If customs, cops, doctors and lifesavers are good enough for the commercials, and the air force is ok with SBS, why not the navy for the ABC?
Later this month we’ll be getting the documentary series, Navy Divers (ABC hates the observational or factual term, you see).
Yes it will be hell for the 27 men training for their CDAT, but entertaining for viewers sitting at home on the couch. Only 14 will make it ….kinda like Navy Idol?
This production is produced by A Prospero Productions with the assistance of ScreenWest and Screen Australia.
It premieres 8:00pm Tuesday October 28 on ABC1. BYO snorkel.
Twenty-seven young men begin their quest to become members of the navy’s elite clearance diver branch. At the RAN’s diving training school in Sydney they launch into the week-long clearance diver assessment test (CDAT). Overseen by a team of experienced navy divers, they will be taken into a physical and mental ‘hell’ specifically designed to test strength and endurance and weed out the weak.
Only 14 will make it.
As soon as the candidates put on their numbered vests, their ordeal begins. Marathon runs, gruelling weight sessions, late night swims across Sydney Harbour, relentless diving drills and hours of marching through steep bush. They’ll eat on the run, be deprived of sleep, and pushed beyond what they thought was possible.
The assessment team watches them like hawks recording the minutiae of their performance and punishing their mistakes. The candidates must be able to work effectively under extreme pressure, so they’re constantly being barked at, and cajoled, and encouraged to ‘give it up and get on the bus’. If their bodies fail, or their minds snap and they can’t handle it, then ‘Hell Week’ will claim another victim. They’ll be removed from the test – swiftly and irrevocably!
The clearance diver branch doesn’t want weaklings.
For those who make it there is the immense satisfaction of passing one of the toughest selection tests in the Australian Defence Force. But it’s a satisfaction that is short-lived. CDAT is just a test. Now their actual clearance diver training can begin. Some of it will make CDAT look like a picnic.