Emma joins divers for a special sub-aqua challenge

Dan Klein, Emma Lawrence and Megan Peat
Dan Klein, Emma Lawrence and Megan Peat

A scuba diver who hails from Hebden Bridge is taking part in a global adventure to mark the 60th anniversary of a London club.

Emma Lawrence, 30, who grew up in Wadsworth Moor and now lives and works in central London, is an active member of London No. 1 branch, the first ever branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC).

She is the daughter of Mary and Carl Lawrence, and has a brother, Matthew.

Emma, a former Halifax Crossley Heath pupil, is helping to organise Dive N60° which will take place on the summer solstice, June 21, with dives organised in six different seas along the northern 60th parallel of the planet.

Scuba divers in six locations, Alaska, Russia, Greenland, Norway, Canada and the Shetland Islands, will at the same time enter the water and face the striking challenges which each sea has to offer, including brash ice and hungry killer whales.

Emma, who works in banking, said: “We got together over pizza to decide what to do for our 60th anniversary and this was the idea which really captured people’s imaginations and made us all think – wow, how great would that be?

“We do also have other events planned throughout the year but this will be the big one.

“Our club is really steeped in history and it just seemed the right thing to do to mark the occasion.”

The project is the brainchild of Dan Klein, a keen sailor who has scuba dived for 25 years and is a member of the same BSAC club which is based in Marylebone. Fellow club member Megan Peat is also helping to organise the project.

BSAC is the UK national governing body of the sport and was founded back in 1953. It now has more than 1,000 scuba diving clubs around the country as well as overseas.

Both BSAC and London No. 1 are marking their Diamond Jubilee this year and, like the Queen, are determined it should be remembered for a long time to come.

The aim of Dive N60° is to raise awareness of the world’s cold water seas and specifically the changing conditions of those on the northern 60th parallel, including our own British waters.

It will also serve to celebrate the wonders of diving both as a recreational passion and as a proven therapy for the injured - particularly those in the military. It will take intrepid scuba divers to places off the beaten track and all participants will be asked to raise money for two charities – Earthwatch and Help For Heroes.

BSAC chief executive Mary Tetley, who completed some of her first ever dives with London No.1, said: “I am inspired but also astounded by the scale of the project which our first ever club has planned to mark our joint Diamond Jubilee.

“They have the support of BSAC behind them and we have been offering all our experience and expertise to help with organising the N60° from a safety point of view.

“I am very proud of what they are setting out to achieve and it is testament to the dedicated and passionate volunteers who exist in our organisation.”