NEWS

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
DIT Student Rescues Seattle Police Captain And Wife
Divers Institute of Technology

DJ Campbell is a U.S. Navy veteran and commercial diving student at DIT. On June 12th, he was driving down I-90 on his way to see his father when he spotted flames in the rear-view mirror. The pickup truck behind him was on fire.DJ Campbell Truck Fire Hero

Acting quickly, DJ weaved across traffic and used his flashers to warn the driver of the pickup that something was wrong. The driver, Seattle Police captain David Emerick, used the emergency brake to stop the burning truck, and Emerick and his wife Sally escaped through the windows.

DJ helped steer the burning truck off the road and even attempted to use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. Emerick shouted to him that everyone was safe and he should get clear. A minute later, the truck’s gas tank exploded.

After the fire was out, DJ even offered to drive the Emericks all the way back to Seattle.

Captain Emerick, impressed by DJ’s actions, is now trying to recruit him to join the Seattle P.D. Harbor Patrol.

Read the full story, as picked up by local Q13 FOX News.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
$1.3M in Gold Recovered from SS Central America Shipwreck
Divers Institute of Technology

SS Central America Shipwreck

In mid-April, ocean explorers recovered nearly 1,000 ounces of gold worth approximately $1.3 million from a historic shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the Maritime Executive. A sophisticated ROV was used to investigate the shipwreck of the SS Central America, which is located 160 miles off the South Carolina coast and sits 7,500 feet deep, the article explained.

The gold was brought to the surface by Odyssey Marine Exploration, a deep-ocean exploration company based in Tampa, Fla. The company confirmed that the shipwreck site had been undisturbed by treasure hunters since 1991, not long after the shipwreck and its horde of gold was discovered in 1988.

How Much Gold Had Already Been Recovered from the Shipwreck?

Between 1988 and 1991, more than $40 million in gold was recovered by a team led by Ohio engineer Tommy Thompson. However, that initial gold recovery effort came to a standstill in the midst of lawsuits involving who owned the rights to the gold and investors demanding their share in the treasure. Only 5% of the shipwreck was reportedly investigated at that time.

This past March, however, Odyssey won the rights to go to the shipwreck. Odyssey now has an exclusive contract to run the archaeological excavation of the shipwreck and recover any remaining cargo of value, according to an Odyssey press release.

What Kind of Gold Was Recovered?

Five gold ingots and two $20 Double Eagle coins (an 1857 coin minted in San Francisco and an 1850 coin minted in Philadelphia) were in the most recent gold haul, the press release noted. The average collector price for the Double Eagle coins alone is about $5,000 each, the Maritime Executive reported.

How Did The Ship Sink?

The SS Central America sank in September 1857 after getting caught in a hurricane. The 280-foot sidewheel steamship operated during the California Gold Rush era, carting gold on the Atlantic leg of the Panama Route between New York and San Francisco. All in all, the ship made 43 round trips between New York and Panama before it sank while carrying 21 tons of gold, including gold ingots, gold coins and raw gold, not to mention any personal wealth of the ship’s passengers.

Historians note that the loss of so much gold caused the American public at the time to lose confidence in the economy, which contributed to the Panic of 1857, the press release noted. The ship’s sinking reportedly led to one of the largest documented cargoes of gold to be lost at sea and the worst peacetime disaster at sea in American history. The story of the SS Central America shipwreck inspired the best-selling book Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea by Gary Kinder.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

(Image from Maritime-Executive.com via Reuters)

Thursday, May 1, 2014
Historic Shipwreck Near San Francisco Tells Tale of Heroism
Divers Institute of Technology
historic shipwreck

Location of the City of Chester shipwreck / Photo credit: Robert V. Schwemmer, NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries

NOAA recently identified a 19th-century shipwreck near the Golden Gate Bridge as the passenger steamship City of Chester, according to the Maritime-Executive. A future waterfront exhibit will tell the tragic tale of the shipwreck, which claimed the lives of 16 of the ship’s 90 passengers, the article explained.

