The first female diver in our army passed tests that can not withstand up to 70 percent of men

19 May 2020 ID:6376 Переглядів:5,911

The girl-diver spent more than 650 minutes underwater during the training, diving to a depth of 30 meters…
In Odesa, for the first time in the history of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a female serviceman was trained and qualified for diving. This was reported by ArmyInform. This is Kateryna Nikitenko, who is currently serving in the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the age of 19, she went from sailor to foreman of the first article and won this year’s all-Ukrainian aquathlon competitions (underwater martial arts).
Together with her diploma she signed a contract with the Armed Forces
As Kateryna Nikitenko told our correspondent, she loved the sea since childhood, because she spent a lot of time with her grandmother in Odessa. The girl dreamed of military service, so from the first year of study at the Izmail Medical School she reflected on this issue. She had not yet received a diploma in medical education, as she asked the Ukrainian Navy Command to call up for military service.
After training at the Training Center in Mykolayiv region, Kateryna began her military career as a paramedic at the Diving School.
Her position provides medical support for diving descents and obtaining access to descents in a pressure chamber to provide medical care to emergency divers undergoing medical recompression.
– I saw how the teaching staff teaches cadets. I wanted to join the ranks of specialists in diving. I worked with the first group as a paramedic, and with the second group, after receiving a positive decision from the Command of the Ukrainian Navy, my diving training began. My studies were interrupted due to business trips to advanced training courses in special physiology (Kyiv, on the basis of the Military Medical Academy), where I improved my knowledge of specific diving diseases. My graduation took place with the third group of cadets, – said Kateryna Nikitenko.

How to learn to survive underwater?
According to the girl, during the month the cadets undergo a course of theoretical training and practice practical skills in the pool. New cadets were especially impressed by the tests from the training unit of special physical training, namely stress resistance.
– We tried to create real conditions of threat to life, imitating enemy attacks, emergencies, obliging to fight, overcome our fears and panic. Very exhausted both psychologically and physically. We swam with our hands and feet tied. We were exhausted by a long stay in the water. Afterwards, remaining on the surface exclusively by working on flippers, they held an additional load weighing from 10 to 20 kg and even passed it in a circle. All this time we were watered from above, – Kateryna Nikitenko shared.
This was not the only test for future divers. It was necessary to keep afloat with your weight and cargo belt by working with your feet up. The weight of the cargo belt, according to the interlocutor, ranged from three to ten kilograms.
– After theoretical training and special physical training in the pool, we passed the exam for admission to the training descents. My first training descents in the Practical Harbor were in January. If there was light, warm and clear water in the pool, then in the sea we faced complete darkness and discomfort. In addition, winter weather. The first descents took place on heavy “boots”, there were no flippers on the feet, so the feet fell into the mud at the bottom of the harbor, which was also unusual to feel at first. The 10 mm thick wetsuit itself is not heavy, but when it gets cold water, it causes temporary discomfort, plus cargo on the belt, diving equipment (balloon, buoyancy compensator, cargo, tools or special equipment), at least another 30-40 kilograms is being typed. I immediately understood why we were brought up stress resistance in the pool. At sea we were taught to organize diving descents and works, scuba diving, search and identification of sunken objects, their rise to the surface, inspection of the underwater part of ship hulls and hydraulic structures, technology to perform a variety of diving tasks, – said the diver.

In short, the cadets were not bored in the Practical Harbor. They searched for lost items and flooded objects, practiced with their equipment, from removing and putting on a mask, to completely removing and putting on ammunition under water, performing tasks in various unpredictable scenarios. There were also independent descents, when the cadets found themselves in the grip of deep darkness alone with a specific task…
The girl’s ambitious goal is to get a higher military education
Dangers awaited novice divers at depth.
– From my own experience, I advise: you should always monitor the “purity” of the signal end. During one of the dives, my signal end became confused. I was lucky to be with a partner. For a second she forgot that she always had a knife with her, and began to panic a little. Remembering everything she was taught, and gathering her thoughts, she tried to calm down her increased heart rate, start breathing slowly and keep calm, adequately assessed the situation and did what she was taught, – said Kateryna Nikitenko.
In total, the girl-diver spent more than 650 minutes underwater during the training, diving to a depth of 30 meters. She learned to hold her breath for up to three minutes, during which she managed to swim about 50 meters underwater. Kateryna says that there was a cadet among them who held his breath in static for up to 4 minutes. When he had to test this skill in dynamics, he could not swim even 20 meters on the breath hold. Kateryna does regular breathing exercises to further increase the time she can spend without air under water.
She likes the business she does. Before dives, he constantly conducts a working inspection of his diving equipment and means of diving descents and works, carefully checks the air pressure in the cylinder, the tightness of the buoyancy compensator, keeps the rest of the equipment in good condition. After each dive, she diligently maintains all the equipment that was with her in salt water, because crystallized salt can cause irreparable damage. The girl rejects all offers of help: how to raise a balloon or prepare equipment sets, because she wants to master the diving profession as best as possible.
Kateryna Nikitenko has ambitious plans for the future. She is preparing to take instructor courses and become the first female diver instructor to move up the career ladder to the Diving Specialist. During the service, the girl plans to get a higher military education.
When asked what gave her the strength to pass the tests, in which up to 70 percent of men are eliminated (50% are eliminated in entrance exams, another 20% during training), and to qualify as a diver, Kateryna Nikitenko said:
– I saw how some guys give up. She understood that as the only girl she had to fight and get her dream profession.

Photo – from the personal archive of Kateryna Nikitenko

ArmyInform correspondent Svitlana Borisova