A good news, dear friends. We can even say, it is a tiny but genuine victory! The divers from Mariupol detachment of Marine State Border Protection are periodically sharing the details of their work with us. And each time they please us: yes, their trainings within the «School of Military Divers» project proved useful. And this time their professional skills have been estimated by foreign colleagues!
Within the bilateral co-operation on border protection matters between Ukraine and Germany, the first practical diving skills training course took place in the town of Lubeck (Germany). The German party invited Ukrainian divers for experience-sharing activities. Our group consisted of three divers, and we, the volunteers at People’s Project, are exceptionally proud that one of the participants, Oleksiy, is among the School for Military Divers’ best trainees.
A diver-border guard of the Mariupol detachment of Marine State Border Protection, Oleksiy, in the course of training in Mariupol
For twenty days the Ukrainian divers have been trained by Germany’s most professional diving coaches possessing huge practical experience. During the course the border guards dived both in the Academy’s reservoir and in open water, namely the Baltic sea and the lake Kreide-See, near the town of Hemmoor.
In view of the weather conditions, our divers were recommended by their German colleagues to be careful about hypothermia and wear “dry” diving suits while working underwater. Naturally, the divers put their knowledge into practice at once, using special diving equipment of the German Federal Police.
The Ukrainian diver-border guards found the experience gained by the German Federal Police divers, extremely helpful. Close attention was paid to team work and safety measures. Oleksiy, a military diver, admitted that all the newly acquired skills are likely to prove highly useful in his service in Ukraine. Moreover, he got a nice chance to exercise and improve his proficiency of underwater performance in pairs.
Besides, the German coaches also focused on correct techniques of underwater work, a diver’s levelling in specified depth with objects of various buoyancy as well as on underwater swimming without breathing apparatus and group undersea orienteering by the compass. Additionally, the drills included various exploration activities, search and identifying of submerged objects, their lifting on the vessel; swimming directed by a signal given from either the pier or a vessel; transporting of heavy-weight and large-sized underwater objects with application of lifting gear, – in short, on those activities and tasks the border guards are facing every day.
Apart from the advice on inspection of the submerged part of a vessel, the German instructors gave a course in underwater photography and video recording. This was a new practice for our divers, and according to Oleksiy, these skills will definitely make his work a lot more effective.
Yet some time ago such co-operation would have seemed impossible, as after the annexation of Crimea there were too little capacities for development of diving disciplines left. But today we are proud of the fact that the Ukrainian divers’ performance has been valued high by European professionals. This has become possible partially thanks to ardent enthusiasm shown by the volunteer instructors of the «School of Military Divers» and your support, dear friends! This is just the case when an important military sphere needed just a tiny stimulus and assistance to start out.
For today, thanks to your help the military divers have all they need, but there always is a need in equipment for the Marines (whom we support within the «Mariupol Defenders» project), and of Ukrainian defenders holding the line in the forefront (their pressing needs are being satisfied within the «Rapid Response» initiative). We urge you not to seize your support of the Ukrainian army!