Thailand – Australia – United Kingdom

The frogman who turned out to be a prince

Prince Harry on his scuba diving course

Prince Harry on his scuba diving course

In tight-fitting wetsuit this is Prince Harry learning to scuba dive.

Rather than see his girlfriend Chelsy Davy during a break from Sandhurst, the 20-year-old royal has chosen to go on a training course instead.

Yesterday found him taking part in two 40-minute dives at Plymouth Harbour.

And while he was apparently perfectly at home once in the sea, it was a different story on dry land. First he found himself walking somewhat gingerly in the style of Charlie Chaplin, and later he slipped on some jetty steps.

An onlooker at the Fort Bovisands Ministry of Defence base said: ‘He seemed to be having trouble walking properly. His wetsuit looked very tight and uncomfortable.

‘Once he was in the boat he was fine though, and he really took to the diving.

‘But he did find it hard to get out of the boat again, and his feet kept slipping on the steps.’

The five-day diving session is one of the adventurous training courses that cadets at Sandhurst military academy are encouraged to take in their free time.

Harry arrived at the base – an MoD site which is used to train all the armed forces for diving – at around 9am, with his fellow cadets.

After helping to load a boat with equipment, the group set off for a rigorous training session off nearby Penlee Point accompanied by two of Harry’s protection officers.

Harry was wearing a wetsuit, diving mask and oxygen tank, with a diving knife strapped to his leg to free him in case of emergency.

He and his colleagues were tethered by ropes to a safety buoy before they went under the surface. Harry would have practised a series of safety drills such as removing his mask and retrieving his breathing equipment at depths of up to 50ft.

After safely completing the morning session – in waters where two divers have drowned this year – Harry was hauled back into the boat by one of his bodyguards and the group returned to the base.

The prince needed help getting out of the boat and then trudged off the jetty, with his air tank still on his back, to have a shower before attending diving classes in the afternoon.

Later, Harry and his fellow cadets completed a second 40-minute dive session before once again returning to base.

The prince is currently on a four-week summer break from Sandhurst, where he is training to be an Army officer. Since he began the year-long training course in April, he has been plagued by injury and illness, but during the diving course he has seemed fit and well.

As well as attending lessons in a classroom, he has also spent time practising in a water-filled quarry.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.