Most Unforgettable Experience in Life as a Commercial Diver


[dropcap][/dropcap]Career in commercial diving can be both rewarding and challenging.  Aside from professional training it requires right skills, commitment, flexibility and common sense. Experienced commercial divers can tell stories about their daily hard work, typical day, and life’s challenges. 

photo from community member -  Kiriakos Boukas
photo from community member – Kiriakos Boukas

Last week we asked the professional divers in the community about their most unforgettable experience in their diving career. We decided to share their stories to give you a glimpse of commercial diving life.

Lets see what they say about it.

Standing on bottom at 120′ in the gulf , and still able to see the DSV.” – Michael Allen Ryan

Leave surface, head down the down line, about ready to yell for slack, looking over and seeing the reason my hose is tight, is that it’s being sucked towards the spinning props.” – Pat M

The current washed me up to a ten foot sturgeon in the Kennebec river here in Maine.” – D Grimshaw Worcester

Getting paid the exact amount I invoiced” – Neil Kewn

from Craig 'ballbag' Barwick submitted for January photo contest
from Craig ‘ballbag’ Barwick submitted for photo contest on January

Inspection of fishfarms in Norway, while it was under attack by hundreds of sharks (spurdog) we were sewing holes in the net at 45 meters at night. The ships above us had a lot of lights, so the view we had above us with hundreds of Sharks circling around us was Stunning!! – and their eyes lights up when the light hits them!” – Daniel Jensen

First day working at a marine farm in South Australia, we’d been grounded for a week due to a big storm and we took the boats out to inspect the damage. We drive up to one farm ring and find a juvenile humpback whale trapped inside it, swimming in circles. A WHALE. We ended up cutting the headlines on one side of the ring to create an exit then all the divers went round the other side and splashed and made noise to try to herd the whale through it, and eventually willy was free without any apparent ill effects… the boss was shitting bricks about it though!” – David Mir

Doing an inspection under a 85 m X 25 m barge during low tide near shore. As the tide gets lower the barge crush down on me, pressing me deep into the muddy sea bed. I had to LITERALLY dig my way out….” – Desumondo Deseumondeu

Had a 1500 pound-ish stellar sea lion push me with his head 10′ along the bottom then he did mid water fly bys a foot over my head, the swirling water from him passing so fast would almost knock me down. He did that for about twenty minutes then took off.” – Blake Herr

Surveying gravel bed under 10000 tonn lockgate floating just above my head when i was stood up. 3hrs later go to stand and only got a foot above my bailout bottle whilst i was horizontal. Tide dropped and i forgot. Messy drysuit time.” – Guy Morris

Feeling the warm burn from a failed hot water system in a hot suit at 50 metres. Disconnect hose and remove glove and watch the skin on my hand float away. Water was at 6 degrees so did well for it. Into decom and oxygen. Burnt hand, hip and leg, healed up well from the oxygen and freezing water I think! No scars.” – Raphe Carbins

Left surface at 3 a.m. and saw the airplane at the ground in 80 m at 3:05 a.m. in the shine of the rov beams. Unreal clear water in norway.” – Frank Mettbach

Hole in coveralls+jellyfish=horrible dive and swollen twig&berries. always wear at least a skin.” – Skyler Pittman

Having the downline part while on deco after a SurDO2 dive, being ripped to surface omitting all my decompression, having my umbilical severed and being drug 400 ft through the water by a boat towing a floating crude oil pipeline, having to ditch all my gear to bottom and swim back to the dive site (monobuoy) to be immediately treated on a table 6.” – Joel Belliveau

Contaminated blackwater diving, feel like a blind searching for a missing space for diffuser and reinstalling it…” – Abel Gainza Lemos

from Neil Friday, submitted for January photo contest
from Neil Friday, submitted for photo contest on January

Block froze up on my hat in icy water.” – Thomas Cox

Getting dragged 150 feet or so a crossed bottom by an initiation cable in a matter of seconds with 450′ of umbilical out.” – Josh Bamford

Having a hat failure with 260 feet of umbilical out while on flat bottom of a super tanker drafting at 50ft. Never moved so fast in all my life.” – Corey N Bryanna Cox

Getting my knee pinned under a couple hundred pound boulder in New England’s cold waters” – Craig Overlock

Watching the company man take our 130` four point anchor boat and try to spin it around in morgan shitty. He almost took out the dock with the fluke of the anchor and got stuck in the mud a few times. After about two hours he somehow managed to get a line on the dock and was able to park the boat….all this happened while our capt. Was at wally world!!” – Cristhian Mendez

Getting screwed out of 2500′ of penetration pay.” – Rob Love

My experience was the most beautiful diving in antarctica, was one of the best buecear at these temperatures and under the ice, greetings to all divers in the world!” – Seba Conejero

110′ clear, warm water, buddy bashed a trigger with a hammer wrench… Good times in the GOM”  – Glenn Thompson

While checking the stop log track at a Dam, my umbilical got fouled because the seal busted and delta-p at 42′. Had to wait for standby to secure me for a safe ascent.” – Kyle Schmidt

Hearing dolphins around me in pitch black dark” – Stephen Rice

I have seen a lot of sad and terrible things including feeling them rarther than seeing them in black water an high sediment flows as a police diver recovering the missing, dead and sometimes parts of people in diving accidents, vehicle and helicopter crashes, suicides and boating incidents which I don’t being up here in order to scare, brag or challenge anyone as to who’s done what but to highlight my next point which is when I was diving on a new job recently doing civil construction when the “supposed lead diver” came down the work line towards me and started helping prep the job with his umbilical unattached to his harness and in the current being pulled this way and that by the head without picking up on the problem just fighting against the pull and acting like “I’ve got this”… Check your own kit, know your surroundings, check your umbilical periodically and work as a team. I sorted him out and clipped him off after 5 minutes or so not that he was grateful or thankful just resenting and a prick!!! Dive safe people it’s your life at the end of the day and enough things can kill you without yourself being a lead contributor” – Simon Lindroos

entry for January photo contest from Eric Tomlinson
entry for January photo contest from Eric Tomlinson

These brief stories came from real divers and we hope that it inspires and helps our readers, aspiring divers, and commercial divers in any way.

Recommended page : Commercial Diving – Unique skills and abilities of Divers


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