When your project involves the capturing of film, video or photographs in a marine environment (including swimming pools, flooded quarries etc), there are various things you need to consider and if you are a British Production Company working within 12 miles of the UK coastline, one of those things is ensuring you comply with HSE guidelines on safety at work practices. It’s the law.

Click this link to view the current Diving At Work Regulations (1997) to get an understanding of what you need to consider before putting a team together to get the footage you need.

These regulations exist to ensure the safety of all members of the crew working on a shoot involving water, not just the divers. Filming in or around marine environments can be hazardous with many risks and dangers you may not have considered, for example, you want to film a drama sequence where an actor falls into a lake, you’ve found the perfect location but you’ve only seen it from land, how do you know what conditions are like underwater, are there chemicals in the water? Have people been dumping garbage there? Are there any unseen obstructions or growth where crew could become tangled or trapped? Simply hiring a volunteer from the local diving club to jump in and find out for themselves is not only foolish, if it’s a commercial production, it’s also illegal!

Important things to bear in mind:

  • The minimum number of people in a dive safety team for a media shoot should ideally be no less than three, if your shoot requires more people, don’t cut corners, hire more people!
  • Every member of the dive safety team should hold a valid HSE qualification for diving at work
  • There should be at last two team members on location with Emergency First Aid and Oxygen Provider qualifications. If one is underwater, the other should be topside
  • There will only be one person in charge of the dive team, the Dive Supervisor, and he or she will have final say on what does or does not happen on the shoot
  • The role of the dive team is not just to capture footage and ensure safety of any talent on set, it is to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the shoot
  • Effective, safe and legal media dive projects should never be an afterthought and done cheaply, if your script requires underwater filming, make sure you budget accordingly
  • In the event you are planning an underwater shoot, do not do the planning on your own, we can advise you on everything you need to know, including things you will not have considered. We are filmmakers, we run productions and know the process and most importantly, we are here to help!

Scarlet View Media is an HSE approved contractor, our in-house underwater Cinematographer, David Diley, holds an HSE Media Diver qualification and is both Emergency First Aid and Oxygen Provider certified. We work closely alongside a highly experienced Dive Safety Team with years of expertise in Film, TV and offshore commercial work, meaning if you need a media dive team for your project, we can assemble it for you and ensure your production is safe, enjoyable, HSE compliant and of course, of the highest quality.

If you have an underwater filming project in mind, get in touch and we will be delighted to discuss it with you and provide you with everything you need.