Scotland: Muck Diving at Home

Do we really need to go underwater at the other end of the world (and its challenges)? Lawson Wood poses this question while comparing the muck diving found in his home country of Scotland to that found in exotic locations in Asia and other regions of the world, renown for their muck diving sites.

SS Express sank off Orkney in 1918 under circumstances which has been a topic of debate for over a century

The SS Express: A Century-Old Mystery Resolved Off Orkney

A team of British divers have identified the wreck of the SS Express, a ship that sank off Orkney in 1918, resulting in the loss of 13 lives. The vessel, which had been a vital lifeline connecting Orkney to mainland Scotland, met its unfortunate end following a collision with another ship, the HMS Grenville.

Scapa Flow Wrecks: Multibeam Sonar Survey & 3D Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry of the mast of the Kronprinz Wilhelm wreck in Scapa Flow by 3DVisLab at the University of Dundee
The mast of the Kronprinz Wilhelm wreck, rendered in 3D photogrammetry by professors Chris Rowland and Kari Hyttinen of 3DVisLab at the University of Dundee in Scotland, United Kingdom

Scapa Flow, located in the Orkney Islands of Scotland, is the site of the scuttling of the High Seas Fleet of the Imperial German Navy in June 1919 at the end of World War I. While many of the wrecks were salvaged following the war, the remaining wrecks have become popular dive sites. In recent times, efforts to learn more about these wrecks through multibeam sonar surveys and 3D photogrammetry have taken place. Rosemary E.

Warner -v- Scapa Flow Charters Court Case: Successfully overturned

Scotland's highest civil court published their Opinion of the Court on 10 May 2022, and ruled that fault or neglect on the part of Scapa Charters "is not established".

The Opinion states "The Lord Ordinary wrongly concluded that walking in fins represented an unacceptable risk...The inference drawn by the Lord Ordinary was unreasonable. The divers' unchallenged evidence made it clear that putting on fins and then walking to the exit point was almost invariable practice.

Bob Anderson, MV Halton, British liveaboard, UK scuba diving, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, XRay Mag, X-Ray Magazine
This Brit liveaboard will mostly be sailing in Scottish waters in 2022 | Image Credit: Bob Anderson

Boat crew sought for Brit liveaboard

British liveaboard skipper and photographer Bob Anderson is seeking crew for the forthcoming 2022 season. 

Bob Anderson stated "You will join an incredible boat that covers miles, sees a little bit of the world and takes some lovely people diving. The work is tough, relentless and demanding, but the rewards are there when you reflect at the end of the day."

Cook: needs to be adept with supplies / logistics and turn out some good food

Dan Burton (left) with X-Ray Mag's editor in Jordan 2019
Dan Burton (left) with X-Ray Mag's editor in Jordan 2019

Dan Burton dies in a paragliding accident

Dan Burton was known to the international dive community as a true pioneer who, among many other endeavours, explored using technical diving in combination with underwater photography.  At least that is what he was up to when we first met in the 1990s.

Sacha Dench was attempting a 3,000-mile journey in a motorised paraglider ahead of November's COP26 UN climate change conference with Dan Burton working in support as her cameraman.

Common dolphin (NOAA NMFS/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)
Common dolphin (NOAA NMFS/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)

Share your views on Scotland's first cetacean conservation strategy

Focusing on nine of the most commonly found dolphin, whale and porpoise species in UK waters, the strategy has been developed by the Scottish Government, in collaboration with the UK Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

Its objective is to ensure the effective management to achieve and maintain the current favourable status of the nine species. It highlights certain pressures where further research or extra management measures may help to improve the conservation of marine mammals.

Oban Chamber has busy 2019

This resulted in 39 hyperbaric sessions, because some of the divers needed several therapy sessions.

Apparently, 2019 was the busiest year in the last decade for the Oban (Scotland) based chamber. Most of the patients were recreational divers; however, commercial divers working at fish farms or in civil engineering were also treated.