Yanick Chang-Time, Sony Cedras, Julian Morel, Dane Vardin, Ryan Benstrong and Elvin Hoareau are the six divers who endured the eight-week long divers training programme financially supported by the European Union (EU).
The training was facilitated by EUCAP Nestor’s experts in collaboration with Dive Seychelles and other experts such as Captain David Plow, Bernard Berlouis and Dan Laporte.
The trained divers received their certificates from SCG’s commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Simon Dine during a short ceremony yesterday morning at the SCG base at Ile Perseverance in the presence of the instructors.
The aim of this course was to develop the divers’ planning capabilities so that they have the ability to conduct safe underwater operations. As an added benefit the divers completed the course with a fully internationally recognised Dive Master Qualification.
During the training, the divers learned about navigation, wreck diving and deep diving. They also focused on further improving underwater operation techniques.
The module saw the divers undertake practical exercises culminating in the underwater inspection of a commercial tanker in Victoria harbour. This exercise incorporated all aspects of dive planning, safety and underwater maintenance. They were required to carry out effective hull inspections, as well as the use of power and welding tools underwater.
An important aspect of this course was the handling of explosive charges, essential for the disposal of unexploded ordnance or removing underwater obstacles.
EUCAP Nestor maritime expert, Lieutenant Flavio Sanguigni, said that these explosives were kept as small as possible to reduce the impact that it would have on the environment during the blasting.
Lt. Sanguigni pointed out that EUCAP Nestor donated equipment to the SCG in line with the EU’s ‘Train and Equip’ philosophy and in order to ensure that the SCG continues to have the ability to put into practice the skills learned in the course. These equipment included a defibrillator, a portable air bottle compressor, precision tools and power tools such as welders and grinders.
Lt. Col Dine thanked the EUCAP Nestor for its “great help” to Seychelles over the past four years.
One of the divers, Yanick Chang-Time, said: “The training was exciting and tough although the course was rather compact and we had to do various activities in a short time.”
He joined the SCG as he wanted to defend our country against piracy.
He said that this programme made him gain more experience and helped him to develop skills that he can now pass on to others.
During the ceremony Lt. Sanguini handed over to Lt. Col Dine a manual which comprises instructions and safeguards that the SCG can use to train other divers.
Source : Seychelles NATION