Bomb Squad - Diving blind

9 Bomb Diving Training squad cambodia

Unexploded bombs and landmines litter Cambodia’s waterways, posing a hazard to local fishermen. Now, a team of bomb disposal divers is being formed to diffuse the problem. Charles Fox photographs the dive team in training


bomb diver mask cambodia rivers

A diver wears a blacked out mask to mimic the zero-visibility conditions found in most of Cambodia’s rivers. This training aid not only helps deal with near zero visiblity but also trains the divers brain to determine bomb shapes and texture by touch. 

Float like a butterfly...

1 bomb diving training cambodia koh rong

Dara, 23, performs butterfly kicks in the surf of Koh Rong, Cambodia. Having worked clearing landmines and unexploded ordinance for three years, he’s one of 14 trainee divers who will become the first underwater bomb disposal squad. The trainees need a high level of fitness to be able to work in harsh environments, which include strong river currents.

Search skills

2 dive data logging bomb difusal cambodia

Data on each diver’s depth and time are collected post-dive.


Divers are spun until dizzy to condition them to handle disorientation.

3 Beach Training bomb difusal cambodiaOn the beach, trainees practice search techniques with a circular line – in each rotation they widen the search perimeter.

5 Dizzy Training bomb difusal cambodia

Heng Sambo, 37, falls into the surf during an exercise where the divers are spun until dizzy to condition them to handle disorientation.



A team leader keeps track of the search pattern as well as depths and times.

6 DIVE Notepad bomb disposal cambodia


Bombs in the dark

A diver in a blacked out mask locates a fake bomb. 

8 First Dive Underwater bomb disposal cambodia

Recently, a lucrative trade in scrap metal has sprung up and some fishermen have taken to retrieving bombs from rivers and removing the explosives by hand – with much danger to themselves and those around them.


9 Bomb Diving Training disposal cambodia


First training dive

An inert bomb, used for training.

8 Inert Bomb disposal Training cambodia

Lorn Sarath, 24, enters the water for the first dive of the course; A diver guided by a rope surfaces after a blackout dive.

10 Blackout Dive Training disposal cambodia

It’s thought there are 4-6 million landmines and unexploded bombs in Cambodia. Although the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) has been running a clean-up operation since the 1990s, estimates predict it will be another 10-20 years before it is complete.





Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

New Upright Gift Banners 300 x 600 px

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...