The first military diving school of the Royal Navy

Based on lessons learned from the Royal George salvage Colonel Pasley persuaded the Royal Navy of the advantages of Siebe’s diving equipment over the unwieldy dockyard diving bell, Colonel Pasley detached Lance Corporal Jones, Royal Engineers to HMS Excellent in 1844 to train a party of 13 petty officers and seamen in its use. A Royal Navy diving school was established at Whale Island and RN diving became the responsibility of the Gunnery Branch at HMS Excellent while Army diving continued to be the responsibility of the Royal Engineers.