Families are being encouraged to get ready and dive in for a weekend of underwater exploration.
Macduff Marine Aquarium in Aberdeenshire is getting in deep to find out how people have been able to discover the secrets of the ocean, using scuba and underwater technology.
Over the weekend of 9 and 10 June, visitors to the attraction can learn about scuba diving and ROVs through talks, presentations and hands on activities.
As well as the normal fishy goings on at the aquarium, throughout the weekend there will be a chance for visitors to find out how to build an ROV, fly some mini ROVs, learn about SCUBA kit, chat with divers about their underwater adventures and be inspired by some of our underwater photography. There will also be a presentation about hyperbaric chambers and how they work to help divers if things go wrong for them at depth.
Marie Dare, the aquarium’s learning officer who is organising the event, said: ‘Many of the aquarium staff are scuba divers and we are excited to have an opportunity to share our enthusiasm for underwater discovery with our visitors, even what it takes just to dive in our kelp tank.
‘We’re thrilled to welcome other underwater explorers to talk about technology and are looking forward to discovering more about ROVs and how to build them from the national MATE ROV champions of Keith Grammar School and Robert Gordon University’s School of Engineering. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to explore the aquarium from a new perspective.’
There will also be afternoon rock pool rambles, weather permitting, as underwater discovery does not always require fancy technology – but anyone joining in is advised to bring a pair of wellies!
The aquarium is open 11am to 5pm, with the dive show at 2pm on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June. Normal entry costs apply.
Special activities include:
Hyperbaric chambers talk (Saturday only)- Join Stuart Sloan, Medical Operations Supervisor with JFD to learn about saturation diving and hyperbaric chambers; how it all works and its application within the commercial diving industry. The presentation will be in the morning, but Stuart will be around all day to chat with visitors and show off a diving helmet. (Running all weekend)
Diving- is it just for dolphins? – Marine mammals have many adaptions that allow them to be superior swimmers and divers. In this show we will look at how humans have tried to learn from marine mammals to become divers.
ImpROVise talk- Keith Grammar National winner of MATE ROV challenge will give a talk on how they designed and built their winning ROV while flying it in the Kelp Reef tank (at 1.30pm Saturday and Sunday).
Sea crafts- Join Friends of Macduff Marine Aquarium (FOMMA) to create make and take fishy crafts to keep the guppies happy.
Rock pool ramble- Weather permitting – late afternoon rock pool ramble on Macduff beach – a seashore safari accompanied by an aquarium staff member to catch a glimpse of what lies beneath! Ensure you have suitable footwear and are dressed for the weather.
Fly a Mini ROV- Try your hand at flying a mini underwater robot (ROV) in a fish tank with The School of Engineering from Robert Gordon University. Find out about underwater robotics for schools and the MATE ROV competition.
Staying Safe in the Sea – HM Coastguard will be on hand with advice and tips for staying safe.