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Question
Posted : June 21, 2010
Laws on diving, snorkeling and swiming in UK??

Can anyone tell me what are the general laws on diving, snorkeling and swiming in the UK??

I am from Portugal and would like to know about the existing legislation in the UK about ocean diving and snorkeling, but also about swiming in the ocean and lakes (cause i live in Bristol and would like to train in some nearby lakes)

Cheers
Answer
Posted : October 14, 2010
This is answered very briefly as we could easily end up with a huge reply and huge thread...

Diving
=====
Generally you need to be qualified with a recognised training agency in order to scuba dive in the UK, further enforced as you need those qualifications generally to hire equipment from reputable suppliers.

Strictly speaking though it is not directly legally required - although Health and Safety At Work Act and/or various others could be used if any necessary punishment/redress was needed if the above wasn't followed and someone was harmed.

This is a very complex area as all sorts of things come in to play if you are being taught, just pleasure diving (by boat), pleasure diving at the shore etc... Lakes and artificial lakes enjoy all sorts of laws (including laws of trespass and local by-laws) - generally permission is required... similarly the same as lakes is true for Rivers and Canals.. although some of the canals are not recommended to scuba dive unless you have advanced equipment.

Snorkeling
========

generally no control, although again note the caution legally for lakes, rivers etc... by-laws do exist for beaches and specific shore lines... so best checked - especially to understand the potential hazards that might exisit (including the need for good thermal protection or assisted buoyancy).

Swimming
========

generally no control, although again note the caution legally for lakes, rivers etc... by-laws do exist for beaches and specific shore lines... so best checked - especially to understand the potential hazards that might exisit.

General points
============

Bristol is the home of PADI International Ltd so you could always pop in to their HQ and talk to someone about training or further advice... Likewise you have a local dive shop - or over in Chepstowe is a huge lake (the NDAC) which is for training and pleasure use for all levels of divers.

Hope the above helps and is what you were after?

best regards Andrew.
Answer provided by ADM Diving

Andrew Dawson-Maddocks
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