30 Years in the Diving industry in just one small book. These stories are real, involving real people and real places. The beginning like the ending describes the surreal world in which we make a living. Not one day is the same as the last; living on the sea brings daily, hourly, by the minute changers to the environment. Underwater commercial divers encounter constant change relying totally on the surface support teams.A Construction Barge has 290 people working onboard to support at times the one diver on the seabed, from the life support technicians down to the crane drivers, the riggers on deck and catering crew, not to mention the other divers standing by in case of an emergency.A DP Vessel has 70 people onboard, captain and the officers on the bridge keep the vessel in position for the divers to complete tasks. While the room boys clean the rooms and make up beds, the cooks are cooking 24 hours a day to feed the Diving and ROV teams who work 24/7, and the seamen keep the vessel in good shape, receiving food and stores for the men onboard.The company man who works for the oil company pushing every day for more production risking lives in pursuit of targets and goals. The Diving Superintendent planning operations as safely as possible, as safe as diving work can get when facing the constant war of attrition with the client, and even times with the bridge crew who are trying to keep the vessel and assets safe. The Divers a mixture of race and creed make up the two shifts running two twelve hour continuous operations subsea.The diving methods have not changed much over my 30 years in the industry, the technology has improved with things like underwater cameras and communications, but the basic principles and diving tables are pretty much the same.ROV (Remotely operated Vehicle) have come along the way and continue to develop. The positioning systems onboard the vessels have improved but still account for 70% of incidents with DP accidents, this combined with operator errors bring up the percentage of incidents.The diving industry goes through its cycles of ‘feast or famine’ when something like ‘Hurricane Katrina’ happened the need for divers went through the roof, same as the money paid to the divers. Then the price of oil and gas drops and so does the day rate for divers, research and development within the industry stops along with all developments as the oil majors turn to leaner times.Health and safety costs money, it’s a multibillion dollar industry around the world, just maybe if half of that money was channeled into research and development on safer diving equipment we would see better results than the corporate use of slogans like “Respect” or collaboration”.Diving and ROV work has a future be it in oil and gas or renewable energy as the planet is covered with 1.386 billion km³ of water. It is a great job with never a dull moment, like I said every day brings surprises, joy and disappointments, but it’s our world and we love what we do.Hope you enjoy the stories and I hope you learn from our experiences.
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