Diving at Vobster...

Learn to dive...


Misc stuff...

General advice...

Always enter and exit the water at points designed for that purpose.

Only dive in deeper parts of the lake with an alternative air source.

What's that noise?!

Vobster Quay employs a very simple diver recall signal that you should listen out for at all times when underwater.

In the event of an incident that requires all divers to exit the water, a member of our staff will pound a heavy metal object against the side of one of the metal ladders found at the water's edge.

If you hear the diver recall signal, make a safe ascent and exit the water by the nearest exit point.

Use a surface marker buoy when making an ascent in free water.

Do not enter an overhead unless you are properly trained to do so.

Mislaid your buddy?

In the event of becoming separated from your buddy, please follow the guidelines for handling such situations laid down by the agency through which you trained.

As a general rule, look around for a period no longer than 1 minute and then - if you fail to locate your dive buddy - make a safe ascent. If you do spot your buddy's bubbles from the surface, do not drop back down to rejoin them - wait for them to ascend and then end the dive there and then.

If your buddy fails to appear, inform a member of our staff immediately.

Always dive with a buddy - solo diving is not permitted at any time!

All visitors to Vobster must sign in and be issued with a key tag.

Good practice...

Welcome to Vobster Quay - the UK's friendliest inland diving centre! We like to think we're pretty laid back at Vobster and so we like to keep the 'rules and regulations' to a minimum - in truth, our primary concerns are that a) you enjoy your visit and b) you stay safe.

Fact is, nobody likes rules and regulations for the sake of it but unfortunately some are neccessary to ensure that those 'primary concerns' we mentioned earlier are met. These rules aren't there to give you a hard time - boil them down to their essence and you'll see that most are there to keep you and others around you safe and to help you make the most of your day. Stay safe and have fun!
  • Do not enter the water unless you have signed in and have been issued with a key tag. If you are unsure of the signing in procedure, consult a member of the site staff.

  • Vobster Quay provides a number of entry points into the lake which will allow you to safety enter and exit the water. If you are unsure where these points are, ask a member of staff. Entering or exiting the water at any point other than those designated for that purpose is not recommended.

    In addition, always check the area you are dropping into is safe and clear of hazards before entering the water. Pay particular attention to submerged objects such as large rocks - they may be shallower than you think!

  • Take adequate precautions to minimise the risk of regulator free flows, especially during the winter months. We recommend the use of regulators specifically designed for cold water use. If in doubt, consult your regulator manufacturer.

  • Be aware that even during the summer months, deeper parts of the lake can be very dark and very cold. Unless you are very confident in such conditions, we recommend that you stay away from these areas.

  • The deeper you go, the colder the water will be. Dramatic drops in water temperature and cold water thermoclines are not uncommon in a fresh water lake so always use a good quality hood and a pair of thick gloves.

  • Do not take on any dive below 30m without an alternative air source such as a pony bottle, a 'bail out' cylinder or an isolated/independent twinset.

  • Do not dive below 30m or within an overhead environment without a primary and at least one backup torch per diver. In the event of a light failure, follow your training and abort the dive.

  • Do not enter an overhead environment such as the tunnel, aircraft tail or the wheelhouse 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.

  • We recommend that all ascents are carried out by following the side of the quarry to the surface. If you do ascend mid water, be aware of surface boat traffic and pop up a surface marker buoy to provide a stable ascent platform.

  • 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.

  • Most diving attractions at Vobster Quay are marked by a buoy tied off to the attraction by a line of thick rope. If you plan to use these buoy lines for your ascent or descent, be mindful of divers that may be above or below you.

  • Please note that solo diving is not allowed at Vobster Quay - even if you are qualified and/or trained to do so. Any diver found to be diving solo will be asked to leave site.

  • Please take note of the time at which all divers must exit the water by at the end of the day - 4:00pm weekdays and 4:45pm at weekends. This information is also displayed on the site information board on the Quayside. If you are unsure of what time you must exit the water, ask a member of staff.

  • Portable compressors are not allowed at Vobster Quay as they pose a health and safety risk and are also a noise nuisance. Breathing air, enriched air nitrox and trimix fills are available at competitive rates from our filling station.

  • 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!

Visiting dive schools and instructors must abide by HSE regulations.

Teaching or working at Vobster?

