It’s December, and it wouldn’t be quite the same in the UK without the massing of Santa divers for their annual splash-in at the Vobster Quay inland site near Bristol.
The charity plunge is open to all levels of qualified diver but they do need to be kitted out in red garb and white beards. It kicks off on Sunday, 10 December from 7.30am, with briefing at 09.30 and mass entry at 10. The goal is to surpass the existing headcount record, which currently stands at 185 Santa divers in the water simultaneously.
The event is also a fund-raising opportunity for the two popular charities the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Help for Heroes. Divers are encouraged to secure sponsorships through JustGiving to support these causes.
Over the years Vobster Santas have raised more than £40,000 for the causes, and Vobster Quay is committed to setting the bar higher this year, by donating £1,000 to each charity to get the snowball rolling. For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to download the event poster, visit the Vobster Santas 2023 site.
Sixty miles south…
In open water a week later, Dorset dive operator Jurassic Aqua Sports is taking divers out on its third Charity Christmas Santa Dive in aid of the RNLI, as previously shared on Divernet.
The Weymouth dive-centre’s two-dive trip runs out from Portland Marina to Bat’s Head Reef on Saturday, 16 December. Hot pasties, mince pies and hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream are all part of the mix, with Santa outfits again mandatory.
Jurassic’s charity events at both Christmas and Easter have so far raised more than £3,500 for the lifeboat crews. Divers pay £70pp and it all goes to the lifeboats. Book a space on the Jurassic site.
For all the family
While experienced coldwater scuba divers head for Vobster or Portland, beginners of all ages might appreciate the chance to join in the festive fun, but in warmer water on Merseyside.
Like the Jurassic outing, Marina Scuba School’s Santa Splash takes place on 16 December. The Crosby PADI dive-centre’s staff will be seasonably dressed up to conduct two-hour Discover Scuba Diving pool sessions for anyone from children aged eight and above to adults.
Participants will be greeted with Christmas snacks, and the DSD session will not only impart the basic skills required for scuba diving but involve a search for Christmas goodies hidden beneath the surface. The Marina Scuba School Santa Splash costs £40pp, and sessions can be booked by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Back with Christmas good causes, Sea-Changers, which matches charitable funding with marine environmental projects in the UK, has a range of Christmas gifts it suggests will benefit the environment.
These include Port and Lemon Christmas cards (50% of sales profits go to the charity); Sea Change wine, every bottle of which generates a donation; and nature-inspired gifts from homeware brand LIGA, which donates 1% of sales from its online store to Sea-Changers (and more for its marine-life coasters).
The charity itself also has a new range of branded T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, tote bags and mugs, available from its online shop.