Crawley Branch was formed in 1956 and became the 148th branch of the BS-AC.


The British Sub-Aqua Club was founded in 1953 some 3 years after the first compressed air aqualung was marketed. Since then it has grown and now has some 50,000 members in 1,400 branches throughout the world. The BS-AC is the largest single diving club in the world, and is recognised in the UK as the governing body for the sport and was a founder member of the CMAS, the World Underwater Federation.

From its earliest days, the BS-AC has consisted of virtually autonomous Branches, absolutely essential in those early days of geographical spread without the high speed communications and computerised administration of today's world. The Branch system has meant a great number of people have participated in the organisation, running, and development of the BS-AC.

The diversity of experience this has brought to the Club has undoubtedly been one of its greatest strengths. Indeed it is the secret of British "amateurism", a most inappropriate term, which really describes how to persuade the largest number of "professionals" to freely provide their services to the many. Taken as a whole, this is a potentially unbeatable system which is totally unfair competition to any commercially run rival.


Our Branch has been suffering from a crisis of identity for a little while!

While we have been happily known as 'CRABBSAC', as an acronym for 'Crawley Branch BS-AC' for many years, some of our Branch members felt that this abbreviation was outdated, and not very obvious, and so we started to call ourselves "Crawley Divers" as well.


Our Tornado, which was originally named "CRABBSAC", and has proper lettering to that effect on the bows, has now additionally been named underneath the original lettering as "Crawley Divers". Sadly, the "Crawley" is on the starboard side, and the "Divers" is on the port side, and both cannot be seen at the same time!

Even the most die-hard of us however must admit that we have very rarely had a successful VHF radio call to any Coastguard MRSC when using the identifier 'CRABBSAC' and invariably are asked to repeat our identity. I, for one, routinely use the term 'Crawley Divers' when calling on VHF Channel 16 / 12 / 14.

So for the moment we are happy to reply to any of the following:

  • Crawley Divers
  • Crawley BSAC

I hope that this has caused you a little amusement. No doubt we will resolve this one way or another in the fullness of time. Until then, it certainly isn't going to lose any of us any sleep, and we will concentrate on the more important object of going diving.