Wave Shape
Wave Shape


Wave Shape



Chairman (Ken Crow)

Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge

The Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge, Lake Windermere

“Windive Watersports”

New Tug-of-War

Barracuda Trophy Halifax Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year – John Ingle – Leeds Branch


Chairman (Alan Watkincon)

NORFED had grown from 15 Member Branches in 1958 to 22 Branches. The Committee held the first deep rescue exercise at Wastewater and Leeds Branch provided the lighting for the filmed record of the event.

The first professional instruction weekend was held at Hull with Northern Divers Maritime, arranged by Stan Webb.

The first Boat Handling Course inaugurated at Trearddur Bay, Anglesey

“Windive” 69

Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd March 1969

Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge

The Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge, Lake Windermere

“Windive Watersports”

New Tug-of-War

Barracuda Trophy Halifax Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year – Peter Duffy – Harrogate Branch

The opening event was NORFED’s Film Festival which received the largest entries ever. An interesting category, introduced for the first time, was for films of branch activities with little or no underwater sequences. The judge was the 1966 British Underwater Photographer of the year Geoff Harwood, who discussed the films and slides constructively, whilst reaching his decision.

Dinner in the evening included Alex Flinder BSAC (Club Chairman); his wife Trudie; Oscar Gugen BSAC (Club Vice President); Reg Vallintine BSAC (Club Director); Geoff Harwood and members from 17 of the 21 NORFED Branches.

Sunday morning’s AGM saw the following officers elected: Chairman-Alan Watkinson (East Lancashire); Vice Chairman-Peter Duffy (Harrogate)

News and Views No 14 May 1969 Page

NORFED Equipment Fund

During the AGM a proposition was passed that a special Equipment Fund Account would be opened with a view to purchase

ng some piece, or pieces of diving equipment, which because of cost, would be too expensive for a Branch to purchase. This equipment would be available for use by NORFED Branches and for Instructional Courses.

Already deposited in this special account is the profit from the 1968 NORFED Equipment Course which amounted to £71. It was agreed that branches who would be prepared to organise social events to raise funds for this venture could use this balance of £71. To assist in the organisation and in the case of a monetary loss on the event this money could be used to underwrite the loss up to £71.

In the event of a profit being made this could be shared by the organising branch in NORFED and it is hoped that most NORFED Branches will undertake to assist in this venture during 1969/70 when a substantial sum of money should have been raised to purchase a very special item of equipment. It is of course impossible at this stage to say what items will be purchased but suggestions made include a Diving Boat, Recompression Chamber, Underwater Telephone, Underwater Cutting and Welding Equipment.

NORFED Branches are requested to discuss this at their committee meeting so that Branch delegates can advise the next NORFED meeting if they are prepared to participate in and organise a fund-raising event which could take the form of Social, Dance, Christmas Raffle, Derby Draw, Barbeque, Treasure Hunt, etc.

This venture will help to strengthen the Federation and as a NORFED diver once said, “It’s all happening in NORFED” and remember it is divers who will benefit.

NORFED’s Diving Equipment Course No 2

YMCA South Camp

Lake Windermere

Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th October 1969

After the AGM the Watersports began with the “Treasure Hunt” which was a classic mad start.

The winners being R Bullock and E Lowther, of Furnace Branch

Photographs by Ken Crow

Very special BSAC Branch 335

What about that then – an all-birds of the BSAC!

In the picture, you can see some of them; girls from Casterton School, Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland – the first branch of the Club that is exclusively for the fair sex.

A small diving group, mainly of snorkelers, has existed at the school for some time, led by Miss Margaret Binnington of the teaching staff, who has quite a varied experience of diving in Jamaica and through the Club Mediterranee.

This came to the attention of NORFED’s Doug Balaam, who has an eye for these things and thus it came about that Special Branch 335 was formed. Two Lonsdale Branch members, R Wiseman and W Fox, are acting as DO and Training Officer respectively, and Doug reports that “NORFED” are keeping a fatherly eye on the girls. The new Branch is 20 members strong (or weak, depending on how you look at it) have, for diving, one of the best-known river sites in the North of England, only a mile away from the school at Devils Bridge, Kirkby-Lonsdale, where 25th of clear water is available, well stocked with salmon and trout. Watch it “fellows”.


Chairman (Peter Duffy)

Easter Dive

27th -39th March

Port Patrick

(Weather Report)

A deep depression is still centred over East Lancs, Blackpool, Leeds; Harrogate, Bradford University, Wakefield, etc. We all arrived at Portpatrick mid-afternoon on Friday to be greeted by the usual “There here again” and to find a force nine gale blowing down the Irish Sea!

After making the rounds with our fishermen friends, it was obvious that unless better conditions prevailed, not a great deal of the excellent diving is to be had in the area was going to be tapped this weekend.

Saturday arrived much the same conditions as Friday, although the gale had subsided considerably. After meeting at the harbour, we found that East Lancs had already made a move for Port Logan, lower down the Peninsula. We found breakfast facilities for persons who shall be anonymous (the time then being 11-15a.m.) so, we set off for Port Logan closely pursued by Blackpool Branch. At port Logan East Lancs, were just entering the water but after a few minutes had to be washed out because of the adverse conditions.

On Sunday the weather conditions were more favourable, the sun appeared and after discussing the situation we left to dive at West Tarbet Bay on the Mull of Galloway. Being on the lee side the water was reasonably calm and diving was possible on this and the following day.

Tuesday saw us bidding our sad farewells and heading for home, only to run into a blizzard and two inches of snow on the Pennines. Well, had it been worth it? Of course, it had; branches had again been able to get together and meet fresh faces and talk diving. I only hope that the next time we visit Portpatrick we can have better conditions and show the potential of the area.

We must thank Blackpool Branch and in particular, Bernard Scott, for providing the compressor.

