MCD PDA swimming technique

Hello everyone

I'm in the early stages of my application for the role of mine clearance diver. I haven't even had my interview with my AFCO yet so perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself, however, fortune favors the prepared.

I'm confident in my strength and running but I'd like some clarification regarding the swimming aspect.

The 'get fit' information pack they sent me says that 'finning' is the technique for both the water circuit and the surface swim. This stroke is unfamiliar to me. I get that this is a specialised, job-specific technique, however, I'm surprised they don't expect you to use any other techniques (i.e. frontcrawl) just to make the test even more unpleasant.

As I understand it, finning involves swimming on your back with straight knees, generating movement from the hips/glutes. Is this correct? What are you supposed to do with your arms? I can't find much information online.

Should I train with other swimming strokes as well or just practice the basic finning? Also, is it a good idea to practice with fins? I don't mind spending the extra cash on a pair if it will improve my chances.

Final question, do either of the swimming tests have to be completed in a set time like the run?

Sorry if these questions are dumb but the resources I was sent are sparse on details regarding swimming. I plan to train my tits off for the next year or however long it is before I (hopefully) get a place on a PDA. Pools are still closed so I'll have to train in the grotty pond near my house. If anyone has any tips regarding the swimming aspect or the PDA in general, I would very much appreciate them.

Thanks for reading
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
I am not, nor ever have been a CD. However I was a Ship's Diver and am still a diver.

You 'sit' in the water, power coming from the glutes as you say, straight legs. Arms are folded across the chest. Just shut your eyes, relax and steadily fin on! Look around every so often to see where you are going.

One 'test' was to do this with a blanked out mask - going from A to B, your buddy would call out to keep you on track. Or not. I swam a full circle, thus proving the point of the test which was that one leg is stronger than the other.
 
I am not, nor ever have been a CD. However I was a Ship's Diver and am still a diver.

You 'sit' in the water, power coming from the glutes as you say, straight legs. Arms are folded across the chest. Just shut your eyes, relax and steadily fin on! Look around every so often to see where you are going.

One 'test' was to do this with a blanked out mask - going from A to B, your buddy would call out to keep you on track. Or not. I swam a full circle, thus proving the point of the test which was that one leg is stronger than the other.
I'll bear that in mind, I have muscle imbalances in my hamstrings, glutes and quads which I've somewhat corrected with unilateral training. Wouldn't want to be the plonker who bumps into another candidate.
 

LifebuoyGhost

Lantern Swinger
@SB is spot on - but the surface swims could be the least of your worries

Find yourself a ploughed field— preferably after heavy rain. wearing a pair of boots - and a bit of weight round your ankles would be good - run up down said field - you now have a vague idea of a mud run.

Find a local pool 50metres if possible. With a 10 metre platform.
Run up to the top of the platform and jump off wearing fins. Find the fins and swim - surface swimming - to the end of the pool. Climb out, run back to the platform run up to the top. Repeat this procedure for about 30 minutes.

Before doing either of these training routines make sure you’ve had a full English within the last hour ;)
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Find yourself a ploughed field— preferably after heavy rain. wearing a pair of boots - and a bit of weight round your ankles would be good - run up down said field - you now have a vague idea of a mud run.
Not - Even - Close!!

I've done a lot of stupidly physical stuff over the years, but the mud run is right up there! On my course I was the oldest by a good way and had also flown in from a running boat after several weeks at sea. This was around the same time an Army lad died...... doing a mud run. Fortunately I knew to put electrical tape round my ankles - anyone who has done the mud run will know what for. It was June and I remember afterwards pulling the wrist seal of my drybag open and liquid sweat pouring out!!
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
Not - Even - Close!!

I've done a lot of stupidly physical stuff over the years, but the mud run is right up there! On my course I was the oldest by a good way and had also flown in from a running boat after several weeks at sea. This was around the same time an Army lad died...... doing a mud run. Fortunately I knew to put electrical tape round my ankles - anyone who has done the mud run will know what for. It was June and I remember afterwards pulling the wrist seal of my drybag open and liquid sweat pouring out!!
So no solid sweat then ;)
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
There's sweat, as in a damp forehead, then there is the half pint or so of sweat out of each arm of a dry bag!

But I take your comment onboard (as they say!)
 

SONAR-BENDER

War Hero
Some of that warm yellow sweat wasn't unheard of - but really best avoided
On one site we had a chap who kept 'going' in his dry bag - not good when they were communal...... he ended up getting his own, smelly, one.

I thought that was what the 'electrical tape round the ankles' was for?
But then again I'm not a diver.
The electrical tape was an attempt to stop the heavy and sticky mud sucking the boots of the dry bag off your feet and making an horrendous task even more horrendous. It worked!
 
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