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)
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.
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:
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
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 table below contains a sanitised version (no names or units!) of the service diving incidents that have been received by JSSADC in 2019.
A trainee diver experienced difficulty equalizing their ears whilst conducting OO1. The dive was aborted and the diver sent for medical examination. Subsequently they were diagnosed with inflammed ear drums and removed from diving for 10 days.
A trainee diver experienced difficulty equalizing their ears whilst conducting OS3 in a SWTA. The dive was aborted and the diver sent for medical examination. Subsequently they were cleared to continue diving
A trainee CCR diver had descended to 13m, had switched to high set point and was in the process of conducting a linearity check. At this point the handset went into error, flicked between PO2 readings and went dead. The diver bailed out onto a 7 litre cylinder and recovered to the surface using their backup computer.
During a CCR air diluent course, a trainee failed to hold a safety stop at 6m and gradually drifted to the surface. On arrival at the surface they were recovered to the boat.
Whilst conducting training lifts on OO2, a trainee found they could only clear their ears by descending very slowly. This meant that it was not possible to complete all lifts during the table limits for the dive.
The trainee was taken to a doctor who was unable to find any problems but advised them not to dive the following day.
An Ocean Diver trainee was unable to clear their ears after a CBL during OO3. The dive was aborted and the diver taken to a doctor who diagnosed slight redness of the ears and a possibility of a minor barotrauma. The trainee was unable to complete the course.
An instructor on an Ocean Diver entered the water via a stride entry at which point their pony regulator started to freeflow. The instructor was able to turn it off and then back on again which stopped the freeflow.
With approx 100bar left in the cylinder, the instructor elected to continue the dive to 10m. No further problems were experienced.
Following a dive to 14m for 17 mins, a diver experienced a headache after their evening meal. When they woke the next day the headache was still present so the DDMO was contacted.
The DDMO advised a visit to the local chamber where the doctor conducted recompression treatment which did not alleviate the symptoms. Subsequently a CT scan was also conducted to check for a stroke which did not identify any cause for the headache.
Subsequently the diver felt better and the headache has not returned.
Following 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.
A 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.
During 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.
A 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.
During 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.
On surfacing a twinset diver heard an unusual noise from their wing. On investigation the wing dump valve was found to be u/s
A 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.
A 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.
During 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.
Two 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.
A 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.
During 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.
Expedition slots at JSSADC have now been allocated for 2019 as follows
RAF Brize Norton
RAF Brize Norton
29 Jun-01 Jul
22 ENGR REGT
RAF Brize Norton
22 ENGR REGT
159 Regt RLC
31 Aug-01 Sep
RAF Brize Norton
28 Oct-01 Nov
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
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:
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.