Notes

1. These distances are for operational use only. During training, all divers will be out of the water prior to initiating the explosives.

2. These distances do not take into consideration any effects on the explosion shock wave due to the bottom topography.

3. Although water will reduce the effect of flying debris and shrapnel, in water depths less then 10 m, surface vessels should use the relevant safety distance based on the target material.

28. Small Arms and Ammunition. Combat divers are normally armed with the C8 carbine but could also carry the C7. In the future, they may be issued the PDW. Carrying weapons underwater poses problems with the security and safe handling of the weapon. Divers must keep their hands free, which means that the weapon must be secured on the diver or equipment. How securely it is fastened will depend on the task and enemy threat; the dive supervisor must decide on how readily accessible they must be.11

Figure 2-1: Combat Diver Firing

29. Prior to firing, water must be allowed to drain from the weapon body. The slide should be pulled back to let the water drain from the body and barrel. The barrel should not have any tape or other device on the muzzle since the water must be able to drain freely from the barrel. Water will get into the barrel in any case; therefore it is pointless to cover the muzzle for a dive task.12 If time permits, the rifle should be turned to allow water to drain from the magazine. Ball

11 If the task is to cross under the cover of friendly suppressive fire or obscuration, the divers may not need to use their weapons unless they are stranded on the far bank. On the other hand, if the dive team must land on the far bank, and the enemy is known to be present, the weapons may have to be immediately available.

12 For land operations, it is better to cover the muzzle with tape to prevent the entry of material. The tape can be shot through without any damage to the weapon. Shooting through a barrel filled with water is likely to result in a catastrophic failure.

ammunition can withstand moisture seepage and can be submerged for long periods with no added protection. Extra magazines should not be taped and sealed since that will prevent their use.

30. Explosives and Accessories. A combat diver can carry or tow approximately 20 kg of explosives and accessories while swimming. This affects both his physical endurance and the efficiency of his breathing apparatus, and these must be considered. Care must be taken to waterproof those explosive components and accessories that will be rendered useless by exposure to water.

31. Marine Life. Certain marine life, because of their aggressive or venomous nature, may pose a risk to combat divers. These are normally found in seas and oceans, but fresh water hazards include poisonous snakes, crocodiles, and alligators. Some species of marine life are extremely dangerous, while some are merely an uncomfortable annoyance. Most dangers from marine life are largely overrated because most underwater animals leave human beings alone. All divers should be able to identify dangerous species that are likely to be found in the area of operation and should know how to deal with each of them.

32. Vessel and Small Boat Traffic. The presence of water vessels can be a serious problem. In a tactical situation, the boat traffic will be either friendly, enemy, or neutral. In all cases, they must be avoided since it will normally be impractical to issue warnings to the operators, except for friendly vessels. In training, or non-combat operations, some sort of local notice to mariners should be issued. If only a few ships or vessels are likely to be affecting the dive operation, they should be individually notified. When operating in areas with many small boats, operated by people with varied levels of seamanship, divers should assume that these operators are not acquainted with diving signals and take the precautions required to ensure that these vessels remain clear of the diving area. Hazards associated with vessel traffic are intensified under conditions of reduced visibility.

33. Underwater Communications. Through-water communications between divers and surface support personnel improves efficiency and promotes safe diving operations. The following types of systems are available and should be used when feasible:

a. Wireless Through-water Communications. These systems can provide sub-surface-to-surface or diver-to-diver communications.

b. Hardwire Systems. Generally, these systems are integral to the umbilical of surface-supplied breathing apparatus.

c. Hand-held Sonar or "Acoustic Pingers." These may be used to track divers.

OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF BREATHING APPARATUS

34. The two types of compressed air diving equipment that combat divers employ and their characteristics are detailed in this section.

a. Operational Characteristics of CABA.

Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus (CABA) refers to an open circuit breathing system, commonly called SCUBA. The following should be considered when planning a combat diving operation and utilizing this diving equipment:

(1) Mobility. Combat divers in CABA can cover a considerable distance. They can have an even greater range through the use of diver propulsion vehicles (DPVs), moving freely in any direction.

(2) Buoyancy. CABA equipment is designed to have nearly neutral buoyancy when in use, permitting the diver to change or maintain depth with ease. This allows the diver to work at any level within his depth limitation and qualification.

(3) Portability. The portability and ease with which CABA equipment can be employed are distinct advantages. CABA equipment can be transported easily and put into operation with minimum delay. CABA offers a flexible method for accomplishing a range of combat diving tasks.

(4) Operational Limitations. Divers shall adhere to the operational limitations of their qualification. Bottom time is limited by the CABA equipment's fixed air supply, which is depleted more rapidly when diving down deep or working hard.

(5) Environmental Protection. The CABA diver is not well protected from cold, contact with marine plants and animals, or water borne contaminants and is more easily affected by currents, tides, and waves.

35. Operational Characteristics of the Light Weight Surface-supplied Diving-system (LWSSDS). Combat divers use the LWSSDS consisting of a full face mask and surface umbilical. The characteristics of this diving equipment are as follows:

a. Mobility. Surface-supplied gear allows the diver almost as much mobility as the CABA; however, the length of his umbilical limits him. This equipment can be used for penetrating confined spaces, such as drowned vehicles, since it provides for maximum control of the diver and unlimited air supply.

b. Buoyancy. The buoyancy associated with this equipment makes it desirable for working on muddy bottoms, conducting lifeline searches, or when the working force of a tool is high.

c. Operational Limitations. Divers using surface-supplied breathing apparatus are restricted to the limitations of their qualification. Additional limitations of using the LWSSDS includes additional support from the surface and increased pre- and post- dive procedures.

d. Environmental Protection. Because of the full face mask and the use of a vulcanized rubber dry suit, combat divers using the LWSSDS have increased protection when working in contaminated water. In addition, because the diver's negative buoyancy is easily controlled, this equipment allows for greater ease when diving in areas with strong currents.

Figure 2-2: Preparing for a Dive with the LWSSDS

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