Interview with a Singapore Navy Diver
by Daniel Wong and Aaron Fong
What a Wonderful World by Aaron Fong, THG Alumnus on guitar
Corporal Francis Wong, a homeschool father, was enlisted in the Navy in 1986. He spent two and a half years as a diver there. Daniel Wong and Aaron Fong of The Homeschool Gazette spoke to him on his experiences as a navy diver.
THG: What did you do as a diver for the navy?
FW: I was trained to defend the shores of Singapore by setting obstacles on the shores as well as removing obstacles for vessels to beach.
THG: What are some things you enjoy in your job? If not, why?
FW: I often enjoyed the specialized training and working with the special equipment. For example, we repelled down a cliff or helo-jumped out of the helicopter. Long swims and jungle survival tests were some of my most enjoyable memories.
THG: What are the challenges you face as a diver?
FW: It is physically challenging to battle the harsh currents, and at the same time have the mental composure to complete the task at hand correctly.
THG: What are the safety regulations you have to observe as a diver?
FW: As divers, we would have to report our physical condition to the doctors. Also, consumption of alcohol or medicine 24 hours before diving is prohibited. We were expected to maintain the equipment well and follow all the safety regulations strictly and to the letter.
THG: Do you have any interesting story(ies) you would like to share?
FW: Once, we were assigned the task of retrieving a dead corpse. We were repulsed at the thought of handling a dead body. And so fortunately for us, we did not manage to find the corpse.
THG: What was your diet like?
FW: As a diver, meat is a big part of the diet as protein is essential. Vegetables and rice are standard fare, and we have to drink lots of milk for the calcium.
THG: Did you find your two and a half years as a military diver fulfilling?
FW: Yes, it trained me to have survival instincts, both physical and mental instincts. In those two years, I broke many barriers that I did not think I could ever achieve.