7-9:30pm Monday 5th June and Thursday 8th June 2023


This pre-recorded and live online course will provide an introduction to identifying environmental and explosive hazards on wrecks through historical research to prepare for diving on military wrecks. Participants will learn what and where to look for environmental and explosive hazards on wrecks and how to appropriately respond to these identified hazards on the seabed and how they can assist the MOD in mitigating these underwater threats.

Through pre-recorded videos, participants will watch several case studies on how explosives and hazards have been identified and mitigated on wrecks around the world. They will also view demonstrations of what munitions look like in their original condition and after being on the seabed for decades. 

During the live online session, experts from the MoD will take participants through the process of historical research required to theoretically identify the environmental and explosive hazards on wrecks and guide them through a report writing exercise. Through another practical exercise, participants will complete a simulated dive to test their new skills in locating hazards on wrecks. 

This course is a combination of pre-recorded video presentations and two live online sessions. This course delivery method will reduce screen fatigue through shorter live online sessions and will also be more convenient for a greater range of time zones for our international participants. 


Matt Skelhorn is the Wreck Manager, Salvage & Marine Operations, UK Ministry of Defence.
Polly Hill is the Wreck Environmental Scientist, Salvage & Marine Operations, UK Ministry of Defence


The course is aimed at individuals undertaking the NAS Training program, divers who have an interest in military wrecks and professional archaeologists working with military wrecks.

Attendance at this course is a pre-requisite for participating in the NAS diving project to HMS Natal in Cromarty Firth in Scotland in September 2023.

NAS members will receive 5 credits towards their Certificate or Award

A computer or tablet (phone screens are a bit small to look at for the whole day) with a good internet connection is essential. A built-in or external webcam and microphone are optional. A week before the course you will receive an invitation to the online course session which will be run through GoToMeeting. This is an online video conferencing programme that can be run directly through the internet or you get better connection if you download the small programme - it only takes a minute to do. 

If you are concerned about your computer set up, please contact the organiser at [email protected] for a test run before the course.

NAS members £40
Non-NAS members £80 (although as NAS membership starts at £20, you're better off becoming a member and getting the discount rate immediately!)

Provisional Timetable in GMT
Approximately 4 hours of pre-recorded videos must be watched before the live online sessions.

First evening

19:00  Log on, online etiquette and introductions

19:10  Historic Desk Based Assessments (H-DBA) and how divers can contribute – Matt Skelhorn

19:50  Practical exercise explanation – H-DBA – RFA War Mehtar – integrity assessment

20:00 Practical exercise support time

20:45 Review of practical exercise H-DBA from Matt Skelhorn

21:30  End of session

Second evening

19:00  Desk-based environmental risk assessment – Polly Hill

19:25  Questions

19:30  On-site wreck surveys – Polly Hill

19:45  Questions

19:50  On-site wreck integrity assessment – Matt Skelhorn

20:15  Summary and how divers can get involved – Matt Skelhorn

20:30  Getting involved with NAS

20:45  Final questions

21:30 Course finish

The NAS reserves the right to cancel courses or events 4 weeks in advance of a course if insufficient bookings have been received. Please do not book non-refundable travel and accommodation until you have been notified by email that the course is definitely going ahead.

Participants are permitted to cancel and receive a refund (minus the transaction fees incurred by the payment provider) up to four weeks in advance of a course  or event date. They are also able to defer their booking to any other NAS course or event instead of receiving a refund. If participants wish to cancel within the four weeks prior to  the course or event, they will forfeit their booking fee unless there are unless circumstances  which the NAS, in its absolute discretion, considers sufficiently mitigating as to warrant a partial or full refund.  

Applications for a refund within the four weeks prior to  the course or event must be submitted in writing (electronic submission is acceptable) and such evidence as the NAS may reasonably require must be provided to support the application.