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ROV Pilot Technician

From ROV Pilot Tech to ROV Supervisor

Former ROV student, Steven, originally from Fort William, shares his experiences of completing his ROV pilot tech training with The Underwater Centre, and how, with a lot of hard work, his career has gone from strength to strength.

ROV pilot tech student The Underwater Centre Fort William (3)Three-week ROV Pilot Technician Course

Previously a trainee maintenance technician with a local manufacturer in Fort William, Steven first learnt about ROVs on the Discovery Channel and he immediately knew it was the job for him.

Already holding an ONC in Electronics, Steven completed the Centre’s three week ROV Pilot Technician Course in 2005; ‘I did find the course invaluable and interesting; no two days were the same, and a great wealth of knowledge was taken from the course. I still use those methods today that I was taught back then.’

On completion of the ROV course Steven headed to Aberdeen to complete his sea survival and to get his offshore medical – to ensure he was ready to go to work as soon as he got the call.

While attending the sea survival course, Steven made use of his time in Aberdeen by getting in touch with contractors in the area. His hard work paid off and within a matter of days, after attending an interview with ROVtech, he was offered a job with them.   Before he knew it he had completed his induction with the company and was flown offshore immediately.

Worldwide travel and no two days the same

The world really was his oyster after he got his start offshore.  Steven has travelled the world thanks to his career. His ‘office’ has included the North Sea, South Sea, Irish Sea, Norway, Denmark, Egypt, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Singapore, Malaysia, Shetland, Bali, Borneo, Cyprus, Turkey, Ivory Coast and, more recently, India.

He’s worked on a number of different set ups too, including jack-ups, semi subs, platforms, survey boats, dive support vessels (DSVs), construction vessels, pipe lay barges, plough vessels, heavy lift vessels, and ‘even off the pier in Fort William supporting trials.’

From ROV Pilot Tech to ROV SupervisorROV pilot tech student The Underwater Centre Fort William (2)

Steven started out as an ROV pilot technician trainee (4, 3, 2, 1), working his way up through the ranks, including as Sub-Engineer (3, 2, 1), and onto Supervisor (3, 2, 1), which is the position he currently holds.

During his ROV career Steven has amassed more than 1200 flying hours, and has worked on completely different projects in a range of industries.  He has gained his ROV flying hours on-board vessels and installations around the world, covering drill support (B.O.P, LMRP, Riser), plough support, saturation and air dive support, ROV support, platform inspection, spool tie-ins, mattress laying, rig moves, rig skids, seabed surveys, gas hot tapping, pipe-laying, riser installation, well integrity testing, HFL and EFL relocating, SCM removal and installation, touchdown monitoring, FPSO riser and anchor chains inspection, wind farm work and a subsea turbine project, fresh water suspended subsea pipeline installation – to name but a few…

Career advice from an ROV Supervisor

His advice to those considering training as an ROV pilot technician just now: ‘It’s definitely a great choice to make, I would never have got the start without the course; I’ve never had a quiet year, always been busy.  I’d recommend The Underwater Centre to anyone that asks about it. Who knows, I may be teaching you there about ROVs in my time off from offshore work.’