Their first operations included clearing away the debris of unexploded ammunition left during the Normandy Invasion.
During World War II Navies used the heavy surface-supplied standard diving dress before changing to lighter self-contained rebreather equipment.
What does a Clearance Diver do?
The clearance diver is a diving specialist, whether “autonomous” or in a diving suit, with air, over-oxygenated mixtures, or pure oxygen.
Embarked on a mine hunter-type ship or land-based in a group of clearance divers, the Clearance Diver will search, identify and dispose of explosive devices detected at sea and in ports.
Historically the most defining competence is skills in underwater demolition using explosives.
But later, the term “clearance diver” include other naval underwater work like welding, assembly, cutting of metal structures, and clearing port accesses.
It may also participate in mine clearance operations abroad and public service actions.
But the scope of activity for a clearance diver varies depending on the specific armed force in which they are a member.