CELEBRATING 50 YEARS - 1969 to 2019

AP Diving (originally AP Valves) turns 50 in 2019


To help celebrate our half century we invite all divers to join us in a year-long quest to... 


and find the 50 x OLDEST BUDDY BCDs




 Get involved, do something amazing & win some great AP prizes this year 


See below for details of the AP 50th Challenges



The 50 DIVE ADVENTURES Challenge

Log your best dive adventure of 2019

Planning some amazing, unusual and extraordinary dive adventures this year?

Send us a Dive Report including photos and a brief write-up (or long... up to you) detailing the back-story, the who, what, why, when, where and how of it... 

The best* 50 DIVE ADVENTURES will be chosen by a panel of AP staff from all those submitted. The top three best DIVE ADVENTURES (selected by the panel) will be entered into a random prize draw, which will take place in early December 2019.

  • 1st PRIZE: a brand new, full spec AP COMMANDO BCD (or other model of choice) and an AP SMBCi/35P - the original self-sealing Surface Marker Buoy with Easifil inflator. Plus AP goodies for the team: each diver taking part will be offered their choice of an AP Bamboo Thermos Flask, an AP Beanie or an AP Stylus Pen. Each diver in the team will also receive an AP 50th Anniversary Coffee Mug.
  • 2 x Runners-up PRIZES: an AP SMBCi/35P - Surface Marker Buoy with Easifil inflator; an AP Pocket Reel; and an LB25C - self-sealing 25kg Lift Bag. Plus AP goodies for the team: each diver taking part will be offered their choice of an AP Bamboo Thermos Flask, an AP Beanie or an AP Stylus Pen. Each diver in the team will also receive an AP 50th Anniversary Coffee Mug.
  • The next 47 best DIVE ADVENTURES  (chosen by the same panel of AP staff) will win a prize of an AP SMBCi - the original self-sealing Surface Marker Buoy and an AP 50th Anniversary Coffee Mug.
  • Every DIVE ADVENTURE submitted will be posted online on the AP website and all over our social media channels gaining publicity, kudos and out-reach for your club or group.


* The judging criteria will include some or all of the following: the uniqueness and newsworthiness of the adventure; the effort put into and the quality of both the written report and the photographs; the effort put in by the divers and the team-effort (where applicable); entertainment value; inspirational value...





If you are also posting your report on your own social media, it would great if you could use #AP50THC in the text? That way we get to collect all the good stuff in one place. Cheers. 

The closing date for DIVE ADVENTURE dive report submissions is 30th November 2019

The panel will make their decisions, conduct the random prize draw and announce the results on or shortly after Monday 16th December. Prizes will be shipped asap after that, if possible before the end of 2019. 

50 DIVE ADVENTURES Competition Terms & Conditions




Lanzarote Dreaming

2nd January 2019

Dive Report

Go Here

The 50 BEACH CLEANS Challenge

If each club does one beach each - the 50 target will be easy




This challenge goes out to you. What we are aiming for is 50+ beaches in total by the end of the year. Sign up your club and commit to cleaning one local beach and we should do it easily.

Obviously, the solutions to the problems caused by "8 million tonnes of plastic being dumped in our seas every year" (source: BBC - Drowning In Plastic 2018) will not be solved by Beach Cleans alone. It  requires long-term collective action from governments and organisations much higher up the food chain than us. However, we believe in leading by example and making a start locally. 

I'm pretty sure many divers will agree with this and are also uniquely placed to help out, having all the necessary gear, knowledge and organisational skills available. I'm thinking in particular of access to RHIBs or paddle-boards, together with unique sea-craft skills and local knowledge which would allow you to reach the beaches that the general public just can't get to.  

If you do organise your own Beach Clean then obviously appropriate planning should be made. There are excellent guides available from the Surfers Against Sewage and Marine Conservation Society websites. Planning should involve:

  1. Permission - contact the beach owner (usually the local council) and find out the best way to get the rubbish collected, disposed of or where to leave it for council collection etc
  2. Risk Assessments - templates and checklists are available from the links above. 
  3. Health & Safety - equipment, tide times, marshalling, sign-in sheets, first-aid etc. Safety guidelines are available from the links above.
  4. Preferably register your plan with someone like the MCS who also like to collect useful data on what you find.

If you choose to clean an isolated beach with only sea-access then preferably you should also consult with local wildlife groups, the Coastguard and others well in advance of any such efforts to ensure both the safety of the divers and to make sure you don't disturb or endanger any wild-life that may live there.

Or if you want to keep it simple, you could just join in with one of the regular organised events throughout the year by the likes of Surfers Against Sewage, the Marine Conservation Society or the National Trust

Helping to clean up the environment is obviously a reward in itself and it is another great out-reach opportunity to publicise and grow your club. In addition, each Dive Club that submits a brief report and photos (50-200+ words or just photo captions) of their club's Beach Clean event will receive a prize from AP of an AP Training Surface Marker Buoy. We will also publicise each Beach Clean report on our web and social media channels throughout the year.

Although it's not officially a competition, the AP judging panel will also choose what they consider to be the best effort of the 50 x Beach Cleans and extra AP goodies will be sent out in December. 




If you are also posting your report on your own social media, it would great if you could use #AP50THC in the text? That way we get to collect all the good stuff in one place. Cheers.  