Webb, Wakefield Branch

La Traversee De Paris

Friday 24th April.

I doubt whether any member of the British party of seventeen leaving Gatwick Airport for Paris, realised how popular the sport of fin-swimming had become on the Continent and how keen the competition was going to be at the Coup De Corlieu fin-swimming sports organised by France. Those of us from the North were very conscious of the fact that the sport of fin-swimming was inaugurated by NORFED in the Lakes of Windermere and Ullswater way back in 1958 as also. Indeed, a few years later was the more boisterous game of river racing. We were soon to see how intensely competitive the sport had become on the Continent and realise that if we are to have a worthy place in the many future European competitions to be organised, we will have to get down to hard training, selection and a proper understanding of the techniques of fin-swimming.

The countries engaged in these sports were France, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, West Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan and of course Great Britain. We expected to be competing in the pool events on the Saturday, but these had been brought forward to Friday evening and we arrived too late. However, if one compares the best times produced at the recent Yorkshire Federation fin-swimming events at Knottingley, it is doubtful whether we would have been in the first six of any of the racers. The men’s 100 metres was won by Germany in 48.9 secs, against our time of 59.2 secs. The Italians took ninth position with a time of 59.2 secs. The 400 metres was won by France in a of 3 min. 58 secs; our time at Knottingley was 5mins 16 secs.

However, the big event was the four-mile race down the Seine on Sunday morning and we had four competing, being Alan Lister Huddersfield Branch, who had won the five miles in this country in four successive years in the early 60’s. Peter Markham Southport Branch, John Davis from the Aquatic Club and I. Clovis from R.A.F. Special Branch, Cornwall. This race starts at Pont Sully and finishes at Pont de Grenelle and you go under nineteen bridges. On Saturday morning, after the Civic Reception and before the champagne party, we assessed the speed of a chunk of driftwood at 4 m.p.h. and anticipated a rather swift passage. The following morning, just before the 70 entrants slid into the water, I was told by a Dutchman who had previously won the race that the winning time would be about 43 minutes and he wasn’t far out. The race was won by a Frenchman in 43 minutes 38 secs which is an average speed of about 6 m.p.h. Of the British contingent, Alan Lister was first home in about 35th place with Peter Markham only a few yards behind him. John Davis was next at 44th with I. Clovis at 53rd despite developing cramp in both legs early in the race. Alan Lister was about seven minutes behind the winner. Considering the fact, the two from the North had only two week’s training, no previous experience of the Seine’s features to enable them to pace themselves, they did quite well and actually finished up very fit, unaware that they had passed the finishing line.

All four thoroughly enjoyed the swim and are raring to have another go next year. The race certainly had a marvellous atmosphere and to have taken part in such a competition on the historic Seine through the famous capital city of Paris, must be an experience not to be forgotten.

Before the race started, I think we were all rather overawed by the fact that most competitors were wearing enormous fins; one Swiss swimmer had a pair 95 cms. In length from the heel which is just under three feet! There were hardly any conventional fins to be seen but to those of us who just can’t accept that extra-large fins can be of advantage, it is of satisfaction to know that the winning Frenchman appeared to have been wearing a normal sized pair. Nevertheless, the German’s who took 3rd and 4th places used fins about two feet in length and they were only a few seconds behind the winner. It would seem therefore, still to be a matter of personal choice according to one’s style and physique.

Many members will not know that it is now possible for the Sub-Aqua Competitions Committee to obtain Ministry of Educational Grants of up to two thirds travelling expenses of teams competing in international events. The remaining events to be run this year by the European Federation are at:

Bologna Italy 19th July

Locarno Switzerland 6th September

Hastings Great Britain 18th October

Essen Germany 31st October

We are very keen that NORFED Branches should be well represented in all these competitions and it is hoped that Branches might hold their own internal competitions to help to produce promising fin-swimmers who may well be able to represent their country in the future.

Boat Handling

Beaumaris, Anglesey

2nd-3rd May

Jerry Hazzard North West Area Coach

Phil Baker of Leeds University S.A.C. was appointed Deputy Diving Officer of B.S.A.C. and Alan Watkinson of East Lanc’s Branch was elected as Examiner of 1st Class Divers.

Alan Lister of Huddersfield Branch and Peter Markham of Southport Branch were chosen as part of a 4-man team to represent the B.S.A.C. in the Seine River Race in Paris.

The first Northern Conference was held at the University of Manchester in December

Whitsun at Anglesey

23rd-25th May

What is a Federation?

Ken Crow, Harrogate Branch

An easy question to put but, not an easy one to answer, since the intangible part of such an organisation depends upon the personality of its members. However, two recent events served to remind me of the value of the organisation we are frequently in danger of taking for granted.

The first was the result of reading a note in a diving magazine (outside our area). The item commented that such and such a branch held a social evening and took the “unusual” step of visiting other local branches personally to invite members which was considered “so much better than the usual brief letter to branch secretaries” (the quotation marks are mine). When I think of the successful events like East Lancs. Hot-pot Suppers, Leeds Fancy Dress, Blackpool Socials, etc., on is entitled to a certain amount of incredulity at such comments.

The second event occurred at this year’s Norfed Whitsun dive at Trearddur Bay. Diving with us was a young man from London who was quite surprised that branches should dive together in this manner, in which a diving party could consist of seven or eight different branches, he added that where he came from people only dived with their own branch. Even allowing a little for flattery, etc, this intermingling of branches was obviously unusual enough to promote some comment from our friend and, yet the activities were only what one would normally accept as perfectly usual.

These incidents are thankfully, relative small and yet it is just the accumulations of such incidents that makes our organisation what it is. I am sure you can recall similar incidents if you try.

