As the heavens opened and thick snow fell around them, divers from across the country converged on Vobster Quay near Frome in Somerset to get involved in what has become a popular final fixture in the scuba diving calendar.
Despite the snow and sub-zero temperatures, there was no shortage of smiles and festive cheer as divers climbed into their red pantaloons and strapped on their fluffy beards for a dive like no other. Vobster Santas has always been a great leveler with divers of all levels – from recently-certified Open Water divers to hardcore rebreather techies – rubbing shoulders and sharing the free mince pies in a good-natured last dive of the year.
OVER £40,000 RAISED!
Since the event’s inception in 2007, Vobster Santas has raised well over £40,000 for charity. This year’s event saw divers supporting two charities very dear to their hearts – the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
and the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance
. Once again, divers were invited to seek sponsorship for their efforts from friends and families and they answered that call admirably with over £1000 raised. Vobster Quay did its bit too by donating an additional £500 to each charity.
Both charities were well represented at the event with both sending local volunteers to help with the fundraising efforts. Santa divers relished the opportunity to snap off a selfie with Stormy Stan, the RNLI’s jolly mascot, who turned up to mix and mingle with the divers as they prepared for the mass dive. With Vobster’s own Tim Clements keeping all the Santas in check, the Santas hit the water at 10am sharp in a bubbling mass of fluffy beards and ill-fitting red pantaloons - a truly surreal sight for sure!
FESTIVE CHARITY RAFFLE
Running alongside the sponsored scuba dive, a very special prize draw raffle was laid on with prizes donated by some of the biggest names in diving including Fourth Element, Otter Drysuits, Nautilus, Apeks Diving, KUBI, Nammu-Tech, Kent Tooling, Go Diving Show
and DivedUp Publications
. Divers dug deep to raise over £1400 from the raffle alone, bringing the fundraising total to over £3000 which was split equally between the two charities.