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Victorian Sub-Aqua Group (VSAG): Miscellaneous News

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Amazing Blue Hole Freedive
Miscellaneous News William Trubridge freedives THE ARCH at Blue Hole, Dahab. See

You don't need SCUBA if you can do this!

Posted by lloyd_borrett on Mon, 03 May 2010 01:02 AM (1998 reads)
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VARS HMAS Canberra Sinking Ball
Miscellaneous News The sinking ball held on Saturday, 17 October 2009 at Melbourne Aquarium was a resounding success.

There were 141 patrons in attendance, and it was particularly pleasing to note that there were 26 VSAG members and their partners present at this historical function. Give yourselves a big pat on the back.

The food and drinks provided were first class, and the table service was prompt and courteous.

We were well entertained by the 7 piece "Fabulous Fate Brothers" and the night went only too quickly.

From comments heard on the night, everybody had a great time.

VARS managed to raise some much needed funds by auctioning various items on the night, which were provided by a number of generous donors. These funds will go towards ongoing commitments which are being undertaken, and which will benefit the diving community as a whole.

Posted by BigM on Wed, 21 Oct 2009 08:09 PM (1421 reads)
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Miscellaneous News VARS Update

4th March 2009

In Brief
• Ship preparation will be completed within the next few weeks.
• New concerns regarding the proposed site.
• Scuttling date is yet to be confirmed – previously advised dates are now highly unlikely.
• Celebratory Ball currently being planned for 18th April is likely to be moved out.

Sub-Committee Reports

Site Management - Convenor: Alan Beckhurst
The situation regarding the proposed site has now become quite confusing. It was previously believed that all relevant parties had signed off on the intended site. However, there are now signals that the Department of Environment, Water and Heritage (DEWHA) is not happy with the site. DEWHA is the Commonwealth Department that has responsibility for the Sea Dumping Act and which must sign off before any permit to scuttle Canberra can be issued.

DEWHA’s reasons for not signing off on the site are not clear at this stage and VARS is working to try and gain an understanding. We believe that the subject will be discussed at Victorian State cabinet level later this month and we hope that the issue can be resolved in the near future.

This does mean that scuttling will not now happen in March 2009. At best, the new date is likely to be May or June. This is a very disappointing outcome with the result that the site is unlikely to start being dived regularly until summer 2009. There are also concerns with less stable weather patterns occurring during this period which could see further multiple delays.

Ship Preparation - Convenor: Jason Salter
Ship preparation is very nearly complete. A number of VARS Committee members visited the ship on 2nd March. At this time, the last of the cement infill was being poured – estimated to be around 50 to 70 tonnes. This will replace the 90 tonnes of lead ballast which has been removed and recycled.

The ship is looking fantastic! Birdon have done an outstanding job of preparing her for her “final voyage”. There is no doubt that this will be the best purpose prepared wreck in Australia. Rather than strip out most rooms and open up gaping holes everywhere, Birdon have left many items in situ, carefully removing hazards and ensuring that all rooms have more than one exit. There are only a very small number of areas that have been barred off. The galley remains virtually intact, most control panels are still in place throughout, the gas turbines have been stripped and de-oiled as have the three auxiliary motors and generators, the compressors, etc, etc (the list goes on). For the adventurous, there are lots of passages and corridors to explore. There are two elevator shafts, two funnels and two escape shafts – all accessible – plus some reasonably “squeezy bits”!

All the committee members who attended were very impressed and commented how they were looking forward to diving her, when she finally goes down. Canberra will have dives suitable for all ranges of divers – from Open Water through to “techies”. We just have to get her sunk now!

Fund Raising / Membership - Convenor: Warrick McDonald
All VARS members are encouraged to purchase a T-shirt to support the activities of VARS between now and the scuttling date. This T-shirt is available on order either from VARS or via your local dive store (within Victoria).

Other fund-raising opportunities continue to be pursued, including a very generous offer of artworks from Reg Cox, a well-known Victorian water-colour artist. Reg has generously offered a number of limited edition prints as well as an original painting (yet to be painted) of Canberra entering the heads for use by VARS in fund-raising efforts. Watch the website for further information on this. Some of these items will be auctioned at the Celebratory Ball

Marketing / Promotion - Convenor: Bryan McGoldrick
The planned 3D interactive video is moving a step closer to completion. The ship has now been fully photographed using fish-eye lenses. Work now commences on converting these to video and other formats.

Scuttling Celebration – Celebratory Ball – Convenor: Mick Jeacle
A Celebratory Ball is still scheduled for 18th April. The ball will be held at the Coral Atoll Room at the Melbourne Aquarium and promises to be “THE” event of the year in the dive community. Given the delay in scuttling, it is likely that the date will change so watch this space for information over the next month.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 11 Mar 2009 08:40 PM (1360 reads)
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Fisherman Rescues a Big Fish
Miscellaneous News 7 March 2007: A group of fisherman who encountered a rare whale shark 30 kilometres off of Woolongong, NSW captured a wonderful moment on video. They freed the fish from a rope that was causing the creature harm.

Check out the amazing video on the ninemsm A Current Affair web site.;fg=copy
(Sorry, but you'll have to see an advert first.)

This is an experience you would certainly never forget.

Best Regards, Lloyd Borrett.

Posted by lloyd_borrett on Sun, 11 Mar 2007 01:04 AM (1735 reads)
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Police investigate diver's death in Port Phillip Bay
Miscellaneous News Victorian Police are investigating the death of a diver in Port Phillip Bay.

The diver got into difficulty around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday 14th January 2007 AEDT offshore from Queenscliff. It is believed the diver was diving from a Monash University Underwater Club (MONUC) boat in the Cottage By The Sea area.

Police say the diver was taken to shore but did not respond to CPR. The cause of the diver's death is unclear. Police are preparing a report for the coroner.

Three VSAG boats had been diving in the area during the period before the incident, but were unaware of the incident until back onshore.

Posted by lloyd_borrett on Sun, 14 Jan 2007 01:28 PM (1791 reads)
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East Coast Artificial Reef and Dive Site
Miscellaneous News The Tasmanian East Coast Artificial Reef & Dive Site Project is about to scuttle the former coastal trader the "Troy D" in 23 to 27 metres of water 4km south-west from the northern tip of Maria Island, Tasmania as an Artificial Reef & Dive Site.

The preparation will begin around January 22nd 2007 and the sink date is scheduled for 10th February 2007. See for more details.

VSAG's own John Lawler may be going to Tasmania to help with the final preparation where charges are placed and set. While the Troy D is a comparatively small project, all of the protocols and safety considerations are just as important as for Melbourne's own HMAS Canberra project.

Posted by lloyd_borrett on Mon, 08 Jan 2007 10:30 PM (1676 reads)
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