Ken Crow, Harrogate Branch. (What is a Federation? A Federation is the sum of the individual personalities within it. Do not forget that, it is what makes OUR NORFED Federation so unique)

Windive raffle

It’s an exhausting and expensive business organising Conferences, AGM’s and large-scale events. NORFED are hoping to offset the cost of their AGM & Annual Diner weekend “Windive” by running a raffle. Chairman Alan Watkinson tells us there will be valuable prizes, the first of which will be a fortnights holiday for two at “The Butlins Holiday Village in Majorca.”

All branches will be given the chance to win, for tickets will be circulated throughout the Club. The draw will take place at or soon after “Windive” on Saturday 14th-Sunday 15th November.

(Triton October 70 page)

“Windive” 1970

14th-15th November


“Windive Watersports”

New Tug-of-War

Barracuda Trophy Army Apprentices Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year Alan Watkinson East Lancs Branch

Over 100 NORFED divers and friends descended on Friday evening to participate in the hospitality of the Harrogate licenced clubhouse; at the invitation of the Harrogate Branch Chairman Alan Davey. Saturday morning, was the 4th Photographic Competition attracting a record number of entrants and a standard higher than it had ever been before. The Army Apprentice College Pool Harrogate was the venue for the water sport competition when the Barakuda Trophy was up again. (The contest consisted of lung sharing, equipment exchange and a relay race)

Saturday evening the Annual Dinner Dance

About 160 members, family and guests sat down to eat, including our distinguished guest Surgeon Rear Admiral Stanley Miles, Vice-President BSAC and President of East-Lancs Branch; he is so amazingly generous with his time, where BSAC is concerned, was our Guest of Honour along with his wife. At the dinner which was attended by approximately 180 Norfed Club members along with families and friends. Mrs Miles later presented the prizes. Which included the Diver of the Year award, which went to Peter Duffy (Harrogate Branch) for the second time in three years. Colin McLeod, Vice President of BSAC; Derek Cockbill, Vice Chairman BSAC; Reg Vallintine, Director BSAC and John Meredith, Secretary BSAC. (Apologies for absence from Lord Wakefield, President BSAC; and Mr Fred Pontin, NORFED President. Proposing the toast to BSAC, was NORFED Chairman Alan Watkinson (East-Lancs) Branch. Alan went on to explain how due to a series of unfortunate (but very funny) accidents, he had lost his carefully prepared speech; the main cause of this mad series of events was a last-minute rush around Oldham market, trying to find some local delicacies’ – Black Puddings. These were then brought forward, with due pomp and ceremony and proudly presented to our Southern friends. As they had just eaten, however, it was suggested they would probably prefer the puddings, suitably cooked, as a midnight smack!

Stanley Miles was next to speak, he told our guests the way to Oldham – one in each hand (referring of course to the black puddings!) He then went on to explain what was meant by “NORFED”! and finished off by telling off our latest recruit to diving -Eskimo Nell, the divers belle!

Our new Chairman, Peter Duffy, had to follow this Master of Eloquence and what a task that is for any speaker but Peter (drawing himself up to his full height) rose to the occasion, not only with his own brand of good humour but by disclosing some of his plans for the future development of NORFED. Peter also had the very pleasant task of naming NORFED’s Diver of the Year. The award was presented by Reg Vallintine to Alan Watkinson, East-Lancs Branch and richly deserved and unanimously acclaimed for what Alan has contributed not only to NORFED but, to diving in general.

Finally, on behalf of our guests, Derek Cockbill; again, a most humorous yet enlightening speech and I think we were all sorry when the speeches came to an end. However, we did have to get on with the next item on the agenda, which was-!

Drinking, dancing and drinking, which went on until the very early hours, interrupted only at midnight for the promised feast. In the centre of the dance floor, Colin, Derek, Reg and John were seated around a table and the hot puddings were served. A dubious mouthful, then another and finally a fight for who could get the most – except alas for John Meredith, he just couldn’t stomach them. I’m sure I heard him muttering something about “spherical objects”; whether he meant the puddings or not I don’t know. It was felt necessary to report this whole event lest anyone should get the wrong impression when the rumour leaks out that some of BSAC’s Senior Officers are now in “The Pudding Club”.

Sunday morning, sunny but very frosty and, a load of bleary-eyed folk (well and truly NORFED! Stanley Miles definition) staggered down to breakfast. The film competition was an ideal and relaxed way to spend the morning. The judges this year were Ian Horner, East Lancs Branch, Mr F. Walton Chorlton Cine Club; their excellent summing-up and advisory remarks are certain to influence future film events. A fair number of slides were entered this year but in the cine-sections, only one film was entered for each even!

The sports event opened with an event for the children (under 14) who one day hope to follow in their fathers fins and, could some of these youngsters move! Doug Balaam might just find some of tomorrows champions there. Then at a more leisurely pace, the old ’ones (over 38) had a go. There should have been an award for the best pyjamas! I only hope it doesn’t take as much trouble to take them off in bed as it did under water! Then the main event – The Barracuda Trophy; Eleven teams competed this year and put up an excellent performance. The defending champions, Harrogate Branch, were defeated by their friends and neighbours, the Army Apprentices (Harrogate) who also took third place with their other team. Congratulations to the winners and to all who took part, for a very fine display.

Our thanks must go to East/Lancs and Salford Branched for their excellent organisation of the “Windive 70” and to everyone else who helped make this most memorable weekend.


Chairman (Peter Duffy)

“NORFED” Easter Dive

Fort Bovisand


Friday 9th April to Monday 12th April

The Easter dive was a most memorable event. The weather was kind to us providing clear, sunny days and calm conditions, ideal for boat diving if one had a strong enough stomach. We were also fortunate in that the Fort had just opened its new bar which was quickly adopted as the evening meeting place for dive who had accommodation outside the Fort.

The weekend’s events comments with a boat-dive on the “Glen Strathallen” which had been recently sunk for training divers in the methods of underwater archaeology. The wreck proved to be in three sections and some way away from its marker buoy.

