mine clerance diver

#1
Im currently applying for the role of mine clearance diver, the waiting list correct as of today is till 2021, which the AFCO told me they received on the friday just gone.

I have booked in for my PADI open water course, starting in 2 weeks to try get as much dive experience as possible before I join, can anyone recommend further diving courses that would be relevant and beneficial for me to complete while I wait for entry.

other than the obvious things i can be working towards such as improving my general fitness, practising finning, is there anything else I can use this time to work on, from watching some videos on the role I have seen that they use body measurements while blindfolded to describe and relay information about a mine as part of the tests so I will start to work on this also.

Once you have completed your basic and specialisation training do you have any say in which unit you go to? As I would like to be with either the SDG as they perform most of the EOD or FDU1 which is predominantly a counter terrorism unit, I have read that the first diver to complete the high threat IED course did a tour of afghan, implying there is more that have completed the course? if so how likely is it to be given the opportunity to complete the course, as its something i would like to work towards, obviously my main concern is to get in at the current time but id like to know a little more about what i can expect in the way of job progression.
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Im currently applying for the role of mine clearance diver, the waiting list correct as of today is till 2021, which the AFCO told me they received on the friday just gone.

I have booked in for my PADI open water course, starting in 2 weeks to try get as much dive experience as possible before I join, can anyone recommend further diving courses that would be relevant and beneficial for me to complete while I wait for entry.

other than the obvious things i can be working towards such as improving my general fitness, practising finning, is there anything else I can use this time to work on, from watching some videos on the role I have seen that they use body measurements while blindfolded to describe and relay information about a mine as part of the tests so I will start to work on this also.

Once you have completed your basic and specialisation training do you have any say in which unit you go to? As I would like to be with either the SDG as they perform most of the EOD or FDU1 which is predominantly a counter terrorism unit, I have read that the first diver to complete the high threat IED course did a tour of afghan, implying there is more that have completed the course? if so how likely is it to be given the opportunity to complete the course, as its something i would like to work towards, obviously my main concern is to get in at the current time but id like to know a little more about what i can expect in the way of job progression.
Rebreather and things like trimix diving.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
Open Water is good, make sure you do Rescue too, but beyond that don't worry, you get your HSE ticket through training, not worth spending loads of money for something that you will get paid to learn
 
#5
Call me old fashioned but wouldn’t this be better over on Rum Ration https://www.navy-net.co.uk
I think you stand a better chance over there.

ill try that also, most of the stuff I have read on the role has come up on this site so posted to here, I assumed there would be a navy specific forum but didn't know what it was called.

thanks

Thank you for the reply's so far wasn't expecting anything this quick!

when i complete the second part of the open water course im going to do the advanced open water as well, the instructor suggested I get my dry suit and full face mask at the same time also, he told me the owner of the shop is a former navy diver himself but hes currently in Gibraltar so didnt get to speak to him hopefully I can have a chat and get some advice.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
ill try that also, most of the stuff I have read on the role has come up on this site so posted to here, I assumed there would be a navy specific forum but didn't know what it was called.

thanks

Thank you for the reply's so far wasn't expecting anything this quick!

when i complete the second part of the open water course im going to do the advanced open water as well, the instructor suggested I get my dry suit and full face mask at the same time also, he told me the owner of the shop is a former navy diver himself but hes currently in Gibraltar so didnt get to speak to him hopefully I can have a chat and get some advice.
Who are you training with, if you are training Scotland you get your drysuit as standard?
 
#7
Why would you need to get a dry suit and full face mask? Are you intending to spend most of your free time until 2021 diving in quarries in North Wales or pottering around the bottom of canals looking for murder weapons? Unless you intend to take this up as a serious hobby then I would suggest you head to warmer climes to get your certs.

BTW in regards to PADI, don't forget you also have BSAC certificates too which may be of more use in a commercial sense. I would suggest you aim some enquiries at commercial diving firms to see how the land (seafloor?) lies too.

Here's a few links you may find interesting

Mine Clearance Diver | Royal Navy Jobs | Surface Fleet

https://www.navy-net.co.uk/community/threads/rnr-diving-branch-factsheet.74016/

How Do Royal Naval Reserve Divers Operate?

Diving into a new career with the Royal Naval Reserve | Royal Navy

(edited for fat fingers)
 
Last edited:
#9
@rampant
a company called diveline in ipswich

@GreyArea
I think it would be the most job relevant type of diving, so it would make sense to gain experience in that rather than abroad in warm, crystal clear water, and I would like to take up diving as a hobby but most importantly as a career, and I want that career to be as a mine clearance diver so anything pertinent to that I plan to try do, the more I can do now to learn about diving for that role the better, as then it will allow me more time to work on other aspects of the job that I can't train for now.
I want to try use my time as effectively as possible.

