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.