MEET OUR STAFF - Tony Orme
Why did you learn to dive?
Many years ago (I was only about 12-13 years old) My cousin wanted to learn to dive and asked if I would like to go with him. I wasn’t that interested and just used the pool sessions as an excuse for a free swim in Sparkhill baths. During one of the sessions, a scuba supplier floated a few scuba units on the pool for anyone to try, so I grabbed one and spent most of the evening under water, needless to say I was hooked, however, due to my age and the lack of finances, I never followed it up, in fact, as time went by, I had basically forgotten all about it. Fast forward about 30-35 years, I was working for JLR and they were running a government backed scheme which sponsored employees to learn none work related skills. After trying Guitar lessons, Paragliding, rally driving and gaining my Motorcycle licence to name just a few, I was wondering what to try next, I don’t know what reminded me but I decided to try diving. After becoming open water certified in 2011 I had re-discovered that lost passion, and the rest is history.
What is the favourite course you have done?
My favourite course was the Aware Shark Conservation. Although this is mainly a classroom-
based course, to qualify, you must log dives in situations where you could potentially encounter sharks (Even if you don’t see any, the potential is there) A few months after doing the classroom work, I went on a family holiday to Gran-Canaria and did a couple of dives in the ocean where I saw my first ever sharks, the amazingly beautiful and endangered Angel sharks.
What is your favourite course to teach?
I do quite a lot of work in the pool behind the shop in Olton with People who have never dived. Very often they are very dubious about using and trusting the equipment, however, by the time their session is over they are absolutely buzzing with excitement, especially the very young who come for pool parties to celebrate a friend’s birthday etc. It is always very humbling when you begin to gain their trust and see how grateful they are for what you have taught them.
Do you have a favourite piece of dive kit?
Although it is not strictly dive kit, my favourite piece of equipment which I take on most dives is my underwater camera as it allows me to capture memories from individual dives. These records can be used to show non divers what they are missing, but they can also be used as learning tools and reference information for similar future dives.
What was a memorable dive for you?
My most memorable dive was actually 19 dives in the space of one week in the Red Sea on a liveaboard. For those who don’t know, a Liveaboard is when you climb onboard a boat and just eat, sleep, and dive non stop for a week.
Traveling around the Red Sea to various dive sites including Reefs and Wrecks with countless opportunities to improve your dive skills in all types of situations.
If I was forced to single out a specific dive as my favourite, apart from my first ever shark
encounter with angel sharks as mentioned earlier, I think I would choose my dives on the
Thistlegorm in the Red Sea, which is a world war 2 wreck with its cargo of military supplies still largely intact.
SEE YOU IN THE WATER SOON!