On the Sunday two boats had been hired to take parties of divers to the site of the “Coronation” and the “James Egan Layne” during the morning and afternoon.

The Coronation was a 90-cannon gun ship-of-the-line which sank in 1691,

with a loss of life of 300 soles. However, her only remains are now believed to be little more than twenty-two cannonballs and a few artefacts as well as cannonball. Most of the cannon were easily distinguishable but others lay partially hidden in revises and under kelp.

However, the “James Egan Layne” is a more recent wreck. The final voyage of the James Eagan Layne was in convoy BTC-103 to carry 4,500 tons of US Army Engineers equipment from Barry, South Wales, to Ghent, in Belgium. She also carried motorboats and lumber as deck cargo. She was sighted on 21 March 1945, sailing 12 miles off Plymouth by U-399 and torpedoed on the starboard side between holds No4 and 5. She was badly damaged, but was taken in tow by tugs Flaunt and Atlas. She was beached in Whitsand Bay, but subsequently settled on the bottom and was declared a total loss.

There were no casualties amongst her crew of 69. Her mast is still clearly visible above water and comes in very useful for mooring too! The wreck is virtually intact although some attempts have been made to remove sections of the super-structure using explosives but, she still sits firmly on the sea-bed in 80 feet of water. Her cargo of pick-axe heads, steel bars, pipes, wheels and motor-bikes etc., slowly corrode with time and makes an impressive site.

For the divers interested in marine biology, the sea-life off-shore was very abundant and varied. Many varieties of sea-weed were present, also some specimens of coral were found as well.

Easter Monday plans were made to dive the Eddystone Rock had to be cancelled due to a rough sea. So, as an alternative a further dive to The James Egan Layne was arranged for those divers who missed the boat on Sunday! On the second trip the journey to and from the diver’s point of view proved to be more spectacular than the dive itself. The sea really blew up on both journeys and the contents of the boat; “the divers” were being tossed about everywhere, except for the man in a sheepskin jacket with a flask of thick greasy pea-soup who seemed to go out of his way to offer certain members some! I wonder if his coat dried out? This boat-dive certainly went a long way in fostering the belief that NORFED 1st Class Divers really have guts. They may be violently sea-sick all the way to the diving point but, you’ve only got to kit them up, turn their air on, put their mouthpiece in, throw them over the side, drag them back on board again and let lean over the side all the way back and within one or two hours of returning they will tell you what a terrific dive it was! Yes, there is more to “The First-Class Thing” than meets the eye.

The atmosphere in Fort Bovisand fostered much comradeship and gave divers from the different Branches plenty of opportunity to exchange ideas and chat about things of general interest. Many divers stayed for a week, some of whom attended a two-day Archaeology Course organised by one of the principals of the Fort – Lt Commander Alan Bax. Where-else but on a HORFED function could you attend a lecture by the world renowned underwater archaeologist for only 5p per head; P. Throckmorton. (Edgerton Alvord Throckmorton (July 30, 1928 – June 5, 1990), known as Peter Throckmorton, was an American photojournalist and a pioneer underwater archaeologist, frequently described as the Father of Underwater Archaeology. Throckmorton was a founding member of the Sea Research Society and served on its Board of Advisors until his death in 1990. He was also a Trustee for NUMA and was an instructor at Nova Southeaster University) In view of the recent census and the topical interest in statistics and all other pieces of information which can be regard as “useless” I quote some figures for those of you who may be interested: 30 divers attended the NORFED Easter Dive representing 5 NORFED Branches except for a lady member from Norwich Branch. An estimated total of 13,000 cu. Ft. of air was consumed at a cost of £65. The total time spent underwater was approximately 90 hours.

To finish on a wet note, over 350 pints of ale were drunk creating many similar signs and symptoms of “Raptures of the Deep”!

Mike Moncaster

Equipment Officer

University of Bradford Branch

News and Views No 20 June 1971

April 71

Cave diving and Rescue Triton by Ken Crow.

(Triton April 71 page 80)

Preparation for NORFED Examination

“Deep dive Rescue”

By Derek Shearsmith NORFED Diving Officer

Saturday 17th July.

Leeds Branch members Ron Ward, Peter Campbell and myself, struggled to fit all the various equipment we had assembled over the past two weeks into a “not by any means” small trailer. Our expedition was all preparatory work for the “Deep Dive Rescue” exam. Items, which included about 500ft, of rope; 8 large plastic buoys; 2 weights, one of which must have weighed 70 lbs, the other a standard 56 lbs, used by the near extinct coal merchant; 5 aqua lungs, including 2 twin-sets; camping equipment; binoculars; loud hailer; 3 sets of diving equipment and to top this a large Club Zodiac Inflatable with floor-boards! As one member of our expedition remarked; “it’s a good job they don’t allow boats with engines on Wastwater” a point we were to very much regret later.

By mid-day we had manage to pack everything, so off we drove accompanied by a beautiful day. We had just cleared Ilkley when one of the party noticed the wheel on the trailer was wobbling furiously, on examination, all the nuts were found to be loose. Caustic comments were exchanged between the driver and the rest of the party. It was on a previous outing that a similar episode occurred – then it was the wheel of the car. Our driver is convinced someone is trying to sabotage his weekends expeditions!

By late afternoon we were in sight of Wastwater. On trying to negotiate a steep hill in our 1800c.c. engine, it failed to pull the massive weight of the trailer. Just as we were nearing the brow, Peter and I nipped out of the car and wedged a stone under the trailer wheel. After some discussion we decided to disconnect the trailer from the car. As there was a rough side road some two to three hundred yards down the hill, our plan was to try and ease the trailer down and try to turn it into the side road, re-connect it to the car and find an alternative route. The three of us gently eased it down; slowly, slowly, not so slowly, faster, faster, until the three of us were running hot footed with a runaway trailer. We stuck to our guns and were able to complete our intention of turning it into the side road – it only took a few seconds!!!

