The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Mar/Apr 2015


In memoriam: Jack W. Fisher

JW Fishers, the USA-based specialist in the design and manufacture of underwater search systems, reports that its president, Jack W. Fisher, passed away at home after a brief illness on 20 February 2015. He was 73 years old.


A spokesman said: “The business was started because Jack, an avid diver, needed an underwater metal detector to use on a salvage project in the mid-1960s. He discovered there was no such device available. Over the next several years he designed and constructed his own underwater metal detector. JW Fishers was formed and Jack began building and selling his detectors to other divers.”


Over the next 50 years the company developed into a significant enterprise by designing, manufacturing and marketing the most extensive line of underwater search equipment offered by any single manufacturer.


“Travelling the world for business and pleasure, Jack never tired of meeting new people and seeing old friends. He always said there was nothing better than being with family and friends. He will be missed by us all,” said the spokesman.


The spokesman added that over the past several years Jack Fisher had cut back on his own responsibilities in the company while grooming and developing others to take over in such an eventuality. Karen Fisher, his wife of 30 years, will assume the role of company president. His son, Brian Smith-Fisher, will take on the responsibilities of chief operating officer. Christopher Combs, who was previously sales manager and has been with the company for 43 years, will become general manager.


“There will be no interruption in regular business operations. JW Fishers will continue its commitment to producing quality underwater search equipment. We take great pride in the fact that our underwater search equipment is helping people at universities, commercial diving companies, law enforcement agencies and military units worldwide perform their jobs safer and more effectively,” the spokesman said.

Oceaneering to buy C&C Technologies

Houston, USA-based Oceaneering International is to acquire subsea survey and mapping services provider C&C Technologies, USA, for approximately US$230 million (GB£153 million) in cash. The transaction is expected to be completed in early April 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.


“We are truly excited about the combination of C&C and Oceaneering,” said Thomas Chance, chief executive officer of C&C Technologies. “The two companies are very complementary and synergistic. This will translate into stronger service lines for more clients worldwide. C&C and Oceaneering will certainly be a technical and operational powerhouse on a global basis.”



Oceaneering is a global oilfield provider of engineered services and products primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deepwater applications.


M. Kevin McEvoy, Oceaneering’s president and chief executive officer, said: “We are pleased to have entered into an agreement to acquire C&C, as we believe this transaction is a unique opportunity to strategically expand our service line capabilities and underwater service offerings. C&C’s services are used in all of the major phases of an offshore field life cycle, particularly in exploration and development, and are highly complementary with Oceaneering’s products, services, capabilities and areas of expertise.”


C&C Technologies will retain its name and continue to be based in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Thousands of new jobs expected

The oil and gas sector could create up to 39,000 new jobs in the UK over the course of the next two years according to new research from Bank of Scotland.


A survey of a broad cross section of 100 UK oil and gas companies, carried out for the bank's third annual report on the sector, suggests expectations of job creation have increased by 5000 since last year, when it was expected the sector would deliver 34,000 new jobs.


Confidence remains high among a majority (69%) of UK oil and gas executives about their growth prospects in 2015, however this is slightly down on the 77% who predicted growth last year.


Concerns around talent in the sector have also grown, with 38% naming a shortage of skills as the greatest challenge they'll face in the same period, up from one-third (33%) last year. The availability of skilled workers was the most challenging for engineering companies (87%) while just one in five (20%) in exploration and production felt it was an issue.


International expansion was a priority for 71% of those asked, up 5% on last year's results. Africa is the priority market for future investment with more than a fifth (21%) targeting growth there while North America 17% and the Middle East 18% also remained key areas for investment.

Teledyne Technologies acquires underwater imaging firm Bowtech

Teledyne Technologies, USA, has acquired Bowtech Products, UK, through a UK-based subsidiary. Based in Aberdeen, Bowtech designs and manufactures harsh underwater environment vision systems. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


“Bowtech fills a product gap in our broad portfolio of marine technologies, adding optical underwater cameras to our wide range of acoustic imaging and sonar solutions,” said Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Teledyne. “Furthermore, as an established provider of subsea cameras, Bowtech can help accelerate the development of new underwater imaging products based on other digital imaging technologies within Teledyne. We also believe that Teledyne can enhance the sales of Bowtech’s products, particularly within the US, given the global reach of our Teledyne marine group companies.”


Steve Bowring, managing director of Bowtech, said: “The shareholders of Bowtech are delighted with the news. This transaction should allow the company, now in its 26th year, and its skilled staff to grow Bowtech’s product portfolio and international sales.”


Bowtech will now operate under the new name of Teledyne Bowtech Ltd.

Boskalis DSV revamped

Boskalis Subsea Services of the Netherlands reports it has completed the drydocking of the DP2 DSV Constructor.


Along with a five-year special survey, other significant upgrades carried out on the vessel relate to the communication network, video recording and distribution, the installation of power outlets on deck (eliminating generators on deck), galley/mess room improvements and a new gangway, said the company.


The vessel has also been repainted in fresh Boskalis colours and Royal Boskalis logo.  


DSV Constructor has now returned to the Southern North Sea for the continuation of saturation diving services in the UK Sector for well intervention and decommissioning services, said Boskalis.  


The DSV’s fully integrated single bell SAT system is used with nine divers in saturation, working in three shifts of eight hours each with three divers in the bell per shift. The system allows for 12 divers in the system for rotation of the sat divers in order to exchange divers while the work is in progress. A surface supplied air diving system and a Panther XT Plus ROV system are also on board the vessel. 

