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November 14th 2005
Published: November 26th 2005
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Left to Right T-1000, Wingnut, Me and Rodders
Life in Pattaya is still good.....diving everyday and its Saturday night whenever you want it to be.

I wake up every morning knowing its November and still its a little bit surreal, knowing it so hot outside and my days activities will be on a boat soaking up the sun between diving in nice warm seas.

I have been kept busy and not had as many pleasure dives as I might have liked as myself and three friends have just taken a course in Emergency Response Diving.

The course is outlined at the following site and its not a recreational course whatsoever

This was probably physically the hardest thing I have ever done in my life it was a great challenge and after the first day I really did not believe I was going to achieve the times or weight holding issues. My swim on the first day was 12:minutes:48 seconds and by the last I made the grade in 8:53, the course really showed me the effect of having such supportive people around you.

The four of us who did it were Alex "T-1000" Betzold, Stuart "Rodders" Jenks, Andrew "Wingnut" Strong and myself Snowball.

The course is demanding physically by making you perform the following tasks in less than 4 hours:

400 metre swim 9 minutes
400 metre swim full scuba kit and drop tank 12 minutes
100 tired diver tow with drop tanks 4 minutes
15 minute water tread supporting 4.5kg for a minute
Underwater swim for 23 metres then clearing mask and surfacing
Recover 4.5kg from 2.5 metres and support on surface for 30 seconds
Blind bailout and donning of all equipment: Basically jump in the water holding all your kit with the air off!!

These skills were practised everyday for 3 days and then we had our final day. Also in the course you learn the skills of practising underwater tasks with blacked out masks so as to simulate black water condtions.

Underwater search patterns are practised whilst you are blind also whilst the instuctor simulates various issues you may encounter in a hazardous enviroment such as entanglement and loss of equipment or air.

Our final exercise was on the Jomtien beach where we perfomed search patterns again in blind masks and open water condtions. Steve threw a weight out into the water after we had

Willing the weight to stay out of the water
practised search patterns and it was then our task to find this weight who represented one of our team members.......

We all passed and I have never been prouder to have earned this qualification it is a real achievement and something I really did not think possible. The other lads were great and we were all very proud of each other and ourselves it was a real team effort all along and the final day really capped it off.

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26th November 2005

Well done, Bruce!
Welcome to real diving. I'm glad to see that someone is still providing training in the skills everyone who gets in a SCUBA rig should be getting. I've been exactly in your shoes and felt as you do - in my Basic Open Water course. My Basic instructor was an ex-UDT man and we had to accomplish just those tasks in order to get our Basic card (plus a 25m buddy swim with one fin each and one snorkel - ever buddy breathe with a snorkel?). At the time I was new to SCUBA and thought everyone went through the same to earn their card! Now you know why I avoid diving with non-military trained divers. Again: well done! PS - can you see the gills when you look in the mirror yet?
26th November 2005

Well Done
Hey Jigga, glad it's still all good over there dude. Myself and Carley just gpot back from "THE" holiday, it was really nice in Cuba, average temp was 34oC and when we landed back in England it was -2. Its bloody cold here, stay out there!! Well got to go now as I have to go watch Pompey get there arse kicked again bye Chelsea, keep it real Snowball. Foote
27th November 2005

great to hear from you seems like you are seeing some interesting places hope all going well keep in touch all the best jeff
28th November 2005

well done that man!!
Wow- what an achievement - no wonder you are proud! The drills with the blackout masks sound hard- but what a great way to train- wish I knew where I could access that level of training over here. Winter is well and truly here now and my last dive was wrapped up snug in my drysuit with the water temp a balmy 5 degrees (yep- in the sea!!)- viz was good tho (gotta be positive!) I'm not sure how much sea diving I will get in from now on tho -the weather conditions are very variable and it has been getting really windy as well as much colder - I guess I'll have to stay wet in Horsea -doing a bit of DM-ing and looking forward to the spring! You stay safe and have (even more) fun matey - look forward to you instructing me sometime! Nadia x
28th November 2005

Contact at last
Jigga, It's been a long time. I will send you an e-mail real soon with everything that's been going on. Just thought I would drop a memo quick to let you know that. Later
16th December 2005

glad to see you passed it looks as it would be hard to do good luck with next one

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