What is LSSAU?

The Leicestershire Scouts Sub Aqua Unit, or LSSAU, is s scout activity unit, the purpose of which is to offer all members of the Scout and Guide Associations, including leaders and helpers, the opportunity to try Scuba diving and experience Snorkelling, and if they so wish, to progress their scuba and snorkel training in accordance with the requirements of the British Sub Aqua Club, or BSAC.

Whilst predominantly operating in Leicestershire, LSSAU also invites members from surrounding counties to participate.





Why not learn to SCUBA Dive?
LSSAU has all the equipment and expertise needed to take you from your first ‘Try Dive’ all the way to internationally recognised BSAC Diver qualifications that are acceptable with dive centres worldwide.

LSSAU has, predominantly during the summer months, regular weekends away at a variety of UK coastal dive sites. It also aims to have an annual week long expedition in the UK or abroad.

LSSAU has two Rigid Inflatable Boats, or RIBs, as dive boats that are used to get to and from the dive sites and to provide surface cover when the divers are diving. In addition to having instructors with internationally recognised diving qualifications, LSSAC also has qualified boat handling instructors who can help you become proficient as Diver Coxswain boat handlers.

All this at a very modest cost when compared to commercial alternatives.



Then do take a look at our Scuba & Snorkelling activities for further information.

Better still, arrange to come for an Experience Snorkelling session or Try Dive as an individual or small group at the Lutterworth Sports Centre where we meet every Thursday at 20.00hrs.

Scouts, Guides, why don’t you give it a try?, Leaders and helpers, why don’t you let Scouting give you something in return for all the hard work that you do for the benefit of others.

Contact us here and take a look at our full history of how we started here.



Ideal numbers for snorkelling options is for groups of 12 people or less.

Participants need to be a minimum age of 10 years. They must be confident in water and able to swim 50 metres.

Parental or Guardian consent is needed, with parents or guardians providing both a consent form and a satisfactory medical declaration. These must be satisfactorily completed before taking part in any of the snorkelling sessions.

You can download a PDF of this form here.

The cost is £8 per week which covers pool and classroom fees, and any equipment needed. For the Dolphin Snorkeller, there is an additional £5 for the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) Dolphin Snorkeller Course pack and certification which also includes three months membership to BSAC. We will require payment in advance in respect of the Dolphin Snorkeller course.

Options for snorkelling –

Experience Snorkelling :
Experience Snorkelling, this is usually attending one meeting, occasionally two, and includes classroom and pool sessions covering an introduction to snorkelling equipment and how to use it safely

This is the ideal taster ‘Try Snorkelling’ session’. The session is designed to be fun yet at the same time building in water confidence.  Experience snorkelling starts with a dry session looking at the equipment to be used and essential safety considerations.  A pool session of about an hour follows where basic skills are introduced with opportunity to practice

Introduction of basic skills should not be rushed as the pace at which confidence building can occur varies to each individual person’s needs and previous water experience, so it is possible for Experience snorkelling to take place over two meetings should a Group wish

On successful completion of the Experience snorkelling each participant receives a certificate of achievement and a booklet about snorkelling safety.

Dolphin Snorkeller
This is a fun way to learn to Snorkel, the course takes participants progressively through the use of the equipment and building in water and underwater confidence

The course usually lasts three weeks, each week comprising a short time in a classroom followed by one-hour practical in the pool. Satisfactory completion of the course concludes with the issue of the BSAC Dolphin Snorkeller award which can lead to the Scouts Water Activities Badge

Dolphin snorkelers will be proficient in the basic snorkelling skills and been assessed for readiness for open water snorkelling. They will be competent in the safe and correct use of mask, fins and snorkel for surface and short breath-hold dives in sheltered and calm water

Dolphin Snorkellers who wish to take their snorkelling skills further can do so by continuing with their BSAC membership and gaining the additional knowledge to become a Snorkel Diver and if they wish continue to become an Advanced Snorkeller

Please contact us for further information regarding any of the courses, or for more information regarding snorkelling, including Dolphin Snorkeller, please also visit the BSAC Snorkel web site.


