Defence Diving School

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Defence Diving School
Defence Diving School is located in Hampshire
Defence Diving School
Location within Hampshire
General information
TypeMilitary diving establishment
AddressHampshire PO6 4TT
Coordinates50°50′10″N 1°05′56″W / 50.836°N 1.099°W / 50.836; -1.099
Elevation15 m (49 ft)
Current tenantsRoyal Navy
Construction startedSeptember 1994
CompletedNovember 1995
OwnerRoyal Navy

The Defence Diving School is a diver training centre in Hampshire, run by the Royal Navy.



There were four Navy diving schools, with two in Devon. The two diving courses were eleven weeks, then nine weeks.[1] 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 600 ft off Norway on 12 October 1956.


Construction began in September 1994. It would train around 2000 divers a year.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

Female divers[edit]

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.[5]


  • 27 year old Lt Paul McAulay, from Clackmannanshire, died on Thursday 28 November 2002, after he choked on his own vomit after diving less than two hours after eating, which is not Royal Navy practice. His family were awarded £750,000 in June 2005.[6]
  • 28 year old Lt David Christie died on 14 March 2002 [7]


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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Times Friday 21 August 1959, page 11
  2. ^ Navy News September 1994, page 7
  3. ^ Navy News March 1996, page 9
  4. ^ Navy News March 1999, page 20
  5. ^ Decompression sickness policy
  6. ^ Navy News January 2003, page 15
  7. ^ Navy News April 2002, page 49

External links[edit]