mine clerance diver

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#21
I mentioned this thread to a good friend ex-OC FDU1 and SDG. He slags off my PADI recreational diving all the time (mostly banter).

His advice was simply fitness, fitness , fitness and dive enough to know you're comfortable underwater (save your money as recreational diving and military diving are chalk/cheese). It'll all be different in zero vis in freezing water doing bottom searches and engineering tasks. Worry about the EOD stuff later.

Best of luck
 
#22
PADI qualifications (even to Rescue Diver) are really basic qualifications too a low standard and are not likely to be of much use in your military training other than to show that you are genuinely keen on diving. You don't do any deco, no overhead, no navigation to speak of, no low vis or night, no standards to meet in even simple tasks like buoyancy control or different finning techniques, no underwater signals, rope work etc.

If you wanted to learn skills that might help you pass the RN diving courses you would have to spend a lot of money getting serious TDI or IANTD technical diving qualifications. If you trained up to say TDI Trimix on open-circuit doubles, got qualified on 2-3 different rebreathers (say Draeger as used by FDU, Meg as used by USN, Poseidon as used by some other Nato navies like Germany and Sweden) and did some serious overhead diving like TDI Full Cave or TDI Advanced wreck, then you might have skills that would be helpful - as long as you could keep your mouth shut and relearn everything the RN way. But you would be looking at an outlay of about £15-20k over a couple of years to work your way through that lot. I say might, because I am not an RN diver so don't know what their standards and training is like, other than occasional chats with FDU divers at technical shows, but I expect it is too a high standard.

If you don't have the time/money for technical diving then I would agree with Muggle. Eveything is easier if you are massively fit - that doesn't cost anything. Do as much diving as you can, and try and get some training from an experienced technical diver on trim, buoyancy control, efficient finning as most recreational divers are just appalling at even basic skills like that.

On the subject of chamber tests, I was diving with a former Russian navy diver recently and he told me a bit about their training. Apparently of several hundred volunteers, only a small handful make it although training. They are expected to tolerate ppO2 of 3.0 (USN go to 2.0, civvy divers usually only go to 1.6). So to whittle down the numbers, they stick every one in a chamber and pump it up with oxygen and see who spasms first.
 
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#23
FFS he's only a tadpole, not Aquaman...

Let's get him comfortable underwater first before you start him diving on the Titanic.
 
#24
PADI qualifications (even to Rescue Diver) are really basic qualifications too a low standard and are not likely to be of much use in your military training other than to show that you are genuinely keen on diving. You don't do any deco, no overhead, no navigation to speak of, no low vis or night, no standards to meet in even simple tasks like buoyancy control or different finning techniques, no underwater signals, rope work etc.

If you wanted to learn skills that might help you pass the RN diving courses you would have to spend a lot of money getting serious TDI or IANTD technical diving qualifications. If you trained up to say TDI Trimix on open-circuit doubles, got qualified on 2-3 different rebreathers (say Draeger as used by FDU, Meg as used by USN, Poseidon as used by some other Nato navies like Germany and Sweden) and did some serious overhead diving like TDI Full Cave or TDI Advanced wreck, then you might have skills that would be helpful - as long as you could keep your mouth shut and relearn everything the RN way. But you would be looking at an outlay of about £15-20k over a couple of years to work your way through that lot. I say might, because I am not an RN diver so don't know what their standards and training is like, other than occasional chats with FDU divers at technical shows, but I expect it is too a high standard.

If you don't have the time/money for technical diving then I would agree with Muggle. Eveything is easier if you are massively fit - that doesn't cost anything. Do as much diving as you can, and try and get some training from an experienced technical diver on trim, buoyancy control, efficient finning as most recreational divers are just appalling at even basic skills like that.

On the subject of chamber tests, I was diving with a former Russian navy diver recently and he told me a bit about their training. Apparently, of several hundred volunteers, only a small handful make it although training. They are expected to tolerate ppO2 of 3.0 (USN go to 2.0, civvy divers usually only go to 1.6). So to whittle down the numbers, they stick everyone in a chamber and pump it up with oxygen and see who spasms first.
The best thing about our armed forces is they will take someone who has never Dived/Flown/Parachuted and train them to do those jobs, free of charge. Though some trades demand you spend some time in. The Army paid for me to Ski, Hanglide and dive. I have a P2 hang gliding license and BSAC diver qualification. These were all done as hobbies.

No pre-qualification is necessary.
 
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#25
Indeed, and as mentioned earlier he's cash poor but keen to get underwater. Wasting his time p*ssing his money away down the bottomless deeps of tech diving is not what he should be doing.

As for

"basic qualifications too a low standard and are not likely to be of much use in your military training other than to show that you are genuinely keen on diving. You don't do any deco, no overhead, no navigation to speak of, no low vis or night, no standards to meet in even simple tasks like buoyancy control or different finning techniques, no underwater signals, rope work etc"

I did all of the above on my courses. Admittedly I won't be first in the line for working as a North Sea Diver however all he needs is a bit of a taster.
 