Scuba Try Dives

A try dive is the best way to experience what it is like to scuba dive. The whole dive is completed in one evening. We start with some classroom time about an hour looking at and handling scuba equipment and discussing the diving techniques to be used. This is followed by a pool session where you get the chance to scuba dive in the 3m deep pool with Scout BSAC qualified instructors to make sure you get maximum enjoyment from your first scuba dive. Typically the scuba part of the session will take 20 minutes, with the rest of the time given to snorkel skills, which are complimentary to the underwater session. We have one hour in the pool so 4-6 people a session is an ideal number however it is possible to cover larger groups. We will need to speak with you so please get in touch for further information.

Try Dives can be available for Scouts from the age of 12 years provided they are of a stature to handle the equipment. Scouts learning to scuba dive with LSSAU will normally be a minimum age of 12 years before they progress to Open Water dive training and this will subject to an individual’s abilities and suitable size equipment being available.

All participants MUST fill in a declaration medical form before taking part in a Snorkel or Try Dive session. If the student is under 18, a Signature of Parent/Guardian MUST be provided on the form.

You can download a PDF Medical form here.

The cost is £15 per try dive which covers the pool, air, equipment and classroom hire. This would then be £5 per week if you become a regular member to our unit.

A try dive session meets the standards required of the Scouts Water Activities Badge.


Scuba Diving

If you decide that you would like to learn more about scuba diving, LSSAU offers Scuba courses, the first of which is British Sub Aqua Club Ocean Diver. This course provides you with the essential knowledge and skills needed to prepare for open water diving. Learning to dive is all about gaining the knowledge so you can use your equipment properly and safely. The Ocean Diver course concentrates on preparing you for this in the safety of a swimming pool or sheltered water and then introducing you to open water in a controlled and safe manner. This also gives you the opportunity to practice safety skills in the company of a qualified instructor or, depending on the trainees progress, with an experienced diver.

Scouts learning to scuba dive with LSSAU will normally be a minimum age of 12 years before they progress to Open Water dive training however LSSAU may change this to an older age subject to an individual’s abilities and suitable size equipment being available.  Scouts under 14 years will always be accompanied by an instructor and usually another experienced adult diver while in open water.

The Ocean Diver course comprises a series of theory and pool based practical sessions that will take around eight weeks to complete. These do not have to be consecutive weeks, but it is preferable if they are. The pool sessions are followed by four dives in open water. These will typically be completed over two to three days.

For requirements and approximate costs please contact us at: info@scubascouts.co.uk and for more information regarding the Ocean Diver Course please visit the BSAC website.

Following on from the Ocean Diver course, after a period of building diving experience is the Sports Diver qualification. In Sports Diver training, the emphasis is on building a sound foundation of open water diving skills and experience through a series of structured practical lessons. Once you have gained this open water experience with a qualified instructor, you are ready to take part in dives with other Sports Divers or those of higher grades.

After Sports Diver there are Dive Leader, Advanced Diver and First Class Diver qualifications. These progressively introduce additional safety and organisational skills associated with scuba diving.

There are also specific Skills Development Courses and for those that wish to become Instructors we can help you prepare to become a Snorkel Instructor and or a Scuba Diving Instructor, The Skills Development courses, include for example –

Boat Handling
Designed to give you an insight into the safe handling of small boats. seamanship, tides and the weather. Boat handling is one of the most popular courses for divers.
Chartwork & Position Fixing
This course provides an introduction to the art of marine chartwork and tidal predictions. Ideal for those looking for wrecks or new dive sites.
Lifesaver Award
This course teaches you how to rescue another diver or snorkeller and provide basic life support.


Please contact us for further information regarding any of the scuba courses, or for more information please visit the BSAC web site, www.bsac.com



All of our instructors are fully qualified, both through BSAC for scuba and snorkelling and within the scouting movement. All members are fully DBS checked. Details of our instructor’s current qualifications are set out below. This list periodically changes as our members are constantly adding new skills and qualifications for Scuba and within the Scouting movement.




