Home' Navy News : June 10th 2010 Contents NAVY NEWS
June 10, 2010
By LEUT David Foulds
PERSONNEL from HMAS
Balikpapan (LEUT Trevor Stecum)
spotted and rescued a turtle at sea
on May 1.
Balikpapan was transiting
through the Timor Sea from Dili,
East Timor to Darwin, bearing a con-
signment of Op Astute equipment.
The lookout called to the offic-
er on watch that he had spotted a
turtle struggling in a ghost net, and
the Landing Craft Heavy quickly
reversed course to close the distance.
A turtle at sea is a difficult thing
to spot at the best of times, so a
search pattern was commenced and
contact was soon regained.
Once close in to the net, the sea
boat was launched and soon recov-
ered the turtle and net to the tank
After being cut free of the net
the turtle was returned to the
sea to resume its course, while
Balikpapan's crew were glad to have
rid the world of one more ghost net.
New divers handle the pressure
Balikpapan's heroes in a half-shell
TURTLE POWER: HMAS Balikpapan crew members share a moment with a turtle they cut free of a
Photo: PONPC Ivon Waterston
By Michael Brooke
THERE may be no prouder
moment in the lives of the 15
young sailors who came of age as
Navy clearance divers when they
graduated from Basic Clearance
Divers Course 74 during a cer-
emony at HMAS Penguin (CMDR
Gavin Baker) recently.
The graduation marked a signifi-
cant milestone in the naval careers
of the young men, who now have
the necessary skills to be thrust into
the operational environment as a
CD.The group had the distinction
of being awarded their course
certificates and CD patches by
COMAUSFLT, RADM Steve
RADM Gilmore said they had
done an outstanding job in graduat-
ing from one of the most challeng-
ing courses in the Navy.
"RAN CDs enjoy a well-
deserved international reputation
for being able to get the job done,"
RADM Gilmore said.
"It takes a particular kind of
courage and motivation to pull on
the wetsuit, time and time again,
to do a dirty, dangerous and lonely
job that many other people would
The graduation was particular-
ly memorable for SMNCD Joshua
Cummins, who was awarded the
J.N. Ingram Memorial Shield for
the most outstanding student. Also
for SMNCD Mitchell Sharpe, who
was awarded 'Gutz' prize for the
best performer at physical training.
SMNCD Cummins, 21, said
although his parents were ex-RAAF,
he had always wanted to be a Navy
"I'm very passionate about being
a diver and am proud to be joining
AUSCDT Four, which will give me
the opportunity to demonstrate my
new skill sets," he said.
Another milestone for the course
JOB WELL DONE: (Top) Back
row from left -- SMNCD Cummins,
SMNCD West, SMNCD Ivosevich,
SMNCD Neil, SMNCD Coffey,
SMNCD Vincent, SMNCD Brooks
and SMNCD Dale. Front row from
left -- SMNCD Reid, SMNCD
Longworth, SMNCD Kidd, SMNCD
Sharpe, SMNCD McArthur and
PRIZE WINNERS: (From left)
Commander MHP Force, CAPT
Vaughn Rixon, presents the J.N.
Ingram Memorial Shield to SMNCD
Joshua Cummins. POPT Travis
Lovell presents the 'Gutz' best
performer at physical training to
SMNCD Mitchell Sharpe.
Photos: ABIS Hayley Clarke
was the graduation of its first ADF
Gap Year student, SMNCD Reid,
who received rousing applause from
his family and friends when he was
presented with his rate badge and
VIPs among the crowd of
around 40 attendees included Bill
Fitzgerald from the Clearance
Diving Association, who was a
member of the first clearance diving
course conducted in 1955.
Commander MHP Force, CAPT
Vaughn Rixon, praised the grad-
uates for their dedication and the
staff of the RAN Dive School for
their mentoring, which enabled the
students to reach such a high pro-
OIC RAN Dive School, CMDR
Ashley Shanks, said the 15 grad-
uates had been under constant
instruction with countless assess-
ments over the past 37 weeks, dur-
ing which time they demonstrated
the skills necessary to operate as
CDs in the RAN.
The course covered basic dem-
olitions, deep air, tools, maritime
tactical operations, mine counter
measures, ship-borne improvised
explosive device disposal, explosive
ordnance disposal and demolitions.
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