Navy divers clear Gold Coast waterways for the Games
11 April 2018
Below the surface of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Navy Clearance Divers will be searching the waterways to ensure they are safe and secure for a successful Games.
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 will be 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 will conduct searches to eliminate risk to the public and athletes in town for the Games.
With thousands of visitors expected to visit the busy coastal city, Lieutenant Kelly said the waters will be challenging, however nothing the specialist divers can't handle.
"We can expect poor visibility, lots of moorings and plenty of people out on the water in their craft but our divers are prepared for this, we train often and are well equipped to support this kind of event," he said.
The divers are supported by drivers, logistics and support staff, communications specialists and a small command team who are all looking forward to supporting Queensland's largest sporting event.
Able Seaman Clearance Diver Christopher Hall said the team are eager to get wet in support of the Games, which begin on April 4th.
"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.
The Navy divers are just one aspect of Australian Defence Force (ADF) support to the Games, which includes more than 1000 personnel from all three services.
Army engineers and Multi Role Helicopter (MRH90) "Taipan" aircraft, RAAF F/A-18 Hornets and support staff will also be supporting QPS as part of the Whole of Australian Government contribution to security.