We arrived at Wastwater about 5p.m. and by 7 p.m. were all ready to take depth soundings, we were looking for 130 ft. of water; it’s surprising how long it took to find this depth. We were hampered by a strong southerly wind which made control of the inflatable very difficult. After three hours of this we were sorry we had not smuggled a small engine into Wasdale. By 10-15 p.m. it was too dark to complete our task, so we retired to shore and to change and start cooking our evening meal. We had just finished eating when the wind dropped, it was a lovely ducky Summers evening. Then, they struck! Millions of them. Ravenous, as we had been just minutes before. “MIDGES”. They drove us frantic. It was with great haste we packed up our diving gear etc., and drove like fury for Ravenglass. After a comfortable night in the Pennington Arms, we returned to Wastwater by 9 a.m. everything was ready; we had two heavily weighted shot-lines down to 130 ft. and 100 ft. A line connecting the two and ran a good 70 yards to the shore.

Deep Rescue Exam day!

Sunday 18th July 1971

All 2nd Class divers eligible to take the instruction and followed by the test. This one-day affair has been organised by Peter Duffy and John Handsworth. The test will be recorded as a logbook endorsement and is required as a qualification for the 1st Class Diver Examination.

By mid-day, divers from various NORFED Clubs began to arrive for the examination. I was a little disappointed we only had ten candidates for the exam, but on making enquiries, I’m surprised to find how few second-class divers clubs have. Despite recent publicity encouraging members to take First-Class, we should be encouraging Second-Class as well.

Of the ten candidates who entered we had a surprising eight passes! This is contrary to experience; it usually has a higher failure rate. The successful candidates Will receive a certified log-book endorsement in due course.


John Durrans, Bradford University Branch – Paul Patchet, Bradford Branch – James Fall, Leeds Branch – Mike Moncaster, Bradford University Branch – Jim Glassbrook, Blackpool Branch – Paul Sneesby, Harrogate Branch – Peter Markham, Southport Branch – Chris Walmsley, Blackpool Branch

(Triton August 71 page 140)

Observation of the above Deep Rescue

Written by Ken Crow.

I was privileged to act as an examiner on the above Deep Rescue examination. I have been present now on several occasions during an exercise of this nature, in the varied roles of victim, rescuer and examiner and I feel that my observations of people’s reactions during this exercise which, fortunately, is the nearest that most divers get to a real accident, may be of interest and use to divers in general and to people who are considering taking this endorsement.

The organisation by NORFED as described above is important enough to stress that I consider for maximum safety NORFED is the best I have come across and I would consider strongly recommending other organisations to utilise similar layouts.

The “Deep Rescue Test” can be broken down into three parts, namely:

The ascent.
The tow.
The Landing.
The biggest surprise that most people get when carrying out this test is the physical effort that must be expended to complete the whole exercise.

This starts at 100 feet down when the rescuer is faced with the task of having to lift the victim. It’s demanding work! It is not uncommon for rescuers to exhaust themselves to the extent of having to discontinue the test and rest. If you don’t believe me; try it. However, remember to remain close to the shot line, you may need it.

Once on the surface the tow begins. In the procedure laid down by the BSAC recommends that the rescuer should stop to administer E.A.R. I personally feel that this is totally inadequate and that 20 yards should be the maximum distance. It is a common failing of candidates, who may be perfect on the theory of E.A.R to forget the theory in the excitement with the result that the victim’s head is not far enough back to ensure an unrestricted passage for the air.

The landing there are many activities to be carried out. Assistants must be sought out and given instructions. The victim must be carried ashore and, at the rescuers discretion his gear may have to be removed. What should be remembered is that during the tow it has only been possible to administer E.A.R occasionally, therefore, as soon as the rescuer can stand up continuous respiration should commence. It may have to be interrupted whilst instructions are passed to helpers but, any interruption should be minimal. I personally feel that the victim is floating in about four feet of water, then their gear should be removed. With this depth of water, it’s possible to float the gear from underneath the victim. If one approaches shallower water the gear becomes grounded making its removal much more difficult. There is one school of thought, that agrees that the victim’s gear should be left on so that allows the head to fall back when taken ashore. There can be no hard and fast opinion on this, it depends a number of things, not the least of which is the steepness of the shore up which the victim has to be carried.

If assistance is available, do make full use of it; don’t do as one person did. He was told that there were two people available to assist, so he sent one of them off in one direction to seek assistance and sent the other off in the opposite direction to seek assistance, leaving himself and the victim still in the water, it is urgent that aid should be sought as quickly as possible but, if landing is difficult, then get the victim ashore before losing one of the helpers. Whilst you’re landing the victim remember to keep up the E.A.R. If you elect to use one of the helpers to give E.A.R., then do make sure they can do it, but watch them until you are satisfied that they are capable. Don’t forget to check the victim’s heartbeat.

I do hope that these notes will be noted by all divers and not just those who are considering the endorsement soon. The “Deep Water Rescue” is very worthwhile for all experienced divers. We none of us, know how we would react in an emergency but, we can assess our possible reactions in an exercise of this kind. As I said at the beginning, fortunately, this is the nearest that any of us are going to get to the real thing, but we do know for certain that someone in the BSAC is going to be faced with an emergency of some kind. It maybe YOU! Divers get very attached to their buddies; how would you feel if it was your buddy who was drowning through your incompetence! Are you as ready as you could be? As ready as you should be?

NORFED Farne Island Holiday

Spring Bank Holiday


The holiday began with a slow start and grey skies and a heavy sea. Due to refitting the boat that had been booked by organiser, Dereck Shearsmith Leeds Branch, was not available, but our worthy D.O. unknown to many of the diver spent a lot of his holiday time arranging alternative boats, and in view of the heavy demand for boats by ordinary holiday makers for trips to the Farne Island he is to be complimented on being able to procure the boats at such short notice.

