In 1986 John Womack Senior decided to set up Otter Watersports and Divers Warehouse in Bradford. We visit the family run firm in the former textile industry city of Bradford, North England and speak to founder John senior about drysuits.
He tells us how he started making them, how to care for them and how they are handmade by his staff from cardboard patterns, some of which are over two decades old.
Otters reputation for quality and service means that their suits have been used on many major world diving expeditions over the years, and are in regular use by many nations military and commercial divers.
Otter Watersports began in the upstairs room of an old mill and within two years had expanded, taking over the entire building. Within only five years Otter Watersports relocated into an old refurbished Wool mill, but again they outgrew the premises and desperately needed more space. They are now in an old Chapel which was originally built in 1816 and throughout it’s colourful history has been involved with the wool and textile industry and then was used for heavy industrial work. The property was then half demolished for proposed plan’s of being a dance hall, but alas, these plans never came to fruition and the property then spent the next twelve years as a derelict wreck. Otter acquired the site at the end of 2001.
In 2012 John Senior decided to semi-retire and sold Divers Warehouse to southern-based Company Lodge Scuba, so he could now have more time to create and perfect Otter Drysuits, Undersuits & Base Layers and to go diving, leaving son John, to manage the day to day running of Otter Watersports.
For more information on their range of drysuits and dive clothing, visit their website Otter Dry Suits.
Info on scuba diving is grateful for the assistance that Otter Drysuits provides to us to maintain this website.
Yorkshire Divers was established in the late 1990’s as an Internet forum for divers in the Yorkshire, England area to arrange dives togetherIt has expanded into a community over the years and now has members from all over the world who contribute a vast wealth of knowledge to other divers and would-be divers alike. Topics discussed vary from the very first steps of open cirucuit diving, rebreathers, cave and technical diving, DIR etc to subjects completely off the topic of diving altogether! Firm and lasting friendships have been forged through Yorkshire Divers.
Yorkshire Divers is recognised as being one of the foremost diving internet forums in the world.
The Project Aware Foundation is a non-profit making organisation (and a registered charity in the UK) dedicated to conserving underwater environments through education, advocacy and action.
Working with scuba divers and water enthusiasts, Project AWARE have offices located in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland and Japan to combine efforts to conserve aquatic resources in more than 180 countries and territories of the world.
Working with divers and water enthusiasts to combat challenges facing underwater environments, Project AWARE and dedicated volunteers are committed to conservation initiatives including: * Underwater Cleanups and Marine Debris Prevention * Coral Reef Conservation, Monitoring and Data Collection * Shark Education, Reporting and Conservation * Improved Management Policies and Marine Protection Efforts * Environmental Training for Divers and Education Programs for Kids
They were founded in 1989 by a group of environmental advocates at the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), who were concerned about emerging threats to the underwater world. In 1992 Project AWARE Foundation became a separate nonprofit organization.
Director, Suzanne Pleydell tells us about the Foundation and how you can get involved.
For more information on The Project Aware Foundation visit their website Project Aware.
Oonasdivers, Britain’s longest established holiday dive company, is run by an enthusiastic team with intimate knowledge of all their locations which includes Egypts’ Red Sea, Malta & Gozo, Mozambique & South Africa, Thailand, Tobago, El Hierro – Canary Islands and The Maldives covering an extensive portfolio of both liveaboard and land based diving.
Over the past 20 years, they have gained a reputation for providing first class diving tours whilst building long term relationships with their clients.
Oonas aim to provide a personal service, committed to giving you the very best diving, one of the reasons so many of their adventure seeking divers return to them year after year.
For your financial security, the holidays and flights they sell are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Their ATOL number is 4032.
We spoke to Lydia their specialist & group tour advisor at Dive 2008 at the Birmingham, UK, NEC Exhibition Centre and she tells us what they offer the diver.
John Bantin is a veteran of the diving community and has been writing, travelling the world and taking underwater photographs since the early 1990’s and spends an average of 30 hours a month scuba-diving.
John writes for UK Diver Magazine, and its online sister publication Divernet as well as DYK (Sweden & Denmark), Undercurrent and other diving magazines.
We catch up with him at one of the UKs dive shows at the NEC in Birmingham to hear about life as a diving journalist.
John has a vast collection of images taken by him that are available via his website John Bantin.