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BEV MORGAN REMINISCES SURVEY MARKETPLACE HAMMERHEAD WELDING SYSTEM Official Journal of the Association of Diving Contractors International and Underwater Interventionå


The Official Publication of The Association of Diving Contractors International, Inc.

January•February•2009 Volume XXI, Number I

Publisher: William H. Doyle, III Executive Editorial Committee: Bill Crowley, Phil Newsum, Rebecca Roberts, Managing Editor: Daron Jones Director of Advertising: Jo Anne Hudson Business Manager: William H. Doyle, Jr.

UnderWater Magazine (ISSN 10726098) is published bi-monthly by Doyle Publishing Company, Inc., 607 Mason #2, Tomball, TX 77375, 281-516-0350, on behalf of the Association of Diving Contractors International, Inc., 5206 FM 1960 West, Suite 202, Houston, TX 77069. Periodical postage paid at Tomball, TX, and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to UnderWater Magazine, 607 Mason #2, Tomball, TX 77375. Entire contents ©2009, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, without written permission of Doyle Publishing Company, Inc., is prohibited. The publisher and the Association of Diving Contractors International accept no responsibility for content of any advertisements solicited and/or printed herein, including any liability arising out of any claims for infringement of any intellectual property rights, patents, trademarks, trade dress and/or copyrights; nor any liability for the text, misrepresentations, false or misleading statements, illustrations, such being the sole responsibility of the advertisers. All advertisers agree to defend, indemnify and hold the publisher and ADCI harmless from all claims or suits regarding any advertisements. Due to printing and ink variances, the publisher does not guarantee exact color matching. Opinions expressed by writers are not necessarily those of the publisher or the ADCI. Readers’ views are solicited. Publisher reserves the right to publish, in whole or in part, letters received. Publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.

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The Official Journal of the Association of Diving Contractors International and Underwater Intervention 2009

Vol. XXI, Number I

January•February•2009 12

12 28

What’s it Worth?

Commercial diving legend Bev Morgan reminisces about a particularly hairy job in his early days.

COMMERCIAL DIVING EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE Shell Shocked Ocean Eye, Inc’s Chris Gabel takes on fiberglass hats.


32 53

Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple

David Keats, of Speciality Welds, outlines the Hammerhead, which they are billing as a no-skill, zero-visibility welding system.

ANNUAL ROV PICTORIAL UW salutes the leaders in the remotely-operated vehicles game.


77 95

THE MARKETPLACE Market Survey UW rounds up the leading subsea survey equipment manufacturers to discover the latest ways to peek beneath the waves.

Offshore Industry Notebook

10 ADCI Board of Directors 11 A Letter from ADCI’s President Bill Crowley 46 A Letter from the Executive Director Phil Newsum 48 ADCI News & Notes 98 New Gear 99 Advertiser Index 100 UW Currents 106 The Last Word Scott Naughton, Cal Dive International

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2009 RoV PICtoRIAL



On The Cover An SMD Quantum ROV leads the way in our Annual ROV Pictorial.

Advertising Deadline: March 20, 2009 Email: Marketplace - Umbilicals & Connectors Pictorial - Survey Data Case Studies - Oil & Gas Support Projects


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Official Journal of the Association of Diving Contractors International and Underwater Interventionå •

Board of Directors

Mike Brown Epic Companies 1st Vice President General Member BOD Gulf Coast Chapter

Bill Crowley Cal Dive International ADCI President General Member BOD

Robbie Mistretta Divers Supply Assoc. Mem. BOD Executive Committee

Tim Beaver Global Diving & Slvg. Gen. Mem. BOD Executive Committee

Claudio Castro STS Chilean Chapter Executive Committee

Phil Newsum ADCI Executive Director Executive Committee

Mike Willis Global Industries Gen. Mem. BOD

William Castle WJ Castle & Assoc. Gen. Mem. BOD

Bryan Nicholls US Underwater Svcs Gen. Mem. BOD

Bruce Trader Madcon Gen. Mem. BOD

David Reser Infrastructure Eng. Gen. Mem. BOD

Jay Crofton Crofton Diving Gen. Mem. BOD

Steve Sanfilippo Integra Assoc. Mem. BOD

Connie Morgan KMDSI Assoc. Mem. BOD

Gary Maines Broco Assoc. Mem. BOD

Tom Eason Eason Diving East Coast Chapter

Luis Giampietri Lufesa Divers Latin Am. Chapter

Richard Riley, Jr. Marion Hill Assoc. Midwest Chapter

Tom Ulrich American Marine Western Chapter

Doug Truxillo Onebane Law Firm Legal Advisor

Randy Davis Borneo Subsea Asia Pacific Chapter


Craig Fortenbery Mainstream C.D. 2nd Vice President General Member BOD •

January•February 2009

A Message from the ADCI



nce upon a time in the winter of the year I was fully enjoying the age of 23 , I managed to go home for the weekend after a few weeks of construction diving in Pennsylvania. My mother (yes I was living at home then) got a call from my employer asking if I could call him ASAP, as an emergency job had come up. My sister was tasked with locating me at 10 pm on a Friday night in a small town in Central Massachusetts. I was, of course, in the local library studying advanced hydraulics, comparative anatomy and practicing the art of sinking the low balls as efficiently as possible. After a couple of cups of coffee I was able to communicate intelligently enough to call my employer to get details and driving instructions. This was an emergency repair alright, a power plant cooling water intake filter “traveling screen” had suffered a mechanical breakdown. After a briefing, we agreed to meet the crew at the equipment staging area and drive to the work site in the company van. So we hit the road for the Finger Lake area of upstate New York. Three of us are on-site, setting up the equipment in the pump house just before dawn. I jump in the water to start the UW burning and removal of the bent and faulty components. The depth is 20 feet. The intake pumps are still running but I am in a safe area, protected from the current of flow by the intake design and I am positioned inside the screen assembly working between the bottom sprockets and shaft assembly. One guy goes off in search of some coffee, while my tender sends me some tools and adjusts my umbilical slack. I am wearing a basic model DESCO (Jack Brown) mask (love those things). Communication is poor but I am used to it. My tender whistles in the radio, explaining the need to leave the area for a biological function. I respond with an appropriate grunt. The tender (I think he was an exdrummer from Alice Cooper, no kidding) ties off my umbilical (poorly) and goes off in search of the relief area. I am not aware the third man is not on the dive station. I am also busy working away in the area nearest the flow when I feel a pull, a forceful pull, catching me off-balance and right out of the screen assembly. The worst part is I am moving in the direction of the large water pump. There is not much to hold onto inside a concrete intake. This one was shaped like a horizontal rectangular horn; large at the entrance and transgressing smaller until you reach the pump. There is nothing but a short distance between the pump volute and me as I slowly slide along the concrete floor. Somehow, I hug the bottom, feeling for some kind of handhold. I find a seam with enough lip for my fingers to hold me stationary. I see my umbilical moving ever so slowly in the current and slide my right foot on top of it to stop it from moving into the pump. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, yes, I was yelling for the tender to grab my umbilical the whole time! Finally, I heard, “What’s up man?” Whew, talk about being saved from the meat grinder! As my umbilical was pulled back to the dive station, I hung on with a death grip, focused on that concrete seam until I climbed back into the screen area and relative safety. So, let me ask a few simple questions: Who was at fault here? I think everyone involved was guilty of one or more levels of ignorance and stupidity. Is it okay to dive in live intakes? I think not. Is it okay to tie off the diver’s umbilical and leave the dive station completely unattended? You already know the answer to that. I was very lucky to have survived that experience. It certainly made me a safer, more focused diver from that point on. Of course, I still did stupid things – we all do. But please, if this isn’t another clear reason to always think before you jump in, then what is? Don’t learn the hard way. Simple rules to follow: What am I doing? Is this safe? What can happen? What can I do to prevent that from happening? This experience happened to me almost 40 years and hundreds of lessons learned ago. Looking at the advancements in equipment, but more importantly in operational procedures, why would something like this happen today? See you at UI 2009!

–Bill Crowley

January•February 2009 •


What’s it Worth? By Bev Morgan

Rain comes on the gusting wind and slams against the windows. The seas are building and the ocean is wild tonight. It is not a good night to be at sea and, fortunately, I am not. I am sitting in a warm, comfortable house at the sea side, on firm land and sheltered from the storm. It is from this safe haven that I recall a stormy night many years ago when I was at sea and risked it all on a diving job that became very scary because I underestimated the power of the seas. I think I’ll just boot up the computer, pour myself a good slug of whiskey, and have at it...


had just returned from Hawaii, where I had been living and surfing on the North Shore of Oahu. Riding 20-footplus waves for a few months had put me in great physical shape. I skippered a 60-foot racing sailboat back to California and we had gone through a battering storm with hurricane strength winds and huge waves without any serious mishap. I was very confident with my abilities in the ocean. In fact, I was overconfident. That can kill you. There comes a point when the winds and seas are beyond anything you have seen before. Then, the operation of ships, boats, and diving enter a state where nothing is normal and each decision can mean life or death. I sometimes wonder at surviving that time in my youth when it seemed to me that nearly anything was possible. With the right planning I thought I could always get the diving job at hand done without undo danger to the crew or myself. Most of the time that was the case. But then it would not make a good story to describe the normal diving job which was pretty much the same then as now: mostly routine, sometimes interesting. The Call Out It started with a call out to a floating rig off Santa Barbara, California back in the 1960s. I was working with Associated Divers, which was mainly Pete Brumis and Ted Benton at the time. Associated had the diving support contract for a floater which was doing exploratory drilling in 240 feet (73m) of water near San Miguel Island. The rig was a converted ship with a moon pool in the center under the drill tower. It was leased to ARCO, a petroleum company now gone, absorbed into the labyrinth of merging oil firms that now work offshore. Back then “heavy gear” (standard dress) equipment was used on most underwater petroleum work on the West Coast. A complete spread of Associated diving equipment was in place on the vessel. The call out only required the dive crew to assemble at the heliport for the flight out. In California, the divers could be recognized at the helicopter by their polished cowboy boots, slacks and golf shirts. Their tenders would follow close behind carrying the diver’s well-used Yokohama heavy gear dresses rolled up and tied with 9-thread. Associated tenders wore the company coveralls. At Associated, most of the tenders had broken out as divers but worked at tending to be in line for rotational selection as divers. It was late afternoon by the time I pulled up and parked my old truck in the lot next to the runway. A helicopter was sitting on January•February 2009

(Above) Bev Morgan holding a Kirby Morgan Standard Hat. “I sometimes wonder at surviving that time in my youth when it seemed to me that nearly anything was possible.” (Opposite) Bev with his board on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. •


What’s it Worth? the tarmac warming up. I could see Sandy, one of the regular pilots, was at the controls. Pete Brumis was already aboard, along with Ramsey Parks. A little wind and light rain was starting as Ted Benton and his brother Bob pulled up and parked. Ted, Bob, and I joined Pete and Ramsey on the chopper. We strapped in and gave Sandy the thumbs up. To The Rig The engine revved up and the blades started turning. Sandy lifted us off and headed offshore. The rainfall was increasing, but visibility was still good. The shoreline faded away as we headed out to sea. The flight took about half an hour. The sun was still out as we approached the rig, but we could see the approaching line of clouds that was bringing rain. On approach, I noticed that Sandy slowed to a hover, observing the flight deck carefully, watching the heave of the ship. The wind was still light, but the waves were very


large, causing the landing deck to heave some 10 to 15 feet up and down. But Sandy was a very experienced pilot. He centered the chopper over the deck and let the ship come up to meet our landing floats. On contact he quickly changed the blades to keep us hard on the deck as the up-heave changed into a drop. Sandy gave us the “go” and we scrambled out. Pete was last out. He slammed the door and we ran for the stairs as Sandy wasted no time in lifting off and clearing the rig for his return trip to the beach. The rain was starting and the wind gusts were blowing it across the deck. We met with the ARCO men and the vessel skipper on the bridge and were brought up to date on the drilling. It turned out to be a dry hole and they wanted to get off. The authorities (there was a State Lands inspector aboard) required ARCO to clear any obstructions to a certain level below mud line. It was decided •

Sandy, one of the regular pilots, was at the controls for what turned out to be quite a helicopter ride to the rig. And that was just the beginning...

January•February 2009

What’s it Worth? to blow the base plate structure some 15 feet below the mud line and retrieve it. In those days explosives were used in removals. The vessel’s skipper told us the weather was worsening and sometime in the next 24 hours the full strength of a strong storm was going to hit us. If possible he wanted to pull off without leaving anything on the bottom to avoid an expensive return to just clean up a dry hole. Then, as now, rig time was very expensive and any time saved was important. “Okay, let’s hit it!,” Pete said. Setting Up The Gear We half-ran to the area near the moon pool where we had the diving gear stored. Pete would make the first dive, with Ted Bev set up the Associated Divers diving station before the ARCO dive.

as standby. Bob Benton and Ramsey Parks would be tending and I was on the gas box. We all pitched in to unpack the two big metal dumpsters with the heavy gear helmets, umbilicals, hook-up hoses and all the things needed to run a dive. I next ran the high-pressure whips to the six packs of mixed gas from the gas box. The gas box was the control center for regulating gas supply and pressure to the divers’ gas hats. The compressor was fired up and the inner lock of the two lock chamber was pressured up. Then I placed two fresh Sodasorb canisters in the helmets which scrubbed the CO2 out of the recirculated Helium Oxygen mix. I checked the helmet ports, made sure they were clean, and rubbed a film of Joy soap on them for anti-fog. The umbilicals were flaked out on deck in figure eights next to the moon pool and connected to the gas box. I finished up the odd bits of setting up the diving station, pressured-up everything, and checked for leaks. Pete and Ted started dressing in, assisted by their tenders. Ramsey was helping Pete and Bob was tending his brother Ted. Dressing In The dressing in was practically a ritual. The divers changed out of their clothes in the locker room. For gas diving the divers 16 •

January•February 2009

Associated Divers’ Ted Benton and Arco’s Rix Kimberly.


wore three sets of wools to stay warm. They put on rubber slippers to keep the woolen socks clean from the deck and proceeded to sit on the dressing stools next to the dive station. Their tenders positioned the diving suits (called dresses) so the diver could remove one rubber slipper and place foot and leg into the dress, then the other. Next, the diver stood up. The tender pulled the dress up from behind while the diver pulled it up from the front. Then the tender held a can of water for the diver to wet his hands. Then the tender squirted a small amount of liquid soap on the diver’s wet hands. The diver rubbed his hands and wrists with the soap and water while the tender pulled up one shoulder of the dress. The diver reached into the sleeve on that side of the suit and his hand, slippery with the soap and water, slipped through the sealing cuff, then the other side. The tender supplied a small towel for the diver to dry his hands. The breastplate went on the diver next, and care was taken not to bump the diver’s head or nose with it. Then the tender pulled the rear of the dress up onto the studs of the breastplate. The diver put the front of the dress over the studs where he could reach. The bib of the dress was adjusted inside the breastplate. Usually the diver sat down at this point. Then the brails were placed on the studs of the breastplate with shims under the four points where the brails come together. The wing nuts were spun on and tightened with a special wrench. A dropped wing nut would cost the tender a round of drinks when next on the beach. Chaffing pants went on next, with ropes that went over •

January•February 2009

What’s it Worth? encountered a problem and wanted to go on gas. On deep air dives we used recirculators to reduce the CO2 in the hat during the dive. Reduced CO2 somehow reduced the nitrogen narcosis and extended the depth we could dive on air in heavy gear. We had learned this and in those days it was one of the closely held secrets of deep air diving. Pete then dropped to the bottom and placed the package into the open centermost casing at 15 feet below the mud line and tied it off. He then came to his first decompression stop. The decompression time was short and he was soon on deck. The blaster man did his job. A short “whap!” on the hull told us the charge went off. The base plate had four air tugger down wires to it. A check of the wires told the crew that the blast had separated the base plate from the conductors and it was on the way to the surface.

the breastplate. These were made very tight and served as a jock-down for the breastplate. Then, loose fitting rubber short-toped over-boots, special rigged with quarter-inch lace-up ties, were knotted onto his feet. Five-pound ankle weights were belted in place next. The standby diver was finished dressing in at this point and had his stool placed next to the phones. During the dive he usually ran the communicator. Explosives Package The blaster man showed up and signaled the ships’ crew to shut down all unnecessary electrical activity and secure all wireless transmitting systems. He then finished wiring the package of explosives and stood by to hand it off to the diver. The detonator wire would be strung out from the package to the surface. After it was placed and the diver came out of the water onto the deck, the wire would be connected to a detonator box. Pete had the weights put on, and then the helmet was locked in place. I gave him a phones check. He took the explosive package, made sure the wire to it had slack, and jumped into the moon pool next to one of the down wires and dropped to about 30 feet (9m). After one more phones check he dropped to 130 feet (40m).

January•February 2009

Associated Divers’ Pete Brumis.

Usually this was the depth where we switched to gas. But Pete wanted to do this dive on air since it was simple and air had a shorter decompression time. We had hooked up the gas system in the event he •

A LITTLE PROBLEM I noticed the motion of the water in the moon pool was increasing and becoming more violent. The waves were increasing in size with the confused seas. Wind was now blowing off the wave tops. The rain was very heavy and was blowing across the decks with the sea spray. I was glad the dive was done. We started packing up the dive gear.


