Royal Australian Navy clearance divers are supporting the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games by ensuring the safety and security of Queensland waterways.
Around 30 navy personnel are at the Gold Coast providing support to the Queensland Police Service (QPS) with security planning and operations in and around the city’s famous Broadwater.
Navy Clearance Diving Team One Executive Officer Lieutenant Robert Kelly said their presence will enhance QPS’ ability to respond to a range of situations, specifically in relation to underwater search and clearance.
“Our Navy divers bridge the gap between what QPS are able to do underwater with regards to dealing with suspicious items,” Lieutenant Kelly said.
A navy maritime explosive ordnance disposal team is on standby to support the police with clearance and removal should QPS be alerted to any danger below the waterline.
While QPS has not received any specific threats, Lieutenant Kelly said a reconnaissance element is conducting searches to eliminate risk to the public and athletes in town for the games.
Able Seaman Clearance Diver Christopher Hall said the team are eager to get wet in support of the games, which begin on April 4.
“This is our first real-time task for the year so we’re looking forward to getting in and keeping the waters clear of any dangers,” Able Seaman Hall said.
In the mean time, the divers will keep themselves busy conducting regular training to ensure they’re well rehearsed if called upon by QPS.
“The public can expect to see us conducting training around the waterways with our large support vessel, ‘Dive Launch Seal’, and smaller RHIBs [Ridged Hull Inflatable Boats] in the area,” Lieutenant Kelly said.