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Erik Jakobson

The Underwater Centre Tasmania Commercial Diviving Premium Package student Erik JacobsonCanadian Erik Jakobson successfully completed the ADAS Premium Package. He now enjoys some of the lifestyle benefits of being a commercial diver, like travelling and good rates of pay. It was Erik’s adventure-hungry nature that lured him to dive into the industry. Erik demonstrates how a complete lifestyle change can be achieved.

Erik: “I grew up in a small town outside of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. I have always enjoyed the water, sailing, fishing and swimming but was never a diver. I pushed for a job in Events and Marketing studying with a Canadian College and then continuing on to Griffith University on the Gold Coast.’

‘After my studies I worked with a sales agency representing Burton Snowboards in Ontario as an Event Coordinator. I moved to Whistler, British Columbia to snowboard and manage a sports store’.

What attracted you to the subsea sector?

‘I was looking for something totally different: after some encouragement and further research it supported the lifestyle I was looking for. I was looking for a specialised purpose. In the water, even a simple task becomes a challenge. Diving requires you to overcome any fear of the water or its marine life. Achieving confidence in an unfamiliar environment makes you feel as though you can do anything.

‘A colleague of mine was a former student of The Underwater Centre in Tasmania, who highly recommended the career path starting with the Centre. I was originally enrolled in the Part 3 Premium Package but was offered a job after completing Part 2. Although I may well look at returning to the Centre in the future to complete my Part 3, which you need to be able to work offshore’.

Tell us more about why you choose to train at The Underwater Centre?

‘I attended The Underwater Centre, Tasmania, because the package options made the transition from Canada to diver training in Tasmania very easy. The administrative care and enthusiasm simplified the finer logistical details of payment, transportation and lodging.

‘I feel I have been very fortunate to receive the level of training and care offered by my instructors at The Underwater Centre, Tasmania – it was a professional, safe and a fun place to be.

‘At the Centre, there was a major focus on safe practices which are drilled into the students. They reiterate that repetition breeds a safety culture amongst students. So on the job you can be confident in your abilities and your equipment’.

Can you tell us about the ins and outs of what working as a commercial diver is like for you?

‘Learning more every day; working hard; being safe and continuing the adventure.

I enjoy working with a team. Everyday has something new to offer, for example: weather, the tides influence on the current, visibility – and that I’m being challenged.

‘I least enjoy the short term time in remote areas away from my family’.

Would you encourage others to seek a job subsea?

‘I would encourage others to see seek a job in the subsea industry, if you want a challenge and the opportunity to earn a good living’.

Could I do it?

‘Diving is actually safer than you think. And Australia offers the best rates in the world. I am happy working onshore making $350 a day, with accommodation provided; although if you go offshore or into saturation diving work you can earn much more.

‘I was lucky to have a contact in the industry, which helped me but most of my classmates have also found work”.

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