What’s it Worth? aboard. It was about the same job as Pete had just done. Only there was a little problem. The storm was raging on and the skipper of the anchor boat (another boat that tended the ships anchors) did not think it safe in those sea conditions to move the anchors so the ship could be over the anchor pile for the dive. In fact, the anchor piling was the only thing holding the ship where it now was. Needless to say, by now it was about midnight – the black of night. That seems to be the time when most things go sideways for divers on drill ships. We did not have enough hose for a heavy gear diver to reach the anchor pile, even if the diver could find it. At this point

all eyes were on me: “Think you could set the charge with scuba gear?” Ramsey Parks and I were the only scuba divers on board. We had the scuba equipment aboard for quick wheel jobs and such. We even had experience at the 250-footplus depths. But look at the conditions! A scuba diver could jump off the bow of the ship with the charge and follow the chain down to the anchor, set the charge, and get to the surface (slowing the last 30 feet up for a short, half-assed decompression), and be picked up by the supply boat, which was standing by. The skipper of the supply boat would be holding station down swell and down wind, looking for the diver’s light. Once he saw

Associated Divers’ Bob Benton helps put the hat on Pete Brumis.

The ARCO men appeared and started talking with Ted and Pete. I could tell from their serious faces that something was not going right. They motioned me over and filled me in. Because of the heavy swells on this location they had drilled in an anchor pile to help keep the ship on the hole. That anchor pile was some distance out in front of the ship. It needed to be removed to 12 feet below the mud line to make the State Lands people happy. All they needed was a diver to place a charge in the open top of the anchor pile, tie it off at the right depth, and come back

The ARCO men explain the little...uh, problem to Pete Brumis. January•February 2009 •


What’s it Worth? the other hand, in my foolish overconfidence, I thought I could do it. “Well, how about a new Chevy pickup truck?” I blurted out, thinking everyone would get a laugh. Suit Up! The ARCO men were not laughing. They looked at each other and back to me, “Suit up!” The boss man said. Oh shit, I thought to myself, I was now committed to doing the deed. At that point, my concern changed to planning. I ran through the “What ifs” while putting on my wetsuit, while Ramsey checked the air pressure in the big set of doubles. What if the explosive package went off? Oh Ramsey Parks ran the gas box that day for Associated Divers. Pete Brumis is in gear, and Ted Barton was standby diver. well, I wouldn’t feel it. What if both my lights went out, the boat the light he would slip sideways to be in the would never find me. path of the diver. Cargo net would be over What if, what if, what if? the sides for the diver to climb aboard. As it turned out, the biggest threats were Sounded simple. not on my “What If” list. I could not foresee Of course if there was anything wrong – them. such as a rope in the wheel, diver’s light not When I finished with the wetsuit I put working, diver not sighted, worsening seas, on the weight belt and gathered up my or something unknown, something not fins, flashlights, and a few other things that thought of – then the diver was on his own might come in handy. Ramsey attached some miles from land. Survival was next to the two-hose regulator to the tanks and we impossible if everything did not go right. started for the bow of the ship. This was before buoyancy compensators so the tanks What’s It Worth? had a harness, J valve (reserve air) and “Too dangerous.” I said. nothing more on them. He pulled on a rain “Look, we can just drop the chain, but slicker over his pants and jacket. then we have to come back and remove the He carried the tanks as we threaded pile and chain later,” The ARCO man said. our way forward on interior passageways, “That’s going to cost us several hundreds followed by a few of the curious crew and, of thousands of dollars, plus State Lands of course, the blaster man with his package will give us a fine for pulling off and leaving and his assistant with a large coil of wire. something on the bottom, even for a short They were wearing yellow slickers to help time.” ward off the rain. He put it right to me. “Can it be done?” The closer we came to the bow the more I said, “Yes, but only at very high risk.” we felt the heave and plunge of the ship. “Can you do it?” One of the crew undogged the hatch to “Yes.” the outside deck and held it open for us. I “Will you do it?” stepped out into the storm, followed by the “No.” “I’ve got to get it done. What’s it worth?” rest. The deck forward was raising with a I thought about it. Yeah, I can do it. thunderous roar as each wave crashed into What’s it worth for me to do it? the bow and lifted it, followed by a plunge At this point dollars are just dollars and into the following trough. Rain and spray no amount of them is worth my life. On 22 •

was blowing horizontally, stinging my face. I held onto the lifelines and moved to the bow. I tested my lights and pulled on my fins. I continued to hold the lifeline one hand at a time. Ramsey held the double tanks up. First I placed one hand and arm, then the other hand and arm through the tank harness and then felt the full weight of the doubles. Ramsey fastened the waist strap. I pulled on the mask. GO! Ramsey looked me over, then gave me the double slap on the shoulder that meant, “Go.” I eased over the lifelines and held on, ready to jump. I was handed the package and made sure the wire was looped outboard with enough slack for my plunge. Then I watched the rhythm of the waves. I jumped into the upper face of a wave, plunging some 10 feet deep under the water from the jump, then quickly rolled and swam deeper and angled toward the anchor chain. At about 30 or 40 feet deep I could see the chain some 20 feet away. It was raising and falling on each wave with the bow of the ship.

Ramsey Parks looked Bev over and gave him the double tap on the shoulder that meant, “Go!”

I started down pulling the package wire. Surprisingly there was little current and hardly any resistance pulling the wire. The motion caused by the surface storm was hardly noticeable. That is with the exception of the anchor chain that was rising and falling vertically some 20 or so feet at a time. The Anchor Chain Each link in the chain was about four feet long. It was not something I wanted January•February 2009

What’s it Worth? Bev Morgan did the deed in scuba gear. “I caught my breath. Then I started shaking with the after-effects of the rush.”

to get very close to. At about 60 or 70 feet in depth, the chain started to angle into the loop forward to the anchor pile. It had not dawned on me that this section of the anchor chain would not be riding straight up and down like the first 50 feet from the surface. I had been down ships’ anchor chains before, but usually in calm or moderate seas. The movement in the loop section of chain on those occasions was some three or four feet at the most. As I swam deeper into the loop, the chain was violently moving up and down many, many feet, disappearing up and disappearing down. The chain was now looped forward, almost horizontal, aimed slightly down, but moving vertically at a very high 24

speed with each wave that hit the bow of the ship. If it hit me there was no doubt it would crush me. It disappeared overhead, then came down very close to me. I almost lost my mask in the swirling water that the chain set in motion. I swam away from the loop and down, going as fast as I could. I reached the bottom and caught my breath. The Bottom The bottom was white sand. While the storm raged at the surface, it was tranquil on the bottom with no motion of the water. My lips were numb and my thinking was not very clear. Narcosis. I concentrated on finding the anchor •

chain and pile. I glanced at my depth guage on my wrist. It read 245 feet (74m). The bottom time clock was running. How could I judge which direction to swim? Then I thought: by looking behind me at the wire I was pulling from the ship I could judge the direction I should go to find the chain. I checked it and then swam forward and to the left. Sure enough I came across the chain where I thought it should be and followed it to the pile. I dropped the package into the open end of the pile and tied the wire off at the correct depth for the inside blast off. Coming Up Having no wish to be near the anchor chain or ship when I surfaced, I started January•February 2009

January•February 2009 •


What’s it Worth? straight up from the anchor pile. That should place me forward of the ship. I slowed at 30 feet and eased up to the surface, estimating the decompression I needed with the very short bottom time. The surface was wild, with the big swells and wind. I kept my mouthpiece in and breathed from my tanks amid the turmoil breaking waves and spray. There was nothing to see but black night. I rotated and then realized I was in a trough between waves where I could not see anything. I knew I had to be upwind from the ship. Just after the crest of the next wave broke over me I looked downwind. I could see the drill ship and, to its port, my pickup boat. The Pickup Boat I started swimming toward the bow of the pickup boat. I knew that I had to be very close to get aboard. The bow was coming out of the water and pounding down as each wave passed. It looked impossible to get close enough and avoid being crushed under the plunging boat. I had told the skipper I would board on the port side (the side away from the ship) to keep from being crushed between the vessels if something went wrong. The wind and spray continued to howl by me. The seas pushed me along and I was soon coming close to the boat. The skipper was holding the bow into the seas, but the boat was rolling heavily. He later told me that he spotted my hand light and was trying to hold station for the pick up. Tires lined the sides of the boat to act as bumpers. As the boat rolled, the tires would raise high out of the water, then come crashing down. The cargo net they had rigged for me was hanging over the tires, but I had not thought about the danger of swimming for the net and being caught under the tires on a roll. Getting aboard The big twin tanks were now a burden that slowed my swimming and would surely make it too hard to hold onto the net. Not only that, I was moving slowly through the water with the bulk. I made a decision that probably saved my life. I released the waist and shoulder straps then swam away from the tanks. Next I dropped the weight belt. Breathing now was difficult, but I managed by turning my head away from the wind between breaking waves for a quick gulp of air, then holding my breath and swimming into position to grab the net. I dropped the light that then hung on a short lanyard to my wrist. Without the tanks and weight belt I could move through 26

the water much better. The wetsuit had been cold on the bottom where the pressure had compressed the insulating bubbles, but now it provided enough insulation to keep me warm. I felt no cold that would have robbed my strength and the adrenalin was pumping. Still, I knew the first pass at the net might be the only one I would get. I swam close to the side of the bow, just outside the reach of the tires. Then I was alongside the wheel house where the net started.

As Bev dove in the horrible storm, the crew were wearing slickers to ward off the rain.

The face of a big wave started lifting me high up above the deck and the boat rolled my way. The wheel house, rolling my way, seemed just some 10 or so feet away. I was on the same level as the windows of the house. I could see the skipper with the instrument lights shining up on his face looking at me through the side windows of the wheel house. It was one of those moments that one’s mind captures. I can still recall the look on his bottom-lit face as he looked at me just a few feet away. Sheer terror. The brief moment passed as I was sucked up the wave. I just said f*** it, pumped my fins, and took off as the wave broke on me. The boat had bottomed on its roll and was just starting up. It was like surfing in the shorebreak at Makaha Beach. I body surfed over the tires and onto the deck just aft of the house. The net was on the deck also. I grabbed onto it and held •

on as the water rushed across the deck and over the other side. Grabbing a quick breath I started to get up, but saw that the next wave was about to hit. I wrapped my arms into the net and held on. The wave hit me so hard I thought I would lose my hold, but somehow I kept my grip. I don’t think I could have held through another wave. This was worse than a two wave hold down at Makaha. The skipper had seen me wash aboard and turned the boat to have the waves hit the other side. I looked up and saw the change. I let go and ran for the house, my old short fins just flopping along with the run. A crewman helped me into the cabin. Just Another Job I caught my breath. Then I started shaking with after-effects of the rush. Some of the crew looked at me like I was the creature from the Black Lagoon. If I were a deck crewman on a boat out in the middle of storm and some kid body surfed off a big wave onto the deck after setting a package of explosives on the bottom in 240 feet of water, I guess I would be staring too. I stopped the shaking and, acting like it was just another job, told them to radio the ship to blow the pile. There was no need for me to spoil the moment for them by saying I was about as scared as I had ever been and would never do such a hair-brained dive again. There was no chance for me to transfer back to the drill rig in the high seas and wind. One of the crew got me a set of coveralls and I changed out of my wetsuit. I heard the “wack!” of the package going off. The radio came on and let us know the pile parted and was off the bottom. Both of the vessels took off downwind to the shelter of a harbor. A NEW CHEVY A couple of days later I had my choice of trucks at the local Chevy dealer. I guess ARCO was happy with the job. Years later I ran across the ARCO boss man and he told me that ARCO would have been happy to pay me 10 times the cost of the truck for saving them the rig time and money that I did. Was it worth it? Sure. Would I do it again? NO! Well, the whiskey has run its course and I’m tired. Must be time for bed. But then, I do remember another hairy dive I made in the Cook Inlet, Alaska... I’ll save it for another time. UW Bev Morgan is a true diving pioneer, on both the operations and equipment sides. He co-founded Kirby Morgan and is an ADCI Commercial Diving Hall of Famer. Visit January•February 2009


Shell Shocked!

Fiberglass. It’s used in everything for Corvettes to boat hulls. It simply permeates our society. And for the commercial diving industry, it is never more prevalent than in diving helmets. Ocean Eye, Inc.’s Chris Gabel takes the mystery out of caring for fiberglass helmets. Photos by Gabel and Dive Lab’s Michael S. Ward.


n the beginning, most commercial hats started with copper and brass. Modern demand helmets from such manufacturers as Kirby Morgan Dive Systems are predominantly fiberglass. In the spirit of full disclosure, some of the more recent shells do contain some different materials, such as carbon fiber for reinforcement in key areas (such as on the newer SL 17B). For the sake of this discussion, I’m going to generalize a bit so as to not get overly complicated or confusing. Stainless steel is becoming increasingly popular, but the vast majority of working hats use a fiberglass shell with a gel coat overlay. There are also bronze, copper, and brass hats in service, but those are for another article. I’ve seen a fivegallon bucket with a faceplate, harness, and a couple of fittings used as a dive helmet (not suggested in the least). But for now, lets stick with fiberglass.

These pics show heavily damaged Kirby Morgan SL 27 hats.

DURABILITY & MAINTENANCE The thought behind fiberglass is to create a structure that is durable, long-lasting, and lightweight. Fiberglass fit those criteria. The gel coat is required to make it 28 •

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waterproof and provide a reinforcement outer layer shell. Otherwise you have a very wet hat. Gel coat is available in a myriad of different colors. These days, it’s practically like buying a car. No longer are the days of settling for simply yellow, red, or black. Now you can order colors like burgundy and charcoal. Personally, I’m waiting for choices like sunfire yellow and majestic orange with the optional racing stripe. Or perhaps even the Boss 302 model. Sorry, I digress. One of the responsibilities with owning and diving these hats is to make sure that the fiberglass shells are properly maintained and repaired when necessary. Pushing these hats beyond their design and maintenance limitations is both dangerous and not the smartest idea. This is especially true on older hats. For instance, the Kirby Morgan SL 17B has been available for many years. Over time, the older shells can, and usually will, show some stress cracking especially around the inserts. This isn’t a design flaw, just age. I want to see a Corvette that’s been around for over 15 years that doesn’t show some stress cracking from age and use. These cracks may not even be visible until you remove parts such as the port retainer assembly. They can also appear from

January•February 2009

Beware rusty inserts.

abuse. Dropping the hat on deck doesn’t equate to good care. In large part, the reason for the cracking in ears of the SL17B is due to divers dressing themselves and having the neck clamp misaligned when camming. Another instance, cracks can radiate out from the inserts that are con- •

stantly under tension for the port retainer screws holding the clear bits in place (Okay, the faceplate or the thingy you’re supposed to be looking out of). Over time, the fight between the screws trying to go one way and the retainers keeping them in place is going to show wear.


These inserts need to be checked at least annually to check for any cracking and insert issues. If an insert is bad, then it needs to be replaced. Cracking needs to be addressed with the appropriate measures which include having a trained, qualified technician grind the crack, reinforce it with the proper material, then seal it in gel coat.

(Above) A gouged-out gel coat. (Below) A filler job. Get your work done by professionals.

USE YOUR EYES Another point to note is the visible shell itself. I’m referring to the areas that you can see without removing any of the installed components. I don’t know what kind of diving you do, but most of my time in the water has been spent not seeing a (fill in your favorite adjective here) thing. I have spent a lot of time banging in to something first before even having a clue it’s there. Your hands can only feel so many places at once. Why did I mention this? Is it to say I’m a klutz? Perhaps so, but my point is that the shells take a lot of abuse. I’ve seen several that have started life with a color and have shown up on my table with a lot of white showing – the white being visible fiberglass. Once a shell shows exposed fiberglass, you need to take it out of service until the appropriate repair can be made. The longer that you put it off, the more damage the shell is going to sustain and the more unnecessary danger the diver is going to be exposed to. Exposing non-gel coated fiberglass is not a good idea in any circumstance. The longer you expose non-gel coated fiberglass, the more expensive and extensive the repair is going to be. USE YOUR EARS Yes, ears. I’m not talking about the noise-receiving devises on the side of our head, but about the lower assemblies that are prevalent on the SL 17B. I call attention to these hats because of the damage I have seen by people improperly camming the neck clamp yoke assembly. Not having everything set just right with the neck clamp and camming it in place can easily cause the ears undue stress and crack or break one or more of the ears off.

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The other instance of abuse is usually in the form of dropping the hat on one of the ears from a height of more than an inch. They were designed to keep water out with the inclusion of the neck clamp neck seal. They weren’t supposed to take the impact of Ronnie Lott throwing his 49ers helmet in the end zone. Just a side note, spiking your dive gear is never a good idea. That’s why Ronnie was playing strong safety in the NFL rather than diving in the Gulf (Okay, maybe the money was a factor as well). Those ears can be repaired or even reformed, bringing them back to factory spec. Again, if the ear is damaged, then the hat needs to be taken out of service and repaired. Leaving the damage unattended to can result in very dangerous situations. As they say in some of the drug commercials, a side effect could be death. I don’t know about you, but that side effect of not repairing the important bits doesn’t intrigue me at all. SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THANG While we are on the topic of the lower end of the hat, one other place to pay particular attention to is the o-ring groove. Check to make sure that there are no cracks, even small ones, in that groove. Those stress

January•February 2009

cracks can get significantly worse over time. Remember that every time you cam the neck clamp in place, you are depending on tension between the o-ring, neck clamp, and neoprene (or latex) to keep the water out. This is a critical and widely overlooked point of daily inspection.

