General Rules and arrival at the site

  • Adhere to the St Andrews Lakes speed limit and site rules at all times
  • On arrival at the centre, you must sign and complete the registration form. If you are unsure of the signing in procedure, consult a member of the site staff.
  • Please make sure you read and understand the information about the centre and the depth of the water, which is displayed, on notice boards around the centre. Staff will be more than happy to help clarify any points.
  • The risk assessment is available from the shop and on our website.
  • Respect the quarry walls above and below the water
  • Wear a buoyancy aid or suit at all times when in or around the water
  • Warning notices are displayed throughout the site and suitable lifebuoys and lines are provided at the waters edge
  • Do not dive / swim or otherwise enter the water outside the displayed times
  • Speak to any of the centre staff if you are unsure about anything on the site.

 

Scuba Diving

  • You are encouraged to consult the risk assessment and always to dive fully in accordance with the safe diving practices of your diving agency (e.g. RAID, PADI, BSAC, SAA, TDI/PSI etc.).

 

Planning your dive

  • Always dive within your qualification level.
  • Divers are requested to plan their dives carefully.
  • Solo diving is not permitted. If you become separated from your buddy ascend without delay and notify a member of staff with immediate effect.
  • Any diver found to be diving solo or otherwise not following the rules of the site will be asked to leave site.
  • Portable compressors are not allowed.
  • An SMB (Surface Marker Buoy) is recommended on all dives for all divers.
  • We recommend that all ascents are carried out by ascending on one of the various marker buoy lines or up the wall of the quarry. Be aware of divers above or below you.
  • If you do ascend mid water, use your SMB, be cautious of surface boat traffic.
  • Ensure your thermal protection is adequate for the water temperatures – these are displayed on the website and at the lake. Dramatic drops in water temperature and cold water thermoclines are not uncommon. It is recommended to wear a good quality hood and a pair of thick gloves, even in summer months.
  • Certain sections of the lake are still very silty and visibility can be reduced dramatically if this silt is disturbed. Avoid all contact with the lake bottom, especially with your fins and be mindful of the ‘wash’ that your fins create behind you.

Deep water diving (below 30m)

  • Do not dive below 30 meters without a torch, and preferably a back up.
  • Do not dive below 30 meters without a redundant air source (Pony Cylinder, Side mount, twins, Bailout cylinder etc).
  • See the site map for the underwater attractions. Divers enter or otherwise interact with the attractions at their own risk.
  • Do not enter an overhead environment unless you are properly trained to do so. Due to their confined space, these areas can silt up very quickly and do become hazardous without proper training.
  • Diving in cold water has resulted in many preventable incidents at freshwater sites due to regulator freezing and divers wearing inadequate thermal protection. The daily water temperature is available on the site map, internet, or from a member of staff. Note that the water is likely to be 6 degrees at depth. Please refer to your owner’s handbook for information on using your equipment in cold water. Please also observe recognised safe diving practices that will minimise the risk of regulator free-flows and maximise the adequacy of your response should a free-flow occur.

 

OPEN Water Swimming

  • Swimmers are required to confirm their swimming ability prior to any participation of open swimming at St Andrews Lakes. ensure that the declaration is signed. This includes relevant medical information.
  • By entering the water for open water swimming, you declare that you can swim at least twice your planned distance non-stop in a pool. For example – By entering to swim 1 km swim, you will declare that you can swim at least 2000m non-stop in a pool (the equivalent of 60 lengths in a 25 m pool)
  • All swimmers must be swim members of St Andrews Lakes, and complete the swim ability assessment prior to swimming.
  • Swimmers are advised to be cautious when entering and exiting the water, only use the entry and exit points provided.
  • A bright coloured swimming hat must be worn whilst swimming.
  • The use of tow buoys is optional, but strongly encouraged.
  • In the event of a problem swimmers are to hold onto the nearest buoy line, turnover onto your back, wave an arm in the air to gain attention of the centre staff. Alternatively, if you are confident you are able swim to the nearest shore – be aware the quarry sides are steep and can be slippery. If a swimmer does encounter any difficulties, you must report it to centre staff and not re-enter the water.

 

Use of Wetsuits

  • The minimum water temperature at which wetsuits are optional is 14°C.
  • The maximum water temperature at which wetsuits can be worn is 22°C.
  • At the following temperatures the following maximum swim distances are obligatory:
    Water Temperature Maximum Distance
    13°C 2000m
    12°C 1000m
    11°C 500m

In the event of an emergency, please inform a member of our staff immediately. Our staff are there to assist you in such circumstances. ALL injuries – no matter how minor you think they are – must be reported to a member of our staff. Remember we are here to help!

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