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Results from Leading Commercial Diver Training Centre Alliance

Saturation diving students in the Closed Bell at The Underwater CentreLeading commercial diver training centres in the UK and USA have formed an alliance to provide American and Canadian students with the opportunity to advance their careers in the global subsea market.

The Underwater Centre in Fort William, Scotland offers graduates of the Divers Institute of Technology (DIT) in Seattle the opportunity to complete their saturation diver training and ROV pilot technician training with them.

Prior to the alliance, there was nowhere in the USA that offered the Closed Bell training required to obtain the internationally recognised saturation diving certificate. The alliance with the Centre means that DIT can provide American and Canadian subsea workers with access to certification and training that will increase their employability.  The alliance also allows a cost-effective route for experienced saturation divers to gain their international ticket.

The partnership is now underway and the first student to come over from Canada has recently finished his training.

Aaron Hogan, who has just completed his HSE Closed Bell Course, as well as the Diver Medic Training, was delighted with the staff and facilities at The Underwater Centre and is looking forward to putting his qualifications to good use in his new role as an Assistant Life Support Technician with Subsea 7.

He said: “I’ve been around water since I was very young as I used to work on my Dad’s lobster boat so it seemed like a natural progression to decide to get into commercial diving.

“I’d heard quite a lot about The Underwater Centre and one of my friends had come over to learn here so I decided to discuss my options with the staff at DIT and they set everything in motion.

“The people that work at The Underwater Centre are professionals and the facilities reflect that.  It has opened many doors for me in the diving industry and I think the more training you have makes you more employable.

“Now that I have secured my first job in the sector, my aim is to focus on getting as much experience as possible and moving up the ladder into a saturation diving post.”

As well as graduates from DIT, the school will also assist any other divers in the USA and Canada to access the courses at The Underwater Centre, offering advice, assistance and a straightforward booking procedure.

Steve Ham, General Manager of The Underwater Centre, believes both schools have recognised the need to maintain a high standard of training, industry focused competence and reliable certification on a worldwide basis, which the alliance between the two centres provides.

“For some time now the Divers Institute of Technology and The Underwater Centre, here in Fort William, have enjoyed a developing relationship based on a shared ethos of providing students with the best possible platform on which to build a global subsea career in diving and ROV.  We are delighted this relationship has now developed into a formal alliance.”

Mr. Bruce Banks, Managing Member and owner of Divers Institute of Technology is excited by the opportunities that DIT students will now enjoy.

“Divers Institute has been a strong proponent for robust diving standards and has been instrumental in helping develop the Canadian Standards Association Z275.4 and Z275.5 diving standards that are reciprocally recognized by HSE and other world-recognized diving standard organizations. To that end, our goal is to ensure that our students are afforded the best employment opportunities throughout the world.

“Our alliance with The Underwater Centre expands those opportunities and provides advanced training that will provide our students with the needed saturation training to meet the challenges of the subsea marketplace.”

The Underwater Centre is  the only training centre in the world that offers the full range of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) commercial diving qualifications in air and mixed gas diver training, from HSE SCUBA to HSE Closed Bell diving.

Based at the head of a deep seawater loch in the Scottish Highlands, the Centre offers a unique sheltered site with a large private pier extending into the loch. The waters plunge to depths of 150 metres, which are ideal conditions for commercial diving and ROV training. There is also a large, purpose built, onshore diver and ROV training tank complex.


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