Nic Emery lives and breathes diving. From her very first underwater breath, she knew that she’d be an instructor. In 2012 she made the big decision to leave her job as a teacher and move across the world to Tioman Island, Malaysia. Whilst on this paradise island, Nic fell in love with the underwater playgrounds she worked in and knew she needed to protect them.
Although I’ve always loved nature and the environment, I didn’t realise the fragility of ocean ecosystems until Malaysia. I saw first-hand how reefs were impacted by human activities, whether it was irresponsible diving practices, ghost fishing or coral bleaching. My little tropical island was beautiful and I felt passionate about protecting it.
For four years Nic ran the busiest dive centre in Malaysia alongside her husband James. With the knowledge, experience and passion they gained from B&J Diving, the pair decided to head home to Northumberland to start their own dive shop and in 2016 The Fifth Point Diving Centre was born.
The dive centre itself was built from as much reclaimed materials as Nic and James could get their hands on, including checker plates that came off an old barge in Blyth harbour to make up the floor around the training tank. Recycling, upcycling and composting are normal practice in the day-to-day running of the centre and the dive shop sells products to help people live plastic-free - everything from stainless steel straws to environmentally friendly cleaning products.
In the water, the Fifth Point team take only memories and leave only bubbles and focus on correct weighting, neutral buoyancy and good trim in all activities, following their philosophy to educate and engage responsible diving.
There’s a misconception in the UK that our seas are very hardy – especially in the North East. People think it’s cold, it’s dark, nothing lives there so it can take care of itself if we abuse it. It’s cold – I’ll give them that, but UK diving rocks and our oceans are teeming with life.
To further protect the Northumberland waters, every dive The Fifth Point runs is a Dive Against Debris and they have recently adopted the dive site, Knacker Hole. Their ongoing commitment to marine conservation includes the dive centre being a 100% AWARE partner, so for every PADI certification, the centre donates to Project AWARE, contributing vital funds to its work to protect the ocean planet.
Nic has embedded her love for the underwater world into every aspect of her dive business, from the ground up. Protecting the ocean is the norm at The Fifth Point, influencing and educating each and every diver that walks through the doors.
Want to join the movement for ocean protect? Here are Nic's Top 3 pieces of eco-advice:
- Don’t walk/swim past that piece of trash thinking someone else will pick it up, it’s up to YOU
- Ditch single-use plastic – it’s so easy to make the change
- TELL EVERYONE. There’s a wave of change happening. Help keep #OurSeaTrashFree