If the Hat Fits, Wear It!

20th August 2020

Posted In: So In Demand

A woman from Donegal has become the Irish Navy’s first female diver.

Sub-Lieutenant Tahlia Britton together with her colleagues Able Seaman Emmet O’Hanlon and Able Mech Rob Mulqueen received their diving log books in a recent ceremony held at Haulbowline Naval Base, Cork.

Forming part of the 3rd Combined Diving Course, they were awarded their Qualification Certificates from Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service, Commodore Michael Malone.

From the initial pool of 28 applicants, our 3 divers successfully completed the demanding eleven week course.

The Naval Service Diving Section (NSDS) has been in existence since the late 1960s. From humble beginnings as an internal diving team for the ships in the fleet, it has evolved into the primary State diving team, carrying out many varied tasks for a number of State Agencies. The main roles of the NSDS include: Search & Recovery, Underwater Survey, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Underwater Engineering and Military Diving Training.

Tahlia, who is 29 years old, joined the Naval Service 6 years ago. Prior to taking the diving course, she was serving as the Gunnery Officer onboard LÉ James Joyce. Tahlia admits that she has a very competitive nature and was absolutely thrilled about her recent historical ‘first’ for the Irish Navy.

Having completed their initial qualification, the 3 new military divers will now undertake a further 5 weeks mixed gas training course.