Don ‘Scotty’ Allan: RAN Clearance Divers

Posted on: Mon 25 Feb 2019

It’s a career within our Royal Australian Navy that you might not have known existed, and one of the most hazardous of all positions in our Defence Forces. Navy Clearance Diving is as distinct from being a Navy Diver or Ships’ Diver as you could imagine and the training is a rigorous process; the Clearance Diver Acceptance Test, or CDAT for short, is more geared towards rejection than acceptance.

In the book NAVY DIVERS by Gregor Salmon, he says, “CDAT is the “door bitch” you must get past to enter the clearance diving world, and she has a piercing eye for weakness. CDAT is a chain of various high intensity activities and challenges relieved by brief, irregular and altogether insufficient spells of rest.”  Other than the legendary Cadre Course (SAS) CDAT is the most exacting selection trial in the Australian Armed services.

Don ‘Scotty’ Allan became a qualified Navy Clearance Diver in the 1960s and joins us on Service Voices to discuss his career.



Interviewer Helen Meyer

Photos:  Don ‘Scotty’ Allan circa 1960s (provided by Don Allan and used with permission).

Book ‘United and Undaunted – the First 100 Years’ by EW Linton and HJ Donohue  Published by Grinkle Press


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