"All of us, with the exception of Emmett, are divers. We understand what divers want, and what’s out there to satisfy that need"
Bristol Channel Diving Services Ltd originally started with Maggie and me at the helm in 1995 as an inland commercial diving contractor in the UK and abroad. I had spent my working life previously working offshore as a diver in the oil and salvage industry.
We noticed a growing trend among friends and customers that they were asking for recreational diving kit, air, mixed gases and servicing. We were finding the cut-throat inshore diving industry hard going, with ever increasing demands being put on us such as ISO 9001, Investors in People etc, and decided that the best way forward was to move into the recreational market. To do this we approached the importers and manufacturers of what we felt were the better brands, Scubapro, AP Valves, Mares, Apeks and Poseidon, and off we went!
We started, as most people do, on a small scale, but it soon became evident that there was a huge demand. We supplied air, nitrox and trimix from the outset as well as TDI and IANTD training. We subsequently moved to TDI and PSAI as our main training providers as we felt these offered a much more flexible and realistic approach to training. In 2002 we moved to our current location at the Timber Yard and put together a much more comprehensive diving facility. We formalized our existing cylinder testing by gaining approval from UKAS and IDEST to conduct cylinder testing in house, in addition to the wide-ranging services we provided in suit, BCD and demand valve repairs.
In 2003 we were contracted by the then owners of Tidenham Quarry to put together a diving centre, now the well known NDAC. When the original owners moved on and Darren and Kay took over, we stayed on to show them the ropes before returning to our core business in Cardiff.
Where are we now ? We have about 2000 square feet of space for both the workshops and the retail facility and parking is very straight forwards right out side our door for heavy twin sets etc.
We are passionate about what we do. We are one of only 8 civilian HSE accredited diver training schools in the UK
http://www.hse.gov.uk/diving/qualifications/competence.htm which means we are vetted on a regular basis by the HSE to ensure we comply with their, quite rightly, high standards.
Our scope of work includes a range of customers from the diver in the local club to small MOD departments. We sit on the Steering committee for IDEST, The Inspectorate for Diving Equipment and Testing which means that we are up to date with standards and safe practice. Neil also sits on the Society for Underwater Technology Diving and Manned Submersibles committee https://www.sut.org/specialist-interest-group/diving-and-manned-submersibles/ which again keeps us at the forefront of diving technology as its being developed.
Our latest achievements that we are very proud of are in acting as the BBC Natural History Unit diving safety consultants, helping the researchers and film crews to bring us the marvel that is Blue Planet 2.
6000 hours of underwater filming, 4000 cylinders filled in 39 countries, over 125 expeditions, and what a result ! The most watched British TV show of 2017, and providing support and equipment for the divers involved in the Thai cave rescue.
So there you have it. We are not a sausage machine churning out divers, we are serious about what we do and what we have achieved, if we can help please get in touch. If your not sure ? look at some our testimonials https://www.bristolchanneldiving.co.uk/testimonials these are from people who have been round the block once or twice and are right at the top of their game.
Meet the Team
And not forgetting Emmett