That is definitely something ill look into, I haven't heard anything mentioned about BASC certificates so ill do a bit of research and shoot some enquiries out. Thanks for the reply and the links, I have read pretty much everything on the royal navy website about the role and their recent/current activities, so the other links should provide some extra information.
 
#11
@rampant
a company called diveline in ipswich

@GreyArea
I think it would be the most job relevant type of diving, so it would make sense to gain experience in that rather than abroad in warm, crystal clear water, and I would like to take up diving as a hobby but most importantly as a career, and I want that career to be as a mine clearance diver so anything pertinent to that I plan to try do, the more I can do now to learn about diving for that role the better, as then it will allow me more time to work on other aspects of the job that I can't train for now.
I want to try use my time as effectively as possible.

That is definitely something ill look into, I haven't heard anything mentioned about BASC certificates so ill do a bit of research and shoot some enquiries out. Thanks for the reply and the links, I have read pretty much everything on the royal navy website about the role and their recent/current activities, so the other links should provide some extra information.
Don't buy a dry bag.

Whilst some of your instructors might be quietly impressed that you were willing to buy a dry bag and pay for a PADI course, it will (I expect) make 0% difference to the training they will put you through. And indeed it could backfire on you if they think you are trying to suggest that you already know it.

I first put my toe in the water (SWIDT?) with diving with the Army in the '80's, and then that was more similar to BSAC than PADI. If you go the PADI route, as someone mentioned on here, make sure you get to at least 'Rescue' level. Also, as has also been mentioned, don't buy kit: any reputable diving organisation (and the Navy!) will provide you all the kit you need.

In terms of difficulty:

PADI < BSAC < Army diving, and Navy diving is an order of magnitude more technical than Army diving.

The army certainly knew how to suck all the fun out of diving: you may find that you're not interested in pursuing it recreationally.

Oh...and if you want to focus on EOD more than diving...join the Army!
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#12
@rampant
a company called diveline in ipswich

@GreyArea
I think it would be the most job relevant type of diving, so it would make sense to gain experience in that rather than abroad in warm, crystal clear water, and I would like to take up diving as a hobby but most importantly as a career, and I want that career to be as a mine clearance diver so anything pertinent to that I plan to try do, the more I can do now to learn about diving for that role the better, as then it will allow me more time to work on other aspects of the job that I can't train for now.
I want to try use my time as effectively as possible.

That is definitely something ill look into, I haven't heard anything mentioned about BASC certificates so ill do a bit of research and shoot some enquiries out. Thanks for the reply and the links, I have read pretty much everything on the royal navy website about the role and their recent/current activities, so the other links should provide some extra information.

All laudable, but focus on doing more dives than chasing qualifications, seriously you will earn those qualifications through you military dive training and get paid for it. Save money

What you should do is spend time in the water and practice your dive tables, get the USN tables and RN tables and get them down pat.* Also knots and lifeline communications, your bells and pulls.

I've an HSE Divers ticket and Padi Instructors ticket, which I did simultaneously in Scotland, which allows me to work professionally doing underwater surveys and archaeology.

* re Dive tables, it's not about memorizing tables, it's about practicing the calculations.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#13
Having said all that, if you get offered the chance to try a deep dive in a hyperbaric chamber in order to experience nitrogen narcosis, take it with both hands - one of the most hilarious experiences I've had.
 
#14
@bob_the_bomb
I want to join the navy to learn how to dive, and although anything I know before that may be beneficial, I am there to learn and I plan to try and take in as much information as possible.

I just want to be as pro-active as possible during my time till entry.

Ive had some advice on another forum to do BSAC as well and I will enquire further, they mentioned about joining a local BSAC club and possibly also NAS (nautical archaeological society) and to try get to dive leader or advanced if possible.

Hopefully id still like to do it as a hobby, as I am quite interested in volunteering in some marine conservation work once fully qualified and is possibly something I could do before joining.

As much as I am interested in EOD, and I have looked at the ammunition tech role, diving is what I want to do and have wanted to do for a long time.

@rampant

I agree, as much as i could chase the paper qualifications it wont substitute for dive time, and id rather put my money towards that.

I will get the tables and start practising the calcs, as for knots and things I will look into and try find some that i can practice I know some of the basics as i have done a bit of sailing, Ive even started to practice my Ironing as it definitely needs work, I think if i start trying to live in a certain way now it will make basic and my life in the navy a lot easier to start with.

saturation diving is something id love to get into in the future so will definitely be hoping for that opportunity, but my main focus is the navy for now so just keeping my focus on that.
 
#15
@bob_the_bomb
I want to join the navy to learn how to dive, and although anything I know before that may be beneficial, I am there to learn and I plan to try and take in as much information as possible.

I just want to be as pro-active as possible during my time till entry.

Ive had some advice on another forum to do BSAC as well and I will enquire further, they mentioned about joining a local BSAC club and possibly also NAS (nautical archaeological society) and to try get to dive leader or advanced if possible.

Hopefully id still like to do it as a hobby, as I am quite interested in volunteering in some marine conservation work once fully qualified and is possibly something I could do before joining.

