Bor­der Un­der­sea Club (BUC) is cel­e­brat­ing its 65th birth­day this year. Founded in 1953, BUC is the third old­est un­der­wa­ter club in SA af­ter Dur­ban Un­der­sea Club and False Bay Un­der­wa­ter Club.

BUC was founded in the old Cuanza pools com­plex on the East Lon­don beach­front by Bob de Lacy Smith, Mal­com Bright, Aubrey Kruger (who would go on to in­vent the do­los in 1963), and broth­ers Alan and Brian Webb. It wasn’t un­til 2005, how­ever, that it moved into its cur­rent lo­ca­tion be­neath the BCM Tourism of­fice at the Ori­ent com­plex.

The club has played a role in East Lon­don aquatic cul­ture since its in­cep­tion. It main­tained a close re­la­tion­ship with the East Lon­don naval base un­til its clo­sure in 2014, of­ten run­ning deep-dive sim­u­la­tions in the de­com­pres­sion cham­ber. They are also key part­ners of the an­nual Iron­man race. The club pro­vides a safety boat for the swim­ming leg of the race and is also re­spon­si­ble for sink­ing the swim­ming buoys and cater­ing for vol­un­teers.

BUC has also con­trib­uted a num­ber of mem­bers to the South African un­der­wa­ter hockey team over the years.

Just re­cently, mem­ber Dar­ren Han­ner was part of the 2018 Protea men’s masters team which took part in the 20th Un­der­wa­ter Hockey World Cham­pi­onships in Canada. The men’s team came in at sec­ond place over­all.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

UN­DER THE SEA: BUC mem­ber Rory Haschick

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