Groove cracks

One other point of discussion is the gel coat. Please, please make sure that the shop you are entrusting your helmet to is both authorized and qualified to apply the appropriate gel coat to your hat. All gel coats are not the same. Another important point to mention is that, should you decide to do it yourself or have the local auto body shop shoot your hat with gel coat, if the serial number can’t •

be seen then the hat won’t pass its annual. If you send a shell that was repaired by a questionable entity, the inspector is not going to be able to pass the hat, as well. All of the gel coat will need to be removed and the shell re-shot to make sure that there is no discrepancies. This isn’t just for the liability of the shop but is also in place to protect those who are going to be underwater (meaning you, the reader). Incorrectly repairing a shell can literally, in some cases, mean the difference between going home at the end of the day and not. Believe me, I understand that in this economy everyone is watching every dime being spent. That said, life-support gear maintenance is not the place to be conservative. Bottom line, what does this all mean? Here it is in a nutshell. If you own, dive, and work with a fiberglass shell hat, then it needs to be properly maintained. If it’s broke, fix it. Not later, but now. These hats can last a lifetime if they are properly taken care of. If not, lets just say that I personally don’t like the alternative. Dive Safe. UW Email your commercial diving equipment maintenance or repair questions to Chris at


Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple Underwater wet welding has been employed for many years now, but has commercially been restricted to conventional Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) techniques. The typical problems associated with SMAW welding underwater fall into two categories; those associated with mechanical or metallurgical quality, and those associated with skill and ability. With both of these issues in mind, UK-based Speciality Welds developed the Hammerhead Wet-Spot Welding Process. David Keats, of Speciality Welds, outlines what they call a no-skill, zerovisibility welding system. 32 •

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nderwater wet welding, although accepted as a low-cost, practical alternative to dry or hyperbaric welding, can suffer from quality issues, mainly due to the rapid cooling. It is also well known that the skills and abilities necessary to execute high-quality, conventional shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) wet welds are extremely high. Therefore labor and training costs are significant factors. Speciality Welds’ new Hammerhead wet-spot welding methodology provides solutions to both of these issues. The process provides an alternative approach to welding, one in which the role of the diver is minimized – they are no longer required to use hand-eye coordination skills. Rather, this is a method in which two materials are joined together by a spot or plug weld by means of a programmable control device. In this way, the operator simply becomes a means of making contact with the material and providing momentum to “push” the electrode into the material once the arc is struck. The process also eliminates the need for traditional cleaning, joint preparations, and chipping/cleaning of weld slag. It utilizes one electrode to produce each weld, which is localized within the through thickness dimensions of the material. Our tests have shown that the final

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mechanical weld qualities have been significantly improved, as has the overall speed of joining when compared to any conventional wet fillet SMAW welding techniques. Unlike conventional SMAW welding, the process provides a method of controlling the welding current necessary to produce a weld, without requiring the operator to have any welding skills or knowledge, because the current is automatically regulated and controlled by the device on each weld cycle. Thus, the role of the diver is reduced to that simply of an operator. SAVING TIME & MONEY The skills necessary to produce welds underwater are considerable, with training of diver-welders taking a considerable time to perfect. It is also understood that in poor-to-zero visibility conditions, many of these skills can be wasted when hand-eye coordination is eliminated as a factor in the production of quality SMAW fillet welds. However, the actual skills necessary to deposit a good weld are not the end of the problem. Equally important must be the joint preparation, gap tolerance, and overall cleanliness of the joint to be welded. Given the typical conditions which exist in harbors and ports in the US and UK, it is not surprising that the quality of wet welding falls below that of above-water welding. •

Wet welding can have defects such as solidification and hydrogen cracking, porosity, slag inclusions and lack of fusion (side wall and inter-run) defects being quite common. There are also safety issues concerning underwater wet welding, and these were considered during the development of the Hammerhead process. A BRIEF HISTORY The first examples of commercial underwater welding were to salvage vessels after the First World War, although it was not until 1983 that the first welding specification was published, by The American Welding Society (AWS D3.6). Although Sir Humphrey Davey first demonstrated an arc could be maintained underwater in 1802, it was not until the early 1930s that any notable experiments took place. One such experiment conducted at Lehigh University in America, quickly established that a DC current was required to strike and maintain an arc underwater. All of these early experiments were conducted in a small glass tank, with the operator standing in air, with only his hands submerged. The American Welding Society (AWS) describes the wet-welding process as one in which the diver and the welding arc are exposed to water, with no physical barrier


Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple To ensure a suitable safe current is DESIGN & FUNCTION between them. This particular standard available the device is fitted with a transThe Hammerhead SMAW wet-spot was prepared in response to the needs for former to transform 110 volt supply down welding method utilizes an electronic a specification that would allow users conto a more suitable, safe 9 volts, which is control device which provides the facility to veniently to specify and produce welds to a then rectified to DC. A reed switch is fitted control a number of key welding functions, predictable performance level. in order to produce a spot weld underwater. to trigger a relay, which starts a timer when However, this specification covers only the arc is first struck. SMAW welding using conventional Two current control potentiomwelding techniques. A more recent eters (pots), independently control welding specification is BSEN ISO high and low current settings. Once 15618-1, which was first published in these have been set the device can be 2002 and also covers underwater wet switched into ‘auto’ mode. These powelding. Once more, this is restricted tentiometers are adjusted to deliver to conventional wet welding methodthe appropriate current, in order to ology for fillet and groove welds and penetrate and fill the materials and covers procedures and qualification thus, produce the spot weld. testing requirements. Once the timer has been trigNeither of these specifications has gered, (following arc initiation), the been able to provide clarification to high current potentiometer delivers the possible quality or suitability for the preset current for the set time a wet-spot welding methodology. In period. Expiration of this control addition, neither AWS nor BSEN ISO then triggers the low current pospecifications take water type into tentiometer to act, thereby, initiatconsideration, both stating this to be It has been demonstrated that water type does have a significant influence on wet welding parameters. ing the required low level current a “non-essential” variable. automatically. However, it has been demonThis low current function continstrated that water type has a significant ues until the arc is broken, after which the The control device, which is housed influence on wet welding parameters. In device automatically resets ready to make within a utility case, consists of an on/off particular, seawater contains up to 40ppt of the next spot weld, although a five second switch to power the unit, high/low/auto primarily sodium and magnesium chloride delay prevents the system resetting, should current control potentiometers, a timer and and thus has a higher electrical conductivity the diver accidentally break the arc. LEDs amp and volt meters. than freshwater.

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Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple light up against each function so the operator can monitor the process at any given moment. All welding parameters are set prior to the diver entering the water and involve the device being connected to the welding machine, via remote control and 110 volt power supply cables. Once connected, complete manipulation of the welding machine is provided and current is controlled from the device. Amp and volt meters are fitted to provide a visual display of the welding current/voltage, as is a 400 amp safety switch to isolate the current to the diver (as required under HSE regulations). This control system is fitted into a utility case, for ease of transportation, together with the remote control and 110v leads.


The set-up of the welding process is quite straightforward. Prior to entering the water the diver selects a suitable ‘high’ current (selected by eye) to allow for

ing this is visible on the outside surface of the back-face, penetration is adequate and the timer control and high current function are programmed in and set.

Tests showed that divers with little or no welding skills or knowledge were able to produce acceptable spot-welds with the Hammerhead as easily as skilled welders. adequate penetration of the two materials to be joined, on the surface. This high current time is recorded in seconds and penetration is again measured by eye. This is ascertained by examining the back of the material for a heat mark, or blister. Provid- •

The operator now programs the ‘low’ current control. The low current function does not require the use of the timer and is set simply to provide a suitable current to consume the electrode and complete the weld. After this operation, the device is set into automatic mode. At this point the device is now fully programmed to produce welds automatically. The diver may now enter the water and request for any small adjustments as might be necessary, for the given water type and working depth. After which, the device may be relied upon to give consistent and reproducible welding parameters, as programmed, for each and every weld. The device may also be set to ‘manual’ mode. In this way, the diver can request either ‘high’ or ‘low’ only current values to be selected, thus, allowing suitable parameters to invoke a repair weld. Underwater it is essential that the operator does not over penetrate the base materials. Should this occur, weld properties would be compromized by the affects of water back-pressure, extinguishing the arc and causing slag entrapment, lack of fusion and/or cracks. As the only opportunity for burst-through is while the ‘high’ current cycle is in operation, the timer controls this critical high current time. Excessive penetration is a combined function of both high current and arc time. By accurately controlling both functions, penetration control is accurately achieved. It is not possible for the diver to burst through the material while the ‘low’ current cycle is functioning, as the current is too low. This device thus reduces the role of the diver to that of simply ‘pushing’ the electrode into the materials and to ensuring that contact is maintained. In operation, this requires no more than 5-10kgf and provided the operator consistently maintains this force, nil visibility conditions will in no way affect the outcome or the quality of the weld produced. The applied force was estimated, based on experimentation and became a basis for calculating the necessary pressure to be applied, using a 3.2mm electrode. Although the core wire of the electrode January•February 2009

measured 3.2mm, the outer flux coating also needs also to be taken into account, thus, increasing the diameter to approximately 6.0mm. Therefore, an applied force of 5-10Kg by the operator will ensure a pressure at the tip of the electrode of some 1.73 – 3.49 N/mm2 (MPa). For much of the welding operation the electrode tip is deep within the wall thickness of the material, so no arc is visible. By removing the welding skills from the individual operator, greater control for the parameters essential to achieve quality has been achieved, the operator’s role simplified, thereby, minimizing the diver’s influence on weld quality. This simplified operation means that it is no longer essential to have good visibility underwater, or the use of skilled labor, to achieve high quality repeatable welds. This was a specific design feature of the process.

Welding with the Hammerhead system is a bit unusual, as the diver has little sight of the arc after initiation.

38 •

TESTING Welding was conducted at Northern Divers’ facilities in Hull. All diving equipment used was standard commercial surface demand, i.e. the diver being fed with an air supply through

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Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple an umbilical, rather than a scuba bottle, as used in sports diving. Full radio communications were also in place throughout, enabling welding data to be supplied and recorded. All personnel engaged were HSE approved commercial divers and all welding was carried out using best working practice. Welding was restricted to a freshwater dive tank, at 3M depth. AWS D3.6M-99 and BSEN ISO 15618-1 takes no account of water type, and the qualification of a welding procedure or operator is given a +10M extent of approval, thereby, allowing for a maximum welding depth of 13M and still remaining within specification. The applied force the diver used in order to ensure the correct pressure was achieved and maintained, while welding, was clearly onerous, and was ‘a best estimate’ made by each individual, during the experiments but was based on the calculation described earlier. The electrodes used for the experiments were 3.2mm. The electrode used for wet spot welding was specifically designed to allow for high dilutions, while being capable of maintaining an arc under short-arc conditions underwater. The welding operation of the Hammerhead system itself is somewhat unusual,

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as little sight of the arc is visible after arc initiation. This is a deliberate design feature of the process, removing from the welder any necessity to interpret the arc condition and thus, removing the skill requirement to produce a weld. Prior to welding, plates were simply clamped together to prevent relative movement between them. No cleaning or other joint preparations were used for any of the welds. Welding was conducted on plates in the as delivered condition, although the material was rust free for welder ‘A’ plates. Welder A produced both wet and dry spot welds, at the time of welding underwater, visibility was moderate at approximately 30-45cm. Welder B produced both wet and dry spot welds. He was permitted a short practice period, to allow for a period of familiarisation. Welder B’s underwater plates had not been cleaned, and were covered with a light surface rust. The welding parameters & techniques for welder B were exactly the same as for welder A. At the time of underwater welding, visibility was very poor <25cm. Welder C also produced both wet and dry spot welds and was asked to produce his welds after a brief introduction of the technique. Welder C’s underwater plates •

had once again not been cleaned, and were covered with a light surface rust. At the time of underwater welding, visibility was very poor <25cm. Welder D also produced both wet and dry welds but was asked to produce his welds completely unaided, without any opportunity to practice, in a bid to demonstrate the feasibility of a no-skill process. Welder D’s underwater plates had not been cleaned, and were covered with a light surface rust. At the time of welding underwater visibility was completely nil and all welding was carried out by touch. TEST RESULTS The overall quality of welds produced for both wet and dry spot welds was surprisingly similar, especially when one considers the visibility under which wet welds were made. Equally, there appeared to be no substantial difference between welds made by the skilled welders over non welders. All welds showed adequate fusion between base materials and weld metal. Although not completely defect free, some wet spot welds did show evidence of minor gas voids/slag inclusions in the weld body. However, none of the recorded defects appeared to make a significant impact on


Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple the overall average strengths of welds made wet, as compared to welds made dry. No appreciable defects were observed, by the naked eye, for any dry spot welds. Welds generally had an overall convex

increase in diameter appeared mainly due to operator manipulation of the electrode, (despite being requested not to) just prior to completing the weld. In order to establish the load required

One common feature for both wet and dry spot welds was the heat mark, or blister, formed on the back face of the base material. This provided a very useful indicator as to the success of penetration. circular appearance, but a clear difference existed between wet and dry. Wet spot welds had a somewhat untidy appearance and didn’t blend in well with the top plate surface, unlike dry welds. This appearance was due to the existence of a more restricted weld puddle. Also, as the operator was discouraged from manipulating the electrode, having only to apply pressure, this reduced any effect of electrode manipulation and weld puddle control which had an influence on the final weld appearance. For dry spot welding it was possible to manipulate the electrode during the final stages of welding, which assisted in working/wetting out the weld puddle. This manipulation produced a smoother, more blended appearance and as a result, dry welds did not show excess ‘flash’ material, (which was evident in all wet spot welds). This flash was due to excess material being ejected from within the molten nugget. It appeared that excess flash metal resulted from additional weld metal from the electrode, causing some still, molten-metal, to be ejected as a result of continued pressure applied to the electrode. Although untidy in appearance, this flash material was easily removed later by a simple hammer blow. One common feature for both wet and dry spot welds was the heat mark, or blister, formed on the back face of the base material. This provided a very useful indicator as to the success of penetration. Although not accurate in terms of measurement or depth, it did provide an excellent method of visually establishing whether penetration had occurred. Where no heat mark/blister was present then the depth of penetration into the back material was limited. The overall diameter of the welds produced in air, (measured across the top outside diameter of the weld), was somewhat larger than welds produced wet, with the average diameter for a dry weld being 21.48mm against an average diameter for the wet weld of 14.39mm. Wet welds on average were thus nearly 50% smaller in diameter (49.27%) compared to dry welds made under similar current/voltage conditions. However, this January•February 2009

to failure, both wet and dry spot welds were subjected to transverse shear tensile tests. The average failure load of each weld type was 45.63kN for dry spot welds, and 39.95kN for wet spot welds. A difference •

of 5.68kN between wet and dry was found. Thus, the average dry spot weld offered a 14.2% strength improvement over underwater welds produced. Wet welds showed an increased measured area of 10.93mm2, thus increasing the CSA of deposited weld metal, by 12.67% (12.7). By factoring in this percentage change in the CSA of wet welds, in order to match the CSA of dry welds a new load to failure of 34.88kN (34.9) may be calculated. This difference of 10.75kN further reduces the wet strength results, as compared to the dry, by 23.55% (23.6). Clearly, the effects of rapid cooling on should have effected a change in the mechanical strength of the weld, due to the faster cooling rates experienced.


Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple

Hardness surveys showed that the wet results were similar to the dry welds.

To understand these results better, hardness surveys and weld macros/micros were also examined to identify the total affect brought about by welding underwater. Unfortunately however, these particular tests were carried out after shear testing and thus, may have obscured any minor defects that may have been present. It was also noted that the dry spot welds had larger weld reinforcement, (which accounted for the initial observation that the CSA of dry spot welds were actually larger), although this is unlikely to have offered any real advantages in terms of failure strength. 42

The major influence in effective joining was adequate penetration of the nugget into the base materials, rather than the size of weld reinforcement. The reinforcement was not a product of the excess ‘flash’ material, but that of the still molten weld-metal, having completely filled the nugget to plate surface. It should also be noted that the visibility conditions for making the wet spot welds, especially for welders B and C was poor, with conditions for D completely nil. A number of hardness surveys were carried out, showing that the wet results were similar to the dry welds. Somewhat •

surprisingly, however, was the actual wet welds produced lower hardness than the dry welds. This is contrary to what might be expected, with conventional underwater welds cooling more rapidly, thus resulting in harder weld and HAZ metals. The overall appearance of the wet welds was somewhat more untidy when compared to dry welds, with the more restricted weld puddle in evidence. Although, the weld profile (cap) did not appear to significantly affect the results of mechanical testing. The average hardness values for wet and dry spot welds were acceptable, showing January•February 2009

Underwater Wet Welding Made Simple no particular hardness concerns. In fact, considering the average values between wet and dry (excluding D2 and D4) the difference was so minimal as to be irrelevant. The weld macros showed deposit weld quality was similar between wet and dry, although not defect-free, no greater incidence of defects were produced wet, as compared to dry. It should also be noted that all welds, both wet and dry, had been mechanically tested prior to macro/micro examination and hardness surveys. This may therefore, have had some affect on the results obtained. Nevertheless, the quality of wet spot welds produced showed that this method of welding can be relied upon to produce underwater welds, at the very least, every bit as affective as described in the referenced literature for conventional wet fillet welds. No weld cleaning or joint preparation was necessary to execute any weld, unlike that of conventional wet fillet welding and thus welding efficiency was significantly increased, with a completed weld being produced within 27 seconds. The control device, specifically designed for this method, provided a suitable means to control the essential welding parameters and demonstrated the means to reduce the role of the diver, even under nil visibility conditions. It must be accepted however, that the role of the diver is still essential in the production of a satisfactory weld, due to the need to apply adequate pressure. Nevertheless, this welding method has demonstrated a successful means of joining carbon steels that eliminates the need for skilled welders, as well as all conventional cleaning/preparation methods. Furthermore, successful wet welds were produced, even under conditions of zero


visibility, an approach which offers significant cost savings over conventional wet SMAW fillet welding methods. Conclusions & Further Work The experiments demonstrated that the Hammerhead method was capable of making an affective mechanical fixing for weldable structural steels underwater. At the same time, the technique provided commercial benefits in the way of speed, quality and repeatability over conventional wet SMAW fillet welding, without using skilled welders and working in poor-to-zero visibility conditions. Further work would be required to evaluate this welding methodology more fully. Other materials, electrode sizes, positions and changes in water type/depth, together with different grades of structural steels need also to be tested. Although only a few welds in total were produced, the evidence showed that divers with little or no welding skills or knowledge were able to produce acceptable spot-welds as easily as skilled welders. It was also shown that visibility had no affect on performance, or weld quality. Neither did the lack of weld preparation or cleaning appear to substantially affect final weld quality. Although not a fully automatic welding method, the control device proved suitable to control the welding parameters essential to produce welds repeatedly. It was axiomatic that each individual diver must ensure a suitable pressure be applied to the electrode to ensure an acceptable weld was produced. The wet spot welds provided suitable weld quality in terms of strength, with properties closely matching those of dry spot welds. Although, it is accepted due to the met- •

allurgy, the process is likely to be limited underwater to welding non-load bearing joints, e.g. anodes. It became evident that the spot welding method provided for a considerably faster joining method than conventional wet SMAW fillet welding, as the process did not require any time spent on joint preparation or cleaning of the material/weld and spot welds (wet and dry) were produced in a matter of seconds. The Hammerhead process clearly remains a manual operation, despite the control device. However, the Hammerhead appears to lend itself to automation, and this may well prove of great interest in the future, as presently there remains a level of

control required by the diver, during welding, to apply pressure to the electrode. UW Speciality Welds’ David Keats is a certified senior welding inspector and approved welding surveyor for Zurich Insurance. He has been involved with developing products and services for the underwater welding industries since the late 1980s. David developed and ran the first approved underwater welding program, certified by the UK’s leading engineering awarding body (EAL), and has been involved with training and testing welders since 1991.

