Southern Diving Group

The Southern Diving Group is comprised of two Area Clearance Diving Units. Southern Diving Unit One (SDU1) is located in Plymouth and SDU2 located in Portsmouth.

Add to favourites

Consisting of up to 60 Royal Navy Clearance Divers and supporting specialists, this Group is comprised of two Area Clearance Diving Unit’s. Southern Diving Unit One (SDU1) is located in Plymouth and SDU2 located in Portsmouth, both of whom collectively meet  a broad range of standing commitments.

They have a long standing commitment to provide Military Diving and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), or Bomb Disposal, Aid to the Civil Powers, such as the Home Office, Police and Coastguard, as well as counter IED support in the South Eastern and Southwestern sectors of the UK.

Stretching 1400 miles, their area of responsibility begins from the Highwater mark in Hull and proceeds seaward to the Territorial limit and runs clockwise around the British Isles, including the Isle of Wight, Channel Islands, and Isles of Scilly, to finish in Liverpool.

Many of these areas were subject to heavy bombing in WW2, and today they are continued to be tasked with a large array and quantity of ordnance that would otherwise present a significant danger to the public and critical national infrastructure, both on the foreshore, at sea, and on occasion, inland.

As the Fleet Diving Squadron’s specialists in Maritime EOD, they also hold small teams at high readiness to deploy to the reaches of the Globe to support the Royal Navy’s wide and varying scope of operations.
Helping to support the vast majority of the Fleet both in the UK and abroad, they also provide a standing In Water Maintenance and Repair (IWMAR), and Battle Damage Assessment and Repair (BDAR) capabilities. These are regularly put to the test, employing sophisticated life support equipment to safely do so.

Diverse in capability and ever ready to deploy, this Group, akin to many of the teams in the Fleet Diving Squadron, have a broad range of clearance diving, EOD and salvage skillsets that are brought to bear as routine business.

Royal Navy and Marines make final preparations for the Royal Wedding


Southern Diving Group Latest News

Royal Navy bomb disposal team detonates wartime device found in River Thames


Royal Navy bomb disposal team deal with Second World War device in the River Thames

See all news for Southern Diving Group

Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers Future

An island nation needs a powerful navy. A simple fact, often forgotten. Go behind the scenes of the new aircraft carrier and discover its true scale and ambition.

Read about the new carrier


Rank: Commander

Commander 'Del' Mcknight joined the Royal Navy in 1989, he assumed command of the Fleet Diving Squadron in May 2016.

Previous units

Download full profile

Mine Clearance Diver

Join us


Collectively the units cover 1,400 miles.

HMNB Portsmouth

Learn more

HMNB Devonport

Learn more