New Year honours for RN divers

Leading Seaman (Diver) Rory Cartwright-Taylor
Leading Seaman (Diver) Rory Cartwright-Taylor

A Scottish clearance diver has been awarded an MBE in the King's New Year Honours. Leading Seaman (Diver) Rory Cartwright-Taylor is part of the Royal Navy’s Diving & Threat Exploitation Group (DTXG), based at Faslane on Scotland’s west coast.

The DTXG consists of small, specialist mission teams that carry out tasks ranging from explosive disposal of historic ordnance around the UK to sea mine-clearance in other parts of the world, as well as carrying out emergency underwater maintenance on surface warships and submarines. 

The group also has bases in Portsmouth and Plymouth, conducts training exercises with NATO and other allies and deploys to such locations as the USA, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

LS Cartwright-Taylor, who grew up in Nairnshire in the north-east of Scotland, has been an RN clearance diver since 2009, specialising in in-water maintenance and repairs. According to the navy, his “personal contributions have directly impacted on front-line operations”.

New Year Honours: Lt Cdr Ross Balfour (Royal Navy)
Lt Cdr Ross Balfour (Royal Navy)

Also recognised with the award of an MBE is Faslane-based Lt-Commander Ross Balfour, for his role as the “trailblazer of autonomous mine counter-measures systems” – which could mean that naval divers are less likely to have to put themselves directly in harm’s way in future.

According to the Royal Navy, Balfour is paving the way for a switch from traditional forms of mine-hunting to crewless systems for use both in home waters and around the world.

Also on Divernet: Royal Navy’s DTXG: Revolutionising clearance divers’ capabilities, Navy divers detonate WW2 bomb off Guernsey, Clearance diver exercise takes on new urgency, RN divers honour last ‘human minesweeper'

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