The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Nov/Dec 2014


Association of Diving Contractors

Role of supervisor in subsea rescue recognised at AGM

The Association has just held its 20th annual general meeting, and as always it was a well-attended gathering. There were interesting discussions and agreement was made on plans for the year ahead which will continue to build on the progress of recent years.


For the first time, the Association has initiated the presentation of annual awards. Currently there are just two awards, one for Client Representative of the Year and another for Supervisor of the Year. Next year, however, the Supervisor award is being extended to cover the most outstanding contribution to the industry sector, a contractor or on a specific inland/inshore project – a description that should broaden the range of nominations in 2015.



There were two very worthy winners of the 2014 awards. Martin Berry and Jade Hundziak of United Utilities were presented with the Client Representative award for their contribution to the step change that has occurred in the revision of their company’s internal procedures and the awareness of United Utilities personnel involved in the conduct of inland/inshore diving operations carried out by the company.


For the Supervisor award, Colby Werret of DCN Diving was recognised for the cool and controlled approach that prevailed during the recovery of a Nigerian cook from a supply vessel that had sunk off West Africa. Whilst the DCN operation was primarily aimed at the recovery of bodies from the sunken vessel, when the cook was found alive a well thought-through plan managed to get him, in full surface supplied diving gear, from the air space where he was found through the water to the bell. In particular, it was the calm yet commanding and professional manner of Colby, as the supervisor, and the team of divers from DCN who turned what was a potentially challenging task into a very successful outcome. The award may be a little late in recognising the supervisor’s contribution, but better late than never. If you have not seen one of the videos available on YouTube that records the events, you should make the effort – the voice comms alone help you understand why Colby is the worthy winner of this award.


As this issue of UCi goes to print, the final stages of the changes to the diving ACoPs are being crossed and dotted by the HSE, and it is expected that the PDF files of the various ACoPs will be available on the HSE website on (or very soon after) 8 December 2014. I understand that a print run can be expected sometime early in the new year after some of the inevitable minor typograhpical errors are identified and corrected.


For all those working under the Diving at Work Regulations 1997, it should be noted that it is unlikely that there will be any introductory fanfare to herald the issue of the updated ACoP. Once they are available on the HSE website they effectively supersede the existing version and contractors are expected to adopt any elements set out in the updated ACoP.



As with all changes that occur to regulations and ACoPs, it will take a little time for everyone to properly understand the subtlety of some of the sections updated, partly as there has been some streamlining across all five of the ACoPs. But that said, ignorance is never a good defence in matters of health and safety; it remains your responsibility to get up to date before the regulator happens to descend. Please remember, fee for intervention costs apply when any material breach of current regulations occurs. Since ACoPs have special legal status under the regulations, failure to comply with them could result in charges being applicable.


Roger O’Kane





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