As much as I am interested in EOD, and I have looked at the ammunition tech role, diving is what I want to do and have wanted to do for a long time.

@rampant

I agree, as much as i could chase the paper qualifications it wont substitute for dive time, and id rather put my money towards that.

I will get the tables and start practising the calcs, as for knots and things I will look into and try find some that i can practice I know some of the basics as i have done a bit of sailing, Ive even started to practice my Ironing as it definitely needs work, I think if i start trying to live in a certain way now it will make basic and my life in the navy a lot easier to start with.

saturation diving is something id love to get into in the future so will definitely be hoping for that opportunity, but my main focus is the navy for now so just keeping my focus on that.
What do you know about saturation diving, and why is that a big attraction?
 
#16
As Rampant said, focus on building up dives rather than chasing quals.

You state you've already got your PADI open water booked, well that'll get you to 18m sure enough but unless your looking at diving in flooded quarries and cold lakes in the UK it isn't going to get you far in terms of diving experience. If I were you I'd go out to warmer climates, South Africa, SE Asia (Thailand especially), NE Malaysia, Australia etc and if you want to continue on the PADI track take your advanced (down to 30m) and Rescue Diver courses there where they'll be cheaper and more fun (They're really all the paper qualifications you need to help starting to build up your experience).

At the same time you'll also be doing a bit of travelling before you make the decision to sign up and showing some initiative as well as getting experience of some pretty amazing dive areas. There's not a lot to be said for diving on wrecked cars at the bottom of murky cold flooded quarries, there is a lot to be said however for warm seas, bikinis and helping out on dive boats for food and accommodation.

Once you've got your tickets and a few dives under your belt there's a lot of opportunities for youngsters in their late teens / early twenties (I'm assuming your age) to help or volunteer with marine archaeology (although a lot of times they're looking for students who are actually studying the subject). Galley crew on dive boats is another way of picking up trips as is working at dive shops. Start reading some dive magazines and check the help wanted sections. Sure the jobs may not pay well and you have to lay out the air fare to get there but a season working on a dive boat will also give you experience in other aspects of the diving world.

Try and avoid throwing your money down the bottomless deeps of tech diving. It's hideously expensive and if you do join the mob and become a Clearance Diver you'll have spent your money on something that you'll be trained in for free and thus will have wasted the opportunity to buy plane tickets and dive time to see other things.

Avoid cave diving as if your life depended on it. There are easier (and cheaper) ways of committing suicide.

As mentioned earlier the mob will also give you a drybag and full mask for free so my advice would be to get yourself the best half mask you can afford and a comfortable set of fins (trust me, warm water / shallow reef / wreck diving looks a lot better with a decent mask on and your feet will love you forever, I still have scars across the top of my feet from ill fitting loaned fins rented from dive shops on the cheap)

Diving is a very expensive hobby (PADI isn't known as "Put Another Dollar In" for nothing) but you can, with a bit of nouse and some careful air ticket buying, get some good experience in over the next two years if your application to join either the Army or Navy is accepted for 2021. The RN will give you the best qualifications in the market and a lot of the divers I've known whilst working offshore have come from the RN.

I wish you luck in your dives. I've seen some absolutely fantastic stuff, live reefs in Australia, recently sunk cargo ships in Malaysia, deliberately sunk warships in South Africa and Australia and even managed to help out on a Shell marine biology survey on some freshly positioned shallow water offshore drilling platforms in Brunei. Just keep an eye out in the diving press and if you can join a local club. Technical stuff can come later but for now enjoy the diving.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
@mdimop

The hyperbaric chamber will because compulsory part of your dive training in the military, it's a compulsory component of HSE training, it's done so you can experience the symptoms of Nitrogen Narcosis and recognise them should you experience them in a real life situation.

It is revealing and hilarious at the same time, you don't notice until you are giggling like an absolute loon as you try to recite the phonetic alphabet to your instructor. You don't notice you're fucked until you're fucked so completely different to being drunk, or taking pills.
 
#18
BTW in regards to PADI, don't forget you also have BSAC certificates too which may be of more use in a commercial sense. I would suggest you aim some enquiries at commercial diving firms to see how the land (seafloor?) lies too.
Do you mean BSAC? They would be of no commercial use. You need a HSE certificate.
 
#19
Do you mean BSAC? They would be of no commercial use. You need a HSE certificate.
I meant in his search to get dive experience viz dive shops and liveaboards before he joins up. The lad's barely got out of the shallow end of the training pool, he doesn't need a HSE cert to get dive experience.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#20
ill try that also, most of the stuff I have read on the role has come up on this site so posted to here, I assumed there would be a navy specific forum but didn't know what it was called.


Sorry to deflate you but in the NAAFI mention of the underwater basket weaving insructors course means that you may have to pay a fine of a round of drinks or not be loaded onto the dolphin trainers course!
 

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