to give the children confidence to enjoy their diving experience. For the new adult divers there is the “Discover Scuba” course which is in a controlled environment teaching the basics of diving. If you realise that you like the diving experience then “The Open Water” course is where you really get the feel and enjoyment of diving. There is some theory on this course and some pool work before taking four qualifying dives. At the end of the course, you have one foot on the bottom rung of the ladder becoming a qualified diver. It is possible to move your diving career all the way up to Master Diver level with Thanet Diving and Water Sports.
Charter boats can be hired out of Ramsgate, Margate Folkestone and Dover such the Mutiny Diving and Kent Scuba.
There is an array of wrecks to be explored off the Kent coast. In fact, you are spoilt for choice. There is a lot to thank Jacques-Yves Cousteau for as his Aqualung allows the diver to dive for much longer and go deeper than ever before. Therefore, wrecks which were not accessible many years ago are now ripe for exploration.
Inland Scuba Diving
Buckland Lake Reserve (near Rochester)
When planning your scuba diving trip you need to get everything right and in perfect condition ready for your eagerly awaited dive. Everything is planned right down to the most minute detail. You then arrive at your dive destination to be told the dive has been cancelled due to the weather conditions or the sea conditions. The anticipation turns to dread as you consider the drive back home. This is where you need a “Plan B”.
Why not dive one of the many inland lakes and reservoirs on your doorstep? Buckland Lake Reserve is a great dive site. The depth of the lake is up to 50 feet and has many submerged items for you to explore. They have a double decker bus, a Falcon jet aircraft, underwater forest and the White Share to name a few. There is even a cafe and more on-site for a warm drink after your first dive.
List of Shipwrecks in Kent
Scuba Diving Facebook Group
Other Dive Schools / Businesses
Blue Ocean Diving (Maidstone)
Maidstone Scuba School
Dive Machine (Tonbridge)