Gould - August 2007
Alan Gould was member of the Leeds under water swimming club,
which later became the British Sub Aqua Club. This was before
coming to South Africa Durban in November 1955.
joined the Durban Under Sea Club but was among several of
the members who broke away and formed the Associated Divers
Club. They included Derek Wilkinson, Alan Egling, John Le
Strange, Alan Tiley, Bob Johnson , Geoff Akin-Smith, Joe Dessels,
Vim Smit, Alan Gould, Albert Lane, Bill Leftwich, Mike Popplet,
Max De Groot. Ricky Schick and Charles Sprighton, to name
but a few.
for breaking away from the Durban Under Sea club was because
these men were more interested in equipment diving than in
spear fishing. Associated Divers were the first diving club
in South Africa to create a training course for equipment
divers, i.e.:- scuba and closed-circuit (re-breather ). It
must be noted that the equipment could not be bought in South
Africa at that time and so these chaps made it for themselves.
They also coined the phrase 'Dive alone, die alone.
start, people came to them with tasks that only they could
do. On one occasion, they were asked to help recover a drowned
body from inside a Sunderland aeroplane that had crashed on
landing at Lake Umzingazi, near Richards Bay. They didn't
find the body because it was hidden behind a circular stair
case leading from the wardroom to the main deck but, on that
dive, there were many crocodiles, hippos and leeches in the
to that, the wreck of the Sunderland was purchased by my grandfather
Max Cowan, of Magnus Metals in Durban, who sent Alan Gould,
Derek Wilkinson and Alan Egling to attach a cable to an eyebolt
on the aircraft to enable it to be recovered.
their closed-circuit re-breather sets during the trip
to try and recover the crashed Sunderland from Lake
Umsingazi, were Alan Gould, left, and Derek Wilkinson.
Click pic to view enlargement.
memorable incident in October 1963, the ship Aimee Lykes ran
aground on her maiden voyage on the Aliwal Shoal, off the
coast of Natal. The club was asked to go and find six drums
of poison that had been thrown overboard, together with a
lot of other cargo, to lighten the ship. The damage to sea
life would have been catastrophic if the poison eventually
leaked into the sea.
completed the job very successfully even though surrounded
by sharks and barracuda., which was where buddy diving proved
its worth. The Lykes Shipping Line subsequently donated a
compressor to the club for use in filling aqualungs with compressed
participated in what is believed to be a world first when
it helped to clean the bottom of the ship Straat Freemantle
without her having to go into dry dock. On another occasion,
the club recovered a large anchor from a old sailing ship
that had sunk off South Beach in Durban, and it was later
displayed in the Old House Museum.
early sixties, the club used to train either at the submarine
jetty at Salisbury Island or at the Rachel Finlayson swimming
pool on the Durban Beach front. One day, the guys decided
to play under water rugby but the problem was what to use
for a ball. They first tried a 5-litre tin filled with sand,
which proved to be too dangerous, so they filled a shoe polish
tin with lead, sawed the handles down on hockey sticks, and
underwater hockey was born.