Monday, 29 July 2019


So, the first question? Who are First Response Training International (FRTI)?

In 2018 International Training Inc (ITI), the parent company of TDI, SDI and ERDI, made  the decision to cease SDI’s CPROX1stAED, CPROX Administrator  and CPR1st Administrator as they were outdated and weren’t in compliance with ITI’s needs.  Furthermore, it wasn’t successful outside of the diving industry.  

ITI was experienced in developing materials and support for instructors conducting several courses in various activities, some practical and technically complex.  ITI took that knowledge and applied it to the outdated and underdone layperson rescuer market in hopes of creating a better and more informed rescuer.  From this FRTI was formed.  FRTI strives to provide the most up to date systems for learning and the best customer service to providers and instructors.


Unlike other diving agencies first aid and AED courses, FRTI is the only agency whose courses are 100% International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) compliant.  ILCOR was formed in 1992 to provide a forum for liaison between principal resuscitation organisations worldwide and is comprised from representatives worldwide, including European Resuscitation Council (ERC).

As a first aid instructor with other agencies, FRTI have also managed to produce excellent instructor materials, and although traditional manuals and c cards are available, the entire process (less the practical) can be done online; from student registration, signing standards and procedures, e-learning, and online c-cards.

Examples of the online materials can be found below.

What courses do FRTI offer?

Ideal for people wanting to be more prepared, businesses hoping to protect employees, outdoor enthusiasts, babysitters and caregivers, this course is cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, and automated external defibrillator (AED) use combined into one program. It is designed to teach the techniques to administer CPR, first aid, and utilisean AED in emergency situations involving infants, children, and adults. This comprehensive program is appropriate for workplace training or general knowledge to be better prepared day to day. The CPR and AED components cover the knowledge needed to address one of the largest causes of death in the world. Intervening with this knowledge can possibly save a life. The first aid program reviews common techniques to treat serious emergencies, as well as less serious, more common issues.

Ideal for businesses hoping to protect employees, babysitters, care givers etc… this course is cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) course combined into one program. It is designed to teach the proper techniques to safely administer CPR and utilise an AED in emergency situations involving infants, children, and adults. While not addressing first aid measures this course is the perfect way to prepare individuals to address one of the largest killers worldwide. Implementing CPR and AEDs in the event of an emergency can drastically change outcomes for the better.

Ideal for parents wanting to be more prepared, babysitters, lifeguards, and caregivers, coaches and teachers this course is a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, and automated external defibrillator (AED) combined into one program. It is designed to teach the proper techniques to administer CPR, correct first aid, and utilisean AED in emergency situations involving infants and children. Parents, teachers and daycare staff can benefit greatly from the training to save a child’s life in a number of situations. The course materials are the same as Adult and Child Emergency Care however the practical applications are child focused.

Ideal for SCUBA divers, Dive Professionals, skippers and boat staff, this course is intended to teach emergency oxygen (O2) administration. This program covers equipment and procedures for administrating oxygen as an emergency procedure. Equipment selection and use for decompression illness emergencies are detailed with practical components to train a well roundedrescuer.

Generally ran as an add-on to another course, this course Ideal for people wanting to be more prepared, businesses hoping to protect employees, babysitters and caregivers, and is intended to teach users about pathogens that can be encountered through bodily fluids. Designed for workplace use it teaches participants about the hazards, prevention, and solutions for fluid events. This course meets workplace requirements for individuals with a reasonable risk of encountering fluid interactions.

There’s also the scope to add further courses.

Looking at the materials, it is clear that ITI are marketing themselves towards the layperson rescuer as there are no diving photos in their materials, hence the separate agency to market it and the separate website (although the website is based on the same platform as TDI, SDI and ERDI so the feel and look is very similar).

Instructor Crossover

When the courses were announced a number of instructor options were available:
·Gap Training Program for current SDI CPROX1stAED Instructors (SDI CPROX1stAED instructors only and does not cover instructors for CPROX or CPR1st.  It also only covers instructors that are currently in an active status and have taught a CPROX1stAED or equivalent course in the past two years).
·Gap Training for CPROX and CPR1st Instructors (These instructors must go through a complete instructor program).
·Instructors for all Courses That Have Not Taught in Two Years or More (These instructors must take the provider and instructor program.  An equivalent provider level program with another agency can be accepted to fulfil that requirement).
·Instructors with qualifications from other agencies (Contact the training department for equivalencies).  

