True or False? Commercial diving is a solitary job.
False. Commercial divers are never alone!
Even if a commercial diver is the only person in the water, he or she is never alone.
For every commercial diver in the water, there are three additional people on the surface: two dive tenders, and one backup diver who is suited and ready to go in the water at a moment’s notice. Why three people? First, there is the dive tender responsible for monitoring the health and safety of the diver in the water. This dive tender stays in verbal communication with the commercial diver to listen for distress calls, provide instruction, and answer questions. The dive tender also monitors the commercial diver’s:
- Air supply
- Breathing rate
- Body temperature
Commercial diving is a challenging job: the commercial diver cannot concentrate on the task at hand and keep track of all these safety factors at the same time. The dive tender handles the commercial diver’s health so that the diver can handle his or her job.
But what about the other two people – the additional dive tender and the backup diver? This pair is on constant standby in case the commercial diver in the water gets in trouble. At the first sign of distress, the backup diver can enter the water and render assistance to the first diver. The second dive tender is present to monitor the backup diver’s vital signs should he or she have to go in the water.
Dive tenders are not a “nice to have” in the commercial dive industry. They are a “need to have,” and hold the responsibility for the diver’s health and well-being in their hands.