|Defence Diving School|
Location within Hampshire
|Type||Military diving establishment|
|Address||Hampshire PO6 4TT|
|Elevation||15 m (49 ft)|
|Current tenants||Royal Navy|
|Construction started||September 1994|
There were four Navy diving schools, with two in Devon. The two diving courses were eleven weeks, then nine weeks. Around half of the commercial divers in the North Sea were former British military divers.
In the 1950s, much diving was done from HMS Reclaim. Lt George Wookey set the current world record for deep diving at 600ft off Norway on 12 October 1956.
Construction began in September 1994. It would train around 2000 divers a year.
It opened in September 1995, being previously at HMS Vernon as the Naval Diving School which joined with the RE Diving Establishment.
It was officially opened in early 1996, with the Sir Charles Pasley pool, by the Second Sea Lord.
At first, training for the RE and the Navy was separate. Three years in the Navy was required to apply to be a diver, but this policy was dropped in the late 1990s.
It had its first female mine clearance diver on 19 November 2010, 28 year old Lieutenant Catherine Ker. The Royal Navy had changed its admissions policy for women, after the INM had found that women were at no more risk from decompression sickness (the bends) than men.
It trains frogmen (almost all are male, due to the demanding physical proficiency required) for the Royal Navy, and a few for the RE.
It is situated close to the M27.
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