Bureau Veritas develops diving support unit rules

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Bureau Veritas (BV) has issued a new rule note covering the Classification of Diving Support Units. Rule Note NR609 sets out requirements for vessels used for manned diving operations, whether they are fitted with an air system for shallow diving or with a complex saturation system for deep diving.

Pierre de Livois, senior vice president, Marine & Offshore, Bureau Veritas, says, “The demand for diving support units is strong, with an estimated order book of more than 20 newbuild vessels. Currently, for these vessels, a special procedure is applied with ad hoc survey schemes and technical requirements. Several operators of offshore support vessels have asked BV to develop classification rules to cover the special needs of these units and particularly the diving support capabilities of multipurpose support vessels (MPSVs) using portable diving systems.”

He adds that the rule note addresses the requirements specific to units supporting professional diving, including the installation of the diving plant onboard, the interface between the ship and the diving system, and the description of the in-service surveys. The rule note deals with fire safety, electrical energy supply, emergency means of escape, communication means, and storage of the oxygen used to enrich the breathing gas. The latest industry practices are adopted, including IMCA recommendations regarding diving.

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