The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
UK-based subsea training facility The Underwater Centre is preparing for changes to the prerequisite requirements for experienced commercial air divers which will come in to play in April 2016.
At the moment, candidates looking to take part in the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) or ADAS (Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme) closed bell diving courses need to have a minimum of 50 logged dives totalling at least 50 hours. This will increase to 100 logged dives totalling at least 100 hours – doubling the required dives a commercial air diver must have.
The decision to change the prerequisites has come from industry agreement, from the IDRCF (International Diving Regulators and Certifiers Forum) and with input from IMCA (International Marine Contractors Association).
Industry agreed to make this change because of feedback that air divers training to become saturation or mixed gas divers sometimes lacked enough diving experience.
Alf Leadbitter, dive training authority at The Underwater Centre, who has been training commercial air and mixed gas divers for more than 30 years, and contributed to the working group set up by the IDRCF, believes the changes are a positive move.
“These changes to the prerequisites are welcomed by us as a commercial diving training provider. The more experience commercial divers have in industry before furthering their careers the better it will be for the divers and the industry in general,” he said.
He added: “The changes are being implemented in just a few months and this gives those wishing to train under the existing requirements a small window in which to sign up and complete the course, after which they will have to undertake significantly more logged dives.”
During the recent state visit to Britain by China’s president, Xi Jinping, UK-based MTCS (UK) Ltd was on location in Shenzen, China, delivering a High Voltage training course to personnel from China’s offshore engineering construction company COOEC.
UK ministers were expecting £30 billion of trade and investment deals to be struck during the President’s visit, with the Treasury hoping that within ten years China will be Britain’s second biggest trading partner.
With this in mind, Richard Warburton, managing director of MTCS, said: “We are delighted to be working with COOEC personnel to ensure they are certified in high voltage safety to meet the requirements of the global market. The intensive training and assessment programme took place in Shenzen in the workshop facilities of COOEC using a SMD (UK) Quantum work-class ROV system. The candidates completed an assessment of knowledge and practical skills, which required them to demonstrate a full electrical isolation on the ROV system in accordance with industry guidelines.
“Delivering remotely operated vehicle training courses in China is an exciting new market for us. We look forward to a continued excellent working relationship with COOEC.”
Xiao Gang, ROV Department training manager, COOEC Subsea Technology, said: “We were very impressed with the MTCS High Voltage training course. We look forward to working with MTCS in the future.”
EuroROV, the Spanish ROV training and engineering company, has taken delivery of a Mojave vehicle from UK-based Forum Sub-Atlantic for its newly-launched ROV pilot training facility.
The electric ROV, which was manufactured by Sub-Atlantic’s US-based parent company Forum, is one of the most powerful observation vehicles of its size. Its compact, ergonomic design and lightweight construction allows rapid set up and deployment using any domestic power supply, according to Sub-Atlantic.
Sebastian Ruggirello, co-founder of the training school, said: “The Mojave is a perfectly balanced small vehicle which is well suited to the training requirements of the students. It is powerful and highly responsive, giving the students an excellent grounding in vehicle control. The subCAN control and diagnostics system is an industry standard and familiarity with its operation is of great benefit to the pilot trainees when securing employment.”
Forum Sub-Atlantic’s global product director, Ryan Lumsden, said: “To employ our Mojave vehicle for training purposes is a huge endorsement of its next generation subsea capabilities, and builds on the strong relationship that Sub-Atlantic and Forum have established with EuroROV.
“Electric ROVs have moved on significantly from the days when they were basically flying cameras. Now, they carry out a multitude of tasks due to major advancements particularly in the assortment of manipulators, tooling and sensors they can be fitted out with.”