Which factors are likely to have affected scuba divers’ decisions to return to the water following the Covid-19 pandemic?
Dr Christina Spence at the University of Plymouth needs your help to find out, and is hoping that all UK divers will participate in the research project she has just launched.
A GP trainee with an interest in diving medicine, Dr Spence is currently doing a masters degree in global health through the university. The Covid study will form part of that programme.
She has also been a scuba diver for 15 years, mainly off Scotland’s west coast, although she told Divernet: “I haven’t been diving throughout Covid-19 due to my commitments in hospital.” She works at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey.
Her online survey is designed to investigate how the arrival of Covid-19 in 2020, and the subsequent lockdowns and overseas travel restrictions, have affected recreational diving within the UK, and UK divers travelling abroad for diving holidays.
“We all know that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the UK and the world,” she says. “However there is currently limited anonymous field data around divers’ participation in recreational scuba diving during the pandemic.”
Dr Spence hopes to find out about diving habits in the UK before, during and after coronavirus. All UK divers are asked to share their views and experiences on diving practices by contributing to the survey, whether or not they have had Covid-19. It is completely anonymous, says Dr Spence, takes 15 minutes to complete and can be found here.
Participants are asked to let all their friends in the diving community know about the survey to ensure as much coverage as possible.
“I’m completing this project alongside work, so expect to have analysed and written up the findings by September,” says Dr Spence, who looks forward to sharing her findings with Divernet users later in the year.