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The Canadian Naval Divers Association (CNDA)

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The Canadian Naval Divers Association (CNDA) was founded in January 1981 at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The founding members of the Association were: Andre Desrochers, Stanley F. Watts, Leo Goneau, Terry Havlik, Glenn Adams, and Michael Walsh. The first president was Stanley F. Watts and the current national chairman is Wally Green.

This site is published by the Canadian Naval Divers Association (CNDA). Its purpose is to keep the Naval Trained Diver, both Active and Retired, informed and aware of what is happening within CNDA and other matters pertaining to Service Diving in Canada. It is also intended to keep you in touch with others of the diving community who may have been your friends and diving team members from those tremendous days in the past.

Clearance Diving History

Up until 1945, diving in the Canadian Navy was conducted by Royal Navy trained hard-hat divers. Taskings were limited to salvage and ship repair in shallow waters. Following the Second World War, it was apparent of the need for mine-disposal divers to be utilized for harbour defense and coastal mine clearance.

The first Canadian Dive Unit was formed in 1949 as a mine disposal organization. This unit was stationed at HMCS Stadacona and training was conducted in the United States and in England . Once enough trained personnel were available, training of non-commissioned members began to take place in Halifax .

It was quickly noticed that many of the mine-disposal tasks duplicated the taskings of the harbour repair unit and in August of 1952, the Diving & Ordnance Disposal School & Training Centre was formed. This new unit conducted operations throughout Europe and Canada ‘s coast as well as many operations in the Artic Ocean .

After going through many months of deliberation and training, the Clearance Diver Branch of the Navy was formed. This new branch allowed for personnel to be trained as full-time divers. Up until then, the Navy trained divers as a secondary duty. Doing so prevented efficiency in keeping qualified instructors and mine disposal divers. This new branch gained a highly sought after status as a professional and rewarding career for numerous members of the Navy and the Armed Forces of Canada. Originally located at the French Cable Wharf in Dartmouth , the unit moved to its present location at Shearwater in June of 1974.


The Canadian Naval Divers Association (CNDA)  cannot exist without annual dues to take care of the administrative and functional aspects of the association. The CNDA is strictly a non-profit organization that exists solely to serve the needs as set put in the association charter. In order to maintain “membership in good standing” status, annual dues in the amount of $15.00 per annum are required.

Learn more at: http://www.navydiver.ca/

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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