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A Message from the Executive Director

Phil Newsum SIXTH EDITION OF THE CONSENSUS STANDARDS I want to take this opportunity to provide some further updates on the Consensus Standards for Commercial Diving and Underwater Operations 6th Ed. As of the writing of this message, this document will be ready for review by the industry’s stakeholders at UI 2009. With that said, there will be several areas that will generate discussion. The new requirement for Hyperbaric Rescue Chambers for Saturation Diving Operations is one area that had brought about much discussion, most of it being supportive of the direction that the revision has taken. Other equipment recommendations and requirements will have a proposed drop-dead requirement date of June 2010. Another area that has not been mentioned in my previous writing is Guidelines for Penetration Diving. Originally, when we embarked on the revision process of the Consensus Standards, we hadn’t considered establishing any guidelines in this area. However, as time went on, the Association was being approached by different agencies and companies looking for some direction and input for penetration diving operations. OSHA has guidelines for confined space operations, but they do not have the recommended guidelines, clarifications, and equipment information that contractors and customers are soliciting input on. Equally important was the need for a clear definition for penetrations diving and accepted exceptions to this definition. Extended Guidelines for Live Boating is another recent development. In addition to the new requirement of no in-water decompression when conducting live boating operations, there will no longer be an allowance for the use of hand46

held tools that are powered via a surface umbilical. The issue was very clear that the fewer things there are in the water that can potentially foul a diver’s umbilical, the safer the operation. On the issue of Diving Certification, all diving personnel of ADCI General Member Companies will need to possess a current ADCI Certification for the operational tasks they are assigned. There will be specific language that outlines the timelines for new hires and personnel out in the field needing to recertify. Because some companies have not certified their personnel in all operational areas, (like the proposed timeline for new equipment requirements), the drop-dead date will be June 2010 for compliance. Also, in the area of certification, the ADCI will formally adopt the ACDE-ANSI 2008 Standard minimum requirements of 625 hours of formal training for Entry Level Tender/Diver Certification. This standard is the only formal recognized standard for commercial diver training in the United States. The ADCI will continue to recognize certifications and training from other governments and Associations as outlined in the Consensus Standards. However, the current 464 hours required minimum training standard and matrix in the 5th Edition will no longer be in effect. In short, this was just a broad brush update on some of the recent developments with the proposed draft of the 6th Edition. All of these, as well as the other proposed revisions, will be illustrated in a Gap Analysis Between the 5th and 6th Editions of the Consensus Standards for Commercial Diving and Underwater Operations. This gap analysis will be posted online at www.adc-int. org, along with the electronic version of the 6th Ed. Draft. The gap analysis will serve as a tool to assist the membership and other stakeholders •

during the review process. One last point What about the process for Future Revisions and Changes to the 6th Ed. of the Consensus Standards? Currently, we are looking at announcing any proposed changes on the web site and through ADCI Industry-Wide Updates. We would then have a 30-45 day period of review for comments and input on the changes, after which the Board of Directors would then make a final decision. Discussions, suggestions, criticisms, and oversights are anticipated. These all come with the editing and revision process of such a wide reaching document. It is healthy and in the overall best interest of this Association that we have a review process and solicit input prior to final Board of Directors approval for adoption of the 6th Ed. Some input will lead to further revisions of the draft and some will not. But in the end, we should have a true living document, representing the most comprehensive and current guidelines for underwater operations out there. At the Board of Directors Meeting on January 15, 2009, it was decided that the Saturation Diving Safety Committee, (which was formerly a sub-committee of the Gulf Coast Chapter), will now be a fully recognized standing committee in the ADCI. As such, it is appropriate to have representation from the international sector. Mr. Claudio Castro, who is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, will now sit on the Saturation Diving Safety Committee. Mr. Castro is owner of STS Chile, which conducts saturation diving operations throughout Chile and Latin America. Be Safe. –Phil Newsum

January•February 2009

DCINEWS&NOTESADCINEWS&NOTESADCINEWS&NOTESADCINEWS&NOTESADCINEWS&NOTESADCINEWS&NOTESADCIN East Coast Chapter Report Tom Eason, Chair At the January 15th ADCI Board of Directors meeting several issues of interest to East Coast Chapter members were discussed. The Consensus Standards 6th Edition draft will be released soon for a review and comment period by the membership. The 6th Edition will have a new section providing guidelines for penetration diving which could impact members’ operations. The release date for the draft will be announced at Underwater Intervention and there will be a set time period for membership input prior to finalizing and implementing the 6th Edition. Also, it will mandate that all personnel of ADCI General Member companies possess a current ADCI certification for the operational tasks they are assigned. In addition, a protocol is being developed for investigating allegations of non-compliance by member companies. This process will utilize a flow chart outlining the actions for addressing a member that has been reported as not adhering to the Consensus Standards. Once the flow chart is completed member companies will be notified by an industry update that it is available on the ADCI website ( The East Coast Chapter will hold officers’ elections at our next scheduled meeting at UI 2009 on Monday, March 2. It has truly been an honor to represent the East Coast Chapter as Vice Chair and Chairman over the last 10 years. I appreciate all of the support and friendships gained over these years and especially your trust in allowing me to be your representative on the Board of Directors. Although I am not standing for re-election, my intention is to remain involved with our Association. The ADCI is really all about making it safer for the guy on the end of the hose. Lastly, for an inspiring safety video check out and preview the safety video “Remember Charlie.” It is a powerful presentation by a refinery worker who nearly lost his life in a fire by not following company safety procedures and recounts his painful years of physical and emotional recovery. As always, I encourage you to visit and check out the Safety Notice link and learn from others. If you have not been receiving chapter information via email, please forward your updated email address and contact information, and don’t forget that ADCI Headquarters also needs this to communicate with the members. If you need help with any chapter or ADCI business, that is what we are here for, so please don’t hesitate to contact me ( or 843-747-0548) or our Vice Chairman, Wendell Swilley ( or 352-373-6301). Western Chapter Report Tom Ulrich, Chair Chapter members report being occupied with inspection and repair projects through the winter and early spring season due to weather-related issues. The Western Chapter has scheduled its Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, on June 12, 2009. Plans include the ADCI Executive Board and Board of Directors meetings on June 10th and 11th. Additionally the Historical Diving Society USA is reviewing the option of participating on Saturday the 13th. Please contact Tom Ulrich (, Don Sutton (, or Karen Martinez ( for assistance or recommendations for the Annual Meeting Agenda. Midwest Chapter Report Rich Riley, Chair I would like to extend an invitation our valued Midwest Chapter members to contact me at any time to with any concerns or issues that you would like to discuss. Call 724-847-3390 or email Thank you to our chapter members for your continued support. UW 48

Displaying Proper Diving Lights, Day Shapes, and Flags Vessels are defined to include every description of water craft including nondisplacement craft and sea planes used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water. 1. The Regulations require that all vessels engaged in dredging or underwater operations, when restricted ability to maneuver, should exhibit lights and shapes as follows: • Three all around lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen. The highest and lowest of these lights should be red and the middle light should be white. • Three shapes in a vertical line where they can best be seen. The highest and lowest of these shapes should be balls and the middle one diamond. The shapes should be colored black. 2. If a vessel is engaged in dredging or underwater operations and is making way through the water, then masthead lights, sidelights, and a stern light are required in addition to the lights required in paragraph 1. 3. If a vessel engaged in dredging or underwater operations is at anchor, then in addition to the light(s) or shape(s) required for vessels at anchor or aground, it should displayed the lights or shapes required in paragraph 1. If an obstruction exists, then in addition the vessel should exhibit: • Two all round red lights or two balls in a vertical line to indicate the side on which the obstruction exists. • Two all round green lights or diamonds in a vertical line to indicate the side on which another vessel may pass. 4. If the size of the vessel engaged in diving operations makes it impracticable to exhibit the shapes described above then a rigid replica of the International Code Flag ‘A’ not less than 1 meter in height should be exhibited and so displayed that it can be seen from all directions. 5. Vessels of less than 7m in length are not required to exhibit the diving lights as described above. 6. The interpretation of the regulations makes it mandatory for all vessels to comply with them. The only offshore installations not so affected are permanently fixed platforms which, once they have been placed in position, are no longer vessels. However, it may be considered prudent for fixed platforms to conform. In addition, Installation Managers of fixed platforms should ensure that all vessels in the vicinity are warned by any means possible that divers are operating from the installation or from any smaller craft close to the installation. Recommendations: When vessels are conducting diving operations that they display both the Alpha Flag and The Diver Down Flag. When vessels are NOT actively engaged in diving operations they should NOT display these flags. Crews should monitor the serviceablity of their dive flags to ensure that they are not too worn, thus compromising their visability to other vessels in the areas. POTENTIAL HAZARDS WHEN WORKING BELOW MUD LINE Although the ADCI does not recommend the performance of underwater tasks below the mud line, in select instances it is required for the accomplishment of certain underwater operations. The purpose of this document is to identify potential hazards and recommend safety precautions when conducting underwater operations below the mud line (deep ditch). This recommended procedure is applicable for all sectors of the commercial diving community, both inland and offshore. The diver should always inspect the condition of the ditch wall prior to beginning regular work. Diver should routinely ensure that an adequate slope to depth ratio established and maintained. At a minimum, it is recommended that a 3:1 ratio be maintained. This ratio may need to be increased, due to the instability of the bottom’s composition. For every foot excavated downward, three feet need to be excavated in an outward direction. Feet / meters are recommended as a determining factor versus angle (%), as it is easier to determine the volume of soil requiring displacement / removal, and calculating the time to accomplish this task. Periodic and regular physical checks need to be made by the diver on his exact location. The diver should periodically remove himself from the ditch and •

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ADCINEWS&NOTES return to natural bottom to assess any potential hazards to him, his umbilical, or hand jet equipment. There are no guarantees that equipment malfunctions will not occur during the course of operations. Yet, routine pre-dive and post-dive checks of all equipment and systems are the best ways to guard against malfunction. The diver should always ensure that he is capable of handling the force of pressure being emitted from the jet nozzle. Proper balance, footing, and positioning of the diver is the best way to ensure that back or frontal spray from the jet nozzle does not injure the diver or damage his equipment. Sending air to the diver’s pneumo and partially activating the diver’s “free flow” are other recommended practices, while conducting deep ditch operations. On all Deep Ditch Operations, a minimum of five crew members is required, consisting of: • One Diving Supervisor • One Diver • One Standby Diver • Two Tender / Divers The standby diver’s equipment and thermal protection shall be equal to that of the diver. Minimum Requirements for Live Boating Operations No Live Boating Operation may include in-water decompression, nor the use of underwater hand-held tools, powered via a surface umbilical. No Live Boating shall be conducted on scuba, or within another vessel or barge’s anchor spread. The maximum depth limit for live boating operations is 170 fsw (51m). In all cases, personnel manning equipment shall be selected to ensure maximum safety during operation. On small boats or vessels, less than 33 feet (10m), limited by space it may be permissible for the crew to consist of no fewer than three persons; Diving Supervisor, a Diver, and a Tender / Diver. Live Boating Operations 0-100 fsw/30m require: 1 Diving Supervisor 2 Divers 2 Tender / Divers Live Boating Operations 101-170 fsw/51m require: 1 Diving Supervisor 3 Divers 2 Tender / Divers The Diving Supervisor must be experienced in Live Boating and knowledgeable in all facets of the job. All members of the dive team should be trained and experienced for the tasks to be performed. In the case of live operations, all personnel should be properly screened to ensure that they understand the scope of work to be performed, the potential hazards involved, and the procedures for addressing emergency situations. PROPER HOSE MANAGEMENT IS THE PRIMARY AND VITAL FACET OF SAFE LIVE BOATING OPERATIONS. The boat will be maneuvered in such a manner so as to permit the Tender / Diver or Diving Supervisor to continuously monitor the direction of the diver’s umbilical with respect to the dive control station. The propellers of the vessel are to be stopped before the diver enters or exits the water. Live Boating shall not be done: • In seas that impede the station keeping ability of the vessel • In other than daylight hours • During periods of restricted visibility • Any time existing conditions make live boating unsafe in the opinion of the vessel captain and or supervisor. 50 •

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ADCINEWS&NOTES ADCI UNDERWATER AIR LIFT BAG OPERATIONS AND GUIDELINES No standard can cover all potentialities that might be encountered. JSA’s common sense, and extra attention to detail by the entire dive team are to be considered essential components for approaching operations of this nature. JSA’s should be updated as work progresses, to reflect the current conditions. The purpose of this guideline is to identify potential hazards and recommend safety precautions when working with underwater air lift bags. This recommended procedure is applicable for all sectors of the commercial diving community, both inland and offshore. When performing tasks underwater, divers are often required to move or lift objects, using the assistance of underwater air lift bags. Using underwater air lift bags can pose a threat of uncontrolled ascent to the diver. Extra precautions should be taken through the performance of pre-dive safety assessments. Underwater air lift bags are not like other forms of lifting devices. The lifting action is produced by the displacement of water when the bags are filled with air. A diver must be aware of the position of his umbilical at all times to avoid fouling. Hose management is essential to prevent entanglement with the underwater air lift bag rigging or the object to be lifted. Potential hazards associated with underwater air lift bag operations include: • Over-inflation of the lift bag • Accidental deflation of the lift bag • Failure of the rigging or lift bag straps • Failure of lift bag fabric • Utilization of a lift bag not rated for the load • obstructions in the path of the lift (water column or surface) • Possible disruption of DP system during deflation of lift bags • Possible entrance of deflated air into the diving bell. Recommendations: Situational awareness on the part of the diver and topside personnel is paramount. • Proper education and training (Boyle’s Law / Archimedes Principle / Hydrostatic Pressure / Absolute Pressure, see ADCI Formula Sheet) • Ensure that an anchor / restraining line is present (when applicable) with sufficient strength to remain attached to the load and dead man anchor (DMA) • Proper inspection of the lift bag prior to use, testing, and certification • Ensure that dump lines are distinguishable from other lines • Ensure that diver’s personal equipment and all other tools are not in a position to get fouled with the drum line • Proper maintenance, inspection, and testing of the lift bag and its rigging. Bags should be washed after use and free of debris, which can compromise the integrity of the valves, bag fabric, or its straps • Attachment of an inversion line to the top of the lift bag, and ensure that it is secured to a DMA or other object on the bottom. For more information on these and other ADCI Safety Notices, visit ADCI AWARDS 2009 SCHOLARSHIPS The ADCI has announced its Scholarship Award Recipients for 2009. The lucky students are: • Chelsey Rahier of Seattle, sponsored by Dive Commercial International • Jordan Pehle, sponsored by Global Diving and Salvage Each recipient receives $4,000 towards the academic or vocational pursuit of their choice. ADCI congratulates both of these outstanding recipients. UW January•February 2009 •



ADCI COMMERCIAL DIVING Hall of Fame Inductees for 2009


he Association of Diving Contractors would like to formally announce the 2009 Inductees into the ADCI Commercial Diving Hall of Fame. The ADCI Commercial Diving Hall of Fame was authorized in 2003 to recognize and honor individuals whose dedication and accomplishment have significantly contributed to commercial diving. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are: Mr. Robert W. Honaker Despite his indispensible role at J and J Marine Diving, Mr. Honaker still managed to play a very significant role during his involvement with the ADCI, designing the Association’s original logo, serving as an officer of the board of directors, and chairing a number of diving safety committees. Mr. Honaker was instrumental in filtering out of many flaws with the proposed regulations from the United States Coast Guard, in the late 1970s. The volume of contributions he personally made towards the expansion and betterment of the Association are to numerous to cite in this one announcement. Dr. Joseph Serio Dr. Serio has been active on the Association’s medical committee, recently contributing to the revision of the Medical Section in the Consensus Standards for Commercial Diving and Underwater Operations. A recipient of the First Star Award from the ADCI, his medical expertise and selfless contributions have had a tremendous impact on the lives of many divers, as well as the entire commercial diving industry. Mr. Leonard Greenstone As a former Navy Salvage Diver, Mr. Greenstone had a vision that inmates in the prison system could access vocational programs and training towards successful transition upon their release. His creation of the Marine Technology Training Center has had a tremendous impact on the lives of many men, as well as the entire commercial diving industry. UW 52 •

JERRY O’NEILL AND THE BOSTON SEA ROVERS I was very pleased to hear that Mr. Jerry O’Neill has been inducted into the ADCI Commercial Divers Hall Of Fame. Jerry is in fact a member and past president of another world famous diving organization, the Boston Sea Rovers. Jerry was president of the Sea Rovers from 1960-1962 and from 1964-1965. This coming March 6-8 will be the 55th annual running of the Boston Sea Rovers annual underwater clinic, bringing the world’s leading underwater explorers, photographers and filmmakers together to showcase their recent work. The event is open to the public and usually has 2,500 to 3,000 attendees each year. For more, visit Sincerely yours, Eric J. Takakjian Boston Sea Rovers

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The Teledyne Benthos MiniRover is a powerful inspection class vehicle with 80 lbs of forward thrust. Compact in size, it is designed to perform a wide array of underwater inspection tasks.

