The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
KB Associates (KBA), Singapore, reports that the first batch of 12 experienced divers from PT Advanced Offshore Services (PT AOS), Indonesia, have successfully completed their Surface Supplied Diver Assessment at the TOTAL Indonesie (TEPI) offshore site installation in Balikpapan, Borneo.
The assessment was carried out in accordance with the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) document ‘Competency Assessment of Experienced Surface Supplied Divers’.
“The diver assessment was part of PT AOS’s and TEPI’s commitment to bring the competence level of local divers to IMCA’s international standards,” said a spokesman. “With the support of TEPI, PT AOS aims to raise the standard of its divers and other staff through various initiatives and training. PT AOS has since arranged various diving competency courses, such as IMCA Diver Medic, IMCA Trainee Air Diving Supervisor and KMB DSI Helmet Technician, for its personnel.”
KBA is the only company approved by IMCA outside the UK to conduct the experienced diver assessment programme. The assessment requires the divers to complete a theory review and exam and a range of practical assessments while using an IMCA compliant surface supplied air diving system and support equipment.
KBA’s assessor, Michael Whelan, commented: “The divers showed that their experience over the years has given them a good foundation and the assessment went really well. During the assessment the divers were able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge while reinforcing the safety standards required in areas such as conducting emergency drills.”
Discussions are in place for the second batch of PT AOS divers to undertake the assessment.
The National Hyperbaric Centre, UK, (NHC) reports it has developed an Introduction to Subsea Isolations Course alongside a major oil and gas operator in response to concerns about the lack of training in the high-risk area of underwater isolations.
A spokesman for NHC said: “During 2013, NHC conducted a study into diver safety, looking particularly at reports of diving incidents regarding unplanned pressure releases and subsequent injuries during projects. NHC managing director David Smith presented a successful paper highlighting statistics and details of past injuries and incidents which many feel, with better knowledge, could have been prevented.
“It is hoped the course will provide all personnel involved in the planning and delivery of subsea projects with the knowledge and ability to help minimise risks; enhancing diver safety when working near potential sources of stored energy.”
Staff and associates of the company who work directly in the field were invited to attend four trial courses at the NHC where their feedback helped shape the course content and schedule.
“NHC is confident that the course provides project members, including diving supervisors, subsea engineers and diving technical authorities, with a relevant and effective learning experience and is now accepting bookings for upcoming courses,” said the spokesman.
Speciality Welds, UK, reports that the Norwegian Commercial Diving School (NYD) has successfully completed its instructor/administrator training allowing it to deliver the Weldcraft-Pro underwater welding course.
Speciality Welds, a specialist welding training and certification provider, is the only company to offer a fully certified, independently accredited underwater welding programme worldwide, according to the firm.
The Weldcraft-Pro training programme is an 80-hour training syllabus that follows the European Welding Federation (EWF) guidelines for underwater fillet-welder on plate.
“The course is certified through EAL, which is part of SEMTA (Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies), and is UK’s leading awarding-body for engineering qualifications,” said Speciality Welds. “This certification provides independent, quality assured, audited controls, thus making it the only externally awarded wet welding training programme to issue internationally recognised/verified qualifications anywhere in the world.”
The course is offered to commercial diving schools, following approval of their instructors and administrators, under a licence agreement, where Speciality Welds provides all the learning materials, exams, audit controls and delivery mechanisms to deliver and control training.
“Training is open to both non-welders and welders alike and provides for the essential skills foundation training for a commercial diver, to ensure they meet industry demands now and in the future,” Speciality Welds said.
The International Marine Contractors Association’s (IMCA) ‘Diving Equipment Systems Inspection Guidance Note (DESIGN) for Saturation (Bell) Diving Systems’ (IMCA D 024) has been revised and updated to incorporate equipment improvements and changed operating practices since its first publication in 2001 as well as expanding the sections for the hyperbaric rescue unit, its launch system and its interfaces with the saturation diving system.
“There is also a new section for the life support package,” said IMCA’s technical director, Jane Bugler. “The format has also been changed slightly to improve ease of use and provide better referencing.”
Ashtead Technology, UK, has launched “a first-of-its-kind subsea training academy” in Aberdeen, Scotland. The company said it has invested almost GB£500,000 in the academy, which will “meet global demand for improved competency in the configuration, operation and maintenance of increasingly sophisticated equipment required in more complex subsea oil and gas projects in deeper waters and hostile locations around the world”.
In a pilot scheme prior to launch, the Ashtead Technology Academy has already delivered several courses to a number of leading subsea companies, including a three-day acoustics course and a one-day introduction to offshore survey equipment course. The courses, for support engineers and new recruits from the subsea construction sector, have achieved tangible results and excellent customer feedback, according to Ashtead Technology.
Donald Campbell, senior survey support engineer at Subsea 7, added: “We have been pleased to support Ashtead Technology in the development of this ground-breaking training academy. Our delegates have been more than satisfied with the professionalism and knowledge of the training team. Also the level of training delivered has met our needs and that of our staff comfortably.”
Tim Sheehan, commercial director of Ashtead Technology, said: “As the subsea industry continues to grow and leading-edge technology evolves to deliver systems to meet more complex challenges in deeper waters, subsea survey, construction and maintenance companies must have the skills and competency to ensure these systems are properly configured, operated and maintained. Ashtead is well positioned and resourced to fill the gap in the market for high quality training that will meet the skills and competences required.”
The courses available at the purpose-built training facilities will cover the basics and the more complex functioning of offshore survey equipment, acoustic positioning and motion sensing systems, hydrographic and geophysical survey equipment, cable and pipe detection and tracking systems and ROV sensors and multiplexors. In addition to regular standard courses, Ashtead Technology said it is able to design tailor-made courses to meet specific needs of individual customers.
Neil Gordon, chief executive Subsea UK, welcomed the investment in the academy. He said: “This will make a significant contribution to our industry. The UK has long been regarded as the centre of excellence for the subsea sector and people are a key part of that success. The Ashtead Technology Academy will have a truly international reach and I am confident that it will further bolster our industry’s capabilities leading to a highly competent workforce which remains the global standard.”