On the Saturday evening, approximately 75 NORFED members and families attended the Beadnall Hotel for their weekly dinner dance. During the dance a raffle was arranged by Derek Shearsmith; with one prize a bottle of local Lindisfarne Mead present by Stan the manager of the hotel. The other prizes were presented by the NORFED Chairman who also welcomed the divers especially the two couple from Halifax Branch, Mr & Mrs Tommy Tomlinson, who had just got married and were spending their honeymoon at the hotel. It is rumoured that when asked if he wanted the bottle filling, Tom asked it to be refilled with oxygen!

On the Monday the seas were settling down and the D.O. arranged a dive on the Pinnacles, Farne Island. However, there was a steady rolling swell, but NORFED divers showed what they are made of, and it didn’t look too good floating on the surface!!

The next day had a glorious blue sky, hot sun and a sea that was like a mill pond. A dive was arranged on a wreck owned by Harry Hemsley and Doug Hamer of Leeds Branch; the “Samali” which lies approximately two miles offshore in about 100ft of water at high water slack. Fortunately for the divers, a local fisherman had fouled his lobster pots on the wreck, so it was easy to locate. The dive was commenced at slack water and 12 divers slipped over the side in pairs through the clear water down to the wreck which is in one piece. Many photographs were taken of the two orlican guns on the pool deck, now looking all forlorn and encrusted with barnacles. Most divers had a look at the propeller which so far had resisted all blasting efforts to remove it. For many of the divers it was their first wreck dive and they were fortunate to find such perfect conditions; this dive made up for all the earlier poor diving conditions they faced.

Any branches intending to visit the Farne Islands are recommended to contact the NORFED D.O. for boat hire, and air is available from Harry Hemsley who has a compressor at Beadnall Hall Hotel.

(News and Views Page 4 Sep 71 No 21)

S.S. Somali was making steady progress up the Northumberland coast, laden with cargo valued at valued at over a million pounds and bound for China. She was to join a convoy but, before making her rendezvous she was spotted by a sharp-eyed German bomber pilot. During the attack, the ship was set on fire and unable to extinguish the blaze the Captain reluctantly gave the order to abandon ship.

However, the Somali was not finished and drifted for a couple of days refusing to sink. It was decided to take her in tow and attempt to beach her. A salvage crew were assured she carried no explosives and it would be safe to be on board; a destroyer took over the listing ship in tow and started the voyage to shore towards Seahouses, in the wake followed two local lifeboats; just in case.

Approximately three miles off-shore, when the crew were congratulating themselves for saving the ship, a terrific explosion ripped a hole forward on the Somali and tragically, in full view of the locals lining the shore, she slipped beneath the waves to Davey Jones’s Locker, into 100ft of water.

The blast broke many windows in the village of Beadnall and the poor salvage crew who were standing aft, were all blown over the stern of the Somali into the water and over the two lifeboats following her. Amazingly, they were all alive and were picked up by the lifeboats!

The column of smoke that ascended was said to resemble the mushroom shape that was later associate with the atom bomb. Some of the locals have pictures of the ship in her last death. (See below)!

For many the Somali lay on the bottom; a twisted and blacken wreck with her superstructure missing and her giant screw now silent. The only visitors were cod, conger and the seals from the nearby Farne Island. Almost forgotten and unwanted until, one day, that well-known, likable, NORFED diver from Leeds Branch Harry Hemsley, paid the old lady a visit. Harry, along with two other members of Leeds Branch, Dougie Hamer and John Ingle, they had recently formed a salvage company and were working full-time. Harry had previously been told that the screw was iron but, he intended to find out for certain. The gleam in his eyes when a few scrapes with a knife revealed BRASS- tons of it.

After many letters, telephone conversations and trips to London, the lads had completed negotiations with the insurers and were now shipowners.

A 35ft. local boat with a roomy cabin was purchased and fitted with a 2-to-1 ratio lifting winch and compressor, and salvage soon commenced.

The Heinkel 111 bomber slid out of the cloud hanging over the Northumberland coast to score three direct hits on the hay-filled No3 hold of the “S.S. Somali, on the 25th March 1941.

A nuclear bomb? No, it is the P&O Steamship “Somali”, she was carrying various cargo, as well as possibly explosives, (which may explain the massive force of the explosion) which exploded after being torpedoed offshore between Seahouses and Beadnell, during WW11 1941.

June 71

Underwater Photography Course.

St. Abbs

26th – 27th June

Ken Crow is organised the weekend underwater photographic course under the tutelage of Dr Horace Dobbs. The course is limited to 12 people and the fee will be £6-00 including accommodation.

The second Underwater Equipment Weekend at Windermere.

The second Underwater Photographic Course was held at St. Abbs under the expert tuition of Dr Horace Dobbs.

Equipment Course

9th – 10th October

Pete Duffy Harrogate Branch

Windive 71

30th-31st October

Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge

The Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge, Lake Windermere

“Windive Watersports”

New Tug-of-War

Barracuda Trophy Bradford Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year Ken Crow Harrogate Branch

Reported Northern News & Views No:22 December

Newby Bridge is an ideal setting which provides us with all our requirements, along with reasonable weather and it proved to be one of our best.

The weekend commenced on Saturday with the Photographic Competition. The competition being judged by Dr Horace Dobbs, who later showed films from BSAC film library to illustrate the changing techniques over the years in underwater photography.