Based on my current SDI and other agency first aid instructor qualifications I conducted the Gap Training Program on 16 December 2018 at NDAC with Mark Powell of Dive-Tech.  

Adult CPR, O2 administration, First Aid and AED were already covered by existing SDI courses so the crossover primarily covered the following topics to be compliant with the new Adult and Child Emergency Care course; CPR on a child and infant, Choking on an infant, oxygen administration guidelines and bloodborne pathogens.  Furthermore, in addition to the 6 first aid basics (Breathing, Bleeding, Broken, Burns, Bites and Blows) previously covered in the SDI courses, a number of additional concerns were covered; hypothermia, hyperthermia, spinal injuries, electrical injuries, open chest wounds, chest pain, shock, dehydration, poisons, marine stings, convulsions, allergies & stroke, bleeding including the use of tourniquets (which happened to be the same CAT as the military ones I am used to, plus improvised), and neurological assessment for stroke (FAST – Face Arms Speech Time).

The crossover also covered the new website, linking courses, resources required to run the courses, registrations, and student record/performance sheets.


Overall, I am extremely impressed with the content and materials for the new FRTI courses and when I’m back in the UK I hope to start delivering some soon.

The boring bit!

All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them.  This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!

Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: l

Monday, 22 July 2019


It’s been a while since I did an equipment blog so I thought it was time I did a write up of Scuba Strapp a family business since 2012 specialising in the design, development and manufacture of high quality British scuba diving straps and lanyards, and owned by a fellow diving buddy and fellow Sapper Simon.  Their motto; ‘It doesn’t just do the job, it does all the jobs’.

The first thing I will say, is that despite not being a fan of all their products, they are extremely robust and extremely well made, and have a large variety of applications.  Why am I not a fan of some of the products?  It’s all down to the clip.  I prefer to use piston style clips over ‘suicide’ or karabiner style clips, but that is a personal opinion, however by delivering a range of products with a variety of different clips they’ve certainly catered for the entire diving market. 

And I’ve used a number of his ‘straps’ on various dives; including for teaching, on my camera, on deco dives and on my BSAC National Instructor exam.  A few examples of where I’ve used them can be found below:

Teaching cards and camera lanyard (Trigger Snap with Cord).

Twisted loop.

Drop weights used on the bottom of a trapeze (Original).

Wrist lanyards used for my branch’s dive computers (Wrist Lanyard).

For more information why not check out their website or any of their social media sites. Look out for them at a dive show or demo day near you soon.

The boring bit!
All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them.  This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!

Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: I

Wednesday, 17 July 2019


Last May my wife & I had been invited to a wedding in Malta so we thought, why not do some diving whilst we were out there?  We looked at local centres and discussed options, but before we booked anything we thought that we’d contact Jack Ingle as we’d both done our initial technical training with him and knew that he ran expeditions out there.  I’d also attended his UK South Coast expeditions, and spoke to individuals who attended his Malta expeditions, so I knew the quality of trip he ran.

So, what do Jack’s trips offer?  From the advert:

The diving is stunning with excellent visibility and fabulous wrecks. The dives are all around the 40 to 70 metre range with some excellent WW1 and WW2 wrecks. The expedition will cost £780 per diver, this includes, 5 days boat diving (from a Technical Dive Boat with Divers lift), self-catering accommodation (high quality apartments), group vehicle hire, transfers to and from airport and dive sites, air and hire of twinsets (or Rebreather cylinders). We shall also have a deco station with support Diver and back up gas on the line.

Nitrox, Helium and stage Deco cylinders are available but not included in the overall price.

Flights are available to Malta at around £180. Flight details and how to book them will be sent to you later once your place has been confirmed.

The actual dives planned will be arranged around the group of divers and will be dependent on their wishes, qualifications and experience. Please discuss this with Jack Ingle. All divers must be a minimum of Dive Leader, Dive master or equivalent.

Jack's expeditions are based out of Maltaqua in St Paul's Bay, and he uses Galaxy Charters as the diving platform, more about those later.

Caveat.  The diving week was from Tuesday 22 – Saturday 26 May, however as the wedding was on the 26thit was agreed that we would only dive 4 days. Furthermore, we stayed elsewhere due to the fact we brought family to babysit whilst we dived.  This meant the trip was discounted on both parts.  The trip price was £780 less accommodation at £210 less one days diving at £70 equalling a total per person of £500.

Day 1.  Monday 21 March 2018
Flying from London Heathrow into Malta, Jack met us at airport on our arrival, took our dive bags, and remained behind for the remainder of the divers who were on a later flight whilst we got a taxi to our Airbnb.  

