Diver finds a rocket-propelled grenade during his advanced diver course
Just your normal, every day, check dive: 'Do you remember how to clear your mask? Recover your reg? What to do if we get separated? What to do if you find a rocket- propelled grenade?'
... Hang on a minute, what was that last one again?
This was the position Christian Pallinder found himself in this month in Malta.
He had just signed up to do his Advanced Open Water course with Starfish Diving in St George's Bay, and he was out on the customary check dive, when he happened upon a strange looking object on the sea floor.
He had a good idea what it MIGHT be, so he took some photographs and headed back to the dive centre with his buddy.
The owner of the centre, Mikhail Umnov, had a good idea what it might be too so he immediately contacted the AFM (Armed Forces Malta).
To the tourist, Malta can sometimes seem like a sleepy Mediterranean island, which in many ways it is, but Malta has also, over the years, been host to a number of high-level international summits and the AFM are a very professional and efficient force.
They were on the scene within minutes and a full-scale military operation was soon in progress.
Mikhail showed them the photographs, which they viewed with interest. There followed some considerable debate about where, exactly, the RPG was in the bay.
Christian gave some excellent directions but, as any diver knows, it can be quite difficult to find an object underwater based solely on directions. Obviously, it couldn't just be left there. Anyone might pull it up.
If the AFM didn't find it quickly there might be a need to close the bay and even some of the hotels.
Luckily, Mikhail, who knew the bay very well, volunteered to lead a suicide mission to the location of the rocket and attach an SMB to it.
This he did, returning a few minutes later. The AFM were then able to locate and dispose of the RPG with their customary efficiency.
Christian later said 'I'd never seen one up close before, and never expected to see one up close on a dive.'
He is continuing with the Advanced Open Water course, but Starfish Diving has asked him not to undertake the Search and Recovery Dive.