This Teledyne Benthos Stingray was used for research on the interactions between scallop dredges and sea turtles. The vehicle was successful in recording video and sonar images of turtles diving to the bottom to forage.

This Teledyne Benthos Stingray was used to recover a 2,500-lb seismometer in 750 feet of water in March 2008.

A Teledyne Benthos Stingray leaps from the water during a customer acceptance trial in Northern Russia in 2008. 54 â&#x20AC;˘

Januaryâ&#x20AC;˘February 2009

(Above) The fleet stands at attention at Perry Slingsby Systems’ Jupiter, Florida facility. (Right) Perry’s Triton XLS during offshore launch. (Below) The Triton XLX built for DOF Subsea. (Bottom) Perry Slingsby Systems’ new Heavy Work Class Triton XLX ROV system.

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Phoenix International’s Schilling UHD ROV during clearance operations after Hurricane Ike.

Tiburon Caribe - OMG (Venezuela) and Hull Support Services (Trinidad) used this ROv setup during an emergency inspection on the jackup Offshore Vigilant, drilling in 165 feet of water on the West Coast of Venezuela for Gazprom. The job was performed in December 2008 by ROV Pilot Supervisor Carlos Castillo, ROV Pilot Kevin Thomas, and Technician Richard Christopher. (Right) The Swedish Coastguard’s inspection ROV system features Applied Acoustic Engineering’s Easytrak Portable subsea tracking system. The Easytrak is a comprehensive USBL tracking system that can provide vital location information on moving targets such as divers and ROVs operating out of sight underwater, and will be primarily used in the authority’s search and rescue operations, both along Sweden’s coastline and in its many lakes. 58 •

January•February 2009

A Schilling UHD is shown in a specialized ROV bay built into the side of Global Industries’ Olympic Challenger vessel. Global Industries has two UHD ROVs, which are used for construction and pipelay tasks.

This Schilling UHD is being recovered to the C-Express. C-Innovation currently possesses a number of UHD ROVs tasked with several IMR functions. (Left) The customized version of the UHD ROV, called the ACV, is the result of an engineering partnership between Schilling Robotics and Acergy. The ROVs are used for construction, pipelay, and survey tasks. Acergy’s fleet currently contains seven ACV ROVs.

A Schilling UHD being recovered to the Anne Candies vessel. Phoenix currently possesses three Schilling UHD ROVs used for observation and light construction tasks.

(Below) The Schilling UHD 15, being deployed from the Highland Navigator, is used for survey and pipelay functions. Allseas’ fleet currently contains seven UHD ROVs.

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A variety of shots featuring the rugged and reliable SeaOtter ROV from JW Fishers Manufacturing.

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A VideoRay ROV enters the Jackson Blue Cave system as divers explore the cavern. Photo by Becky Kagan of

(Left) A VideoRay Deep Blue ROV conducts a routine hull and prop inspection on a large vessel. Photo by Christian Skauge of

(Right) The Deep Blue ROV accompanies a diver on a mission in the frigid waters off the coast of Norway. Photo by Christian Skauge of

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(Above) The B-29 Superfortress at Lake Mead NRA was the site for the first-ever interior 3D HD images generated from an ROV. The ground-breaking footage from the VideoRay ROV was acquired in a partnership between the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab, and VideoRay. Copyright 2008 Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

(Left) The VideoRay Pro 3 GTO penetrates the submerged B29 Superfortress at Lake Mead NRA carrying a 3D HD camera payload. Copyright 2008 Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

A VideoRay Pro 3 GTO ROV prepares to accompany this diver on a job. The ROV proves an effective dive partner in both safety and quality assurance aspects. January•February 2009 •


For a shark to eat an actor gently, takes five brushless DC thrusters with velocity feedback for precise and rapid control in all directions. When the Bollywood movie, Luck, was filmed in South Africa, a Saab Seaeye Falcon ROV was strapped beneath a giant 4.2m-long Latex and Polyurethane replica of a tiger shark, and then sent to eat luckless victims trying to escape a sinking container. The realistic swimming motion of the shark and its violent attack were recreated fr the cameras, thanks to skilful and precise fingertip control of the Falcon by the ROV pilots, Steve Wilkinson and Nicolas Stroud, of Marine Solutions. This was not the first time the Falcon and shark have starred together. Owned by the South African special effects company CFX, the radio-controlled shark has worked on many film projects with the ROV, operated by Cape Town based Marine Solutions who specialises in the sales, rental, repairs, maintenance and technical support of underwater systems. 66 â&#x20AC;˘

Januaryâ&#x20AC;˘February 2009

An Oceaneering ROV installs a lightweight TA Cap to protect wellhead.

Two Oceaneering ROVs perform drilling and completion support operations from a drillship equipped with dual activity drilling capabilities. 68 â&#x20AC;˘

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Launch operations of an Oceaneering ROV.

A welder assembles a vehicle frame in its earliest stages at Oceaneering’s expanded ROV manufacturing site, part of Oceaneering International’s new Gulf Coast Regional Offices of in Morgan City, LA.

Recovery operations of an Oceaneering ROV.

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(Right) Oceaneering’s new manufacturing facility is home to the world’s largest fleet of ROVs for drill support and construction operations.

(Below) Oceaneering’s Millennium ROV returns to the deck after working at depths more than a mile deep.

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(Above) A SeaBotix LBVSE-5 MiniROV recovers a Remus 600 AUV that was lost by a foreign navy during an offshore military exercise.

(Above and left) The US Army TACOM ordered 27 SeaBotix LBV150SE-5 ROVs, a five-thruster ROV with options including manipulatorss, sonar, tracking, laser scaling, metal thickness and cathodic protection probes, and many others. The most unique option for this LBV is the Crawler Skid Assembly, an in-field add-on that includes a powerful Vortex generator with four independent drive wheels. It provides ~20Kg of suction force, allowing the operator to “attract” the LBV to various objects and drive like a tank, keeping sensors stable in relation to the area under inspection. The Army configuration includes a Tritech Micron Scanning sonar, 3-Jaw Grabber with Cutter Head attachment, LYYN video enhancement, digital video recording, and number of Crawler Skid Assemblies that can be shared among a group of vehicles.

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CTC Marine’s UT-1 trenching ROV system from SMD.

(Above and right) More specialized cable plow systems from SMD.

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A custom cable plow ROV system from SMD.

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(Above and below) The SMD Quasar ROV and tether management system (TMS).

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An SMD Quantum ROV during recovery operations.

SMD’s Quark ROV system. January•February 2009 •



UW rounds up the leading subsea survey equipment manufacturers to discover the latest ways to peek beneath the waves

Market Survey Imagenex Technology Imagenex is a leading manufacturer of sonar systems and was founded in 1988 by pioneers of the sonar industry. Their product lines include a variety of mechanical scanning, sidescan, and multibeam sonars, as well as echosounders/altimeters. The introduction of the Delta T, an affordable multibeam sonar from Imagenex, has generated great interest in the offshore oil and gas industry and is currently being used in applications such as pipeline inspection/survey and monitoring of dredge operation effectiveness. The low cost, small size and ease of operation/installation have made the Delta T a success on ROV operations. Together with the real-time 3DView companion program, it presents images and models, rather than simple line data resulting from mechanical scanning single-beam profilers. For bottom mapping around and below fixed platforms, or moored barges, in situations where the use of moving survey vessels is not practical, the company developed the 881A Azimuth Drive for use with the mechanically scanning Model 881A ProfilJanuary•February 2009

imagery. Unfortunately, the many seconds ing Sonar. This system, which includes an it takes for each sweep to go from side to automated indexing capability, is simply side, often results in the ROV to lose sight mounted over the side, where it collects of the target, as it changes heading. The BFS ‘slices’ of data at any selected, or preprovides an excellent solution for the ROV defined azimuthal sampling interval. While problem and greatly aids in diver intrusion this system has been available for a number detection applications. of years, recently a new azimuth drive has been introduced for use with the Delta T Multibeam Sonar. Within the last year, Imagenex has developed the 886 Imaganex’s 886 BFS Digital BFS Digital Imaging Imaging Sonar, whic created the image of the diver shown above. Sonar; a system based on the high quality, single-beam concept, but with a screen update rate of 4 to 6 times per second. Obstacle avoidance sonar on most ROVs employs a single beam, mechanical scan concept, in order to obtain high quality •


Blueview Technologies’ new DP900-90 created the data image at right.

Another new development from Imagenex in the last year is a new sonar designed for use in pipes of varying sizes. The new 831A Digital Pipe Profiling Sonar facilitates more accurate and more efficient internal pipe inspections. Capable of completing a 360° scan in 1 second on the 1 m range scale, this programmable system is usable from a full scale range of 0.25 m to 6.0 m. With a range resolution of 1 mm at the range scale of 0.25 m, it provides the kind of surface detail needed to detect even the smallest anomalies. For more information visit www.


BlueView Technologies In the fall of 2007, BlueView formed a strategic business unit focused on supporting offshore Oil and Gas operations. By delivering dependable next-generation underwater vision solutions, BlueView believes saving hours can result in substantial dollar savings. These savings show up both on-site through increased operational efficiency and off-site by providing a new level of 2D and 3D data quality during decision making processes. Recently, BlueView has brought to market a new line of underwater acoustic line scanners referred to as MicroBathy- •

metric (MB) systems. These systems can create extremely detailed 3D renderings of complex underwater structures and sea bottom. These high-resolution renderings save significant time by accelerating reliable project decisions and reducing planning errors that can arise from incomplete data and models. Laser line scanners are commonly used for generating 3D renderings of land based structures, but due to optical attenuation, have limited range in murky water conditions. BlueView’s acoustic line scanners can produce similar high-resolution data underwater without the range and turbidity limitations associated with optical systems. These systems also operate much like traditional bathymetric sonar except at much higher frequencies (MHz region) and much higher resolutions. These acoustic line scanners, which can be deployed from ROV, surface vessels, tripods, and even the smallest UUV, are poized to revolutionize the underwater 3D mapping and rendering market. BlueView’s MB products interface with most of the leading bathymetry software

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packages used today, making them a drop in replacement or augment for traditional bathymetry systems. BlueView is currently working with Photon Factory LLC on an underwater line scanning software package specifically designed for high resolution 3D rendering of underwater structures. BlueView’s new 13,120-foot (4,000m) rated version of its proven acoustic underwater vision systems, the DP900-90, is a direct response to requests from the oil and gas industry for a BlueView sonar that can provide underwater vision solutions for deep operations. In addition to the new depth rating, the DP900-90 has a 90 degree imaging field of view, twice that of systems currently available. The significantly larger field-of-view provides ROV operators with a dramatic improvement in low visibility navigation and operations. The system is available with either an Impulse MSSJ or a Schilling SeaNet connector, making integration onto most work-class ROVs a quick operation. As with all of BlueView’s products, the DP900-90 is small enough to mount with the ROV’s main camera system, providing ROV operators with seamless low visibility operation capabilities. Located in Seattle Washington, BlueView Technologies manufactures both 2D and 3D miniature multibeam sonar so-

January•February 2009

lutions. BlueView delivers mission-critical, real-time underwater vision for Navy, Coast Guard, Law Enforcement, and Oil & Gas applications. Visit CARIS Caris, along with EDS and LSC Group, announced the final acceptance by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) of the Hydrographic Database (HDB) Project. Through the HDB Project, EDS and Caris have delivered workflow management technologies from EDS together with Caris Bathy DataBASE and Caris Hydrographic Production Database (HPD) software to manage and create paper and electronic chart products. This combined solution will represent an enterprise production environment where multiple products are created and updated from a centrally managed source. The bid phase for the project began in November of 2004 and was awarded to EDS and Caris in October 2006, as a result of a competitive demonstrator phase. “The successful acceptance of the system concludes an important development program for our team,” said Sara Cockburn, Manager of the Special Projects Group at Caris. “We are very proud of this outcome and are delighted with the success of the system as a whole. It allows Caris to •

continue to demonstrate its competence and reliability as a partner, not only in the delivery of production-ready solutions, but in the implementation of systems delivered for specialized hydrographic processes.” “I have been delighted with the positive way the UKHO, EDS, Caris and LSC project teams have worked together over several years to achieve a significant outcome. I believe that the CARIS HPD product lies at the heart of this success,” says Simon Baldwin, UKHO Project Manager. Using the new system, data is stored in a common database and shared by products, providing a higher degree of consistency between product types. This unique workfloworiented and database-driven approach to data management and production will bring significant business benefits to the UKHO in production optimization and efficiency. Established in 1979, Caris is a leading developer of geospatial software. Their Ping-to-Chart product line delivers integrated software solutions for the entire workflow of hydrographic information from the echosounder “ping” through to the production and distribution of the “chart”. Caris products are used by hydrographic offices, military agencies, survey contractors, ports and harbors, municipalities, land administrators and academia, among others. In addition to its Canadian headquarters, CARIS


has offices in The Netherlands, United States, Australia and United Kingdom. There are also more than 40 resellers bringing sales and support of Caris brand software to more than 75 countries. Chesapeake Technologies Chesapeake’s SonarWiz.MAP is an easy to use, real-time sidescan, sub-bottom, single beam and magnetometer data acquisition and processing system. SonarWiz.MAP enables you to produce high-quality mosaics, imagery and reports in Web, MS-Office, Google Earth and other formats. SonarWiz.MAP is a complete survey tool providing mission planning, navigation, data acquisition, processing and final product generation. Customers appreciate our unmatched customer service and cost effective prices.

Mosaic created by Chesapeake’s SonarWiz.MAP.

EdgeTech EdgeTech has been designing and developing subsea survey systems for over 40 years and are considered a leader in their field. The company manufactures a variety of robust, reliable, high resolution side scan sonar, sub-bottom profiling and combined systems that can be used for almost any subsea survey application. EdgeTech’s systems come available in standard towed configurations as well as for hosted platforms (AUV, ROV, etc.) and custom installations. The company prides itself on continually investing in R&D in order to provide customers with the best possible solution for their intended applications. All of EdgeTech’s systems utilize the company’s proprietary Full Spectrum CHIRP technology, which provides crisp, high resolution imagery at longer ranges when compared to conventional sonar systems. This translates into easier target identification and greater coverage during surveys which saves valuable time and money. Whether in the market for a portable system for use in rivers or lakes, an overall survey tool for use on the open seas or an advanced mine-hunting sonar, EdgeTech has a side scan system to fit your needs. The most recent offering from EdgeTech is the 4125-P Search & Recovery Side Scan Sonar System. The 4125-P is an ultra high dual frequency system that provides picture-like quality images for easier identification of smaller objects, such as a drowning victim. The system is easy to operate, can be deployed by one person from a small boat in minutes and is delivered in portable rugged 80 •

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EdgeTech’s 4125-P Search & Recovery Side Scan System.

cases for easy transport from site to site. The 4125-P is available with a choice of two frequency configurations for the same competitive price; either 400/900 kHz or 400/1250 kHz. In addition to side scan sonar, EdgeTech also offers a wide variety of sub-bottom profiling systems that provide unsurpassed imagery. These systems range in frequency from 500 Hz – 24 kHz with a maximum penetration of between 40-200 meters in clay. EdgeTech’s sub-bottom systems come available in a variety of different towed configurations as well as for hull mount and hosted platform installations. For more visit

located under the ocean bottom. We can store files on the computer, copy them to disk, or email them to our clients.” Another company, ADCI member Yantai Shunda Ocean Engineering Co., located in China’s Shandong Province, has completed

a number of high profile marine construction jobs using Fishers equipment. Their divers have performed numerous inspections and repairs in the oilfields of Shengli, Bohai, and Dagang. The company has also received contracts for salvage and pipeline

JW FISHERS LPK Geomatic Services Company in Vietnam is but one example of the many subsea contractors around the world using JW Fishers’ SSS-100K/600K dual frequency side scan sonar and Proton 4 magnetometer. LPK offers a wide range of services that encompass satellite and engineering surveys, design and implementation of information management systems, and remote sensing solutions. LPK has been involved in some of the country’s major marine construction works such as the Dai Ninh Hydo Power Station, Can Tho Bridge, HoChiminh City gas pipeline, and the port of Hiep Phuoc. Managing director Truong An Phong says the Fishers side scan and magnetometer have been “very valuable” in these projects. “The sonar provides us with detailed images of the sea floor and the magnetometer shows us exactly where pipelines are January•February 2009 •


