I started diving back in 1973 when I received my open water certification. I was number 619 from NAUI and my instructor, Ed Young, was number 501.
Back in those days we still used double hosed regs, and I still have a love for them today.
Wild West of Diving: My Inspiration
It might sound a bit cliche, but my interest in both recreational and commercial diving began through the excitement of other diver’s experiences. These were the famed divers of the day: The early Cousteau documentaries and Mike Nelson’s heroic adventures in Sea Hunt, a TV series in the mid-twentieth century.
I would watch with fascination as these divers braved the depths of the sea and all the challenges that went along with it.
I was lucky enough to be able to start my road to “hat diving ” came from my stint in the Navy from 1979 to 1983, some of the best years of my life.
The Navy instructors gave me my inspiration to continue onward.
Police Diver: My Career & Gigs
Obtaining my surface-supplied Air non-restricted ticket has definitely helped me move up to my current career of being a police diver.
The most interesting spot to date where I have done a dive job is Pangnirturg in Nunavut. Not a glamorous spot but full of character.
The job was a recovery of illegal weapons dumped into the bay. The conditions were less than ideal with the water temp at 4°C at depth. Visibility 6 inches to none. And a team of eight working around the clock to beat the winter freeze up. I made good use of cutting tools and Broco on that gig.
Another memorable dive was the recovery of a downed plane in a lake in British Columbia. No survivors came out of that one.
Diving Tips: Corpses & Courses
In the commercial diving field, aspiring students should be aware that a lot of salvage jobs may include the recovery of human remains.
Think Costa Concordia here, guys. Not a pretty sight.
My advice to beginning divers would be to work hard, take as many different courses as you can afford…and:
Listen to your instructor. Contrary to popular belief, you are not the hot shots you think you are.
David Giroux works as a police diver with a multitude of maritime training and experiences in many places across the world. He first began his diving gigs in the 1970’s and hasn’t looked back.