What is Commercial Diving ?
We’ve all heard the phrase somewhere some time in the past “commercial diver” but what is it exactly?
I had the pleasure of having coffee and chatting about commercial diving as a whole and what it is like to be a commercial diver with Kylen, a buddy of mine who is a commercial diver here in Singapore.
Many seem to think that commercial diving is equal to tech diving.
That is incorrect. Certain forms of commercial diving do go to great depths underwater but not all of the commercial divers out there perform such a task.
Most commercial divers fall into the inshore or Offshore diving category where by the work tools and air are surface supplied through from their masks which are full faced/headed and have a maximum depth of 80m.
Beyond that of inshore or Offshore divers there are saturation divers where divers head down into underwater habitats which allow for them to work at much deeper depths and heading back into the underwater habitat to do their intervals. Saturation divers generally stay underwater for weeks or up till a month.
Recreational divers have SSI, SDI, TDI and other schools to learn diving at. It is different for a commercial diver as the list becomes shorter depending on where they will be working at. The different institutions in the UK (Health Safety Environment and International Marine Contractors Association), the US (Association of Diving Contractors International), and Australia (Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme) may certify a commercial diver differently. This is because there are various schools of thought and methods in different regions around the world in teaching to certify a commercial diver.
These commercial divers go beyond the basic diver training that most divers go through. Commercial divers need to learn about diving medicine to become certified compression chamber operators. Moreover, commercial divers need to be certified as Dive Medic Technicians by going through an entire course similar to that of combat medics to keep them well trained for any unforeseen circumstances that might occur.
Commercial divers main task is ship husbandry which is maintaining, cleaning, upkeeping the hull, rigging, and equipment of a ship. These include things such as scraping barnacles off the hull or rudder of the ship to sealing up and fixing slight damages on the hull caused by long voyages.
Apart from ship husbandry, commercial divers will lay cables, do welding work for piping and valves that are laid underwater or work in an oil rig platform. They are also involved in bridge and foundation constructions.
I was astounded at the amount of work a commercial diver does. There is more to commercial diving than what we think there is. It goes beyond cleaning of hulls and ship husbandry as it barely scratches the surface of what commercial diving entails. I used to think that commercial diving is similar to technical diving but I stand corrected.
I hope that this short article gives you an insight on what commercial diving is about and a sneak peak into the commercial version of what we do for fun — recreational diving!
Until next time,
Breathe different, live free