At 1800 we rv’d with everyone at Maltaqua, where we were briefed on the weeks diving, completed the associated paperwork, setup our kit and arranged our gas for the following day.

Day 2. Tuesday 22 March 2018
·      Aim: Shakeout Dive.
·      Sites:  P29 and Rozi (Tug Boat).
·      Boat Dive.
·      Maximum depth: 33m.
·      Bottom Time: 40 minutes.
·      Total time:  77 minutes.
·      Cylinders: Twin 12s and 1x 7l stage.
·      Gas: Air & 50%

A leisurely morning meeting up at 0900 at Maltaqua, for a 0930 depart to Cirkewwa to meet Kevin the skipper.  After unloading the transport and loading the boat, changing, and receiving the obligatory briefs we set off to our dive sites, chosen due to the North Westerly winds.  These 2 wrecks are some of the most popular in Malta so they were both shotted and did not warrant a trapeze, so when everyone was ready we descended down the line. After 15 minutes we all met up and followed Jack to the second wreck, cutting the dive short at 40 minutes (bottom time).  2 lovely dive sites and unsurprisingly, we weren’t the only divers there.  Overall 2 lovely little wrecks, a first for me & Hen. But I wasn’t completely comfortable as I forgot to adjust my weighting to take into account my ali backplate.

Post dive we started the routine which would become groundhog; transport back to Maltaquarinse the equipment, put the cylinders in for a fill and hang the remainder of the kit up to try.  We’d then return around 1730/1800 to analyse and label gasses, rebuild, load the transport for the morning, and at some point during the evening, plan and write up the dive plan for the following day.

Day 3.  Wednesday 23 March 2018
·      Aim: Wreck Dive.
·      Sites: HMS Stubborn (Le Polynesien blown out).
·      Boat Dive.
·      Maximum depth: 57m.
·      Bottom Time: 25 minutes.
·      Total time:  83 minutes.
·      Cylinders: Twin 12s, 1x ali 80 and 1x 7l stage.
·      Gas: 18/35 (18/38), 50% and 80% (83).

An early start meant a 0625 RV for a 0630 departure, although this morning’s journey was only 5 minutes.  So much so it may have actually been quicker to walk from the jetty direct from the accommodation.  After loading the boat we shortly arrived at the site, and had completed an 83 minute dive and were back on the boat by 0910, and in the shop by 1030; probably before most people on holiday had eaten breakfast.

The dive was not without its mini-dramas as the sea was quite choppy, so much so that 2 didn’t dive due to sickness.  Furthermore, I also had an equipment drama – an o-ring.  Unfortunately, at 9m an o-ring went pop on my 80% on one of the 3/8 low pressure hose.  As I was on run times with my computer as a backup due to Hen being on runtimes only, and with 7@9m and 27@6m to go, I was left with a number of options available to me:
1. Use lost 80% runtime plan, breathing my 50% (which would result in extra 13 minutes of deco).
2. Continue to breath my 50% running the remaining deco on the computer.
3. Use Hen’s 80% (which would have resulted in an extra 34 minutes of deco).
4. Feather the valve for 34 mins and get out as planned.

Initially I only saw bubbles so I switched the regulator off & let Hen switch first whilst I remained on my 50%.  After her switch I identified the leak was a 3/8 low pressure hose o-ring rather than a loose DIN valve.  I ruled out no.2 to keep us both on runtimes and to avoid switching plans, and I didn't want to prolong the dive so ruled out no's 1 and 3.  There was always a 5thoption; purge the first stage, undo the offending hose and then re-screw it back in without the ‘pinch’.  I decided to rule this one out as it would have resulted in flooding the regulator, which in itself isn’t a drama, but without my tools to service it, I didn’t want to risk any damage that may have occurred and potentially ruined future dives.  So, the only option left to me was to feather the valve for 34mins.  It was easy and not uncomfortable or stressful, but given that it's a skill I teach it shouldn't have been an issue.

Day 4.  Thursday 24 March 2018
·      Aim: Wreck Dive.
·      Sites: Le Polynesien.
·      Boat Dive.
·      Maximum depth: 62m.
·      Bottom Time: 20 minutes.
·      Total time:  81 minutes.
·      Cylinders: Twin 12s, 1x ali 80 and 1x 7l stage.
·      Gas: 18/35 (18/34), 50% (53) and 80% (79).

