Dive boat

"Down Under" is the current UniDive club boat, it is a 5.9 metre Swift aluminum hulled rigid inflatable built in July-August 2009. The boat can carry eight divers with two tanks or ten divers on a single tank dive. The boat is powered by a 175 hp Mariner V6 and has a large inboard fuel tank (150 litres, ~6 hr running time).

Boat Handling

Club Approved Boat Handlers can take the Unidive boat out on dive trips. As they will be driving the Unidive boat with Unidive gear and members, a lot of responsibility rests on their shoulders. Any Club member can take a turn driving the Club boat, if they have a Queensland Recreational Shipmasters Licence and are under the direct supervision of an Approved Boat Handler. Those with an interest in becoming a Boat Handler are encouraged to take opportunities to have a go - and keep a log of this experience.

On a Club trip there always has to be Primary Boat Handler - this person takes control of the boat and has final decision-making authority with regard to the safety of the boat and its occupants. The person filling the Primary role must have Site Approval for the location being visited on the trip. As there must always be an Approved Boat Handler on the boat, most trips will also have a Secondary Boat Handler so that the person filling the Primary role can dive. The person filling the Secondary role also has to be an Approved Boat Handler - meaning they have the ability to take charge of the boat in the absence of the Primary - but they don't need to have Site Approval. Additionally, there always has to be two people on the boat - but the second person doesn't have to be a boat handler.

Novice Boat Handlers

Those intending to become an Approved Boat Handler, but do not yet have sufficient experience to take charge of the boat on their own. Novices cannot therefore fill the role of Primary or Secondary on a trip. If you want to be recognised as a Novice Boat Handler and be incuded in club communications to boat handlers, please submit a Form A to the Safety Committee.

The minimum standards required of all Boat Handlers are:

  • Recreational shipmasters license issued by an Australian State or International license recognised by the local authorities (e.g. Marine Safety Queensland in Queensland, Roads and Maritime Services in New South Wales);
  • VHF radio operator certificate of proficiency: Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP) or equivalent, such as the superseded Marine Radio Operator VHF Certificate of Proficiency (MROVCP);
  • Current oxygen provider and CPR certification (i.e. renewed in the last 12 months); and
  • Completed the Unidive Boat Handlers workshop and has been deemed competent by practical demonstration.

Approved Boat Handlers

Those with sufficient skill and experience to take charge of the boat. You must be an Approved Boat Handler to take on the role of Secondary Boat Handler on a trip. To be recognised as an Approved Boat Handler, please submit a completed Form B to the Safety Committee.

Club Approved Boat Handlers must have:

  • Met the minimum standards as listed above;
  • Ability to launch and retrieve the boat from more than one launch site;
  • Ability to navigate the boat in a variety of sea condition that represent typical dive trips;
  • Deploying and retrieving the anchor at various sites; and
  • Competency in the use of all equipment aboard the Club dive vessel including electronic navigation aids.

Site Approval

Before a Boat Handler can take the boat to a particular dive site they need to show proof of experience to that particular dive site or a similar site.

To gain Site Approval, it is expected the Approved Boat Handlers navigate to the site a number of times in a variety of sea and weather conditions under the supervision of more than one Boat Handler approved for that site before receiving the Site Approval. When appropriate experience has been gained, Form C should be completed and submitted to the Safety Committee for review. If there isn't currently anyone signed off for the specific site, you can request approval for a new site using a Form D.

Senior Boat Handlers

The Senior Boat Handlers are those with sufficient skills and experience to assess the competency of other Boat Handlers. These are the people who can recommend new Boat Handlers to the Safety Committee by confirming the applicant has the skills and experience required to be an Approved Boat Handler by signing their Form B etc. This allows the club to ensure such decisions are made on the advice on sufficiently experienced boat handlers without those people needing to always been on the Safety Committee. If you think you have the necessary experience with the Club Boat, as well as the necessary wisdom and judgement to provide advice and recommendations to the Club, please submit a Form E to the Safety Committee.

The current Senior Boat Handlers are: Chris Roelfsema, Doug Stetner, Trevor Barrenger and Lock Pollard.

Towing the boat

Towing the boat also requires specialist skills. Members wishing to tow the boat currently need to prove their proficiency to the safety committee chair before towing. The boat weighs ~1550 kg empty, so the tow vehicle being used must rated to pull at least 1600 kg.

If you think you have a suitable vehicle and want to be approved to tow the boat, please contact the Safety Committee. Generally, you would get signed off as an approved tower of the box trailer first, then move on to the boat. If you want to learn to be a tower, you may also be able to talk another member into mentoring you in the skill, but this arrangement also requires Club approval.

Boat handler forms, documents and current lists including 

The Forms and lists of currently approved boat handlers and towers can be found via the Documents page, which is a members only page that requires a Club login to view.