The tremendous increase in underwater photography this year was reflected in the number of entries. They were up by 400% on last year. The winners of the competition were:

Group 1 Best slide or print: Pat Baker Leeds Branch

Group 2 Best slide or print taken in U.K. waters: P. Duffy Harrogate Branch

Group 3 Cine Film:

1st Joe Kehoe, Harrogate Branch

2nd Joint Roy Bullock, Furness Branch

Joint Stan Webb Harrogate Branch

The Dinner and Dance followed in the evening, the guest of honour was Leo Zanelli, National Diving Officer and Dr Horace and Mrs. H. E. Dobbs. Attending from General Committee were Reg Valentine, Director B.S.A.C, John Meredith, Ho. Secretary B.S.A.C, Hugh Skinner, National Treasurer, Clifford May, Jack Blake and Chez Parker.

The first Northern Conference 13th December

For those divers from the North of England who were unable to attend the Brighton Conference have a second chance of seeing and hearing some of the stars.

This chance has been made possible by because NORFED have presented the first Northern Conference being held at Manchester University. The theme will be “The Way Ahead” and speakers are John Bevan (Southsea Branch and the Royal Naval Physiological Laboratory) talking about his record breaking 1500ft dive March 1970.

Dr David Bellamy (BSAC and Durham University) talking about Marine Pollution and the results of Operation Starfish).

Surgeon, Rear Admiral Stanley Miles, who needs no introduction, showing the film Bending and unbending and discussing diving medicine. Speakers from Draeger Normalair and a commercial diving company discussing breathing mixtures and apparatus, and future aspects of commercial diving.

The film Genesis, trophy winner at the “68” International Festival of Underwater Photography will also be shown.

Arriving on a very dark night in the pouring rain at the North Camp YMCA on the west shore of Lake Windermere, our home for the weekend seemed the last place to be made one wonder “What on earth have I let myself in for?” However, only minutes elapsed before or course organiser appeared with directions to the sleeping quarters. A simple task you would think! It did not prove so, for one of our instructors who after attending the initial briefing and lecture session, set-off to find his allotted chalet and returned ten minutes later with a request for a guide! “Ah!” you say, “at the beer again”. I can assure you that is was very wet outside and very dry inside. The list of equipment requiring surface instruction before diving made our course instructor, “Peter Duffy”, press on regardless of the many suggestions from parched throats.

Day two dawned with overcast skies and a very damp outlook, soon dispelled however during the morning briefing by the arrival of John and Jerry from Underwater Instrumentation Ltd. They had brought with them some of the very latest diving equipment from America and Sweden, all of which they demonstrated and explained in detail to a much too small cross section of NORFED members.

The moment we had all been waiting for! The chance to use equipment one usually only reads about as amateurs.

Use of surface demand equipment with telephone communication took place under the guidance of Ken Crow and Peter Duffy from a boat some 20yds from shore. Not content that one should use new equipment and swim around, each pair had the task of sketching and detailing, with lengths and angles, a distorted frame from a continental tent. I must say, it proved most interesting in NIL-VIS, the frame half buried in mud and using a tape measure from which all markings had disappeared!!

Underwater cutting, once one had overcome the difficulties with the help of Ian Watson, led one to dream “how easy it would have been to remove a porthole or some other prize that would take many frustrating hours to remove – if at all”.

John Holdsworth in charge of bolt-firing produced with our efforts underwater something which would have been easily accepted as modern art. A long length of structural channel iron, covered as densely as a hedge hog with 2 x 3/8 bolts.

The general equipment section had each one of us, including the instructors, exchanging dry suites and space-type diving helmets, the latest in America gear at only £450 a time. That’s just for the helmet alone; the suit, telephone communication system and polar suit underwear, rounding it off to something in the order of £600 plus.

An interesting innovation to the one-piece dry suit, the separate wrist seals and a neck yoke lager than existing standards. I found both changes a tremendous advantage when getting in and out of this type of suit. The separate wrist seals avoid the tedious task of replacement and wet dives, because of damage to the wrist seals. The new Uni-Suite from Sweden really was something new. A one-piece dry suit made from wet suit material, combining the advantage of dryness and with insulating properties of closed cell expanding neoprene. The suit also has buoyancy control via cylinder, demand valve, inlet and exhaust valves fitted in the suit.

It is not possible to mention all the equipment, nor to enlarge on the very enjoyable social side of the weekend. There were many amusing incidents as on all occasions when divers from several Branches get together over a glass of beer.

The report would not be complete without the comments from instructors and our friends from Underwater Instrumentation, the latter normally circulating in the professional diving world. All commented on the high standard of competence shown by the divers on the course, especially the lady diver from Lune Branch. This is the second NORFED equipment weekend I have attended, and I must say I fail to understand why experienced divers who moan that branches don’t organise activities for their interest, do not take advantage of this type of course. For an all-in cost of £6 it represented unbeatable value for money.

Darwen Branch


“NORFED” Equipment Weekend Page 8 Reported Northern News & Views No:22 December

“Don’t be so modest”

Dr Horace Dobbs comments on the Windive Photographic Competition.

30th October

News and Views No 24 Dec 1971 Page 8


Chairman (Peter Duffy)

22nd January 1972 NORFED Committee meeting held at Harrogate Branch

A new Photographic Trophy was presented by Tetley’s Brewery for the NORFED Photographer of the year Competition.

Alan Watkinson was appointed North West Regional Coach and Tony Royston was appointed Regional Coach for Yorkshire and Humberside taking over from Jeremy Hazzard of Merseyside Branch and John McGuin of Leeds Branch.

The Deep Dive rescue examination was again held at Wastwater saw 18 out of 31 candidates successful.

Page 3 Reported Northern News & Views No:26 December

15th annual “Windive”

Saturday 21st-Sunday 22nd October

The Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge, Lake Windermere

“Windive Watersports”

Barracuda Trophy Burnley Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year Bernard Scott Blackpool Branch

Photographer of the Year Bernard Scott Blackpool Branch

The weekend includes a film festival, Dinner and Dance, Watersports, a Lake cruise and the AGM. This year being organised by Leeds Branch.

It was well attended by NORFED members and Guests….