Fishers side scan image of pipelines crossing, inset : Fishers’ Asian distributor, Beijing Member Technology Co.

tracking. To help in this area the company recently purchased a Fishers Proton 4 magnetometer, the super sensitive metal detector for iron and steel targets. In Thailand, AAMC Co. Ltd. is a tech-


nology driven organization specializing in shallow water submarine installation and maintenance. They perform these services for telecommunication cables, natural gas conduits, and pipelines from oil rigs. Before •

beginning a trenching operation to lay a pipeline or cable, it is necessary to survey the seabed. To perform these surveys the company purchased the Fishers SSS100K/600K sonar with mapping software. The software shows the size of the area being scanned and overlays it onto a grid with latitude and longitude lines as the x and y axis. As the boat moves back and forth across the survey grid, similar to moving a lawn, the sonar operator can see how much of the bottom on both sides of the boat is being scanned with each pass. The scanned area is highlighted in yellow and overlapping scans are highlighted in green. This ensures that no part of the area is missed. Another company using the JW Fishers dual frequency sonar is Dae Kee Marine in South Korea. The company is a port service provider for foreign vessels visiting the Korean Peninsula. The company’s extensive experience and cost effective services has made them the exclusive provider of support to the US Navy, US Army, and US Coast Guard vessels. To ensure ships move freely in and of the country’s ports, Dae Kee must routinely survey navigation routes used by these vessels. Side scanning lets them insure the waterways are clear of debris and any obstructions. For more information on Fishers products, visit

January•February 2009

Geometrics’ G-882

Geometrics Marine exploration requires a serious investment of time, resources and money. Whether searching for minerals, oil and gas, pipelines, UXO, shipwrecks or archaeological artifacts, survey teams need the most cost-effective and sensitive equipment available for the search. Geometrics, Inc., a leading engineering firm and manufacturer of geophysical instruments, has been offering professional solutions to marine exploration and surveying requirements for 40 years. Known for their reliability and accuracy, Geometrics products are available for both sales and rentals. In addition, the company’s customer service is responsive and available worldwide to ensure complete support. The two premier marine products offered are the G-882 Marine Cesium Magnetometer and the GeoEel Seismic Streamer. The G-882 Marine Magnetometer can be used to measure magnetic anomalies associated with a variety of geologic and man-made targets which with free characterization software can obtain precise location of objects either on the bottom or buried beneath the seafloor. This system is particularly well suited for the detection and mapping of all sizes of ferrous objects and any other item with a magnetic expression. G-882 can perform shallow water surveys as well as deep tow applications (4,000 psi rating). It also directly interfaces to all major side-scan sonar manufacturers for tandem tow configurations. Being small and lightweight (44 lbs net, without weights) it can be deployed and operated by one person or, the system can quickly be setup for deep tow applications by adding January•February 2009

streamlined weight collars. It is also available in transverse gradiometer configuration for analytic signal analysis of small targets. Its cesium sensor is designed for extreme reliability and ruggedness and never needs recalibration or factory realignment. Each magnetometer comes with MagLogLite software which al- •

lows recording and display of data and position with Automatic Anomaly Detection and printing through almost any Windows operating system. Additional options include: MagMap2000 plotting and contouring software as well as post acquisition geophysical data processing software, MagPick. For seismic survey applications, Geo-


metrics offers the GeoEel, a 24-bit digital seismic streamer. The streamer can be used in small or large applications depending on needs. Its wide bandwidth (up to 8 kHz) makes it applicable to all seismic surveys: petroleum, gas or gas hydrates, high-resolution engineering, and even sub-bottom profiling. Only 1.5 inches in diameter and configurable with up to 240 channels and multiple streamers, the GeoEel sends data by Ethernet to any industrystandard low-cost PC. The GeoEel is the first high-resolution-digital streamer to be filled with a non-toxic, non-flammable silicone oil derivative. This eliminates fire hazard and is environmentally safe. The GeoEel’s narrow design is ultra-quiet, making full use of true 24-bit circuitry. In-water digitization eliminates ground loops and shipboard electrical noise. A thick 3.2-millimeter skin protects the GeoEel in shallow water and transition zone applications. Geometrics, Inc., an OYO Corporation company, is headquartered in San Jose, California. Kongsberg Mesotech Kongsberg Maritime’s specialist sonar division, Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd., recently introduced a new range of products. The 1171 Series is a complete range of multi-frequency, fast scanning obstacle avoidance imaging and profiling sonars offering unrivalled resolution, from an industry leader in sonar technology. The 1171 Series of sonar heads have been developed to meet the requirements for both shallow and deep ocean applications. As well as the choice of operating frequencies, the new sonar heads feature faster scanning rates, improved range resolution and even clearer, sharper images, all in a more compact lighter housing. The dual transducer design allows optimized operational configuration for both long range obstacle avoidance and shorter range imaging detail. The transducer is protected within an oil-filled, pressure compensating dome. The telemetry is RS485 and RS232 compatible and is automatically sensed and configured at start up to match the telemetry link used. The sonar head operation is configured and controlled using the MS1000 Software Processor. Other features include dual transducers for multi purpose obstacle avoidance and inspection use; multiple frequency capability (330 to 400 kHz and 450 to 700 kHz); improved range and scanning rate; improved sampling resolution & beam foot print resulting in clearer, sharper images; improved Range Resolution, and lighter 4000m depth rated design. The Multi-Frequency design allows optimizing of the profiling configuration for different applications. Like the sonar head, the transducer is protected within an oil-filled, pressure compensating dome and the telemetry is automatically sensed and configured at start up to match the telemetry link used. The sonar head operation is also configured and controlled using the MS1000 Software Processor. Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd. is the Canadian subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime. The company supplies a worldwide customer base with a range of products for military, fisheries, oilfield, scientific, and other offshore market applications. Kongsberg Mesotech’s strength lies in its unique engineering capabilities. Ongoing research and development has ensured the company’s position as a world-leader in high-resolution sonar systems, and acoustic technology. Kongsberg Mesotech manufactures over 100 models of multibeam, scanning, echosounder, and altimeter sonar combinations. In other Kongsberg Maritime sonar news, the UTEC Surveyor has become the first civilian vessel to be equipped with the powerful Kongsberg EM 122 multibeam echosounder, previously used exclusively by the US Navy. This gives the ship exceptional deep ocean mapping capabilities that UTEC Survey is now using to support operators in the submarine cable industry. The echosounder 84 •

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The UTEC Surveyor is the first civilian vessel to be equipped with the powerful Kongsberg EM 122 multibeam echosounder, previously used exclusively by the US Navy.

installation was carried-out in Malta during September 2008 and has significantly enhanced the capabilities of the UTEC Survey-owned ship. With 288 simultaneous beams, the new sounder enables the UTEC Surveyor to obtain high resolution seabed imagery from as deep as 11,000 meters. This is expected to offer significant cost benefits for clients in the submarine cable industry by enabling deep ocean routes to be chosen with greater confidence and precision. The UTEC Surveyor began operating with the new EM 122 in October when it commenced a project for a major submarine cable installer in the Mediterranean. This contract is expected to continue until March 2009 after when it will be available to operate anywhere in the world that its advanced technology is needed. The EM 122 system fitted to the UTEC Surveyor has been designed to perform seabed mapping to full ocean depth with an unsurpassed resolution, coverage and accuracy. It is the latest model in a series of deep sea multi-beam echosounders from Kongsberg. Compared with previous models, it has up to four times the resolution in terms of sounding density through the inclusion of multi-ping capability and more than twice the number of detections per swath. High density signal processing keeps the acoustic footprint small even for the outer Januaryâ&#x20AC;˘February 2009 â&#x20AC;˘


beams in the swath. In typical ocean depths Kongsberg claims that a sounding spacing of about 50 m across and along is possible. The achievable swath width of the EM 122 is in the order of 30,000 m, which is 25 per cent greater than Kongsberg’s previous model, the EM 120. UTEC Survey now believes that this will enable it to provide a major benefit for customers seeking to optimise their survey operations. The UTEC Surveyor is a highly specialized 60m survey vessel that is permanently mobilized with a full survey spread including a 2D high resolution seismic streamer system. With newly upgraded accommodation for 32 persons it can also support a wide variety of underwater operations including the deployment of observation class ROVs. Visit L-3 Klein Associates L-3 Klein recently introduced the newly developed high resolution, dynamically focused multi-beam side scan sonar, the System 5000 V2. The 5000 V2 simultaneously generates five adjacent, parallel sonar beams on each side of a towfish or AUV while employing advanced beam steering and dynamic focusing techniques. This produces extremely sharp along-track resolution at high tow speeds, with 100% bottom coverage.


L-3 Klein’s System 5000 V2 is available in an AUV configuration.

The 5000 V2 has everything you’d expect in this top-of-the-line side scan sonar (SSS). With peaked performance and extended range capability, no single beam SSS comes close. The new Reconnaissance Mode provides extended or long-range coverage to 250m per side while maintaining along-track resolution of 50cm at ranges from 150m to 250m. The Reconnaissance Mode employs 16-msec frequency modulated Chirp technology coupled with beam steering and dynamic focusing techniques •

to provide the new extended-range capability. A further advantage to this technique is a significant reduction to the system noise level resulting in much better image quality. The 5000 V2 overlaps sonar beams and displays only integral, non-overlapped beams. Regardless of the number of beams displayed, all new data can be stored on the PC hard drive for future processing, as desired. The System 5000 V2 is available in an AUV configuration. The Series 5000 AUV

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V2 architecture is composed of the Sonar Electronics and the Sonar Processor. The Sonar Electronics contains the transducer arrays and electronic subsystems for transmission, reception and data acquisition, and telemetry. The Sonar Electronics also includes standard and optional sensors for the monitoring of the AUV position and motion dynamics, pressure, depth and altitude (acoustically measured), temperature, and other pertinent information. The Sonar Processor processes the data from the Sonar Electronics. It also serves as a control/data/ power interface with the AUV host electronics over an Ethernet connection. The L-3 Klein Model 3900 is a portable, high-resolution, digital side scan sonar used primarily for search and recovery operations. This model has dual frequency capability; 445 kHz which offers a balance between range and resolution and 900 kHz which offers significantly higher resolution for target identification. The system comes with a splash-proof, portable, Transceiver Processor Unit, laptop computer specifically configured to run L-3 Klein SonarPro software, and 50 meters of lightweight tow cable. The System 3900 Towfish electronics are housed in a stainless steel body with a highly, identifiable in-water fluorescent finish. The L3-Klein Model 3900 offers an excellent compromise between price and performance in a rugged, portable package. It is optimally suited for shallow water, small boat surveys and can be easily deployed and operated by a single trained user. Typical applications for the S3900 are for rapid deployment, shallow water search and recovery missions where the lower 445KHz frequency enables the user to use the system in a long- range ‘search’ mode, and the higher frequency 900KHz channel allows the user to acquire a higher resolution, more detailed image of the seabed targets to help better identify features of interest. The image quality of the Klein Model 3900 offers the highest resolution, available on the market, at shorter ranges. Current owners of the Klein Model 3900 are US Coast Guard, Fire and Police departments, Universities, Port and Harbor Authorities, US Corps of Engineers, a large number of commercial hydrographic survey companies as well as treasure hunters.

edge technology. Their new software, Sea Scan Survey, is user friendly software includes easy to use navigational charts and allows for operators to see track lines and area coverage. Using the Sea Scan Survey software the operator will be able to generate target reports without using third-party software packages. For MSTL data image Mosaicing and GIS, customers will be able to use third party software packages. Frequencies offered will be 300, 600, 900, 1200 and 1800 kHz. Some of the features of these systems include: • Raw data collection allows infinite adjustments without losing data • Cutting edge graphical user interface • Independently selectable transducers • Tightly integrated target marking capability • Easy to use length, height and area tools

• Optional Roll, Pitch, Heading, and Depth Sensors. An embedded version of Sea Scan HDS has been developed using the same hardware architecture. It operates with or without a computer and provides simultaneous data distribution over serial or Ethernet and an on-board compact flash card. The total power draw can be under 10 watts, depending on the selected configuration. The reduced size of the system allows the system to be integrated onto vehicles of all types and classes. With current Sea Scan PC and the New Sea Scan HDS, Sea Scan Embedded AUV our Side Scan Sonar systems produce some of the highest resolution images on the market. We also continue to offer unmatched 24/7 customer support. Visit for more. ORE Offshore Cramped quarters and limited resources often present ROV and Side Scan Sonar operators working in small vessels with interesting challenges. Limited counter space that is already crowded with equipment are among the hurdles that operations personnel must overcome. Adding a tracking system into the mix brings on a whole new level of complexity. A USBL system that is small, easily portable, water resistant, and

Marine Sonic Technology, Ltd Marine Sonic Technology has introduced a new line of Digital Side Scan Sonar systems, Sea Scan HDS. The Sea Scan HDS range is available for both towed systems and AUV applications. Both systems feature the most up to date electronics and our FPGA-based design that provides cutting January•February 2009 •


ORE’s Trackpoint 3

equipped with WiFi can make small vessel operations a little bit less hectic. ORE’s Trackpoint 3 Portable system is designed with these challenges in mind. The topside of the system consists of a small Hydrophone, a Command and Control Unit housed in a Pelican Case, and a Deck Cable to connect the two together. On the submerged end of the system, a host of beacon options are available. Beacon configurations exist for various AUV, ROV, Side Scan, or Diver applications. When equipped with the internal WiFi option, the Command and Control Unit can operate with the lid closed for splash proof operation. The entire system can easily be placed out of the way in a remote location, freeing up valuable space for other mission essential equipment. In extreme conditions, a Tablet PC can be mounted in an Otter Box Enclosure communicating with the Command and Control Unit via WiFi. The Command and Control Unit is 16” wide by 13” long and with the lid closed only 7” tall. The Hydrophone is 20” long and just under 3” in diameter. Combined these two items weigh in at just over 25 pounds. Adding in a 50 foot long deck cable and beacon to complete the system and the entire setup can be transported and installed by a single person with minimal effort. Hardware is one half of the equation – software is the other. ORE offers several software options for use with the Trackpoint 3P Portable System. The primary program for interfacing with Command and Control Unit is called Trackman. The Trackman program is configured for use on the various Microsoft operating systems including the latest Vista platform. ORE has additional software available called IPS (Integrated Positioning System) that combines Trackpoint data with GPS information to calculate the exact location of a submerged target in Latitude and Longitude. Both Trackman and IPS can be run simultaneously on a single Laptop or PC. A slimmed down version of Trackman called PocketTrack has been developed for use with hand held or Pocket PC’s. When operating in WiFi mode, the Trackman or PocketTrack programs can typically communicate wirelessly with the Command and Control Unit at ranges beyond 100 feet. This combination offers the ultimate in flexibility – an acoustic USBL tracking system that is splash proof, located out of the way, and operated via a wireless hand-held device. RESON Reson has launched a new version of the well-known SeaBat 7125 multibeam sonar system, designed especially for easy instal88 •

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Reson’s SeaBat 7125 multibeam sonar system.

lation on small surface vessels and with the same exceptional performance. The most notable change is a new transceiver that combines the function of sonar processor and interface unit thus removing the need to install the LCU bottle used in the deep-rated SeaBat 7125 systems. Cable length of 25m (standard) or 50m (optional) between the transceiver and the transducer arrays allow simple installations on most small vessels. All performance and acoustic parameters are identical to the other members of the SeaBat 7125 family. Through a number of features both data collection and processing times are reduced and maximizes surveying productivity using SeaBat 7125-Surface from surface vessels: • Single or dual-frequency operations (200kHz and/or 400kHz) to ensure high flexibility • A ping rate of 50Hz (range dependent) with 256 equi-angle or 512 equi-distant beams per swath ensures exceptionally high data density. • Advanced signal processing and bottom detect routines deliver second-to-none data quality. • SeaBat 7125-Surface is fully backwards compatible with LCU and other SeaBat 7K transceiver systems. SeaBat 7125-Surface also offers a number of new and unique features. The new transceiver provides an integrated multiport serial card and is available with PDS2000 pre-installed for data

January•February 2009 •


acquisition and display as well as data processing on the same hardware platform. Four video outputs allow multiple user and helm displays to be run. Variable swath coverage of up to 128° to a maximum range of 500m offers the preferred combination of swath and resolution. A real-time uncertainity output from the SeaBat 7125 may be used in PDS2000, along with information from other sensor to calculate a TPE (Total Propagated Error). Soundings may be filtered by setting either the relevant IHO order or by defining custom vertical error limit. Other new features in SeaBat 7125-Sur90 •

face are roll stabilization, XYZ offsets, Quality filter and advanced diagnostics Reson is a market leader in underwater acoustic sensors, state-of-the-art echosounders, multibeam sonar systems, transducers, hydrophones, and PDS200 software. Reson’s SeaBat sonars and NaviSound echosounder systems have become an industrial standard in areas such as hydrography, dredging and offshore operations as well as within defense and security applications. Thanks to continued product and technology development, Reson leads its technological field. The company is growing January•February 2009

Sonardyne’s Ranger USBL system recently tracked Woods Hole’s Jason ROV to the seabed in 15,400 feet (4,700m) of water.

and expanding into new markets and application areas – and its fourth generation of sonar systems will provide unprecedented performance for naval and commercial systems in terms of accuracy, resolution, depth rating, and range. SONARDYNE A Ranger Wideband USBL (UltraShort BaseLine) acoustic positioning system from Sonardyne International Ltd recently provided impressive performance for the engineers from the Deep Submergence Laboratory of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) when January•February 2009

it accurately tracked the Jason remotely operated vehicle (ROV) down to the seabed in 15,400 feet (4,700m) of water. The recent demonstration was carried out from onboard the R/V Thomas G Thompson in the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii where Woods Hole researchers regularly conduct deep ocean research cruises. Jason is a two-body ROV system designed and built by WHOI’s Deep Submergence Laboratory. A 10 kilometer (6 mile) fibre-optic umbilical delivers electrical power and commands from the ship through Medea and down to Jason, which then returns data and live video imagery. •