How Did The Ship Sink?

historic shipwreck

SS City of Chester / Photo credit: San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park K01.2.571PL

The 202-foot-long City of Chester sank back in August of 1888 after another steamer called the Oceanic accidentally crashed into it on a particularly foggy morning, the article explained. The steamship had only just set sail from San Francisco when the collision occurred with the Oceanic, which was just arriving from Asia.

The City of Chester reportedly stayed above water only six minutes before it sank to its final resting place. While no plans are in place to raise the historic shipwreck, many wish to share the history of the ship to honor both the memory of the lives lost and the heroism of those who rescued passengers from the sinking ship.

A Forgotten Shipwreck & A Tale Of Heroism

While the location of the shipwreck was known to NOAA’s predecessor agency 125 years ago and veteran salvage divers, it faded from memory over the years and was lost to time. The shipwreck was only recently re-discovered via NOAA sonar surveys last May and its identity confirmed as the City of Chester this year.

Research into the shipwreck offered a glimpse of San Francisco’s early Chinese-American community and racial tensions at that time in history, the article noted. While news reports at the time originally cast blame at the Chinese crew of the Oceanic for the tragedy, that contempt eventually turned to acclaim. Eventually, it came to light that the Oceanic crew bravely worked to rescue many passengers on board the City of Chester and their heroism was commended, the article explained.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
U.S. Navy to Help with South Korean Ferry Salvage
Divers Institute of Technology
South Korean Ferry Salvage

USNS Safeguard (Photo by MC3 Sean Furey / US Navy via DefenseNews.com)

The U.S. Navy is offering its assistance with the salvage of a ferry that capsized April 16 off the coast of South Korea with 476 people on board.

The salvage and rescue ship USNS Safeguard is lending the use of its anchors, wires, ropes, salvage buoys and towing gear at the wreckage site, according to Military.com. In addition, the U.S. Navy sent a master diver and salvage engineer to the site of the disaster, the article noted. The master diver is on board an amphibious ship called the Dokdo, a South Korean navy vessel.

Details on the South Korean Ferry Salvage

The ferry disaster last week has so far caused 113 confirmed deaths, and more than 190 passengers are still missing, the BBC reported. The majority of the ferry’s passengers were children and teachers on a school trip. Military divers with the South Korean Coast Guard as well as civilian volunteer divers have been working steadily since last week to recover the bodies of those lost in the tragedy.

Divers were slated to continue their recovery efforts another two days, after which the victims’ families agreed that the salvage operation should begin, the BBC noted. By April 18, three giant floating cranes had already arrived at the wreckage site to lift part of the ferry out of the water, according to CNN.

The USNS Safeguard

The USNS Safeguard is a 255-foot ship designed to help ships that are damaged in combat and has lifting, towing and diving operations capabilities, according to Defense News. Another American ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard, was already participating in rescue operations.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Reservoir Inspections: A Job for Skilled Divers
Divers Institute of Technology

reservoir inspectionsUnderwater inspections are an important sector of the commercial diving industry. Routine inspections of municipal water reservoirs play a role in ensuring city drinking water will be available for many years to come.

In California, divers employed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) are tasked with inspecting and cleaning the 10 water reservoirs in the city limits, according to SFGate.

What’s Entailed in Reservoir Inspections?

These inspection divers carefully search the bottom of city water reservoirs for cracks or structural problems that would not be visible from the surface and keep a keen eye out for anything else that looks out of place. Divers also spend a number of months vacuuming out the thin layer of sediment that settles over time at the bottom of each reservoir. While some cities have systems that filter out this sediment, SFPUC determined it was more cost-efficient to have divers do it by hand, the article explained.

Why Send Divers?