BSAC National Instructor and Instructor Trainer for both Scuba and Snorkelling, UK Technical Advisor for Snorkelling for Scouts and an Instructor for many Skill Development Courses including Diver Coxswain – Boat handling, Advanced Life Saver – Scuba, Practical Rescue Management Instructor, Marine VHF Radio license holder

PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructors

Instructor Development Staff Instructor, Emergency First Responder Instructor, Oxygen Provider Instructor, Mix gas blender Instructor

Specialty Instructor for:

Wreck, Multilevel, Search & Recovery, Enriched Air, Digital photography, Dry Suit, Marine identification



Instructor Trainer SCUBA, Advanced Instructor – SCUBA and Snorkelling, BSAC East midlands regional team, First Class Diver, Diver Coxswain – Boat handling, Advanced Life Saver – Scuba

Practical Rescue Management Instructor, Marine VHF Radio licence holder, Maine Life Identification Award, Advanced Nitrox Instructor, Gas Blending Instructor, Ice Diving Instructor, Day Skipper (shore based course), Accelerated Decompression Instructor, Twin set instructor, Wreck diving instructor, Boat handling instructor




Advanced Diver, Open Water Instructor, Snorkel Instructor, BSAC Life Saver Award, Diver Coxswain, Boat Handling Instructor



Dive Leader, Open Water Instructor, Snorkel Instructor



Dive Leader, Assistant Scuba Instructor, Snorkel Instructor, Diver Coxswain



Sports Diver, Snorkel Instructor



Sports Diver, Snorkel Instructor



Diver Coxswain





The history of LSSAU

The Leicestershire Scouts Sub Aqua Unit “LSSAU” had its beginnings in the early days of 1982 when Roger Cooper “Coops”, a Venture Scout leader at the time, was engaged on an Operation Raleigh expedition to Honduras, Central America, to Satellite position Mayan sites on the “Mosquito Coast”

On the return journey through Honduras he became aware of the “Bay Islands” off the coast – these were destined to be one of the Op Raleigh expedition venues in 1985, with the intention of diving on ancient pirate wrecks. On further investigation back in the UK, it transpired that the location of the wrecks were unknown. Being a qualified diver, geographer/navigator, Coops suggested to Op Raleigh that a reconnaissance expedition should be mounted. Such an expedition would be to locate and position the wrecks, for the divers to investigate, when they arrived there in 1985. As a result Coops organised this expedition from Lutterworth during 1983. The expedition, known as “Operation Raleigh Reconnaissance 1984″ arrived on the island of Roatan in March 1984.

During the six weeks of intense diving activities, three wrecks were found by the team of sixteen divers. Included in the team were two Raleigh Venturers from the Claybrooke and Ullesthorpe Venture Scout Unit, The wrecks were positioned by highly accurate satellite techniques for subsequent investigation. As a result the expedition was very successful – a full account is available as a report, should anyone be interested. The success of the expedition was in no small way attributed to the skills and personalities of the Principle Diving Officer – Marg Baldwin, Diving Officer(s) – Brian Weller and the late Bob Liscoe. The expedition Quartermaster – the late Alan Greenwood and expedition Liaison Officer – Terry Hoyle. All of whom are well known to many in the present LSSAU.

On return to the UK, Coops carried on with the Venture Scouts and engaged Marg and Brian with the help of Alan, to teach his Ventures to dive. This took place in Lutterworth pool and of course Stoney Cove.

The receptive nature of the young Ventures gave such refreshing feedback that both Marg and Brian suggested that such activities should be expanded. However, as Lutterworth was well supported by the Lutterworth Dive Club, it was not ethical to set up a rival group. In addition, as the interest was toward young people, it was proposed that a “Scout” based diving group be formed to provide affordable diving to members of the Scout Association.

With the blessing of County’ and Gilwell, the Leicestershire Scouts Sub Aqua Unit was formed in 1985 to provide Scuba training to Scouts which may otherwise be unaffordable to many.

Our first meeting to establish the way forward was at the Ullesthorpe Campsite where a slide presentation of the Roatan Expedition was given. It was at this presentation that Rich, Taff, Kevin, the late Marcelle, and a few others who are familiar, first volunteered to form the embryo unit.

Several of the principle founders remain part of LSSAU and it continues to thrive on the teaching of Scuba to Scouts. This now includes the younger Scout members by way the Snorkel and SCUBA training we provide.

The success of the Unit is simply because the members are from Scouting, with common aims and interests, with a selfless desire to let others enjoy what they have experienced. This remains the fundamental ethos of the LSSAU.

In the 30 years since LSSAU was founded, over [5,000] scouts, cubs, guides, leaders and helpers have participated in snorkelling and scuba sessions provided by LSSAU, some of whom have gone on to become Marine Biologists, Her Majesties Forces divers and others in scuba related fields.