Medea serves as a shock absorber, buffering Jason from the movements of the ship, while providing lighting and a bird’s eye view of the ROV during seafloor operations. En route to the trials site, a Sonardyne engineer had equipped Jason with an AvTrak 2 transceiver and Medea, with a directional Compatt 5 transponder. AvTrak 2 combines the functions of transponder, transceiver and telemetry link in one low power acoustic instrument that has been designed to meet the requirements of a variety of mission scenarios and vehicle types. Onboard the Thomas G Thompson, a Sonardyne 8023 Big Head surface transceiver, specifically developed for ultra-deep target tracking, was deployed on a temporary pole over the side of the vessel. During the deepwater dive to almost 5,000 meters, the Sonardyne system was able to achieve a positioning accuracy of 0.32% of slant range, or +/-15 meters, despite the temporary, relatively flexible, over-the-side pole. This performance

Because the Ranger USBL system had shown its capabilities so convincingly, the WHOI team subsequently had the confidence to use it as the primary positioning tool for two further research dives to 2,500 meters that they conducted shortly afterwards. Teledyne Benthos, Inc. Teledyne Benthos has been serving customers in the marine industry for over 45 years by providing high quality geophysical and oceanographic instrumentation. Teledyne Benthos manufactures a variety of products ranging from side scan sonar for imagery, remotely operated vehicles (ROV) for inspection, to acoustic modems and releases for monitoring. Their systems are used world-wide in many demanding applications for government agencies, academic institutions, and private firms. The Teledyne Benthos Geophysical product line includes their: SIS-1624 Dual Frequency Chirp Side Scan Sonar system which produces high-resolution images

The C3D series is the pinnacle of the Teledyne Benthos range.

proved almost as good as WHOI’s existing tracking system and far more convenient to use as no seabed transponders have to be deployed first. In addition, Jason’s position could be updated at 1Hz despite the water depth which helped with visualisation of the ROV’s dynamics. AvTrak2 was installed to demonstrate the unit’s Wideband positioning and bidirectional wireless communications as if it were an AUV or manned submersible. This proved that data and commands could be reliably and easily sent to and from the USBL system using Sonardyne Messaging Service in ultra deepwater. 92 •

of the seafloor, the Chirp III Sub-bottom profiler that offers many affordable configurations for shallow or deep water, Teledyne Benthos also offers the best of both worlds by combining the technology of the SIS-1624 with the Chirp-III resulting in the model SIS-1625. The C3D series is Teledyne Benthos’ state of the art survey equipment. The C3D system combines side scan sonar, sub-bottom profiling and bathymetry and can be configured in several different applications depending on the customers’ needs and budget. The C3D offers high-resolution imaging sonar system which is capable of providing January•February 2009

Tritech’s hull-mounted StarFish sonar, along with a how-it-works diagram.

co-located wide swath Bathymetry and Side Scan data sets resulting in a detailed view of the seafloor. The Teledyne Benthos ROV product line includes their new small inspection class ROV called the MiniROVER which has a thrust to weight ratio of 2:1, and the Stingray ROV with the built-in ability to accept a wide array of tools and sensors. The Teledyne Benthos Acoustic product line includes their Telsonar underwater acoustic Modems which reduce the need for expensive underwater cabling by making any subsea sensor wireless. These Telesonar modems can also be provided with built-in acoustic release technology. For more information visit Tritech International Tritech has announced the launch of the new StarFish 450H, an affordable, high performance, hull-mounted side scan sonar which produces spectacular images of the seabed. The compact, slim-line sonar design combined with flexible mounting bracket can be fixed on to any vessel and allows you to monitor the seabed for interesting targets during every journey. With hull-mounted systems there’s no need to worry about snagging a towing cable when surveying in shallow or high traffic waters, making it very simple to operate. Its ease of use makes it an ideal system for anyone needing to capture digital images of the seabed on their own. Utilizing advanced digital CHIRP acoustic technology, developed from the professional underwater survey industry, StarFish 450H can view targets at longer ranges without any loss in image quality. It out performs many larger, commercial systems in shallow water and at a fraction of the cost. Tritech is based in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, with its design and manufacturing base located in Ulverston, Cumbria. In 2006 Tritech became part of Halma p.l.c. which January•February 2009 •


also acquired SRD (Sonar Research & Development) in 2007. SRD specialises in multi-beam sonar technology, based in Beverley, East Yorkshire and is now part of the Tritech Group. TELEDYNE TSS The Orion Inertial Navigation System (INS) was launched in 2007 as an important survey tool by what was then TSS International. The company has since become part of the Teledyne group of companies and Orion has demonstrated its capabilities as a valuable asset whether used above or below the water by customers such as the Canadian Coast Guard, Marine Technologies and Dredging International. Orion is the product of many years of expertise in motion sensor technology that had been accumulated within the Watford, UK company. The subsea version is available rated to 3000 meters (6000 meters optional) and was developed for users in the offshore subsea construction and survey industries who need a dependable and competitively priced reference system. It can provide precise attitude, heading and heave data and is suitable for a wide range of applications such as supporting multibeam sonar surveys or the construction of major seabed installations. The Orion was the first INS designed and manufactured entirely by TSS and it enables users to benefit from the company’s longestablished reputation for quality and service support. Despite the global availability of the company’s highly regarded support network, dependability was built-in at the design stage. This involved the painstaking selection of the Orion’s components and the development of software that would meet the rigorous demands and expectations of its users. The software was a development of an existing marine algorithm that had been refined by TSS over 20 years of successful use in the most demanding applications offshore. It nevertheless

HDS USS Squalus Commorative Mark V Helium Helmet 94

took Teledyne TSS engineers two years to develop it to the point at which they could be sure it would exceed industry expectations for performance and reliability. Now working successfully in the Orion, the algorithm processes the data generated by three separate ring laser gyros (RLG) that were chosen for their dependability and accuracy. This means that an Orion INS can be used at operating temperatures ranging from -10°C to +55°C and requires a settling time of less than 15 minutes. The RLGs are manufactured in the USA and are widely employed by the aviation industry. They consequently offer users the reassurance that comes from working with proven advanced technology. The accelerometers used are equally highly regarded and are built into the Orion at the Teledyne TSS advanced UK workshops where quality control is maintained to the highest standards possible. The Orion system consequently offers a Mean Time Between Failure of 30,000 hours while its key individual components are rated at 300,000 hours MTBF. The performance of the Orion’s components and its software mean that users benefit from heading accurate to 0.1º secant latitude and roll and pitch measurements to within 0.025º through a range of ± 90°. Heave measurements are accurate to 5 cm or 5 per cent over ranges to ± 99 m and free inertial positioning remains accurate to 5 NM/hour. For more, visit UW •

January•February 2009

Offshore Industry Notebook BISSO SAFETY AWARD Bisso Marine is proud to announce that Sean Coughlin is the winner of the inaugural Bisso Marine Safety Award Drawing. Coughlin was selected from

given the choice of selecting a new Mako 1901 bay boat with a 150hp engine; a new Nitro Z-7 bass boat with a 150hp engine, or a new Toyota Tundra V8 double-cab pickup truck.

(L-R) Mauricio Garrido, VP Salvage; Stephen Loeb, CFO; Tommy Gibilterra, VP Offshore Construction-Pipeline; Sean Coughlin; Beau Bisso, President/COO; Glenn Posik, Project Manager and Mark Diamond, Jr., Project Manager.

a pool of 166 eligible employees. To be eligible for the drawing, an employee must be employed by the company for the entire calendar year without having had an accident, safety infraction, negative performance review, or disciplinary write-up. Coughlin was

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Coughlin, an Assistant Salvage Master and Diving Supervisor, has been with Bisso since 2004. The company has worked very hard to continue raising the safety standards and expectations bar, resulting in a 33% reduction in 2008 Total Recordable Incident Rate.

In other news, T&T Bisso recently successfully salvaged the 72’, 1600hp vessel, Miss Janice, which recently sank in the Port of New Orleans in the Mississippi River. T&T Bisso was contracted to stabilize the fuel and lube oil, then remove the vessel from the busy ship channel, where it sank in 85 feet (26m) of high current, zero-visibility water. T&T Bisso used its own divers and the Gulf of Mexico-based, 600-ton capacity D/B Lili Bisso to lift the 375-ton vessel. AWARD WIN FOR DIVEX International diving equipment technology company Divex is celebrating an impressive award win at the 2008 Australian Export Awards. Divex won the national export award in the small to medium manufacturer section, for outstanding export achievement. Having won the same category in the Western Australian Industry and Export Awards in November, Divex qualified for the national awards, which recognize high achievement in export sales and with 65% of the company’s sales being •

export sales, and the value of these sales steadily growing over the past three years, Divex were recognized as the leading exporter in the small to medium manufacturer category. Divex’s award was presented to Doug Austin, who heads up the Australian operation, by Ian Saines of the Commonwealth Bank, sponsors of the award. Global Industries Appoints Senior Executives Global Industries announced the appointment of two senior executives to lead the company’s commercial growth strategies, marketing and business development activities. Eduardo


Borja will rejoins Global as Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & Strategy and John Katok will serve in the John Katok role of Senior Vice President, Worldwide Business Development. Borja will be responsible for strategic planning, development and implementation of the company’s growth strategies including marketing of the company’s services for deepwater applications. Katok will lead Global’s efforts to enhance customer satisfaction by developing processes to improve client sponsorship, project planning and project execution. Both men will report directly to John Clerico, Global’s Chairman and CEO. New Non-Executive Director for Ashtead Technology Ashtead Technology announced that Derek Shepherd has joined the Board as a non-executive director. Shepherd brings a wealth of additional asset rental experience to the Ashtead Technology Board. For the last 10 years, Derek has


been Managing Director of Aggreko International, one of the key drivers of Aggreko’s recent growth. SONARDYNE TSUNAMI WARNING SYSTEM FOR INDIA Sonardyne International (UK) has delivered the latest batch of acoustic monitoring sensors that will oversee the Indian coastline by providing the early detection and warning of tsunami waves. The network of new sensors will be deployed alongside the existing Sonardyne sensors in the

Bay of Bengal and off the west coast off India where they will continuously monitor the ocean for the characteristic water pressure changes that indicate a developing tsunami. The Sonardyne monitors are based upon sophisticated subsea transponders equipped with highly

accurate pressure sensors that are positioned on the seabed hundreds of miles off the Indian coast. If one of the transponders detects a small, but continuous, change in water pressure it transmits an acoustic emergency warning signal to a radio buoy moored on the surface above it. The buoys are operated by NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology) of India and they relay the warnings via a satellite link to the organization’s headquarters in Chennai. From there, alerts can be forwarded to the appropriate authorities in time for precautions to be taken. Teledyne RDI User’s Conference in October 2009 Teledyne RD Instruments (RDI) will host its next ADCPs in Action Users’ Conference in San Diego, CA on October 5-7, 2009. Teledyne RDI’s users’ conference was designed to bring the oceanographic community together for a lively exchange of information between Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) users, industry experts, and third party manufacturers. Each year, ADCPs in Action continues to grow in popularity, attracting industry experts from around the globe who share their experience and address the topics deemed most important to today’s ADCP/DVL users. •

Teledyne Webb Research to supply NURC with Slocum Glider AUVs After extensive technical review, Teledyne Webb Research has been awarded a contract to supply the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) in La Spezia, Italy with Slocum Gliders. Teledyne Webb has already delivered a vehicle simulator for training purposes, and has received a delivery order for four Slocum gliders. The contract includes an option for up to three additional systems over a threemonth period. The Slocum glider is an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that is driven by a variable buoyancy system as opposed to a traditional propeller. The long-range and duration capabilities of Slocum gliders make them ideally suited for extensive data collection over a large area. Carrying a wide variety of sensors, the vehicle can be programmed to patrol for weeks at a time, surfacing to transmit their data to shore while downloading new instructions at regular intervals. To date, Teledyne Webb Research has delivered 124 Slocum gliders to 40 user groups, which have collected data over 120,000 km of the world’s oceans. NURC, one of three research and technology organizations within NATO, conducts world-class maritime

January•February 2009

research in support of NATO’s operational and transformation requirements. The Slocum gliders will join NURC’s growing fleet of autonomous vehicles and will be instrumental in furthering the organization’s scientific research initiatives. Teledyne Acquires Odom Hydrographic Systems Teledyne RD Instruments has acquired Odom Hydrographic Systems, Inc. Odom, headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA, designs and manufactures hydrographic survey instrumentation used in port survey, dredging, offshore energy and other applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “Odom’s single and multibeam echo sounders nicely complement the existing instrumentation products within our Teledyne Marine group of companies,” said Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Teledyne Technologies. “For example, through the combination of Odom’s echo sounders with Teledyne RDI’s Doppler velocity logs, Teledyne Benthos’ side scan sonar systems and Teledyne TSS’ inertial sensing systems, Teledyne will provide an extensive line of precision products for marine navigation, detection, sonar imaging and bathymetric survey.” Visit them at

January•February 2009 •


new gear KONGSBERG’s NEW GENERATION LOW-LIGHT UNDERWATER CAMERA Kongsberg Maritime’s OE13 124 BIT delivers unprecedented light sensitivity, image quality and range performance, enabling users to undertake more accurate, longer range underwater vehicle navigation in low-light and in turbid water conditions.Building on previously successful enhanced SIT (Silicon Intensifier Target) and 1st Generation EMCCD based low-light camera products, the new OE13-124 BIT features an advanced back illuminated and thinned (BIT) CCD light sensor, thermo-electric cooling and integral image-processing algorithms, which delivers up to six-times the light efficiency in water of first-generation EMCCD sensors. Visit them online at BROCO’S NI-TOUCH WET WELDING ELECTRODE Broco’s Ni-Touch nickel wet welding electrode was developed to allow underwater wet welding of carbon and high tensile steels which would normally require the use of more expensive dry chamber welding. Nickel wet welding electrodes have been used by the U.S. Navy since the early 1980s for selective ship repairs. Now Broco brings customers an improved industry-leading nickel electrode which produces welds with less porosity and allows deeper welding in the overhead position. Ni-Touch electrode is appropriate for all position groove and fillet welds.

ROV SIMULATOR FROM MARINE SIMULATION Marine Simulation LLC today announced the release of ROVsim Pro. ROVsim Pro reflects a quantum level increase in sophistication and features specifically designed to meet the growing needs of ROV and undersea education professionals. After listening to feedback

LYYN HAWK SYSTEM The LYYN Hawk System is a real-time, 19” rack-mounted visibility enhancer solution for analog multi-camera systems – one viewer, many cameras. By installing it with a video

switch it is possible to “lyynify” the whole system. The operator can choose and switch any camera through the unit, providing lyynification wherever it is needed. Instead of installing more enhanced cameras you only need one LYYN Hawk System per simultaneous viewing channel. A simple system upgrade bringing a powerful result to the whole system. FUGRO’S STARFIX.TOPS As the leader in offshore surveying, Fugro Chance Inc. strives to develop innovative technology to improve its services. The company recently introduced a compact, powerful positioning system called STARFIX. TOPS, with accuracy capability as great as sub-meter. The TOPS “Total Positioning System” box serves as the primary GPS receiver that surveyors use on a project, such as for performing a rig move.

from users in the field, Marine Simulation LLC created an application designed from the ground up to be both flexible and modular. ROVsim Pro can be delivered in a wide variety of configurations to meet your organization’s current needs and then later be upgraded as your future needs may require. By modularizing the design and separating the program into distinct applications communicating over a simple network, ROVsim Pro can be used in virtually any training environment. Thanks to this new design, multiple ROV’s operating in the same mission, multiple SONARS operating from a single ROV, or a single instructor simultaneously monitoring a group of vehicles are now possible with ROVsim Pro.

Safety Communication Education


Enough said. 98 •

January•February 2009

advertiser index 23 Airgas Gas & Equipment 101 Association Commercial Diving Educators 35 Amron International Diving Supply 34 Analox Sensor Technology, Ltd. 11,47 Aqua-Air Industries Inc. 101 Armada Systems, Inc. 93 AUVSI 67 Bay-Tech Industries 45 BlueView Technologies Inc. 75 Broco, Inc. 2 Cal Dive International 74 Central States Underwater 21 Cygnus Instruments, Inc. 33 DeepSea Power & Light 82 Deepwater Corrosion Services 86 Delta Wave Communications 17 Denso North America, Inc. 44 Dive Commercial International 98 Divers Institute of Technology 37 Divers Supply, Inc. 108 E.H. Wachs Company 39 EdgeTech - Marine Systems 27 Epic Divers, Inc. 91 Flange Skillets International 85 Fox Industries 78 Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. 71 Hawboldt Industries 34 Heavy Metal Diver 104 High-Tech Diving & Safety 94 Historical Diving Society USA 89 Hull Support Services Limited 87 Hunter Diving Ltd.

