Four groups with a total of 43 experienced divers from Shanghai Salvage Company (SSC) have completed their IMCA Surface Supplied Diver Assessment. The assessment was conducted from the Shanghai Salvage new DP 2 Diving Support Vessel (DSV) ‘Shen Qian Hao’ while in offshore Shanghai area.
The assessments were conducted over a 24-day program from May 14 to June 6, 2015 and carried out in accordance with the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) document – ‘Competence Assessment of Experienced Surface Supplied Divers’.
KB Associates Pte Ltd (KBA) is the only company approved by IMCA outside of the UK to conduct the experienced diver assessment program and were contracted by SSC. KBA provided two assessment teams, each comprising of two Assessors, one IMCA Diving Supervisor, and one IMCA Diver Medic to the three groups of 12 divers and one group of seven divers. The assessment requires every diver to complete a theory review followed by an exam and a range of practical assessments while using an IMCA compliant surface supplied air diving system and support equipment. The practical tasks included the use of airlifts, inspection and photography, a range of u/w tools, emergency diver recovery drills, diver rescue drills, 40msw deep dives and DDC drills as required by the assessment criteria.
SSC had mobilized one wet bell system onto the DSV in support of the built in wet bell system on board.
This allowed for two groups to be assessed, one by each assessment team at a time. “Having such a large group of divers on board the vessel was an interesting concept for managing and arranging daily assessment tasks, however after a short period of time we established a good routine and the Chinese divers work hard and proved to be very good competent divers in the water. Moreover, I’m impressed with the work ethic of the Shanghai Salvage Divers both above and below the waterline, they are keen to embrace the IMCA standards and procedures.” said Michael Whelan – KBA Lead Assessor, who has over 30 years of experience as a diver, diving supervisor and HSE UK commercial diver trainer.
SSC are in the process of applying as an IMCA approved Diving Contractor member and have an extensive program to align their operational safety and standards to meet the international market with various training initiatives, one of which is the recent diver assessment to bring the competence level of local divers to international IMCA’s standards and prior to this, their divers attended the Kirby Morgan DSI Helmet Technician training in February during the Lunar New Year period with KBA Training Centre (a subsidiary of KB Associates), and it is in the pipeline for other diving competence development training such as IMCA Diver Medic, IMCA Trainee Air Diving Supervisor, and similar courses for their personnel.
KBA has been working with Shanghai Salvage for approximately seven years and is pleased to have been associated with the change in operation for their offshore project planning and international alignment. Darren Brunton, Managing Director of KBA commented, “Shanghai Salvage is committed to train and upgrade their team and required their large group all be assessed at the same period. This involved an extensive planning, auditing and review process so that the assessment project would go safely and without delays. KBA translated the assessment documentation into Chinese, there were 5 members of the assessment team who spoke Chinese and SSC provided 2 translators which all help to ensure the assessment was a success. It was from the DP 2 Diving Support Vessel (DSV) ‘Shen Qian Hao’ that the divers had completed their 300msw saturation dive and some of those divers were being assessed for the surface supplied diver competence. We are pleased to be working with a company who has a mind set to develop, grow internationally and meet new levels of operational standards.’
Peter Kang, Deputy Director of Equipment Management Division of Shanghai Salvage has commented “Shanghai Salvage is an IMCA Marine Contractor member, holding more than 40 professional vessels, including crane vessels, DSV, AHTS and ocean going tugs. We have over 30 years’ experience in the international market. In China, Shanghai Salvage Company is the largest diving company and is in the process of application to become IMCA approved Diving Contractor member soon.”