Armoured Officer brings love of scuba diving to Yellowknife

August 8, 2022 - Defence Stories

By: Alice Twa, JTFN Public Affairs Support

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Caption

Jeremy jumping into Great Slave Lake with another diver during an underwater clean up.

Photo credit: Elizabeth Ewen, JTFN Public Affairs Support

Captain (Capt) Jeremy MacDonald is the Executive Assistant to the Commander at Joint Task Force (North) which means his day mostly involves scheduling meetings, planning the Commander’s day, and vetting documents. But after hours, he is Yellowknife’s famous scuba diver finding lost items in lakes and rivers surrounding the community and returning them to their owners.

Capt MacDonald joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1994.

“My great-grandfather was in WWI, my grandfathers were in WWII, I’ve had all kinds of uncles and cousins and relatives who’ve been in the army, navy, air force throughout the years, my son is in the military now. So it’s a family tradition of service.”

Originally, he wanted to join as a Navy Clearance Diver reservist for the HMCS Brunswicker, but when he left the recruiting office they had him enlisted in the Canadian Army as an Armoured Officer.

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Jeremy diving under Yellowknife River bridge.

Photo credit : unkown

Joining the army didn’t stop Capt MacDonald from learning how to scuba dive. While he was waiting for French training in St. Jean, Quebec, he and a few friends got their Professional Association of Diving Instructors Open Water Diver Certification, and Capt MacDonald earned his Advanced Open Water Diver Certification in 1999.

For a while, diving remained a side hobby for Capt MacDonald, and it wasn’t until 2014 that he really started to become passionate about the sport.

“Friends and I, we’d go scuba diving in the Saint John River and we would find stuff and it’d be fun to track down their owners. That got me hooked on finding things and finding the story about how that thing came to be in the water and it just kind of morphed from there.”

Since then, Capt MacDonald’s interest in scuba diving and finding lost items has only grown. Some of his top finds include a quartz vein with gold in it, an oil seep, a 40-foot trawler, and a microphone.

“It’s always interesting to talk to people and find out what happened, how’d it happen, is there any story? Being that middle man to solve those issues is quite fun.”

Another big aspect of his diving is doing underwater cleanups with the goal to pull out 10,000 pounds of trash every year.

Scuba and the community of Yellowknife both hold special places in Capt Macdonald’s life.

“I’ve set up a scuba diving club, a scuba diving company, and a scuba diving TV show. My life is really all about scuba diving.”

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