Sonar Supervisor PO2 Adam Coolidge is just weeks away from hanging up his navy combats for good and leaving the tight knit naval community.
But he won’t be floundering when he immerses himself into the civilian world. The sailor has created his own business and its already proving a success.
With the skills attained through almost 17 years of service to the Royal Canadian Navy, and 20 years of recreational diving, the sailor has opened his own commercial diving business, Cold Water Divers Inc.
“The most important skills my training with the navy gave me were timings, organization, and administrative experience,” he says. “Timings means everything for a diver, and I have to keep all of my dive gear perfectly organized and in good working order, ready to go at a moment’s notice. And, of course, as the owner I’m responsible for all of my company’s paperwork.”
Cold Water Divers Inc. specializes in maintenance and repair of operational civil infrastructures built in water, such as bridges, docks, and sewage outfalls; therefore, divers must have a high level of expertise working with tools.
His company currently employs five divers capable of heavy lift salvage and removal, underwater welding and broco cutting, and live HD video inspections.
On a typical project, two divers are sent below the water to work on the task, which can range from cleaning a ship’s propeller to completing a hull inspection, to repairing a wharf.
Their 20-foot boat is always nearby with a small crew responsible for ensuring the divers’ safety, with one employee tending, and a supervisor overseeing the entire operation including providing the divers with their unlimited air supply.
His company also boasts it is the only modular dive company on the Island.
Divers can operate out of a shipping container that contains everything needed to do the work.
This means his team can operate with no assistance at any location, be it on a barge, a ship or a remote location.
PO2 Coolidge got hooked on diving in 1995, after giving himself the gift of his first lesson.
His first dive, in the crystal clear waters of an Ontario quarry, sparked his diving interest.
He has traveled to some of the most sought-after waters for diving such as the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, Malta, Guam, Japan, Scotland, Azores, and Alaska, and diving his re-breather on many of the shipwrecks in the Florida Keys while on his summer break during his 6A Sonar Control Supervisor course.
Diving is also a part of his navy job.
His secondary duty in HMCS Ottawa is a ship’s team diver.
This work includes being a rescue diver for a man overboard, inspecting, clearing the ship drive-line from debris, and jetty searches.
While the change from navy life to full-time business owner has its stresses, PO2 Coolidge says he’s ready to immerse himself fully into his successful dive company and take it to the next level.