Divers are tasked with the job because it would be impractical to drain each reservoir for a dry inspection—not to mention all the water that would be wasted. San Francisco’s water reservoirs haven’t been fully drained for inspection and cleaning since the 1930s, when crews would empty each reservoir to be cleaned with fire hoses and squeegees, the article noted.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

(Photo by Beck Diefenbach, Special To The Chronicle via SFGate.com)

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Army Sergeant Makes a Splash Re-Enlisting Underwater
Divers Institute of Technology

A soldier re-enlisting in the U.S. Army isn’t typically a big event garnering media coverage. Sure, a re-enlistment ceremony takes place to make the experience meaningful, but usually it doesn’t amount to much fanfare and can even be a solemn occasion. Recently, however, one soldier decided to make a splash by re-enlisting underwater, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

On April 2, Sgt. Jason Baringhaus re-enlisted for the third time in the U.S. Army completely underwater in scuba gear. According to his video interview, the underwater ceremony marked his third re-enlistment. His first two re-enlistments were memorable for other reasons — his first was on top of the famous crossed swords in Baghdad and his second was above Signal Mountain at Fort Sill. But he wanted his third, and possibly last, re-enlistment to stand out.

Why an Underwater Reenlistment?

Baringhaus got the idea to re-enlist underwater while enrolled at Chattahoochee Scuba in Georgia where he is training to conduct underwater criminal investigations through the VA. His training so far has included open water, public safety diving and search and rescue.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

Monday, March 24, 2014
Divers Helped in Aftermath of La Conner Marina Fire
Divers Institute of Technology

La Conner Marina FireCommercial divers are occasionally called upon to do high-profile work around the world, such as the salvage of the Costa Concordia cruise liner off the coast of Italy or the salvage of the container ship Rena in reefs off the coast of New Zealand. Every now and then, however, commercial diving work here in Washington garners news coverage.

Last month, diving and salvage crews mobilized to remove sunken boats and clean up a fuel spill resulting from a marina fire in La Conner, Wash., according to KOMO News. Seven boats were destroyed and many others damaged in the fire, which caused six of those seven boats to sink, the article explained. All in all, the La Conner marina fire on Feb. 21 caused an estimated $1 million in damage.

Why Was the Marina Fire So Costly?

The fire happened at Shelter Bay Marina, which serves a private, master planned community on the Swinomish Channel. Most of the destroyed and damaged boats were high-value pleasure craft, including one 50-foot yacht worth about $300,000 by itself, KOMO News reported.

Who Helped with the Incident?

Fire fighters with Skagit County Fire District 13 helped put out the blaze and crews with the Coast Guard and the Washington State Department of Ecology responded to help with the fuel spill containment. The Coast Guard hired Seattle-based Global Diving & Salvage to help recover the fuel spill.

Anacortes-based Culbertson Marine used a crane to lift the first boats out of the water the day after the fire with help from Northwest Diving and Marine Services, the Seattle Times reported. After the boats were removed, they were transferred by barge to Anacortes for inspection to help determine the cause of the fire. The Swinomish Police Department and the Skagit County Fire Department were jointly investigating the cause of the marina fire, according to Q13 Fox.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

(Photo via KOMO News)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Diving Team to Search for Unexploded Ordnance off Kuwait
Divers Institute of Technology

Divers_divers search for unexploded ordnanceFinding unexploded bombs underwater and safely disposing of them might seem nerve-wracking to many, but it’s all in a day’s work for certain commercial divers.

A team of surface-supplied divers from Sterling Global Operations will soon be searching out and removing any unexploded ordnance from a shipwreck site off the coast off Kuwait near Bubiyan Island, according to MarineLink.com. Unexploded ordnance includes any type of explosive weapons, such as bombs and sea mines, which did not explode when they were first employed and still pose a risk of detonation.

This project will also involve the removal and salvage of the Amuriyah, an 82,000-ton Iraqi oil tanker that sunk back in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm, the article explained. The whole project, from the initial survey to the raising and floating of the wreckage, should be completed in 12 to 18 months.