Page 6

A memorable Weekend by Tessa Hugget Harrogate Branch

After an 8-hour journey we arrived at OBAN on Thursday night and settled in to caravans.

Page 8

Narcosis and You by Ken Crow

Page 11

Alan Watkinson National Coach

North West Region

With the appointment of Tony Royston

Page 18

The Shetland Viking Expedition


Chairman (Stanley Webb)

During the “Oceans 2000” Weekend a party of NORFED divers visited Seibe Gorman and could use the Training Tank facilities and try out the Harbour Gear.

A visit was arranged by Stan Webb for a conducted tour around the diving facility on board H.M.S. Reclaim. The party were introduced to Commander Scott Carpenter the astronaut who was involved in the American inner space project.


Friday21st-Sunday 23rd September

The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool

“Windive Watersports”

Barracuda Trophy Southport Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year Joe Kehoe Harrogate Branch

Photographer of the Year Ken Crow Harrogate Branch

Friday evening Blackpool’s club rooms will be open, Saturday the Underwater Photographic and Film Festival will be followed by the annual Dinner-Dance. Sunday will be taken up with the AGM followed by the Watersports at the South Shore Open Air Baths in the afternoon.


Chairman (Stanley Webb)

Northern News & Views No; 32 June 1974

NORFED sends loyal greetings to Prince Charles as the new President of the British Sub-Aqua Club, following in his father’s foot-steps, who is now a life member of the club.

We welcome to the federation: Clitheroe, Sale, Stockport and Zarifa (Hazel Grove) Sub-Aqua Clubs.

Congratulations to Barry Wilkinson, our Vice-Chairman and Salford Branch Chairman, on his election to the National Council. You can be sure again that NORFEDS voice will be heard “up-top” once again.

Diving at Altitude.

Page 9 By Chris Apperley. (Lancashire Police Diving Team & Diving Officer of Merseyside Branch)

NORFED purchased 2 sets of Nikonos camera equipment for hiring out to members interested in underwater photography. (See Ken Crow for hire details of these two cameras)

This Year saw the second Northern Conference to held at Manchester University.

At B.S.A.C. 21st Anniversary Banquet at the Guildhall in London. Douglas Balaam, NORFED founder was made an Honorary Life Member of the B.S.A.C., the presentation being made by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales as President of the B.S.A.C.

Northern News & Views No; 33 September 1974

Windive “74”

Saturday 5th – Sunday 6th October 1974

The Old England Hotel


“Windive Watersports”

YMCA North Camp, Windermere

Barracuda Trophy – East Lancs Branch

Moomist Trophy – ??????

Diver of the Year – Mike Holbrook – East Lancs Branch

Photographer of the Year – Peter Duffy – Hammerhead Branch

The photographic exhibition was held on Saturday afternoon with the quality of this year’s entry was extremely high, there being 18 entrants showing 145 colour slides, 20 black and white prints and 3 Cine films.


190 members and guests sat down to dinner with Dr David Bellamy and his wife Rosemary and Douglas and Margaret Balaam as Chief guest. Doug was a founder member of NORFED and was secretary for many years, he also was a past Vice-Chairman of the British Sub Aqua Club. The National Council was represented by Chairman Derek Cockbill and his wife Myrtle,


Chairman (Barry Wilkinson East Lancs Branch)

“Windive Watersports”

Beech Hill, Windermere

Barracuda Trophy Bradford Branch

Moomist Trophy ?????

Diver of the Year – Bob Earl – Salford Branch

Photographer of the Year – Steve Birchall – Bolton Branch

Saw NORFED’s Photographic Society formed. Jill Myers of Harrogate Branch was elected to the B.S.A.C National Council, Phil Baker of Doncaster Branch was appointed Regional Coach for Yorkshire & Humberside and John Page of Hazel Grove Branch was elected as Regional Coach for the North West.


Chairman (Charles Dyas, Hazel Grove Branch)

“Windive Watersports”


Barracuda Trophy Bradford Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year Barry Wilkinson Salford Branch

Photographer of the Year Steve Birchall Bolton Branch

AGM Bowness-on-Windermere

The NORFED Advance Divers Group was formed to cater for divers of 2nd Class Grade the who were in search of more adventurous diving and to have the opportunity to gain experience in diving which was not provided at Branch Level. It was also felt that divers sometimes, just wanted to get away occasionally from the constraints of diving with their own Branches. The Group has had many successful seasons organising (informally), dives all around the British Coast usually from “hard” boats and on difficult sites. A high standard of diving and a prominent level of safety has always been maintained on these expeditions.

The fact that ADG divers include members of NORFED from many different Branches has encouraged the exchange of diving techniques and experiences and the method of advanced diving and experience gained have been taken a back and put into practice in many Branches throughout the area. There is no separate fee for ADG Membership although members pay a nominal levy each time they attend an expedition. Divers are expected to be experienced and must be recommended by their Branch Diving Officer. All activities of the ADG are coordinated by the Diving Officer of NORFED, but expeditions are led and organised by members of different Branches within the Federation.

Involvement with the ADG is an excellent way to widen your diving horizon, both in terms of “long distance” dives and in terms of finding out how other Branches and divers do things.

NORFED marine Biology Group was formed.

NORFED’s President Mr Fred Pontin was Knighted in the Queens Honours List


Chairman (Charles Dyas, Hazel Grove Branch)

“Windive Watersports”


Barracuda Trophy Burnley Branch

Moomist Trophy ??????

Diver of the Year Doug Hallows Sale Branch

Photographer of the Year Peter Lumley Bradford Branch

AGM Bowness-on-Windermere

The third Northern Conference was held this year in Leeds.

Lunesdale Branch raised the controversial “Coniston Gun”

Members of NORFED’s Advance Diving Group produced a film on a diving project “The Girvan Plan”.

John Halifax of Barnsley Branch was appointed Regional Coach for Yorkshire & Humberside.

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