Military Diver CrossOver

BRd 2806(5) provides details of the level of training required to crossover military (RN, RE) divers to BSAC qualifications. With the changes to the Ocean Diver syllabus some of the theory lessons no longer have the same content which means that elements are missing.

JSSADC have put together a bespoke presentation which covers the elements previously included in OT1 and OT4. It also provides additional information on JSAT diving which is likely to be relevant for military crossovers.

The presentation can be accessed by clicking this link (now at version 1.1). If you have any comments then please feed them back to Chief Instructor JSSADC.




2019 JS Diving Safety Conference

This year’s JS Diving Safety Conference was attended by approximately 50 people and took place at HMS RALEIGH in Torpoint.

After the initial welcome brief and introduction, we were treated to a presentation by Ginge Crook, JSSADC Chief Instructor, on the work done to understand the wreck of HMS Coronation. This was followed by the new National Diving Officer, Dai Atkins, bringing us up to speed with BSAC developments.

Following a short break, it was Fran Hockley standing in at short notice to cover Tom Hughes’ slot which he was unable to fill due to illness. Fran’s presentation was on the excellent recreational and technical diving to be found in Croatia which is only a short flight from the UK.

The last of the morning sessions was filled by Jim Watson, BSAC Safety Manager, who delivered the annual summary of diving incidents. As there was no DO’s conference in 2018 this was new to the majority of people present.

After lunch, we welcomed Nick Reed from the Isle of Purbeck Sub Aqua Club (IPSAC) who delivered a fascinating presentation on Project Valentine 75. This is the research that the club have carried out to survey the 7 Valentine DD tanks that sank near Swanage in 1944 whilst rehearsing for the D-Day landings.

The last presentation was given by the newly re-titled Superintendent of Defence Diving (SODD), Cdr Don Crosbie, who provided an update on changes to his organisation. He also explained how there were likely to be further changes to the Diving Regulations which it was hoped would address some the current shortcomings. Probably of most interest were the plans to support off-duty diving whilst allowing military personnel to use service provided equipment. Further details on this to follow later in the year!

As the conference drew to a close there was the usual Q&A session for members of the JSSADPAC which took place in a good humoured and constructive fashion. The very last item was a wrap up from Cdr Sean Winkle and a presentation to SODD who will shortly depart on posting.

Copies of all the presentations can be downloaded from the links below:

Next year’s conference will be on 18 March 2020 so please save the date!




Immersionary Pulmonary Oedema (IPO) – INM Guidance

Knowledge of Immersionary Pulmonary Oedema has been increasing in recent years. The Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) has published the following information that all divers should be aware of:

  • IPO is a life-threatening condition that can develop during a dive and all divers should be aware of the potential for this to affect them
  • In IPO fluid accumulates in the lung tissues leading to shortness of breath, coughing up of sputum, and/or chest pain
  • The risk is increased in people with high blood pressure, over-hydrating before a dive, diving in cold water, exertion and breathing against a negative pressure when diving.
  • First aid measures include removal from the water, call the DDMO/Coastguard/Ambulance, sit the casualty upright, place them on 100% oxygen, take them to a warm place if possible or re-warm on site, do not give any fluids and prepare for evacuation to hospital.
  • If the symptoms occur during the dive, the casualty should be closely accompanied to the surface
  • Consider IPO in anyone who reports equipment difficulties after a dive or switches to bail out due to perceived equipment difficulties
  • Do not dive again until medically assessed.



JSATW(C) – New Email Address

The diving wing of the Joint Service Adventurous Training Wing (Cyprus) have recently changed their email address and can now be contacted at [email protected].




Use of Commercial MoD Approved Centres (Com MACs)

A letter has just been published that provides further clarification on Joint Service Adventurous Training (JSAT) policy for the use of Commercial MoD Approved Centres (Com MACs).  This is an update to the one issued in Sep 18 which should now be destroyed.

The letter also provides the most up to date list of which  centres have been approved and the courses that they are able to deliver.

The letter can be downloaded by clicking here.




2019 JS Diving Incident Reports

The table below contains a sanitised version (no names or units!) of the service diving incidents that have been received by JSSADC in 2019.

SerialIncidentComments
19/12Following successful completion of OS1-3 in a swimming pool, a diver was completing OS4 in a SWTA. At a depth of 2.5m they indicated that they wished to ascend and on surfacing reported that they were unable to clear their ears.

The diver attended the medical centre but no ear problems were observed.
19/11A diver was carrying a twinset on their back when one of the shoulder clips failed. The increased weight caused the second clip to fail and the twinset fell to the floor bruising the diver's calf.
19/10During OS4 in a SWTA, a trainee diver signalled up to his instructor. On the surface the diver explained that they felt faint and were unable to clear their ears.

The dive was aborted and the diver was subsequently found fit to continue diving by a doctor.
19/9A diver realised that they required extra weight so placed it in the pocket of their BCD. During the dive this became dislodged and fell onto the seabed.

