Home' Navy News : November 25th 2010 Contents 14
THE 10-day pilot SCUBA Air Diving
(SAD) course conducted by the RAN
Diving School is designed to equip
sailors with the theoretical knowl-
edge and practical skills required to perform a
range of tactical tasks as ships' divers.
Ten proud course graduates received their
certificates of competency at a presentation cer-
emony at HMAS Penguin on October 29, where
they thanked the RAN Diving School instructors
for providing such excellent training.
Of the 10 graduates, five are from HMAS
Ballarat, while the remainder are training to be
fully qualified RAN clearance divers.
During the course the sailors learnt first aid,
the duties and responsibilities of being a ship's
diver, the preparation of SCUBA airsets, decom-
pression theory and procedures, and dive equip-
ment issues. They also conducted free ascents,
buddy breathing and companion dive drills,
and circular searches of the sea floor in Sydney
The graduates said the new knowledge and
skills they gained had made them more "multi-
hatted" and therefore better positioned to make
a greater contribution to their warship's evolu-
tions and tasks.
ASLT Russell Stevens said he volunteered for
the SAD course because Ballarat required a new
diving team to fulfil an array of tactical tasks,
including ship hull checks and repairs.
"Obviously I want to progress to be the
ship's diving officer," ASLT Stevens said.
"That would mean I need to complete the
SCUBA Air Supervisors (SAS) course which is also
conducted here at Penguin."
LEUT Josh Cowell said completing the SAS
course provided him with the skills and qualifica-
tions to serve as HMAS Manoora's ship's diving
"It was two-fold really because Manoora
needed a diving team supervisior and I now have
the additional responsibilities I was looking for,"
SMN Joel Boothman said the SAD course
marked another milestone in his training to
become a qualified RAN clearance diver.
"Completing this course pretty much vali-
dated my decision to become a clearance diver,
which I believe is the most challenging and
exciting job in the world," he said.
Many of the sailors said they were pleasantly
surprised to discover that, although the course
was very challenging, it did not involve them
being "smashed" to a state of exhaustion by the
OIC of the RAN Diving School LCDR Ashley
Shanks said they did not expect ships' divers to
meet the physical standard of seamen clearance
"There is a certain standard of fitness and
strength to conduct the training and we test that
in the fitness test," he said.
"After that, the PT sessions are more to edu-
cate the candidates on maintaining their fitness
as SCUBA air divers."
LCDR Shanks said the course was developed
to provide qualified SCUBA air divers for com-
missioned vessels and establishments in the
"A qualified SCUBA air diver directly adds to
ships' capabilities. A junior officer who qualifies
as a SCUBA air diving supervisor has a direct link
to the command for the diving capability," LCDR
"By proactively ensuring this capability is
maintained on board and being able to respond
as required to the command, junior officers can
LCDR Shanks said the pilot course was dif-
ferent to what was previously conducted at the
RAN Diving School and was part of a number of
initiatives to maintain a diving capability on RAN
"By reviewing the requirement we have
reduced some of the training such that the
course can now be conducted in two weeks. This
provides a SCUBA air diver who can conduct
basic tasks for the command," he said.
As required, the RAN Diving School will
provide a one-week module for divers deploying
to upgrade their skills. There are a number of
benefits to this -- the ship will work-up with a
diving team and the one-week top up will ensure
all divers are in date.
The 10-day course is divided into three mod-
ules that are designed to provide sailors with the
knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to per-
form SCUBA air diving tasks as ships' divers.
Conduct the duties and responsibilities of the
required personnel within a diving site.
State the reference for diving regulations
along with its individual requirement.
Operate life lines and floatlines in accordance
with ABR 155.
State the various types of lights and flags
required while conducting diving by day and
night in accordance with ABR 155.
Prepare a SCUBA diving site.
Assemble a RAN-approved SCUBA diving
set complete with the emergency breathing
Dress and undress in a RAN-approved SCUBA
air diving set.
Enter the water correctly, conduct emergency
drills and free ascents while applying the prin-
ciples of buoyancy.
Conduct underwater searches in accordance
with ABR 155, Vol 2, Chapter 14.
Define the contributing factors associated
with gas laws.
Apply decompression tables in accordance
with ABR 155.
Conduct in-water decompression diving.
Describe the initial response to a first aid
Operate the OXY-VIVA resuscitator.
Describe causes, signs and symptoms of baro-
Outline diving related illnesses and conditions.
Summarise medical restrictions governing
Outline gas toxicities relating to SCUBA air
Recognise and list preventative measures
associated with dangerous marine animals.
For further information contact LEUT Paul Darcey
on (02) 9647 5521, 0408 960 974 or email
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