Sailor Profile: S1 Jesse Gisborne

S1 Jesse Gisborne

S1 Jesse Gisborne

Sailor 1st Class (S1) Jesse Gisborne, a Clearance Diver from Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific), is deployed on Operation Unifier supporting Exercise Sea Breeze 21 in Odesa, Ukraine. 

Raised in Abbotsford, B.C., and a local of Victoria, S1 Gisborne, has always dreamt about travelling the world and living a life of adventure.

“I was a young man searching for adventure on the high seas. It turns out the adventure happens in port,” he said.

Clearance divers such as S1 Gisborne are the Royal Canadian Navy’s explosive ordnance disposal experts in both surface and sub-surface environments, with specialties in underwater demolitions, conventional and advanced unexploded ordnance, and improvised explosive device disposal. They are also experts in salvage, inspections, training, search and survey, hyperbaric medicine, submarine rescue, fleet maintenance, and dockyard support. They also provide support to Fleet Force Protection and other government agencies.

Among the many memorable diving missions for S1 Gisborne was his tasking in Tofino, B.C.

“A challenging experience that I can never forget was sailing our dive tender to Tofino to recover ordnance from a First World War wreck,” he said. “The tow rope for our rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) parted in the middle of the night in rough seas. I remember the jump from the deck of our boat to the RHIB in three-metre swells was dicey. Sometimes getting to the job is the most dangerous part.”

He has also been deployed off the coast of Libya during the Arab Spring in 2011 aboard HMCS Vancouver, as well as in numerous domestic and international exercises.

“The experiences you share with your team will form friendships that last the rest of your life.”

The Clearance Diver Team deployed in support of Exercise Sea Breeze 21 is comprised of members from both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleet Diving Units. During the exercise, S1 Gisborne is sharing best practices with partner navies in mine-countermeasures.

“We’re in Ukraine to share our diving expertise with our partner nations and to become better divers ourselves. We’re here to improve our interoperability with our global partners and support the Ukrainian Navy’s dive capability. I look forward to making connections with divers from other nations. It’s a small world.”


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