NEWS

Thursday, April 10, 2014
Reservoir Inspections: A Job for Skilled Divers
Staff

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
Staff

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
Staff

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
Staff

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
Staff

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
Staff

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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Spectacular Underwater City in China Draws Adventurous Divers
Staff

underwater cityAn ancient Chinese city that was intentionally flooded so that a new hydroelectric power station could be built has now become a popular diving destination for tourists, according to the Huffington Post UK.

The underwater city of Shi Cheng, nicknamed the Lion City because it was surrounded by the region’s Five Lion Mountain in the Zhejiang province, was submerged and its residents relocated back in 1959 when the Chinese government erected a dam, according to the Daily Star. Over time, the dam caused the area to slowly fill with water. The man-made lake that covers the city has since been named Qiandao Lake.

How Deep Is the Underwater City?

underwater cityThe city sits between 85 and 131 feet underwater, the article explains.

After so many years under water, the city’s structures are remarkably preserved.

Trend Toward Underwater Attractions

A trend seems to be emerging for countries around the world to encourage diving tourism. For example, Baja California in Mexico is intentionally sinking a decommissioned battleship to be part of an underwater park. Elsewhere, underwater sculpture galleries have gone up along the coast of Mexico, Grenada and the Bahamas.

Beyond this, underwater hotels have popped up in countries around the world as well. It turns out people don’t just want to work underwater, but they want to play there as well.

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.

(Photos via the Huffington Post UK)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Commercial Divers Help Remove Shipwrecks from Protected Coral Reef
Staff

Commercial Divers Help Remove Shipwrecks from Protected Coral ReefThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enlisted the help of Seattle-based Global Diving & Salvage to remove three shipwrecks that were causing ongoing harm to a beautiful coral reef system in the North Pacific. On Jan. 29, after a year of planning and hard work by commercial divers and other marine salvage professionals, the work was finally completed and the wreckage towed away.

The wreckage was the result of three ships sinking in the past 15 years in the Pacific Remote Islands National Wildlife Refuge, causing extensive damage to the previously pristine Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll, according to National Geographic. This large reef system is located approximately halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa in a stretch of ocean designated an unincorporated territory of the U.S.

How Much Did the Shipwreck Removal Cost?

commercial diversThe complex conservation project cost $5.5 million and involved removing nearly one million pounds of shipwreck, National Geographic explained.

Global Diving & Salvage collaborated with Curtin Maritime, a California-based marine salvage and towing company, as well as multiple federal agencies and The Nature Conservancy in the shipwreck removal effort.

Length and Scope of the Project

Planning and design of the specialized equipment needed for the project began in early 2013, with the two marine salvage companies mobilizing in September 2014 for the lengthy trip from the mainland to Honolulu and then onward to the reef system. Once work commenced, it took 79 days from November 2013 to January 2014 to finish the job, the USFWS reported.

Commercial divers used a 40×20-foot floating barge as a work platform. As an example of the type of work that was done, five divers spent a whopping 880 hours slicing up one of the ships with tools that included exothermic torches, burning rods, underwater chainsaws and jackhammers, the USFWS noted. Divers were also tasked with removing fuel from the three vessels.

Why Were the Shipwrecks So Harmful?

commercial diversAside from causing physical damage to the reef at the time of each shipwreck, the constant presence of the three shipwrecks caused a condition called “black reef” in the reef system where iron from the ships is absorbed by the surrounding ocean water.

This added iron attracts invasive species that are harmful to the reef. By removing the shipwrecks, this harmful iron source was removed for good and the reef now has a better chance of achieving the balance it needs to survive and thrive.

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.

(Photos via USFWS in order of appearance by Amanda Pollock, Susan White, and Jim Maragos)

Monday, February 10, 2014
Underwater Park in Mexico to Feature Sunken Battleship
Staff

underwater parkIn Mexico, plans are underway to open an underwater park off the coast of Baja California to attract divers from around the world, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Rosarito Underwater Park, which will be known in Mexico as Parque Submarino Rosarito, is slated to open this year and will feature an eye-catching artificial reef and a sunken battleship donated by the Mexican Navy — not to mention all the dazzling marine wildlife already present.

The Battleship

The battleship, named Uribe 121, is a decommissioned patrol boat that was originally based in Manzanillo but was slated to be towed to Baja’s Port of Ensenada over the weekend, the article explained. The ship will be cleaned to prevent environmental damage and modified in a way that makes it more accessible to divers.

For example, lighting will be added to improve visibility inside the ship. Also, doors will be removed and entry points added to allow divers to easily slip in and explore. Once the ship has been prepped for diving tourism, it will eventually be sunk to the bottom of the sea to become the underwater park’s big draw.

Other Plans for the Park

The park’s planners hope to eventually add more old ships and even sculptures to the underwater park to create more points of interest. However, the project’s planners still need about $527,000 (or 7 million pesos) to pay for the work involved in sinking the first ship and for an environmental impact study, the article noted.

Organizers hope the park will draw 100,000 visitors a year and provide a substantial boost to local tourism, including increased local hotel stays and restaurant visits.

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 San Diego Red)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Amazing Exosuit Could Help with Deep Sea Work
Staff

ExosuitA fascinating new diving suit could make it possible for diving professionals to do deep sea work at surface pressure with surprising dexterity, according to Wired.

The Exosuit, developed by Nuytco Research Ltd, is extremely high-tech with thrusters to provide propulsion and an optional hook hand that divers can use as a tool, the article explained.

At $600,000, the Exosuit doesn’t come cheap, but it certainly has enough bells and whistles to justify the price. For starters, it allows divers to reach depths of 1,000 feet without the need for a stay in the decompression chamber.

What Are Some of the Suit’s Features?

ExosuitThe Exosuit’s oxygen systems are able to supply a diver with up to 50 hours of air due to a sophisticated recirculation system, the article noted. Divers wearing the suit control its four thrusters, which are installed in the feet of the suit and deliver 1.6 horsepower each. An upgraded version of the suit can provide up to eight thrusters for jobs that require more power.

The 18 rotary joints in the arms and legs of suit provide the diver with unprecedented flexibility as they work underwater, allowing the diver to bend and twist to get jobs done. The suit’s accessories include claws and grippers of various sizes, a hook and even a saw, which could greatly increase what a diver is capable of accomplishing underwater. Even the suit’s mask is an improvement over other diving suits, incorporating a dome that improves a diver’s ability to see what’s below them without having to bend and twist.

As if this weren’t enough, the suit’s technology also helps look out for the diver’s safety. A fiber-optic cable connection allows those at the surface to monitor and control the suit if the diver were to lose consciousness or some other emergency took place.

How Has the Suit Been Used?

So far the Exosuit has been used by divers making repairs to water supply pipes in New York City, the article reported. The suits are slated to be used soon by divers making oil pipeline inspections off Dubai.

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.

(Photos via www.nuytco.com)