The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
AGM gives members unique opportunity
Life continues to be busy within the IDSA, with planning for the next Annual Meeting going steadily ahead at the time of writing. The 2014 meeting is scheduled to be held in Oslo, Norway, in September, giving members a unique opportunity to visit the Norwegian School of Commercial Diving (NYD) at Fagerstrand and to look at all of the school’s recent improvements and developments.
The director of the school, Dag Wroldsen, continues to make good progress after his stroke last year and we hope to see him at the meeting; in the meantime the director’s chair has been ably filled by his son, Lars, well supported by the school’s established team of instructors and administrators.
Like everyone else, diving schools are not immune from the influence of politics and as the IDSA spreads more widely throughout the world, a heightened awareness of politics is inevitable. This is brought home to us at the present time when our members in the Middle East find travel increasingly difficult, though we are still hoping that some may be able to attend the AGM.
These links are important, not only for the exchange of views on diver training but also for the insights into the wider situations and understanding which such exchanges bring. Although the ‘working days’ at such meetings, with their technical updates, are interesting and useful, it is often in the more social situations that some of the most valuable work is done. To that extent, the absence of members from some regions due to political situations is to be deplored and we are all ‘losers’ as a result.
The 24th edition of IDSA News is now available and any reader of UCi who would like a free copy is asked to contact the administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org). The News is published twice a year (summer and winter) and includes articles on developments in diving, within schools and in manufacturing. Articles and comments from those involved in diving are welcomed and should be submitted to the editors. In our future editions we are planning a series on ‘IDSA People’, in which we hope to include not only the better known aspects of members’ careers but also some more personal ‘memories’ which may not be so well known (bearing in mind the laws concerning libel!) but which add to the interest – again, contributions are welcome.
The most recent edition of the News includes an article by George Gradon on setting up, with his partner Warren Salliss, a new school in Cornwall. It is always pleasing to see that people we knew in their younger days are doing well – in this case, George was an instructor at Bovisand and so it is our pleasure to see him making such progress; we hope to be able to welcome him as an IDSA member in the future.
Other new schools include two in France – one in the South, near Toulon (ENS), which is already ‘up and running’ and is an IDSA member, the other in the North, in Brittany (CAP), is in the latter stages of development. These schools join the long established, and highly thought of, INPP school in Marseille. The new schools are to be congratulated on their successful start-up as there are real difficulties faced by anyone trying to set up their own business or enterprise in France, beyond those associated with the work itself. The term ‘dead hand of bureaucracy’ must surely have been invented here and recent figures suggest that more than 50% of the population is employed by the government!
Whilst immigrants such as ourselves are happy to get used to the rules of our chosen home, even we were surprised when a neighbour was recently forbidden to repaint the woodwork on her stone cottage in ‘Breton Blue’ – apparently dark red or green are the only choices, despite the fact that both seem dull and gloomy! All those pretty postcards are clearly out of date! On the other hand, I have just received a (small) income tax rebate for which I hadn’t even applied – so it’s not all bad! Please contact the administrator if you would like copies of the News, or would like to comment or contribute an article.