Keeping things in check under the hull

After HMAS Hobart completed a regional presence deployment in early December, it stopped in the warm waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria for a hull inspection by ships divers.

CAPTION: HMAS Hobart’s dive team conducts diving operations as the ship transits through the Gulf of Carpenteria after a regional presence deployment. Story by Lieutenant Brendan Trembath. Photo by Leading Seaman Daniel Goodman.

Able Seaman Maritime Logistics-Support Operator Cavan Mcalister said the team examined the hull, stabilisers and propellers for damage and prohibited maritime pests.

“The water was crystal clear. However, under the waves there was a strong current that tested our swimming skills,” Able Seaman Mcalister said.

“I love that we get the opportunity to scuba dive at work and get paid for it.”

The six-member dive team is drawn from different departments and represents a range of ranks and responsibilities.

Able Seaman Mcalister’s day-to-day role includes keeping the wardroom to a high standard, while ships diver Able Seaman Jessica Coman is a combat systems operator.

“I love being a ships diver,” Able Seaman Coman said.

“All of Hobart’s dive team members are very enthusiastic and love what they do, which makes our job a lot of fun while also providing a great capability to our ship.”

Dive supervisor Leading Seaman Maritime Personnel Operator Jay Harley usually works in a small team of human resources specialists. He said his diving role is satisfying.

“I love the mateship involved as a member of the ship’s dive team,” Leading Seaman Harley said.

“It was a great dive to end the deployment.”

To become a ships diver, trainees complete a diver-specific medical and a three-week scuba air diving course at the Australian Defence Force Diving School at HMAS Penguin in Sydney.

In week three, trainees experience diving under the decommissioned destroyer HMAS Vampire at night.

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CAPTION: Able Seaman Maritime Logistics – Support Operator Cavan Mcalister conducts pre-dive checks during diving operations. Photo by Leading Seaman Daniel Goodman.





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