Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Exploring the ever-changing world of Commercial diving...

The area of diving where divers are paid to take the plunge is certainly an intriguing  one. Since the industry's conception, Commercial diving has seen rapid expansion in several directions, and is now a powerful tool at the forefront of a diversity of other industries. Huge civil engineering projects such as bridges and dams, and the oil and gas industry rely heavily on Commercial divers working around the clock to keep everything (and all of us!) ticking over nicely. How did this industry become such an integral part of our everyday lives? Let's take a closer look...

The origins of diving can be traced back to the bronze age, when having a decent-sized pair of lungs would be your best bet! Too quick a progression, really, from inventing the wheel to the rebreather...

It appears that this new-fangled concept caught on, and the emerging sport saw a variety of input in the millennia that followed, with figureheads like Leonardo da Vinci credited with designing early diving equipment. Dr Halley's 17th Century invention of the pressurised diving bell and helmet was a great step towards the Commercial diving we know today, taking his bold new invention down to a daring 60 metres. Handy this equipment was invented when it was, really, being integral components for Commercial divers working in the oil and gas industry, which exploded in prominence through the 20th Century.

Cut to recent times, and Commercial diving has enjoyed increased popularity. As mentioned, the industry has expanded and entered many markets, bringing with it innovative new hardware, often rendering the diver invisible underneath it all!

Divemaster Commercial hard at work... no, it's not being worn by a cyborg.

I suppose if you're a sport diver anyway, why not get paid for doing what you love? Obviously training is required, however there are many organisations that have extensive resources and specialist knowledge to ensure those willing can get there.

The Underwater Centre, based in Fort William, Scotland, and Tasmania, Australia, is just one of Northern Diver's Commercial clients who we have been supplying for a number of years now, including drysuits and hot water suits. They provide Commercial diving training, both air and mixed gas, inshore and offshore, which enables their students to enter employment in many scenarios around the world. 

What of the future of Commercial diving? The powerful oil and gas industry, which the Underwater Centre is involved in, foresees a seemingly bright future. 'The industry is now in a positive, opportunity rich place with confidence about it's future role in energy supply' says Stacey Horne of Oil and Gas Connect. Alf Leadbitter, Diver Training Authority at The Underwater Centre, adds 'the oil and gas industry is cyclical, but the operators appear to be investing heavily in new boats and equipment, which is very positive and encouraging...the next few years are looking pretty good all round.' 

Good times ahead... no chance of this Divemaster drysuit being shelved.
With a bright future on the horizon for such an influential aspect of Commercial diving, along with the steady recovery of the economy, the next few years should see the industry turn yet another interesting corner. Want to get in on the discussion on Commercial diving? Visit www.under-water.co.uk or www.oilandgasconnect.co.uk for a great selection of topical articles. To find out more about the Under Water Centre, visit www.theunderwatercentre.com.

Images courtesy of The Underwater Centre.