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#26
Indeed, and as mentioned earlier he's cash poor but keen to get underwater. Wasting his time p*ssing his money away down the bottomless deeps of tech diving is not what he should be doing.

As for

"basic qualifications too a low standard and are not likely to be of much use in your military training other than to show that you are genuinely keen on diving. You don't do any deco, no overhead, no navigation to speak of, no low vis or night, no standards to meet in even simple tasks like buoyancy control or different finning techniques, no underwater signals, rope work etc"

I did all of the above on my courses. Admittedly I won't be first in the line for working as a North Sea Diver however all he needs is a bit of a taster.
Exactly. Get some PADI stuff sorted, get some water time and if really keen Decathlon has a nice selection of gear. I'm a bit saddened, back when I did BSAC I was swimming regularly and collecting loadsa awards and quals and did the Royal Life Saving Society Bronze Medallion Award that included a diver rescue element and they don't seem to offer it anymore.

The only blokes I ever met doing exotic stuff underwater were ex-shakey's and they had all been trained courtesy of the military.
 
#27
Joining a BSAC club is a better bet, their safety standards are higher and their training of what to do when things go wrong is more intense, I've had a few incidents, and I reckon without that extra training, in air- sharing or getting your buddy up, when his gear has failed, really paid off.

Clubs vary a lot though, some can be very slow with the training taking months at one evening a week, some get on with things, to get you into the water.

Another plus is you will often be diving in poor visibility........ it might be the making of you, or you might realise fumbling around in zero vis isn't for you.
 
#28
Joining a BSAC club is a better bet, their safety standards are higher and their training of what to do when things go wrong is more intense, I've had a few incidents, and I reckon without that extra training, in air- sharing or getting your buddy up, when his gear has failed, really paid off.

Clubs vary a lot though, some can be very slow with the training taking months at one evening a week, some get on with things, to get you into the water.

Another plus is you will often be diving in poor visibility........ it might be the making of you, or you might realise fumbling around in zero vis isn't for you.
There are plenty of BSAC cowboys who aren't too shit hot on safety. Down to the DO and the general club ethos.
 
#29
There are plenty of BSAC cowboys who aren't too shit hot on safety. Down to the DO and the general club ethos.
As I said, depends on the club.

Sometimes a good indicator can be that they're a fairly large, successful club, lot's of trips on the go, every week, lot's of people doing lectures.

It helps if they're on the coast as well, more chance of getting in sooner on easy shore dives etc.

I did my initial training, with a bunch of twats, but then moved on to a much better, bigger club, without self- important idiots running things......... did a lot better diving then.
 
#30
As I said, depends on the club.

Sometimes a good indicator can be that they're a fairly large, successful club, lot's of trips on the go, every week, lot's of people doing lectures.

It helps if they're on the coast as well, more chance of getting in sooner on easy shore dives etc.

I did my initial training, with a bunch of twats, but then moved on to a much better, bigger club, without self- important idiots running things......... did a lot better diving then.
First time I went in with a club not too far from your loc I found myself on my own (Off the 'uff) - 360'ed and surfaced and they laughing like feck - "Tony always does that man."

I saw a huge negative change in a club in the two years between when I left and returned, the DO left and a cowboy took over. I've seen some very good Paddy clubs, hit and miss.
 
#31
Joining a BSAC club is a better bet, their safety standards are higher and their training of what to do when things go wrong is more intense, I've had a few incidents, and I reckon without that extra training, in air- sharing or getting your buddy up, when his gear has failed, really paid off.

Clubs vary a lot though, some can be very slow with the training taking months at one evening a week, some get on with things, to get you into the water.

Another plus is you will often be diving in poor visibility........ it might be the making of you, or you might realise fumbling around in zero vis isn't for you.
You're right, I did BSAC back in the day. My lad did PADI at school last year as his elected PE activity and passed the basic diver qual but I must say I was not overly impressed with what I saw and the teaching when I accompanied him on the open water dive weekend. I get the distinct impression that PADI is designed to make holiday makers feel good about themselves when they pass a 3 day course whilst in the sunshine.

My former MARSOC mate and the retired SEAL's I know have told me about the basic military dive training they do. Not only have they got to put up with being more or less deliberately drowned, they also have the crap punched out of them whilst doing their emergency and tank removal drill's, then when doing the open water navigation element it is in near zero visibility in San Diego Bay where white sharks belong to the regional marine life - as one told me "I just concentrated on the watch and compass, counted the kicks and did not look around when something bumped me".
 
#32
First club, the DO was an absolute ******, got my own back on him just before I left.

He was bragging about his new 4WD cnutmobile on his first trip up to Largs.

I'd bought an exhaust whistle from a joke shop, and it brought the town to a standstill, checking out the noise, as he drove down the main drag.

When his back was turned, I removed it, so the trip back to the digs was serene.

Next morning though.......

Everyone else was in on it......... "Sounds like an interrmitent turbo - problem, mate..... "

"WHAT, WHAT..........."

Eventually, even his wife, who thought he was a twat, gave him the news........

Funny.... he never spoke to me after that.
 

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