New hires at BIRNS

California, USA-based BIRNS, a specialist in the design and manufacture of high performance lights, connectors, penetrators and custom cable assemblies, has announced the expansion of its sales and marketing force with the addition of Laura Powell as sales associate and Penny Nuntavong as sales and marketing associate.


Powell brings more than 25 years of sales expertise to her new role at BIRNS, having held management positions in telecommunications, manufacturing and retail. She served as consumer sales manager at Verizon Telecommunications, USA, where she oversaw customer service, sales and quality performance. She also held positions as customer service manager with Technicolor Optical Media Services, USA, and marketing/customer service manager with Mark IV Industries, USA. In her new role at BIRNS she will be working with existing customers in the company’s key industries, as well as providing business development support to identify new opportunities for growth.


Nuntavong has more than nine years of business sales and marketing experience and will be supporting sales efforts for the company’s global dealer network, in addition to handling a range of marketing responsibilities, including public relations, advertising and social media. Prior to joining BIRNS, she held marketing positions in manufacturing and technology, working closely with companies including BASF, USA, BF Goodrich, USA, Microsoft, USA, and Hewlett-Packard, USA. Her prior roles included serving as marketing project and events manager at Cal Net Technology Group, USA, and marketing coordinator at Chemtec Chemical Company, USA.

Namaka Subsea assists with IMCA membership

Aberdeen, UK-based consulting company Namaka Subsea reports it has assisted UK-headquartered Global Energy Group’s newly developed diving division Global Diving through the process of achieving membership as an International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) Offshore Diving Contractor.


Global Diving, which already provides diving services to clients around the world, can now deliver air and nitrox diving services to the offshore oil and gas industry within the UK and overseas. This brings Global Diving in line with the requirements of IMCA D014 International Code of Practice for Offshore Diving Operations.


Namaka Subsea said it had provided support to Global Diving throughout the development of the new division and subsequent award of IMCA Offshore Diving Contractor membership.



A spokesman said: “This included auditing the company Business Management System in support of diving operations and providing recommendations. The audit ensured that the company has the capacity and capability in terms of its systems and controls in place to carry out diving operations as per current industry best practice.


“Furthermore, to assist with the company’s equipment certification, planned maintenance and asset management, Global Diving purchased DiveCert which is software package developed by Namaka Subsea. DiveCert has been designed for the diving industry to ensure testing and maintenance of diving equipment can be carried out to comply with IMCA guidance and global diving standards.”


Global Diving’s offshore diving manager, Alan Melia, said: “To help Global Diving comply with IMCA requirements for tracking certification we purchased DiveCert and have successfully incorporated this into our system.


“In addition, Namaka Subsea also carried out an independent pre-IMCA audit on our processes which provided a gap analysis and ensured any recommendations were implemented prior to the IMCA membership audit. With this in place, Global Diving was in a more comfortable and confident position for the audit. The pre-audit report has also proved useful in presenting to blue chip clients and has helped client audits to be carried out more efficiently.”

James Fisher confirms NHC acquisition

James Fisher and Sons, UK, has announced the purchase of the Aberdeen, UK-based National Hyperbaric Centre (NHC). The NHC will become a division of JFD, which was formed by the merger of James Fisher Defence and Divex, UK, in 2014.


The NHC’s training centres in Aberdeen and Singapore join JFD’s training facility in Perth, Australia, in the provision of subsea training courses for commercial and defence divers.


David Smith, the NHC’s former owner and managing director, has stepped down and is supporting the transition process, as new general manager, Alan Green, joins the team in Aberdeen. All other employees have remained with the business.



Smith said: “Since the NHC’s establishment in 1987 we have built our reputation as a centre of excellence for hyperbaric support, testing and training. With promising growth prospects for the business and the backing of JFD, I am confident that our commitment to improve the standard of subsea safety worldwide will be upheld.”


Mike Howarth, managing director of JFD, added: “The NHC has a strong and established brand in hyperbaric testing, training and support which builds upon, and compliments, the range of services offered by JFD. I am pleased to welcome the team at the NHC to JFD and I look forward to our combined growth opportunities globally in the subsea sector.”

IMCA publishes new guidance on ROV intervention during diving ops

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) reports the publication of 'Remotely Operated Vehicle Intervention During Diving Operations' (IMCA D 054, IMCA R 020). The new publication provides guidelines for the safe and efficient offshore operation of ROVs in combined operations with divers in the same underwater space.


“The guidance is designed for use by both contractors and clients, and purposely avoids subjects of minority interest,” said IMCA’s technical director, Jane Bugler. “It contains guidelines and recommendations for the maintenance of a high level of safety and efficiency across the ROV sector. It does not, however, attempt to replace the need for contractors to maintain their own, ROV specific, comprehensive operations manuals and procedures.”


Bugler said the advice given in the guidance, which now replaces the earlier guidance in AODC 032 (first published in 1992 and revised in 1996), is intended to apply anywhere in the world, but it is recognised that some countries will have regulations that require different standards or practices to be followed. Where local or national regulations are more stringent than those in IMCA’s guidance document, they will always take precedence over any provision in IMCA D 054, she said.


She added: “This is a dynamic document and the advice given in it will change with the development of the industry. It is intended to review it on a regular basis and any necessary improvements made. We welcome suggested improvements and ask that they are emailed to”





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