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I’d like to take just a few minutes to give you a little insight into when where and how it all came about…. I myself have been diving now for some thirty five years. Hence my nickname of ‘The Dinosaur’, that’s me on the right. Taken from my days teaching Standard Dress diving.

I first learnt to dive with my local dive club ‘The Argonaughts’ way back in 1972…having  told the club Diving Officer a little white lie about me being  sixteen when in fact I had just turned fourteen’…having seen one of Cousteau’s programmes I was keen to find out for myself all about our wonderful world beneath the waves’ 

After several months of what can only be described as ‘pot-luck’ training the big day finally arrived…I was at last going to visit the fishes. However my first dive was one I was definitely never going to forget!…..not because I was amazed by fascinating marine life or by seeing strange and wonderful marine creatures, no, it was because the two ‘dive buddies’ who took me on my first dive actually lost me not long into the dive! I waited for what seemed like an eternity for them to come back and find me, but they didn’t. Well I made it back to the surface in what could be described as a ‘fraught’ ascent and expressed my concerns to the Diving Officer….who shrugged it off saying ,‘you made it up didn’t you’….. Great attitude I thought!

Well I learned a lot from that experience, firstly that I needed to find someone who was going to train me correctly and more importantly safely, second that I needed to learn as much as I could about the sport and the environment I was venturing into and lastly I realised that I never wanted to put anyone in the position those two clowns put me in on that first dive, which at the very least could have put me off diving altogether and at the very worst would have meant that I wouldn’t be writing this now!

Well I consider myself to have come a long way since those early days; I have been on both side of the fence in the diving industry having worked on the wholesale and manufacturing division, as well as the retail division. Having gained Instructor qualifications in several training agencies I then worked abroad within the industry and gained experience in many different aspects of the diving world….but two things remain with me to this day…the first is still getting a buzz out of introducing a novice diver to our wonderful underwater world, and secondly knowing that they are doing so safely, whether with me directly or one of my team.

Through Eagle Ray Diving and our dedicated team of Instructors, Dive masters and Dive Crew we are able to carry on doing just that, whilst at the same time being able to take part in what I have always considered to be the most enjoyable and rewarding sport of all…’Scuba Diving’ 

I believe everyone should have the opportunity to visit and experience the beauty that lies beneath our sea’s, whether they be able bodied or have some disability, everyone should be given the chance to try.

You will no doubt hear a few more stories from the ‘Dinosaur’ when you take the plunge with us, I’m always up for a coffee and a chat, thanks for your time and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Jim Corbally

Training Director

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The next generation

Jim went on to do exactly what he said, he joined both the SAA (Sub Aqua Association) and BSAC, (British Sub Aqua Club), having gained Instructor status in both of the amateur agencies he then went on to becoming the first of only three qualified National Deep Water Instructor Trainer / Instructor Examiners for the SAA. He then became a PADI Instructor (Professional Association of Diving Instructors). He has qualified in numerous other areas of scuba Instruction over the years, incl nitrox and Rebreather Instructor.

On 31st December 2007 Jim celebrated twenty years as a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer and PADI Medic Instructor.

On his return from a spell in the USA Jim was offered and accepted the position of Manager at Stoney Cove Diver Training in Leicestershire, a position which after four years led him into the manufacturing and distribution side of the industry. It was at this time that he established his first dive school, Atlantis Diver Training, which he operated whilst still employed at Stoney Cove.

Shortly after, due to the growth of Atlantis Jim left Stoney Cove and started on the long path to where you now find him.

The first shop came about in 1990 in Trent Boulevard, West Bridgford, Nottingham the school side of Nottingham Scuba Centre was still trading under the then name of Atlantis Diver Training. This had been running since the late eighties, covering Nottingham and the surrounding areas. It was at this time that Jim first became involved in diving for the disabled, which has always been a passionate subject for him as his own father was disabled. (This passion has now lead to the formation of ‘Diveable’ a registered charity set up by Jim and another diver Darren Brookes, to teach scuba diving to people with disabilities, of which Jim is the Training Officer).

A year after opening the shop the dive school came under its banner and Atlantis Diver Training was laid to rest.

After six years it was time to move and so it was up to Mansfield Road where for the next twelve years we continued to build the business.

Then in October 2005 the business was moved to its new location on Mapperly Top, Nottingham. You could always find a very warm and friendly welcome, from Jim and his team, whether you were a diver or just interested in learning more about the sport…

In January 2009 in order to refresh the outlook of the school Jim decided to change the old name to Eagle Ray Diving, inspired by this beautiful fish during one dive in Bonaire. A new look was given not only to the name but also to the website and logo. One thing remains the same... passion for diving and commitment to these who start or develop their scuba skills.

 

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