An early start, although not as early as yesterday saw us meet at 0725 for a 0730 departure.  Predominately on the stern to mid-ships, the dive proved uneventful with minimal current, not enough to cause an issue but enough to lift the particulate so the vis wasn’t a clear as the previous dives.  Although we managed to drift 1.4 nautical miles during deco.  On the way back we stopped off for ice cream.

Day 5.  Friday 25 March 2018
·      Aim: Wreck Dive.
·      Sites: HMS Southwold (Bow).
·      Boat Dive.
·      Maximum depth: 63m.
·      Bottom Time: 18 minutes.
·      Total time:  71 minutes.
·      Cylinders: Twin 12s, 1x ali 80 and 1x 7l stage.
·      Gas: 18/35 (18/37), 50% (52) and 80% (81).

Back to a 0625 RV for a 0630 departure due to the longer transit time saw another eventful dive in near perfect conditions.  Back at Maltaqua we gave our kit an initial rinse in freshwater whilst we sorted out the final bill (to cover later), but we gave it a thorough rinse back in the apartment as we were there for another couple of days.

Day 6.  Saturday 26 March 2018
We didn’t dive due to the wedding but on Friday options were given to the group including the Schnellboot but instead opted to do the bow of the Le Polynesien.

Jack, Cylinder Hire, Gas, and overall costs
So, in addition to the costs mentioned at the start, how much did we spend in expenses?  To be honest, more than we expected at 4.5p per litre of helium and 2.5p per litre of oxygen.  Our gas bill was £232 for helium and £108 for oxygen (each), plus the stage hire of £40 per cylinder.  We were told that this was a weekly charge, even if we only needed it for one day.  However the shop prices were €9 per day, so it could potentially have been cheaper to hire it from the shop direct (cylinder and gas total £420 each).  
Caveat.  The fills were blended on top so other than the initial fill, you only paid for what you needed to top up, and not a fresh mix which was nice.
There was also the transfer costs.  Despite the advert saying transfers were included, because we brought family, we had an additional £70 taxi bill (€40 each way).  Therefore, the total between us was £910.  Plus food.  Plus flights.  Plus the exped costs (normally £780 as listed earlier).

That said, the trip was extremely well organised.  Jack and Kevin (the skipper) had a great rapport, the sites were chosen for the conditions, Jack jumped in first to check the location of the shot and to tie it in, briefed us on the site and conditions when he surfaced before we jumped in, and was wanting at the transfer line on the ascent to check we were all ok, and also hung around the trapeze.  There was also a drop tank on each side of the trapeze if required.  The only thing we had to do as divers was tag in/out at the bottom with the last pair cutting the tie in line.
Caveat.  And I when I say trapeze, don’t expect metal bars, like you might do in the UK, it was just rope, but it did the job perfectly.

Packing Lists
In addition to the usual dive kit required for the dives (which I’ll leave you all to decide what you need for these dives), I brought a small spares kit, deco tag, Duck tape, marker pen and Sellotape for stage markings, and rigging kits plus bungee/elastic stowage for the actual stages themselves.  One thing to note is that we only saw one v weight, so make sure you bring a belt just in case.

Maltaqua were really helpful.  Not only did Jack use it as his base, but because of the baby they allowed us to use the shop to express milk.  The shop is well stocked if you need anything.  The hire equipment appeared well looked after.  What could have made it better?  Possibly twin 15’s for oxygen thief’s like me to make the most of the bottom time, although bigger cylinders = bigger gas bills.  

Kevin’s Boat has changed since last time we visited. It’s recently got larger, and had a lift installed which was b.e.a.utiful.  No more clipping off stages and climbing out.  Post dives he provided coffee and biscuits.

Overall, it’s an excellent week.  The dives, the location, the weather in our case, and it was an extremely well organised week.  It’s hard to be critical because not only was Jack one of my early technical educators, he’s also a friend.  But I think the one thing that soured it ever so slightly was the costs of the stage cylinder hire.  But that’s my opinion.  If you wish to make your own then feel free to contact Jack as he runs these trips numerous times a year.  I guarantee you’ll have a great week.

A short vide of the trip can be found below…

…or on Vimeo.

The boring bit!
All opinions expressed in my articles are my own and may differ to other instructor’s and agency guidelines; by no means are they wrong and I would not wish to disrepute any of them.  This article is for information only and should not replace proper training.

Safe diving!

Timothy Gort
BSAC, PADI & SDI/TDI diver training
l Mob: 07968148261 l Email: l