My name is Ian. I have recently applied to join the RNR at HMS Eaglet. At present I am waiting for a medical. I would like to join as a Diver and just wondered if there are vacancies in that branch at the moment. I understand I will need to do my basic training first which may take a some time. Also what sort of current diving experience will I need? I am PADI AOW and rescue diver although I have not done a great deal of diving in recent years.
Your main role will be to work at maximum depths of 30 metres as part of a specialist diving team.
The task will primarily involve underwater searches and minor repair work to ships. You could also find yourself attached to one of the Royal Navy’s regional diving units in the UK working in one of the dockyards. The selection process will take place after you have completed your initial training.
Preparing for your role
With your initial training successfully completed, you’ll need to find out if you’ve got what its takes to become a Service diver.
Personnel must follow the normal New Entry training route via HMS Raleigh before attending a pre-selection weekend. This Diving Selection Acquaint weekend is run by the Defence Diving School, based in Portsmouth. Potential candidates are required to take the Diver Physical Fitness Test. This involves a 1.5 mile warm-up run to be completed in 14 minutes, followed by a best effort 1.5 mile run which must be completed in less than 10.5 minutes. The run is immediately followed by 8 chin ups, 16 dips and 40 sit-ups (the latter to be completed in less than 1 minute). There is also a weight carrying exercise over a set distance.
You will be required to pass 3 courses, each lasting two weeks. The first two, Air Introduction and Search courses, are run in Portsmouth, while the third course is taught at the Defence Munitions School in Chatham. Throughout your career, you will be expected to maintain a very high level of commitment., including at least six weekends of continuation and harbour training each year.
Your quals should be fine but you'll need a 1000 diving minutes logged. They've just recruited and trained a few divers recently, not sure when they'll be running another aptitude weekend, probably next year now.
For any who are interested, we are still recruiting ABs. There will be an branch intro weekend followed shortly after by the Divers Selection Test weekend in the spring of next year. Your RNR units should receive info in due course. There are divers at nearly every RNR unit now who can advise/put you in touch with the correct people.