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divers in action

Surprise submersion

ARMY diving experts had to don their wetsuits for a dip in the middle of the Helmand desert when they were unexpectedly called into action in southern Afghanistan.

A crack team of nearly 20 specialists from 38 Engineer Regiment took the plunge in an irrigation canal in a move to assist at the scene of a disabled Viking troop carrier.

While the vehicle was quickly retrieved after becoming trapped during the early stages of Operation Panther’s Claw, the sappers were detailed to retrieve weapons and sensitive kit that had sunk into the murky depths.

With force protection provided by soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, who were armed with Javelin missiles and sniper rifles, the divers braved contact with the enemy to retrieve the missing gear.

Sgt Tom Lawndes (38 Engr Regt)admitted that the unusual task had proved to be “quite unnerving”. He added: “This was an area where there had been a big contact with the enemy so it wasn’t a safe place.

“There were plenty of suspicious people gathering, monitoring our movements and potentially coordinating an attack.

“We had to get the job done – visibility was down to just half-a-metre and the water was moving pretty quickly. We had to shut off sluice gates to make it manageable.”

The task took two hours of exhaustive searching, during which all the lost equipment was accounted for.

Despite the risks of the tasking, the sappers insisted they were prepared for another mission.

“There were some close calls but thankfully no casualties were taken,” said Sgt Rob Green (38 Engr Regt). “We’ve recharged the dive sets and are ready for more.”

just read this on the soldier mag website.

well done lads
Well done fellers ... another example of the diversity of Sapper operations.

Always prepared to resolve a problem and get a job done.

And earn that diving pay :D

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