Glaciere Diving Launches in Liverpool's Collingwood Dock
A new dive centre, not far from Liverpool city centre and its famous waterfront, was launched this month.
Glaciere Diving, based at Collingwood Dock, has opened its doors after new management has taken over the site, at which kayaking, canoeing and water polo are also available alongside the scuba training facility, along with a Sea Rescue training program
Situated on an entrance to the Leeds and Liverpool canal, the establishment at Collingwood will also eventually provide a canal-boat mooring with shower and refreshment facilities. Powerboat courses may also be available in the future,
Glaciere offers the full range of recreational programs from both PADI and the up-and-coming relaunched RAID training agency, with specialties including drysuit diving, night diving, wreck diving, navigation, deep diving, multi-level diving, emergency first aid, AED and CPR training, O2 administration and peak performance buoyancy.
The facility houses two training rooms and a three-level indoor, heated pool. Diving is available in the dock itself, and although years of silting have reduced the maximum depth from 16m to 8m, plans are in development to drain the dock completely, return the silt to the River Mersey and install training aids and perhaps some submerged artefactss for further interest
I caught up with Chris Ridd, one of the founding members of Glaciere Diving, on their open day on Easter Monday, Chris learned to dive aged 17 and since the age of 25, has been teaching with BSAC and SAA, before crossing over to PADI in 2001.
'My first dive was a shore dive from a beach on Anglesea, North Wales,' he says. 'The visibility was all of one metre and when I got to the sea bed the only thing I saw was a starfish, but since then I have been hooked on diving and the diverse life under the sea.'
Chris met his co-founders Mark Grieve and Dave Dolan – also instructors for both PADI and RAID – three years ago, and they have been diving together ever since. In December 2016 they were offered the opportunity to take over the site at Collingwood Dock, and together they founded Glaciere Diving
'We are a growing dive school and our instructors are constantly striving to gain more experience and knowledge,' says Chris, 'so we will be able to teach sidemount diving and technical diving also. We can offer equipment servicing and airfills for both breathing air, nitrox and eventually trimix.'
At a time when the dive business in the UK is not exactly booming, the launch of a new centre is a bold move and one to be highly commended. As Chris says, 'we are looking forward to the future at Glaciere and growing as a school and as a family of divers enjoying the sport and adventures to far and near destinations under the water.'