Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed my first dive for many months at St Catherines Loch near the west coast of Scotland. After my diving club buddies and I descended down to 15 meters we could see an abundance of marine wild life including a purple Scorpion Fish, Crabs and even Lobsters. As a trainee diver, taking underwater photographs is not encouraged, and I should have resisted taking out my Intova compact underwater camera. The dive leader signalled to me not to take any photos so I tried to put my camera back into my trouser leg pocket, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to fasten the pocket shut, so I put the camera strap around my wrist.
Unfortunately when my auto dump was refusing to release air as we glided into the shallow part of a reef, I started shooting up to the surface. Unknown to me my camera had unhinged itself from my arm and was lost for good. In the commotion, my diving buddies had seen my camera shoot up to the surface but it was nowhere to be seen afterwards.
I searched all along the coast line to see if my camera had been washed ashore but it had gone. So my advice to other trainee divers is – not only should you not take photos on a training dive, but leave your camera at home until you get qualified and more experience. With more experience comes greater awareness under the water and you are less likely to lose gear which may be expensive to replace.
I have learned my lesson and won’t take another camera into the water unless I’m on a dive specifically for photography – after I’ve finished my training of course.