Adelaide’s dive team takes to the water to maintain skills

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Geoff Long (author), LSIS Shane Cameron (photographer), ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer)

Location(s): Palm Island, Qld

Topic(s): HMAS Adelaide (L01), Training

Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Malik El-Leissy on the aft door of the loading well dock of HMAS Adelaide during diving operations. (photo: ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill)
Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Malik El-Leissy on the aft door of the loading well dock of HMAS Adelaide during diving operations.

The Queensland coast provided a picture perfect training ground for HMAS Adelaide’s dive team to conduct essential training and keep their diving qualifications current.

The 10-strong ship’s dive team recently participated in exercises off Townsville that helped satisfy training commitments for diving emergency drills, which need to be regularly certified.

Other dive training included buddy diver techniques and work diver signalling, which was conducted under the watchful eye of safety members from the ship’s dive team.

The sailors and officers that make up a ship’s dive team can come from any department and the team in Adelaide comprises a cross-section of the ship’s company, including Marine Technicians, Boatswains Mates, Maritime Warfare Officers and Combat Systems Operators.

Maritime Warfare Officer and ship’s dive team member Midshipman Alastair Wyatt said having a broad selection of skill sets brings useful capability to the dive team.

“The dive team can be called upon at any time to rectify defects or support the ship from the underwater environment.”

“Scheduled dives to inspect the ship’s hull and propulsion system are conducted several times a month and this coupled with training dives means that the ship’s dive team remains very active,” Midshipman Wyatt said.

More urgent tasking such as the removal of fishing nets from the propellers or stabilisers may also be required.

Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Malik El-Leissy said all of the Adelaide team shared a passion for diving and were keen to sharpen their skills.

“The Queensland coast is an ideal setting for dive exercises and allows us to practise emergency drills and other essential training,” he said.

Those in the team undergo specific training to become ship’s divers, covering safety in the underwater environment, diving medical emergency procedures and Navy-specific diving techniques that focus on the unique environment that a ship’s diver would encounter when part of a dive team.

Midshipman Wyatt said the training had been one of the most rewarding aspects of his career.

“I have not been disappointed with my choice and would recommend it to anyone looking for a similarly positive experience,” he said.

Adelaide is currently the Fleet’s designated high readiness vessel and has been conducting helicopter flight trials and amphibious training off the coast of Queensland to ensure the ship and crew remain ready to respond to emergencies and disasters if directed by the Australian Government.