The closing date for BEACH CLEAN report submissions is 30th November 2019


50 BEACH CLEANS CHALLENGE Terms & Conditions


The 50 OLDEST BUDDY BCDs Challenge

Help us find the oldest (still-working) BUDDY BCD


We are on the hunt for the oldest BUDDY BCD still going strong and maybe still in use in the water (or at least capable of being). Divers are forever approaching us at Dive Shows saying "I've got a 25+ year old BUDDY Commando..." which is great! For them... they have definitely got their money's-worth... Not so much for us. "Time for a new one" we smile, hopefully.

So we got to thinking... we should really try to find the oldest BUDDY out there. If you take a look at our history pages you will see that we made our first jacket back in 1974. It would be great to find one of these single bladder "horse-collar" BCDs still diving?

Ok, so the competition is simple: If you think you have the oldest, send us photographs (of it now and preferably, if possible,  also back then, when you bought it) together with the serial number if you can find it (in one of the pockets) or any other evidence of date - receipt, warranty registration etc etc. If you want to give us any other information about your dive career at the same time that would be great. We will post the top 50 "oldest BCD" stories on this site and on our social media pages.

If we have several BCDs which are obviously among the oldest but can't decisively be dated, then we will enter them (however many there are in this "oldest" group) into a finalists' Prize Draw lottery to make it fair.

  • 1st PRIZE: a brand new, full spec AP COMMANDO BCD (or other model of choice) and in time-honoured AP tradition - a complimentary coffee mug! 
  • All of the runners up from the prize draw lottery will be sent the full set of AP goodies: an AP Bamboo Thermos Flask, an AP Beanie, an AP Pen and an AP 50th Anniversary Coffee Mug.
  • All of the remaining 50 oldest BUDDY BCDs  will all be sent 50th Anniversary Coffee Mugs.

The bar is already set pretty high... we have found a pretty old one which we displayed at the last NEC Dive Show.  Sent in by Allan and Bunny Colclough who used to run the Royal Dive School in Jordan. On retirement they were presented with the original 1986 BUDDY SEAKING jacket that belonged to King Hussein of Jordan. This 33 year old jacket is still in great condition and sets the target to beat. If you think you can beat that... please get in touch.








 BUDDY Commando Slimline

Date to be verified - Circa late 1980s / early 1990s

Sent in by: Mr Colin Manders


I can’t find a date on my wife’s BC but I don’t think they come in pink anymore?!







 BUDDY Double Gold


Owner: Mr Erik Ballast






 BUDDY Pacific

Date to be verified - Circa June 1987

Owner: Mr Paul Jackman







BUDDY Pacific

Date to be verified - Circa 1980s

Owner: Mr Richard Wintershoven

I was diving with a club called Amsterdamse Sport Duikers. I came a lot to Shadow Diving [dive shop] and bought their first new BUDDY.  Now I still dive with a BUDDY.

Unfortunately I don't have the warranty card any more. I have made thousands of dives with BUDDY. [Today] I have a dive school Shop and dive school - Down Under in Landsmeer - in the Netherlands - for almost 30 years. Afther the horseshoe I bought my first buddy commando  jacket...

Met vriendelijke groet Richard Wintershoven 





1985 BUDDY Seaking purchased by Mr Andy Collins 1985 BUDDY Seaking purchased by Mr Andy Collins The original packaging, instructions and sales leaflets!




April 1985

Owner: Mr Andy Collins

This BUDDY Seaking is in mint condition and still has the original packaging, sales and instruction leaflets!  Sent in by Mrs Ira Collins:

"Here are photos of my husbands ( Mr Andy Collins ) Buddy Sea King which he has had since 1985.  At 65yrs he manages a dive at least once a month with his 81yr old mate.  

Good luck with the 50 yrs Celebrations."








Week 31, 1986

Owner: Allan & Bunny Colclough

This original BUDDY Seaking is a unique one-off build, made in 1986 for King Hussein of Jordan. It was presented to him at the opening of the Royal Diving Centre at Aqaba in Jordan by the centre's managers and former Midlands Regional BSAC Instructors, Allan and Bunny Colclough.  The Seaking found its way back to us in September 2018 thanks to Allan and Bunny's kind offer of returning the jacket to Cornwall after it was gifted to them on their retirement from the RDC.







If you are also posting this on your own social media, it would great if you could use #AP50THC in the text? That way we get to collect all the good stuff in one place. Cheers.  

The closing date for OLDEST BUDDY submissions is 30th November 2019


50 OLDEST BUDDY CHALLENGE Terms & Conditions

The 50th Anniversary AP STAFF Challenge

Diving or non-diving - whatever your sport / hobby / talent...


This one is for AP staff and just for fun. The challenge is for staff to come up with whatever individual or team challenge they want, diving or otherwise. The only criteria being - it must be a "challenge" - something that pushes them outside their comfort-zone, beyond what they would normally do.

We have joggers, gig rowers, bakers, 10k runners, photographers, pilots, gardeners, horse-riders, classic vehicle restorers, singers, sailors, skiers, rugby players, half-marathon athletes, home-brewers, golfers, champion equestrians... to name but a few of the hobbies, interests and talents in the AP team. Oh, and quite a few of these are divers as well.

It will be great to see what they come up with as their personal 50th Challenge in 2019.

Watch this space. I will log the successful challenges as we go on this page and all over the AP social media pages. Hopefully we will make it to the 50 total by the end of the year.




2nd January 2019

Lanzarote Dreaming

Jeff Parker

AP Marketing & IT Manager

Dive Report

Go Here



20th January 2019


Storm Force 10

Jo Miners

AP Accountant

Race Report

To follow