IABTI member for 16+ years.
Darrell Paul Colwell, MMM, CD1
Retired Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Navy
Clearance Diving Command
Chief Petty Officer First Class
Former Coxswain Fleet Diving Unit Pacific
Victoria, British Columbia
Darrell Colwell is a 16+ year IABTI Region VII member. He is currently the Community Coroner for Victoria, British Columbia, Canada where he resides with his wife Joanne of 32 years.
Darrell retired as a Chief Petty Officer First Class (CPO1) from the Canadian Armed Forces after a 32 year career.
Born in Eastbourne, Sussex, England on the 26th of May 1961, his family moved to Canada in 1966.
In 1982 he attended Seneca College in Ontario Canada and received a Commercial Diving Certification with an Underwater Explosives qualification. Shortly thereafter, in September 1984, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a Naval Weapons Technician.
His brief sailing career saw him posted to HMCS Fraser where he also participated in two Naval Gun Runs prior to an Occupational Transfer to the Clearance Diver Trade.
In 1987, he completed the Clearance Diving course where he received his initial EOD training and was subsequently posted to Fleet Diving Unit Pacific, in Victoria British Columbia. While there, he took part in numerous IEDD calls as part of the bomb disposal unit for Victoria, BC under MOU with the RCMP. He completed the US NATO EOD Render Safe Course in 1995 in Air, land and water. He was relocated to CFB Borden in Barrie Ontario Canada, as an EOD/IEDD Instructor in 1999 and returned to FDU(P) in 2001as the EOD Section Chief.
During an 8 year tenure as the EOD Section Chief he successfully brought EOD/IEDD to the forefront of FDU(P) operations and developed an original training model that was utilized in assessing IEDD operators throughout the Canadian Armed Forces. He deployed once to the Gulf as an EOD/IED Operator/Technician in 2002 and to Afghanistan as a member of the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell (CEXC) under US operational control in 2006/07. He completed 112 post blast investigations during his tour in Afghanistan and was presented the US Army Commendation Medal for his part in Operation Enduring Freedom as well as a CDS Commendation for contributions in defeating a Terrorist Network while deployed. He was also nominated for the US Army Combat Action Badge.
Darrell took numerous additional training courses with the FBI, ATF, British Army, US Navy and RCMP, including Chem/Bio and LV Post Blast.
Promoted to Chief Petty Officer First Class in July of 2009 he became the Coxswain of Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific) for the remaining 6+ years of his career, where he stayed engaged in all facets of operations and training for Diving and EOD/IEDD. He developed a senior level IED course that will provide currency for non-down range operators and command personnel. He maintained his currency in IEDD operations throughout his career being invited to assess deploying personnel and newly trained operators.
On retirement Darrell attained an Executive Diploma in Forensics, as well as completing multiple other courses, that enabled him to successfully compete for an occupation as a Coroner in the British Columbia Coroner’s Service, a profession he has held from Sep 2018 to present.
Darrell’s 32 years in the military also included APEC Underwater Security in 1997, SwissAir 111 Recovery in 1998 and over 28 Human underwater recovery operations.
- Other recognized accomplishments while in the CAF are as follows:
- 1992 Chief Petty Officers Commendation
- 1997 JTF Command Commendation for APEC Support
- 1998 Maritime Command Commendation for Swiss Air 111 Recovery
- 2002 JTF Command Commendation for OP APOLLO Tour (EOD)
- 2005 Member of the Order of Military Merit
- 2008 CDS Commendation Op Athena (Afghanistan) (EOD)
- 2011 Commander-in Chief Unit Commendation for Op Medusa (Afghanistan)
Darrell has volunteered at the local community food bank for the last 6+ years. He was the IABTI Region VII Secretary for over a year before his appointment as IABTI Director of Region VII in Feb 2019.