ATLAM Sub Aqua Club

ATLAM Sub Aqua Club

Is the first scuba diving club in Malta. Our club is dedicated to the amazing world that lies under our seas. We organise regular boat trips to various diving sites across the Maltese Islands, as well as CMAS diving courses for beginners, advanced diving and speciality courses.

More than 50 years of diving history

The Malta Sub Aqua Club was founded by Mr. Eric Pace Bonello, on the 31st March 1955. The main of aim the Club then, was to organize spearfishing competitions according to internationally established rules. The competitions proved to be a great success, with the public at large closely following the progress of the competitors.The Club participated in its first International Competition in Portugal where it competed against 12 countries and obtained a credible 5th place. In February 1959, went to Monaco to represent Malta as a founder member of the "Confederation Mondiale des Activities Subaquatique" the CMAS. The Club now had obtained international recognition and a firm position in Europe's largest diving organization.

With the growing diversity of aquatic sports and the evolution of scuba diving, the general interest in spear fishing started to decline and in 1977 the Club officially started to teach scuba diving.

In 1978, the Club changed its name to ATLAM Sub Aqua Club, in accordance with Act No. XXII of 1978 the Club was not allowed to use the word Malta any more. Later on that year, the Federation of Underwater Activities of Malta, FUAM, was formed. This national body incorporated all the Maltese Clubs whose main activity was scuba diving or free diving.

The sporting traditions of the Club are now also directed at national and international underwater photographic competitions. ATLAM is also famous for its photographic competitions, namely the Blue Dolphin of Malta Competition, the first of which was organised in 1992. These used to be held every year and divers from all over the world came over to compete. Sadly enough the Blue Dolphin of Malta Competition was not held during the last few years due to financial constraints. Another annual photographic competition is that held between ATLAM and the British Airways Sub Aqua Club.

The major strength of the Club lies in its consistent dedication to the training of divers in a rigorous but informal learning environment. Every year the Club generally runs two diving programs. It is a tribute to the Club that the standard of teaching is considered to be one of the best on the Islands. One of the aims of the Club is to teach diving based on International recognized standards of CMAS, to promote safe diving and encourage marine life conservation. One of the long-standing problems of the Club is the lack of permanent premises. The Club was forced to change premises 5 times in the past 15 years.

Presently the Club uses a government tenement in Melita Street, Valletta. The Club currently has over 100 members.

Activities vary between the training of novice divers and other Club activities.
The main activities organized throughout the year include: Shore and Boat dives, Night dives, Charity campaigns, BBQ's, Photographic Competitions, lectures on various topics related to scuba diving, cultural outings, Easter Camping and organized diving trips to foreign destinations such as to the Egyptian Red Sea, Lampedusa, Cuba, South America and South Africa.

A brief history of CMAS
Extract from the official CMAS website

On the 28th of September 1958, delegates from the following Federations: Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium, Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Monaco, Portugal, Switzerland, the United States of America and Yugoslavia met in Brussels on the occasion of the congress of the independent International Confederation gathering all underwater disciplines.
With this aim, a meeting was held in Monaco on January 9, 10 and 11, 1959 and a decision to establish the "World Confederation of Underwater Activities" in brief C.M.A.S., was taken. This Confederation succeeded, specifically in regard to all functions and responsibilities, the "Comité des Sports Sous-Marins" (Underwater Sports Committee) of the International Confederation of Sport Fishing founded on the 22nd of February 1952.

The following Federations or Associations, hereinafter mentioned with the Representatives of the respective Constituent Assembly, have the right to be considered as the founding members of the Confederation:

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY : Verband Deutscher Sporttaucher
Delegate : Mr. Jens-Peter PAULSEN
BELGIUM : Fédération Belge des Recherches et d’Activités Sous-Marines
Delegates : Mr. Paul BAILLY and Mr. William XHIGNESSE
BRAZIL : Confederacao Brasileira de Desportos
Delegate : Mr. Vittorio DE BERREDO
SPAIN : Federacion Espanola de Pesca Sportiva
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : National Competitive Skindivers Committee
Delegates : Mr. Serge A. BIRN and Mr. Gustav DALLA VALLE
FRANCE : Fédération Française d’Etudes et de Sports Sous-Marins
Delegates : Mr. Elie FERRAT and Mr. Jacques DUMAS
GREAT BRITAIN : British Sub Aqua Club
Delegate : Mr. Oscar GUGEN
GREECE : Fédération Hellénique de la Pêche Sportive et des Activités Subaquatiques
Delegate : Mr. Luigi FERRARO
ITALY : Federazione Italiana della Pesca Sportiva
Delegates: Mr. Carlo MANSTRETTA and Mr. Luigi FERRARO

MALTA : Malta Sub Aqua Club
Delegate : Mr. Eric PACE BONELLO

MONACO : Club de Chasse et d’Exploration Sous-Marines
Delegates : Mr. Camille ONDA (Yacht Club) and Commandant J.Y. COUSTEAU
HOLLAND : Onderwater Jagers Club
Delegates : Mr. J.H. HORA ADEMA and Mr. J.P. TOENBREKER
PORTUGAL : Centro Portugues de Actividades Submarinas
Delegates : Mr. Jorge ALBUQUERQUE and Mr. Antonio RAMADA CURTO
SWITZERLAND : Fédération Suisse des Centres de Sports Sous-Marins
Delegates : Mr. Charles KNIGGE and Mr. Robert METRAUX
YOUGOSLAVIA : Savez Pormorskin Ribolovaga
Delegate : Mr. J. MEDUR