All diving schools, instructors and divers working at the site must conform to the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 and all other revelant standards and procedures laid down by the UK Health & Safety Executive and the agencies they operate under.

They must have adequate insurance to cover all aspects of liability and must accept responsibility for providing all relevant safety cover both above and below water. Vobster's own staff and facilities (including oxygen therapy units) cannot be treated as part of your emergency assistance plan.

Enjoy your time on the surface too!

We want you to enjoy your time on the surface as much as you enjoy being underwater. In order to ensure that this happens, please follow these simple recommendations...

  • Please try to be considerate of other divers when leaving your kit lying around. Other divers do not wish to trip over or step on your valuable diving equipment so please be mindful of where you leave your kit. We are not responsible for your equipment - if it gets broken or stolen, neither Vobster Quay or any member of its staff will be held liable.

  • The kitting up stands and the area around the slip way is there to aid you when kitting up - these are not there to act as storage areas for equipment when it is not in use. Please keep these stands and the slipway clear so that other divers may use them.

  • To alleviate stress on the hard-working staff in the Vobster Quay air station, we recommend that cylinders are put in for fill as soon as you exit the water. Do not wait until the end of your surface interval to put your cylinders in for a fill as your dive will be delayed! If you've requested enriched air nitrox or trimix, please have your certification card to hand when you collect your cylinders.

  • Please park only in designated areas. The area in front of the quayside must be kept clear of vehicles and trailers at all times to allow the emergency services access to the quayside in the event of an incident.

  • Only Quay Members may reserve parking spaces in the lower car park for weekends and bank holidays. Note that spaces are allocated strictly on a 'first come first serve' basis and only one space may be reserved per member. Reserved parking must be booked in advance.

  • Barbecues are not allowed at Vobster Quay due to the close proximity of vehicles in the lower car park and the smoke and/or smell nuisance that they create. A full range of hot food and drinks are available via the onsite catering van.

Leave your kit lying around and this is likely to happen!

Put your cylinders in for fill as soon as you exit the water.

Please do not hog the kitting up benches - think of others!

04-12-2017   09:30



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Are you ready for Vobster Santas? We'll be throwing open the gates at 8:00am sharp tomorrow morning for a rush of Santas to converge on Vobster Quay for a festive dip in aid of charity.

Before the fun starts, though, we've got one more festive prize to 'reveal' to you -... [more]

POSTED: 16th December 2017

Vobster Quay is looking for Divemasters for paid work in 2018.

Andrea has just completed the new accelerated divemaster training programme at Vobster Quay, consisting of a four day development course, before moving on to course assists in the New Year. Congratulations are due for her effort this week!

If you would like to take the first step on the professional diver... [more]

POSTED: 16th December 2017


Coming to Vobster Santas 2017 this Sunday. We've got another great reason to make sure that you're registered and through the gates nice 'n' early thanks to the good folks at Otter Watersports Drysuits.

Otter have very kindly donated twenty toasty warm woollen beanie hats which we'll be giving away... [more]

POSTED: 15th December 2017

The next time your favourite wreck or carefully laid plan is blown out, remember the magical world of mud. Mud and fine sediment are there because it's a sheltered environment, which means it's also a possible bad weather weather alternative. No excuses for not diving, learning and discovering something you haven't seen before! Cheers, Tim

POSTED: 15th December 2017


We've got another superb raffle prize to share with you today courtesy of the good folk at Suunto Diving UK.

Worth £59, the new Suunto SK8 compass is a favourite amongst recreational and technical divers alike. The latest edition of Suunto’s leading dive compass delivers even better underwater performance with... [more]

POSTED: 15th December 2017


Looking forward to Vobster Santas this coming Sunday? We're hard at work making final preparations for the big day and hopefully you are too - don't forget to cut a hole in your Santa suit for your drysuit dump valve and a bit of bungee to keep your Santa hat... [more]

POSTED: 14th December 2017

Vobster Santas Temp and Viz update: The forecast is for sun and clouds, with light SW winds. Underwater, we have a temp of 9 degrees at the surface and 20m viz in places. More importantly, we have around 140 divers forecast to attend - if we can get a few more, we might even be able to top the record of 188 to celebrate 10 years of Santa diving at Vobster Quay. Please remember to collect heaps of sponsorship money for the RNLI and Air Ambulance - the reason for Santa diving is fundraising to save lives. Cheers, Tim

POSTED: 14th December 2017

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