Navy Divers surface from course with honours

The Defence Diving School at Horsea Island recently hosted family and friends to witness their relatives graduate with flying colours.

The seven graduates from 1601 Course had undergone 22 challenging weeks of training which saw them running the distance from Portsmouth to Plymouth twice, spending the equivalent of 3 days underwater and surface swimming the circumference of the Isle of Wight.

They received certificates and their coveted divers’ badges from Commander of Operational Training, Commodore Toby Williamson while AB Price also won the overall course trophy for best student.

Speaking to the students after the presentations were made, Commodore Williamson made reference to these badges saying, “When you’ve got the badge to say you’re part of this club, it defines you for the rest of your life and it’s the one that you’re proudest to say I’m part of.”  

He went on to say, “You are in a club now which you can talk about with pride from this point forward and I have a deep respect for that.”

After the presentation, the relatives then moved outside to the lake where they watched members at an earlier stage of the course displaying the qualities demanded by the training, by repeatedly diving into the icy water to swim across the lake, jog around half the perimeter and dive in again.

You are in a club now which you can talk about with pride from this point forward and I have a deep respect for that

Commodore Toby Williamson, Commander of Operational Training

The relatives then enjoyed a demonstration by the graduates who donned their equipment and dived to the bottom of the lake, demonstrating the skills that may soon be put to use retrieving ordnance or inspecting ships at sea.

The graduates will now embark on a rewarding career which will see them deployed across the fleet, providing professional diving expertise in response to many challenging situations.

As newly trained RN Clearance Divers they will initially be employed in either MCM1 based in Scotland (Faslane) or MCM2 in Portsmouth and will deploy in a MCMV as required to support worldwide operations.

They will thereafter join either an area diving team based in Scotland, Portsmouth or Plymouth to conduct underwater engineering tasks and to support military aid to civil powers (MACP) providing explosive ordinance disposal in a conventional sense and, after further training, improvised explosive device disposal.