What Is Surface-Supplied Diving?

Surface-supplied diving means the divers breathe underwater using a diver’s umbilical connected to a support vessel on the surface. This differs from traditional scuba diving where divers carry their equipment with them without a link to the surface.

Why Is This Project Important?

The removal of any potential mines in and around the Amuriyah wreckage is needed because they are located inside the site of a future mooring point for oil export shipments. The new mooring point will be added to Iraq’s Al Basrah Oil Terminal, where a whopping 97% of the country’s crude oil is shipped. The sunken oil tanker is currently blocking construction of this new mooring point.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? Commercial divers do a wide variety of undersea work including marine salvage and ship repair as well as welding, laying foundation and inspecting pipes for oil companies. The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

(Photo via Sterling Global Operations)

Monday, March 10, 2014
Commercial Divers Help Repair Ship’s Propellers off Singapore
Divers Institute of Technology

Divers Help Repair Ship’s Propeller off SingaporeCommercial diving is an international career that can literally take you around the world. The recent work of a team of divers and technicians to repair the propellers on a 300-meter container ship off the coast of Singapore attests to this.

The team of divers and technicians who performed the work were employed by Hydrex, a Belgium-based underwater ship repair and maintenance company with offices in the U.S., Spain, India, and Gabon.

What Did the Job Entail?

The Hydrex diving and technician team was tasked with straightening six damaged propeller blades. The team used an in-house method that allowed them to do their work in-water so that the container vessel would not need to drydock and could continue its operations at sea, according to Subsea World News.

After conducting a thorough survey of the ship, the team discovered the propellers were so severely bent that they could not be straightened, only cropped, Hydrex reported. The ship was trimmed to bring the propeller blades above water, and a scaffolding was installed around the propeller, which let the team work on the ship dry.

The team used specialized cutting equipment to precisely modify and crop the propeller blades so that the ship could travel at greatly improved efficiency, the article explained. Finally, each blade was polished to further minimize inefficiency. All in all, the operation helped increase the container ship’s RPM up to 93 and allow it to travel at 21 knots, where previously it could only achieve 53 RPM and only 14 knots, Hydrex announced.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? Commercial divers do a wide variety of undersea work including marine salvage and ship repair as well as welding, laying foundation and inspecting pipes for oil companies. The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.

(Photo via Subsea World News)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Google Underwater Street View Lets You Explore the Depths
Divers Institute of Technology

underwater street viewEver wanted to dive in breathtaking locales like Bermuda, Hawaii or the Galapagos Islands?

Street View in Google Maps features an Oceans section that makes it possible to see panoramic views of stunning underwater hotspots as well as famous shipwrecks from your computer or mobile device.

Google recently added several new locations to its collection, according to TechCrunch. You can now explore crystal clear, 360-degree views around Monaco, Cancun and Isla Mujeres from the comfort of your home.

Other new additions in Street View’s Oceans include the Santa Rosa Wall off Cozumel, Sian Ka’an (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and an impressive shot of whale sharks at Isla Contoy off Mexico.

Who Is Gathering Those Panoramic Photos?

underwater street viewTo gather the eye-catching images needed for this project, Google partnered with Catlin Seaview Survey, a group dedicated to recording the condition of the world’s coral reefs in high-resolution, panoramic shots. Catlin Seaview Survey started capturing these visual records back in September 2012 with the Great Barrier Reef and makes their data available to the public in the Catlin Global Reef Record.

To take these pictures, divers use special underwater cameras and take between 3,000 and 4,000 images per dive on their expeditions, TechCrunch explained. Each day, the diving team made three dives that lasted about an hour each while working on this project. Google hopes to increase the number of underwater Street View images available over the next few years.

Consider a Career in Commercial Diving

Ever considered a career in commercial diving? The Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months! For more information about commercial diving programs call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.