Who are the Wight Dolphins?
Wight Dolphins is a branch of the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC), and we are based on the Isle of Wight. The club has been running now for 45 years, and during this time we have taught many hundreds of people how to dive, and provided the opportunity to explore the wonderful marine environment that exists below the waves, both locally and throughout the UK, and even around the world.
Our members come from all walks of life, both young and old, and of varying abilities. We always welcome new members, and we provide a full training programme using the BSAC syllabus, and delivered by our own team of qualified instructors, who give up their time freely to help others.
Why We Need Your Help?
The club's activities were hit very badly during 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, we were unable to meet socially, unable to dive as a group for most of the year, and our training and try dive programme virtually stopped. These were major sources of income for the club, so our finances were not helped during this period. A number of members left the club due to this inactivity, and we have struggled to get them back. Things were looking better in 2021 and as restrictions lifted we are able to resume club activities, but in the middle of the summer, just as the club was starting to get back on it's feet after the various lockdowns, we suffered a catastrophic failure of the engine on our club dive boat, and we now need to purchase a new engine.
The dive boat is at the centre of everything we do as a dive club, and without it we may well cease to function. Although we have a always tried keep a little bit of money for a rainy day, we simply don't have the funds to buy a replacement, and so we are looking for your help.
What We Do?
We are a non-profit making members club, so we are run by our members, and everything we do is for the benefit of our members. During the year we run a full diving programme for our members, with shore dives, boat dives, social events and various diving trips around the UK and abroad. We run a full training programme from complete beginners to advanced divers and instructors, all using our own team of volunteer instructors. Without the boat we have to undertake training activities at inland sites on the mainland, and this comes with the additional burden of time and costs associated with ferry crossings.
Our membership is open to all, and we try to be as inclusive as possible, with membership starting from age 14 and some members well into retirement!
As part of our commitment to the local community on the Island, our members assist and partake in many local events such as offering try dives to local youth groups and running several try dive sessions over the winter to provide opportunities for everyone in the community to have a go. It also helps to recruit new members and keep the club buoyant.
We also regularly support local charities undertaking cross-solent swimming events by providing our dive boat for safety cover, and we also participate in local beach clean events, and even organise our own, both above and below the water.
The Marine Environment
We are committed to trying to protect and preserve our local marine environment, and are or have been involved in many projects for example:
- The Undulate Ray Project - identifying and reporting specimens to assist in the monitoring of this endangered species.
- SeaSearch - helping to map out the types of sea bed and variety of species to assist in the setting up of Marine Conservation Zones
- Project Seagrass - reporting on the health of sea grass beds
- Historic England - surveying an unknown wreck at Thorness Bay to help identify it's history, and also to setup dive trails to allow divers to explore the wreck site.
- BSAC Operation Oyster - data gathering and habitat surveys to help protect and rehabilitate the native oyster species.
Throughout the year we also try to raise funds for our nominated charity, which in the past has included BiteBack, Blue Seas Foundation, the Shark Trust and Sea Sheppard.
What Can We Offer?
In return for your help we can offer a range of opportunities and experiences from Try Dives to Dive Training, Rib Rides (when we get the new engine!) a range of clothing and accessories cakes and honey, discount vouchers and some sponsorship opportunities.
Anything you donate now will go that little bit further in helping us reach our fundraising target, and we would be extremely grateful for any help.
Sport England will be offering match funding towards our project, and if we are successful in reaching our target it will result in an extra £4,000, which will be fantastic!!
Thank you very much.