Season 2 Ep2: Emma, PADI Regional Mgr on The Community Spirit of Scuba Diving – All In this TOGETHER

We chat to Emma Samuelsson about the rise of female scuba divers, the need for community & the incredible scuba spirit that keeps us pining to dive deeper and for longer.

Scuba Diving is for everyone and anyone who is curious of what lies beneath the waves and loves a new challenge.

It feels like summer is finally here & more of us are coming out of our lockdown bubbles and throwing ourselves into new exciting adventures. With UK diving on the rise since we can not trek far this year due to Covid-19 regulations on travel, it’s not surprising that the scuba community is booming with lots of friendly faces excited to share stories and discover what we have on offer in our very own coastlines from sea kelp forests, shipwrecks to cold water reefs.

In this episode we talk to Emma, PADI’s Regional Manager for the UK & Europe about her bug for scuba diving; How she got into it, where it’s taken her on her career and how it opened up a world of travel, building confidence beneath the waves, meeting new people and concludes that it’s essentially that scuba community that excites her. No matter where you are in the world you can find common ground amongst divers. Emma highlights some of the most popular specialty courses globally and the importance of the Drysuit & DSMB for safety and comfort whilst diving in the UK.

Enjoy and LISTEN to the podcast clip below or You can access the podcast on iTunes click here. Or press the play button at the bottom of this post .

Episode 4: An eyeopening discussion with Steve Cook, Andark’s Project Aware ambassador & Training Course Manager

Steve Cook has some incredible tales of the deep, given his extensive experience diving and with a heart felt purpose to conserve the nature & beauty of our oceans!

First Aid Training

Steve Cook specialises in all of our First Aid training courses and highlights the importance of safety whilst diving, sailing or at work in any circumstance. It’s always great to have awareness of what to do when faced with an accident.

LISTEN to the podcast clip below or You can access the podcast on iTunes click here. Or press the play button at the bottom of this post ⬇️.

Project Aware
Project Aware

Project Aware and what matters

We discuss diving with purpose, where Steve expresses his enthusiasm and passion for ocean conservation encouraging all divers to take a mesh bag and a small diving knife on every dive as you will always come across debris that needs cleaning up.

Get involved & help save our seas

We are currently running our lockdown courses online including our Conservation subjects – Dive Against Debris, Shark Conservation & Project Aware, Coral Reef with Project Aware. Be a part of the change with us!

USE CODE: BF10 for 10% off all Lockdown Courses

Listen to the podcast on the below link ⬇️

Andark Divemaster Scholars 2017

This year, we have three lucky scholars who will be with us for the summer to learn the ropes of the dive center and earn their PADI Divemaster qualification. Meet Lucy, Jake and Natasha:

Lucy Martin-Patrick

My name is Lucy Martin-Patrick and I’m 18 years old. I decided to do the Andark dive master scholarship as ever since I started diving a year ago after doing my open water course at Andark I have wanted to progress even further, and I felt doing the scholarship was a great opportunity for me to do this. Once I finish the scholarship I’m looking to do some volunteering overseas and travel for a couple years. Whilst travelling I hope to dive in as many different places as I can and experience the different cultures.


Jake Keys

I am excited to be on the Andark Scholarship throughout the summer. I began the process a qualified Rescue Diver, having done all of my training through Andark already. I grew up in Southampton and I have just completed my three A-Levels (Maths, Physics and Geography) at Peter Symonds. The scholarship is an opportunity for me to develop my skills further and to pass them on to new divers. I hope to carry on after the scholarship and become an instructor, with the aim of travelling somewhere tropical and enjoying a gap year before University.

Natasha Busjeet

Hey I’m Natasha and I’m 22. I have just completed a masters in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton, and have always had a keen interest in marine life and diving. I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the scholars this year, in which this divemaster qualification will help me to pursue a career in marine conservation.




We’re lucky to have Lucy, Jake and Natasha here for the summer, and hope this process is as rewarding for them as it has been in previous years. Follow their progress here on our blog, and see what they get up to this summer!

