Dave Ogden

It is with regret that we have to inform our members of the untimely death of Dave Ogden, skipper of the Harry Slater, out of Oban. Dave passed away on Tuesday, 14th August, at the wheel of the Harry Slater having suffered a heart attack. Dave and Jan have run the Harry Slater as a diving liveaboard for many, many years out of Oban providing hundreds of divers with exciting and adventurous diving. Their hospitality was second to none and Dave's knowledge of the wrecks in the Western Isles was unquestionable. His skills, sheer expertise and quiet hospitality will be sorely missed by many of us and our condolences go to Jan and their families at their sad loss.

BSAC newsflash 16 August 2001

A Tribute to Dave Ogden

The clock in the wheelhouse of the Harry Slater would read a quarter to four all week. Mention it to Dave, and the likely response in his soft Northern accent would be, "Aye, it's near enough for up here". And Dave's easy going approach would set the tone for life on board.

As soon as the Harry Slater left the quayside in Oban, and sailed up the hauntingly beautiful Sound of Mull, there'd be no need for clocks or watches…unless maybe to have a vague idea of when there would be slack water on the Hispania.

And ask Dave how far and how deep the Hispania was (or any wreck for that matter) his inevitable reply would be, "Oh - about an hour…and 20 metres."

In the mornings, if you could stir yourself from your bunk early enough, you'd find Dave sitting at the wheel with his first cup of coffee and roll-up of the day, jotting down notes as he listened to the shipping forecast. His expert knowledge of the Sound and the Western Isles would ensure that you'd get a good dive whatever the weather.

A forecast of force 6 and sea state rough, and he'd take you to dive a sheltered site like the fishbone wreck of the Pelican.

Little wind, clear skies and a calm sea and he'd steer the Harry Slater into the wide blue yonder, perhaps to the Isle of Canna, or remote Barra, or the enchanting puffin island of Lunga. And on the way, with binoculars always at the ready, he'd alert you to sightings of minke whales or dolphins.

Dave filled the cylinders, ferried the squidgy, helped Jan with the washing up - always with a smiling good humour. He enjoyed his pint of Guinness and a wee dram. And of an evening, as we were moored up say, in Loch Drambuie or Loch Sunart, he delighted in helping us to shatter the peace by joining in as we'd all sing along in tone-deaf harmony to the strains of the guitar and "Will ye go lassie go".

Yes - it's the ending of a tradition which was started 12 years ago when club members first ventured up to Scotland to meet the skipper and his boat. But those of us who have had the privilege of spending a week on board the Harry Slater with Dave and Jan, will keep the happy memories alive for long into the future.


This page was last updated on : 06 Sep 2011