Blog Archives

The Role of the Diving Officer in a Diving Project

A letter has just been released that provides a guide to Expedition Leaders and SADS on the role of the Diving Officer in a Diving Project. This is a key appointment that has significant legal responsibilities so it is essential that these are all completed. It is particularly important that the Diving Officer and the Expedition Leader work together to produce the Project Plan well in advance of any expedition taking place.

The letter can be downloaded at this link.




AT Diving Regulations (Jun 19)

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.
  • The diving slate in the zip has spelling and other errors.  The one at the link below should be used.

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:




Undemanded BC Inflation

Users of AP Diving jackets with an AP200 inflator need to be aware that loosening of the plastic securing nut where the inflator hose connects can result in rapid, undemanded inflation of the BC.

To avoid this issue, nuts are to be checked for tightness when BCs are issued or withdrawn. If a loose nut is discovered then this should be passed to a qualified technician as simply tightening the nut may not resolve the problem.

In the event of an un-demanded inflation, and subsequent ascent, all are reminded of the actions that they should carry out:

  • Breathe Out – this will slow the rate of ascent and reduce the risk of a gas expansion injury
  • Disconnect Inflator Hose – using the quick release fastener
  • Dump Excess Gas – to regain neutral buoyancy.



Annual Branch Lab Tests

BRd 2806(5) mandates that all service operated compressors pass an annual laboratory test. It would appear that not all branches are aware that it is possible to demand a sample cylinder and have this test carried out using service resources.

The policy and standards for breathing gas testing are laid out in JSP 319 Pt2 Vol 1. This also provides the NSN of the Diving Gas Sample Cylinder which is 6830-99-172-2256.

Units who are struggling to demand the cylinder should take a copy of the relevant sections of BRd 2806(5) and JSP 319 to their chain of command to exlain that this is mandated policy. It this is unsuccessful, further advice and guidance can obtained from JSSADC.




New Diving Safety Website

The Defence Diving Standards Team (DDST) Diving Safety Website has recently been moved onto SharePoint and therefore has a new address. Please note that this only works on the MoD intranet (i.e ModNet)

https://modgovuk.sharepoint.com/sites/defnet/Navy/Pages/DDST.aspx

You should update any bookmarks, etc that you haved saved to reflect the new address.




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.



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




AT Diving Incident Form (Dec 18)

BRd 2806(5) requires all incidents to be notified to the Defence Diving Standards Team (DST) using a slightly modified British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) incident reporting form.   This form has been updated to include the latest email addresses and job title for SDSI(AT) and the JSSADC Course Clerk

The latest version of the form, and continuation sheet, can be found at this links below: