Diver Exploits: Welding Skills, Grandfather’s Impact & CDA Technical


I grew up welding.

My grandfather taught me every in and out of it, along with many other things.

From Heavy Metal to Combat

I graduated high school in 2010 then went straight into the Army. I was a combat infantryman and I was part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). When I came home I got my welding certifications and went to work for several oil and natural gas companies.

One of my biggest motivations in my life is my grandfather.


He taught me more than I can sit here and write about. He died last February. I have a tattoo that says “Grandpa” on my right forearm because that’s the hand I weld with.

My family is another major part of me. I want live life with no regrets. I’m single, no kids; I want to travel the world, dive, and make money by doing something I love.

Dive School: Hitting the Books & the River

CDA Technical Institute is an amazing school. Other schools like Divers Institute of Technology (DIT) do not put you in a hat and on bottom till the seventh week. On your fourth day at CDA Technical, you already have 70 minutes of bottom time. I’m looking forward to having my DCBC and my underwater welding certificates.

I love being challenged. Morning physical training (PT) isn’t hard, but it’s not easy.

One challenge here is your visibility in the Trout River where you do most of your dives. It’s zero visibility. Maybe an inch or two but that’s about it. Physics is a class here that you better pay attention to.

So far I’ve used two hats. Gorski 2000 and kirby Morgan 27. I prefer the kirby Morgan. My harness a bailout of course. I got my scuba certificates as well.

My favorite instructor is Mike Barron. He is one of the most knowledgeable guys I’ve met. Very nice, willing to help, answer any question you may have. He motivates people and pushes them to want to do better for themselves.

After graduation I would like to go offshore and begin to make a name for myself. I know I’ll have to tendfor a while, but I wanna be working again making my way up to diver. I don’t have anything holding me back so I’m fine with diving until my day comes that I can’t.


Ethan Nelson is 24 at the time of this writing. He grew up in a small town in Oklahoma with his parents and three siblings. His passions lie in commercial diving, underwater and topside welding.






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