Andark Scholarship Week 3


My PADI Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver and Emergency First Response (EFR) qualification cards arrived in the post. I have been busy at Andark over the past couple of weeks; I’ve dived at Vobster Quay and seen Perch, helped with Group Try Dives, Scuba Parties and Aquanauts in the pool, assisted with PADI Open Water Courses at Andark Lake, experienced the HUET, and explored Portland Harbour and witnessed fascinating marine life. It’s hard work but lots of fun! I found the PADI Open Water Course most rewarding; it was great to see students who were nervous at first really progress over the four day course and become PADI qualified divers.

I’m looking forward to Women’s Dive Day on Saturday 16th July at Andark Lake – it will be a great day with a treasure hunt, underwater photography, talks from female diving professionals and prizes to be won, plus lots of freebies 



In the past week I’ve been busy doing lots of different activities around Andark. I’ve been keeping the kit room tidy and organised- which makes kitting up and loading the van a lot easier and faster! I’ve also spent some time weeding the lake; collecting lots of blanket weed and helping to keep it clear for divers to enjoy. On Monday I helped out with a SCUBA Refresher for the first time, going through the main skills in the pool with divers who haven’t been diving for a while. The SCUBA Refresher was good fun and it was nice to be getting people prepared for diving again after they’ve spent some time out of the water. Throughout the week I also helped out with some group try-dives and SCUBA parties, which are always good fun- it’s great to see people enjoying SCUBA diving, often for the first time. The highlight of my week was a dive trip in Portland Harbour- where I went RIB diving for the first time. I did a wreck dive on The Countess of Erne and a drift dive in Balaclava Bay. Both were really enjoyable and there was plenty to see; both marine life and the wreck, which sank in 1935. Overall it’s been a great week and I’ve learnt a lot!



Andark Scholarship Week 2


On the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of July I helped out with a PADI Advanced Open Water course. The first day of the course was run at Andark Lake and involved 3 dives- Search & Recovery, Navigation and Peak Performance Buoyancy. Alongside helping those taking the course with equipment, I was a safety diver for the dives. This involved watching over people whilst the instructor demonstrated skills and following behind the students to ensure everyone stayed together. On Sunday we went to Vobster Quay for the Deep and Wreck dives, which meant organising and loading a van full of gear to make sure nothing was forgotten! I was then safety diver for the two dives, and towed a SMB so that Surface Cover knew our location in the water at all times. These dives, and the weekend in general, were very enjoyable and it was great to be helping students whilst getting to dive at the same time. The weekend was also really useful for getting more familiar with Vobster Quay and the running of the Advanced Open Water Course.


Advanced Open Water Course


On Monday 4th July, the scholarship students and an instructor took part in the Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. A large yellow box made to represent the cabin of a helicopter or potentially a powerboat was on a machine which had the capability to move the box out over the swimming pool and go on to ‘dunk’ it. This machine was also able to roll the box to a 180° degree (a complete inverse) with several people inside it. Mike Lindsell supervised our group of 4 (3 interns and an instructor) whilst we were moved into the water and flipped upside down, with water rushing up to meet our faces and go up our noses before we had to unbuckle our safety harnesses, push a plastic window out into the water and pull ourselves out of the cabin. The training session was a great experience both for preparation and for its uniqueness. At the same time, it was a very unpleasant sensation of voluntarily allowing water to reach your sinuses and your eyes. All in all, we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but will not hasten to do it again unless we are working out to sea!



Michael Andark Scholarship, Week 1

I’m looking forward to a summer full of diving, meeting new people and learning lots through the Andark Divemaster Scholarship.  I grew up in Kent and have just finished studying Geography at the University of Southampton, with a particular interest in climate change and environmental issues. The scholarship is a brilliant opportunity for me to learn new skills and have fun whilst doing so! I’d love diving to be a big part of my life and/or career in the future, perhaps even becoming an instructor. The Advanced Open Water, Rescue Diver and Emergency First Response courses which I have just completed at Andark were challenging, rewarding and very enjoyable. I’m extremely thankful to Andark, PADI and Suunto for the scholarship, and look forward to meeting those involved in the planning and sponsorship over the summer, including an upcoming visit to Suunto.