29 31 76 45 50 40 25 4 91 107 73 49 62 18 89 88 104 36 79 51 15 84 104 95 90 9 81 103 59 90 10 19

Hydroweld USA Hytech Hyperbaric Technology BV Imagenex Technology Corporation International Special Risks, Inc. Jack Vilas & Associates John W. Fisk Co. Insurance JW Fishers Manufacturing Inc. Kirby Morgan Dive Systems KME Diving Suits, Inc. Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd. Kongsberg Simrad Ltd. Lexmar Engineering Pte Ltd. LinkQuest, Inc. Marine Sonic Technology, Ltd. Marshall Underwater Ind. Miller Diving / Kirby Morgan MN Diver Training Molecular Products, Inc. MATE Center ROV Competition Moog Components Group / Focal Morgan City Rentals National Polytechnic College of Science Nuvair Ocean Business Ocean Eye Inc. Oceaneering International, Inc. Oriente Marine Group / Tiburon Caribe Outland Technology Inc. PAC Stainless - Tungum Tubing Petrogen International Ltd. Praxair, Inc. Princetel, Inc.


Quest Offshore Resources, Inc.


Rapp Hydema AS


Rockwater USA Corporation




Seacon Brantner & Associates




SeaWork / DiveWork


Shark Marine


Sidus Solutions


Society of Petroleum Engineers - OTC

100 Steffen, Inc.


Sub-Atlantic Inc.





103 Submergence Group 82

Subsalve USA


Subsea Technologies




Teledyne Benthos


Teledyne Odom Hydrographics


Teledyne RDI


Teledyne TSS


The Ocean Corporation


Trelleborg Viking, Inc.


U.S. Underwater Services



Veolia ES - Special Services


VideoRay, Inc.




Y’s Engineering

Into the



2009 RoV PICtoRIAL


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UWCurrents DIVING Bosarge Diving has taken delivery of a new Klein Model 3900 Side Scan Sonar Unit with a Getac Computer System to assist with the location of objects on the seabed and in the inland waterways. The Klein side scan sonar unit has a dual frequency towfish with high resolution imagery. The unit is one man portable and able to work from small boats with limited deck space. The Getac computer features a daylight readable view screen and is rain / splash resistant for use in open boats. Bosarge has conducted several sonar surveys with this equipment since delivery with outstanding results. Construction on a 30’


OAL by 10’ Beam multi-purpose aluminum work boat is underway at Scully’s Aluminum Boats in Morgan City, LA. The vessel will feature a cabin for six persons and twin 250 HP Yamaha outboard engines with an estimated top speed in excess of 40 knots. The foredeck has a clear deck of 9.5’ wide and 12’ long for side scan sonar work, diving operations and material transportation. The boat will be based in Pascagoula, MS, and is trailerable for fast response in remote locations along the Gulf Coast and Inland Areas. The Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber will be offering two courses in Emergency Dive Accident Management (EDAM) in 2009. The courses are open

to anyone who is interested in learning more about the medical aspects of diving and how dive accidents are treated. Diving instructors and guides, search and rescue personnel, and emergency medical personnel will find the programs of particular interest. The EDAM course includes information on the types of equipment, events and circumstances that lead to diving accidents. Detailed information on decompression, lung over-pressure injuries, dive computers, narcosis, and technical diving issues are covered during the exciting 38-hour course. Also included are the field evaluation of dive accidents, communication procedures, and hyperbaric chamber treatment. Demonstrations are •

provided (weather permitting) by the L.A. County Baywatch Lifeguards and the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue team. The 2009 EDAM courses are being offered during the week of March 15-20 and July 19-24. Tuition for each of the courses is $650, including tuition, books, room and board. For more information, check out the chamber’s web site at http://wrigley. On January 21, 2009, in front of hundreds of guests, Diving Unlimited International (DUI) received the #1 Drysuit Award from Tauchen Magazine. DUI has been honored with this reader-choice award every year since its inception five years ago. This award is voted on by readers in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland. Susan Long and DUI’s VP/Sales, Faith Ortins, attended the nine-day Boot Show in Düsseldorf and worked alongside DUI dealers from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Holland, Croatia, Switzerland, Egypt, Poland, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Turkey.

January•February 2009

The Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) has just released the names of its 2009 Honorees: Dr. Melanie Clark, Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, Randi Eisen, Pauline Feine, Dr. Anita George-Ares, and Margo Peyton. The six women will be inducted into the WDHOF at the Beneath the Sea Awards Banquet on March 28, 2009 at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey. UW VEHICLES The 20th Anniversary running of the International Submarine Races, the world’s only engineering design competition for human-powered underwater vehicles, will be held June 22-26, 2009, at the U. S. Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Carderock test tank facility in Bethesda, MD. This will be the 10th in a series of biennial races that test the creative skills of young engineering students from colleges, universities and technical and high schools from throughout the world. Teams wearing scuba gear compete in one- and two-person “wet”

January•February 2009

submarines designed to run submerged along a 100-meter measured course in Carderock’s model basin. The 8.035 knot speed mark, set in 2007 by the OMER 5 submarine from the Ecole de Technologie Superieure, Montreal, Canada, will be difficult to beat, according to ISR Head Judge Claude Brancart. It is a speed most human-powered submarine enthusiasts previously deemed unachievable. Speeds have steadily improved over the 20-year history of the ISR. Officials said 2009 will feature a record number of entries. Amid -3° C temperatures and snow, Canadian ROV manufacturer International Submarine Engineering (ISE) commenced trials and testing on the China Geological Survey ROV for its first test dive in the ISE pool. Named Sea Lion, the ROV is an ISE Hysub 130HP ROV scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2009. Sea Lion is the first ROV for Guangzhou Marine Geology Survey (GMGS), a division of China’s Ministry of Land and Resources. It has a depth rating of 4000 meters,

suitable for reaching the depths required for the mineral exploration the vehicle is designed to perform. The Sea Lion ROV comes equipped with eight hydraulic thrusters, two ISE Magnum manipulators, six cameras, and a full sensor package. Unique to the ROV is a 4000 meter rated hyperbaric clathrate bucket designed to collect hydrate cores containing methane gasses. The skid mounted bucket maintains the required pressure and temperature conditions similar to the hydrate’s geophysical environment. Sea Lion’s propulsion system today is being tested, along with a newly formed power management optimization system. Production is on schedule, and Factory Acceptance Testing will be completed in the next few weeks. Schilling Robotics announced the expansion of its Houston regional office team with the addition of David Marchetti as regional operations manager, and Giovanni Escobar as regional sales manager. Schilling’s vice president of global •

sales, Jason Stanley, says, “As we continue to expand our ROV market share and develop our subsea controls portfolio, selecting the right people to ensure that our clients’ experience the “up time” they expect from our products is critical. Marchetti and Escobar bring substantial capability to our team, and we are pleased to welcome them aboard.” Marchetti brings to Schilling over 20 years of experience in diverse management, product development, and manufacturing experience. He has excelled in subsea controls project management, tender management, aftermarket activities, and business strategies, which will directly align his talents with the formation of Houston’s applications engineering group. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from San Diego State University, and an MBA in Management from Our Lady of the Lake University in Houston, Texas. For the third consecutive year, General Atomics (GA) is a key sponsor of the San Diego iBotics Student Engineering


Society team in its quest to win the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Autonomous Underwater Vehicles competition. The contest will be held at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center-San Diego, July 28 through August 2, 2009. GA is providing funding to support this endeavor and members of the GA Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) engineering team are providing engineering mentoring to the iBotics team. In addition to GA’s monetary contribution, the company also donated a test pool for the team’s fully autonomous submarine, the Stingray. Appropriately named for its shape, the 2008 Stingray finished 11th in the competition, which consisted of 25 teams. To prepare for this year’s competition, Gideon Prior, President of the iBotics Student Organization, UCSD Chapter, says the team is focusing on improving the Stingray’s autonomous controls capabilities and hopes to improve their finish significantly if not win the competition all together.


OFFSHORE ENERGY Recent investigations of fatal accidents in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) have revealed that the fatalities occurred during the performance of day-today tasks. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) found that a lack of written, procedural guidelines for the performance of these routine tasks was a cause of each of the accidents. Further, as a result of the latest annual performance reviews, MMS has found that there is a lack of a clear understanding by many operators of what constitutes a Job Safety Analysis (JSA), and most operators do not have a formal review process for determining which jobs require a JSA. It appears that most operators conduct a JSA on routine tasks where most accidents are occurring. However, operators are not considering routine tasks that have the potential for severe consequences even though no accidents have occurred as yet. JSA’s can be regarded as one form of hazard analysis. Hazard analysis is an analysis performed to identify and evalu-

ate hazards for the purpose of their elimination or control. Job Hazards Analysis (JHA) is used to review the scope of work to be performed on a broad scale and can uncover hazards overlooked in the original design, mock-up, or setup of a particular process, operation, or task. A JSA, on the other hand, is a process used to review sitespecific detailed job steps and uncover hazards associated with the specific job undertaken. When the hazards have been identified and their severity evaluated, a strategy must then be developed to eliminate or reduce these hazards. This strategy may include the development of operating procedures, safe work practices, operating guidelines, or a combination of all three. These procedures, practices, and/or guidelines must be made available to the employee performing the tasks. This process of mitigating hazards is commonly used in industry for situations in which the inherent risks are recognizably high. Unfortunately, this process is not used as frequently in the more day-to-day tasks. It is therefore •

recommended that; • Operators develop a systemic approach for evaluating all tasks to identify those tasks that have potential severe or fatal consequences should an accident occur. • Operators consider inclement weather as a potential hazard to both routine and nonroutine operations. • Once those tasks have been identified, operators should conduct the necessary JHA and/or JSA to identify those hazards that could lead to potentially severe or fatal consequences. • The operator should then eliminate the hazard or reduce the severity of the consequences through the use of design engineering, administrative controls, or written procedures and/or guidelines. Helix Energy Solutions Group has entered into a definitive stock repurchase agreement with Cal Dive International, a majority-owned subsidiary, pursuant to which it will sell to Cal Dive 13,564,669 shares of Cal Dive’s common stock for total consideration equal

January•February 2009

to $86,000,000 or $6.34 per share. The purchase price represents an approximate 2% discount to the 30 day average trading price of Cal Dive’s common stock as of January 16, 2009. Helix expects to close the transaction in the near future and will use the proceeds of the sale for general corporate purposes. After the consummation of this transaction Helix will own 47,942,022 of the 93,946,409 shares of Cal Dive common stock outstanding such that Helix’s ownership interest is reduced from approximately 57% to approximately 51% of Cal Dive. Owen Kratz, Helix’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented that “We believe that this is another step in our previously announced strategy of unlocking the asset value in the Company by divesting of assets outside of our core business focus while simultaneously providing the Company with additional liquidity which we believe is important in the current economic environment.” Subsea 7 was honored for excellence throughout its business and operations when it was named ‘Subsea Company of the Year’ at the 2009 Subsea UK Business Awards. Finalists in the ‘Subsea Company of the Year’ category, which also included Hallin Marine and Tracerco, were judged on a number of factors, including: growth in the last year; national and international profile and reputation; business and technical excellence; commitment to staff training and development and commitment to safety and the environment. Achievements such as recently scoring 93% for Health and Safety and 91% for Environmental issues with FPAL (First Point Assessment Ltd) – the highest ever scores awarded to an FPAL listed company in these areas - and its investment in, and commitment to, numerous new technologies – including helping other SME’s in the Subsea Industry get their technologies to market; were among just some of the reasons Subsea 7 was selected as the 2009 winner: Robin Davies, Vice President for Subsea 7’s UK Region accepted the award on January•February 2009

behalf of the company: “I am honored to accept the ‘Subsea Company of the Year’ award on behalf of everyone at Subsea 7, whose hard work, commitment and vision towards becoming the Subsea Partner of Choice, has resulted in us being able to demonstrate excellence in all areas of our business and operations.” MARINE TECHNOLOGY Fugro Survey (Middle East) Limited recently ordered another GAPS, IXSEA’s pre-calibrated USBL system, because of its unique high performance in extremely shallow waters. The first GAPS USBL was mobilized in the spring of 2008 for several construction jobs on behalf of the EPC contractor J. Ray McDermott Middle East in Qatar. A significant number of mattresses and sleepers were laid successfully between Ras Laffan and various new platforms in North Field. The environment was noisy with a water depth often less than 20m. FSME is now expanding its pool of USBL in ordering a second GAPS unit for the Middle East. Delta Wave Communications has expanded their Iridium DirectCall Service to include local Houston based numbers to their service. DirectCall Service offers direct dialing to Iridium satellite phones via one domestic U.S. number. The service is not two staged – calls are placed directly to the satellite phone. DirectCall eliminates international long distance charges when placing calls to Iridium subscribers around the world. As the popularity of Delta Wave’s DirectCall service has grown, so has the demand for more area codes. Delta Wave is pleased to announce the (713) Houston, TX. area code has been added to the DirectCall service. There is a small onetime activation fee. There are no monthly charges for the Houston based phone number. DirecCall connection fees are rated at as much as 85% lower than calls directly to Iridium satellite international number assignments. For more info, call 800-706-2515. UW •


104 •

January•February 2009


January•February 2009 •


Getting to Know Industry Leaders

Scott Naughton Chief Operating Officer Cal Dive International When did you first become interested in the underwater world? Growing up, I idolized the FBI and planned a career in law enforcement, until I read a book about scuba diving. One year later, I took scuba lessons in high school and my life direction changed forever. I went to Coastal School of Diving in Oakland and drove straight to Morgan City in the spring of 1972, hiring on with Petrolane Offshore, a small company with one pipelay barge, the Alligator and one derrick barge, the Octopus. Back in those days, you dove when your supervisor (or barge captain) told you to, so I made diver/ tender on my second job, (I’m still waiting for that paycheck). I had a great first year in the business but figured I should be my own boss. In 1973 I was back in Northern California, prospecting for gold, underwater. That fall, I started abalone/urchin diving in Santa Barbara (selling the urchin, eating the abalone). As much fun as that year was, I returned to Morgan City (broke, again) and hired on with J&J Marine in April of 1974 and never looked back. I was a diver and a supervisor until the end of the 1984 season, when I moved into operations. By that time, we were a part of Cal Dive and over the years I moved up to Project Manager, Vice President, and now COO, overseeing worldwide operations. Tell us something no one knows about you. I’ve spent my whole diving career working undercover for the FBI. If you could go back and tell your teenage self one thing, what would that be? Have fun, but stay healthy! Think about goals and objectives, but never stop dreaming!


What professional accomplishments are you most proud of? The diving industry has come so far since the 1970s and I love being a part of that, the good jobs and the bad ones. Dive companies today can provide a career path for their employees and with training and experience, I think people who want to work can go anywhere and do anything in our business. I would like to think that, in a small way, I have helped that progress for many people and friends and their families. What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m pretty sure I am what I wanted to be! What was your favorite project or assignment? After I moved into the office, I really come to appreciate how much fun we had working hard and diving offshore. My favorite jobs aren’t about the work we did, it’s about the people I worked with and the friends I made in a lifetime in the diving business. Having said that, there was nothing better in my career than the satisfaction I felt after completing a great dive or finishing a tough job. As a Project Manager, I still get the satisfaction of seeing the project through from start to finish, but it’s never as fine as being out there, a part of the team, doing it. What was your least favorite? Every winter job, before dry suits and hot water!!! Without naming names, what is the single most unbelievable thing you have seen on a diving job in your career? If we’re drinking at the bar (and you’re buying) these stories would go as long as you have money, but I’ll never forget the poor guy who made a good dive setting a self-propelled jet sled to start burying the pipeline

at the platform. The sled quickly came to a stop and the next diver reported, “Well you see, the sled stopped here at the leg, because SOMEBODY set the sled on the bottom horizontal, instead of the pipeline.” You have worked with several generations of commercial divers. What has been the biggest change you have noticed with the divers of today versus those of the past? This is more about what hasn’t changed! This industry is not for everyone, but if you can adapt to life offshore, this is still a fantastic business where your attitude and effort translates directly into your successes (or failures!). The young hands getting started now still have that gung-ho “thirst for life” attitude and they are like a dry sponge soaking up experience so they can be the next diver on bottom. In the US Gulf of Mexico, the diving industry was stagnating prior to Hurricane Ivan, with the smallest dive school classes ever – and most graduates were not even considering the gulf. Hopefully, in these tough economic times, we will attract even more of the go-getters, the hands that can really make a difference. What are the three the most important things commercial divers should know, from your point of view? Lesson 1 (from my first scuba lesson): Plan your dive and then dive your plan. Lesson 2 (from my first day of dive school): Always keep your dive umbilical clear. Lesson 3 (from my first offshore dive): If you find a deep hole, shoot a pneumo! What is the most significant piece of gear you have seen come along during your career? I still can’t believe that all divers are NOT diving Ben Miller’s hats, the •

best diving hat since the Navy Mark V, but if not for saturation, portable sonars and ROV technology, we would all still be working in shallow water. What piece of gear has not been invented yet, but will revolutionize the industry when it is? And you really think I’m going to reveal my secret plan to revolutionize the industry? What is your favorite movie, book, TV show, sport? I hate this question because I hope my favorite book is the next book I read, not something from the past. However, I will nominate The Right Stuff, by Tom Wolfe, and give Honorable Mention to Mike Gebhardt, the first commercial diver to go in the other direction and work in space. I like the History Channel, but I love watching Spongebob and The Simpsons with my 8-year-old godson, Rene Morgan. And sports? I love all LSU teams! (answered under duress!) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would be the second commercial diver to work in space! Give us your thoughts on the ADCI: where it has been, and where it is going. My first ADC Symposium was in Morgan City in the early 70s and, like the diving industry, the ADCI has come a long way. However, improving all aspects of our industry is a never-ending process that will never be complete. The ADCI and all member companies need to continue to improve training criteria, certification and standard practices. We will only achieve that by working together and we must have the support of our clients. UW

January•February 2009

UnderWater Magazine 091  

Jan-Feb 2009 issue of the official magazine of the Association of Diving Contractors International

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