All proceeds of the two-dive trip out from Portland Marina on Jurassic’s boat Waverider were earmarked for the lifeboats. “The first dive was on the wreck of the British Inventor with 3-4m vis in a lumpy sea,” said training director and skipper David Collins.
“We returned to the calm waters in the shelter of Portland Harbour, where we served up our legendary hot pasties and hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows to fill all the Santas’ bellies…
“The second dive was on the wreck of the Countess Of Erne, with improved underwater vis of 6m, after which even more hot chocolate was served up, with hot mice pies.” We hope he meant mince pies.
Inland a week earlier, Vobster Quay near Frome in Somerset had hosted a much longer-running Christmas scuba institution – its annual Santa Dive. This year the dive-centre really was a winter wonderland, with the event held in thick snow and sub-zero temperatures.
Vobster’s Santa Dives have raised more than £40,000 since they began back in 2007, and again it was the RNLI, as well as Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance, that benefitted from the charity event.
Almost 100 divers raised £1,000-plus in sponsorship, and Vobster donated an additional £500 to each charity, while a raffle, with prizes donated by Fourth Element, Otter Drysuits, Nautilus, Apeks Diving, KUBI, Nammu-Tech, Kent Tooling, the Go Diving Show and DivedUp Publications, raised a further £1,400. The event was captured on video.