Although the weight was found by another diver in the group they did not try to ascertain whether it had been lost by anyone.

During the safety stop, the diver who had lost their weight was unable to control their buoyancy and slowly drifted to the surface.
19/8During an ADP dive, a diver switched to their 50% stage regulator and immediately received a wet breathe. The diver returned to their back gas until the buddy could hand over their own stage with a 50% mixture.

The regulator was inspected by a qualified technician on surfacing but no problem could be found with it.
19/7On surfacing a twinset diver heard an unusual noise from their wing. On investigation the wing dump valve was found to be u/s
19/6A diver entered the water and immediately signalled to the boat that there was an issue. When they were recovered to the boat it became clear that the diver's dry suit zip had not been closed.
19/5A CCR diver was operating from a hard boat with an unusual bench seat arrangement. In order to prevent twinsets slipping, a thin vertical angle bracket was installed on the seats.

Whilst kitting up in a swell, the CCR diver moved sufficiently that the angle is likely to have damaged the diluent cylinder. This was noticed when the diver entered the water and the dive was aborted.
19/4During a training Alternate Source ascent, a diver's fin came off and was lost. The buddy elected to carry out a CBL on the diver without a fin and both divers surfaced without further incident.
19/3Two divers were conducting training CBLs from 20-6m. After one successful ascent a diver was unable to equalise sufficient to allow a descent. The dive was aborted.
19/2A pair advanced divers were refreshing their skills by conducting two CBLs from 20-6m. During the second lift, one diver was unable to dump gas from their dry suit quickly enough to prevent both reaching the surface.

Subsequent analysis showed the that the dry suit auto dump valve was not operating correctly due to damage probably caused during transit to the dive site.
19/1During the ascent phase of a planned deco dive to 40m, two divers deployed DSMBs mid-water. At 6m one of the divers became entangled in their DSMB and slowly ascended to the surface missing 1m of stops.

The diver was placed on oxygen and the DDMO contacted. Following advice the diver was removed from oxygen and sent for a medical examination after which he was pronounced fit to conduct diving.



2019 Expedition Allocations

Expedition slots at JSSADC have now been allocated for 2019 as follows

DateUnitReserve
30-31 MarRESDAATR (Winchester)
19-22 AprRAF CosfordRAF Odiham
03-06 MayRAF CosfordRAF Brize Norton
01-02 JunRESDA
06-09 JunTrenchard Divers
15-16 JunRAF Brize Norton
22-23 JunRAF Benson
29 Jun-01 JulRAF Odiham
13-14 Jul22 ENGR REGT
20-22 JulRAF Brize Norton
24-25 Jul22 ENGR REGT
26-29 JulRAF Cosford
03-04 AugRAF Benson
10-11 AugTrenchard Divers
24-26 Aug159 Regt RLCRAF Cosford
31 Aug-01 SepRAF Cranwell
06-08 SepRNRM (AGM)RESDA
21-22 SepRAF Brize Norton
28-29 SepRAF Benson
03-06 OctRAF Odiham
12-13 OctRAF Cranwell
19-20 OctRAF Cranwell
28 Oct-01 NovRAPTC (JSATWC)

This means that any date not shown in the table above is now available on a first come first served basis.  If you’re interested then please read JSSADC Expedition Slots 2019 and complete the bidding proforma




AT Diving Regulations (Dec 18)

The Adventurous Training (AT) sub aqua diving document set has recently been amended to reflect organisational changes to the Defence Safety Agency (DSA).   The newly titled Superintendent of Defence Diving (SODD) has moved into the Navy Safety Centre (NSC) along with the Diving Standards Team.

A small number of typos have also been amended in both DCOP 22 and BRd 2806(5).

The current document set for Adventuruous Training (AT) sub aqua diving is as follows:

The master versions of these documents are located on the Defence intranet but can also be downloaded at the link above (DCOP 22 is contained in the BRd zip file).

The following points should be noted:

  • BRd 2806(5) is a large zip file (approx 10.5 MB) that will require extracting onto a local machine
  • Many of the pdf annexes in BRd 2806(5) require Adobe Reader to be viewed properly so may not work in browsers such as Safari (apple devices) or Chrome (android devices) – see below for word versions
  • Despite a request for annexes to be in word the RN policy is that they should be in pdf format.

All diving supervisors (SADS) should have a copy of these documents in their possession, be familiar with the contents and comply with the regulations within.

On occasion we are asked for word versions of some of the Annexes:




DSM 14-18 Suunto Zoop Novo

Several Suunto Zoop Novo dive computers used for AT diving have been discovered to offer reduced no-stop dive times compared to similar devices.  DSM 14-18 has been released to allow similar computers to be identifed and directs that they are not to be used for AT diving.

Click here to download DSM14-18 Suunto Zoop Novo




DSM 13/18 Gas Testing for AT Diving

Following several recent occasions where expeditions have received JSATFA clearance without valid laboratory gas tests, DSM 13/18 has been issued to remind single service AT desk officers of their responsibilities.  

It can be downloaded at this link