Diving is a profession like any other. However, this entails working underwater for various purposes. Most divers begin with a passion which most probably was developed at a tender age. You don’t wake up one morning and jump into the sea waters to prove your passion; it begins with getting familiar with the waters in a swimming pool.
Most aspiring divers spend most of their time in waters practicing how to be resilient divers, be it in deep or shallow waters it’s worth the time. However, these pools need to be maintained to ensure they are up to standard. The UK is home to many Pool maintenance and repair companies.
Careers in diving can be divided into five parts;
- Recreational Diving: This type of diving has several titles including divemaster, instructor, dive boat captain, dive shop manager dive travel sales, retail sales, and repair technician. It is offered by destination resorts and local dive shops. An area journalist is also part of this diving for purposes of publication. It is a self-regulated industry.
- Commercial Diving: This is the kind of diving referred to as ‘hard hat’ or ‘deep-sea.’ Most of the work is done on shallow waters. Jobs related to this field include salvage, underwater welding and cutting, underwater inspection, underwater construction, and maintenance and ship husbandry. Job duties are tender, supervisor, and diver. Commercial diving is strictly regulated.
- Public Safety Diving: Public Safety Diving is performed by fire and rescue teams and the law enforcement agencies. Job titles include team leader, dive team member, underwater investigator, underwater port security specialist, and explosive ordinance diver.
- Research Diver: This kind of diving is performed by private firms that are involved in submerged biological research and educational institutions. Fields involved in this area include biological research, environmental protection and conservation, underwater archaeology, and oceanographic research. Jobs include: under data collection, remote vehicle operation, under water surveys, specimen/artifact collection, and underwater photography.
- Hyperbaric Medicine: It’s important to note that Hyperbaric Medicine is not involved in wet diving. This kind of dive is done in recompression chambers. These chambers were used for the treatment of diving injuries like arterial gas embolisms and decompression sickness. Currently, these chambers are being used to deliver a high concentration of needed oxygen to patients with brain injuries and acute wounds. Jobs include dive medical technician and chamber operator.
Qualification of becoming a diver
- To qualify to become a diver, one must obtain an approved qualification by HSE that is sufficient and relevant for work to be done.
- Once you qualify, you must be assessed by an HSE recognized organization, probably for further training.
- Complete medical history and be cleared to be medically fit.
HSE Commercial assessment standards
- SCUBA Driving: Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) happens when the divers wear air supply cylinders.
- Surface Supplied Diving: Here divers receive air supply through umbilical from the surface.
- Surface Supplied Top Up Diving: For offshore divers
- Closed Bell Diving: For deep waters divers that go more than 50 meters using mixed gas. They can be underwater up to 28 days working and living.
Some Skills and knowledge required to be a successful diver
- Be able to pay attention to details and be thorough
- Have the ability to maintain, repair and use tools and machines
- Be prepared to work under pressure and accept criticism
- Determination and persistence
- Open to change and flexible
- Ability to maintain calmness in stressful situations and be patient
- Knowledge of construction and building
- Having good verbal communication skills
- Be able to do necessary skills on a handheld device or computer
Some Medical Conditions that may restrict one to be a diver
- Mental health problems like depression, claustrophobia, and panic attacks.
- Chest problems or lung disease like collapsed lung, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary condition.
- Circulation or disease of the heart this includes palpitations, chest pains, heart attack, angina, high blood pressure
- Brain diseases or a nervous system like recurrent fainting, multiple sclerosis, and stroke, epilepsy.
- Severe Motion sickness
- Severe migraine
- Sinus (ear, nose, and throat) problems
- Intestinal problems or persistent stomach aches
- Certain skin problems
- Certain blood disorders
NB: Expectant divers should not dive.
In short, you must pass the AMED medical fitness test before being issued with a certificate which is valid for 12 months, meaning it must be renewed annually. Depending on your medical results, AMED can restrict the types of diving you can do, i.e., the depth you can dive.
Risks incurred by divers
- Drowning: It could be caused by diver panic, a sudden unexpected illness, lack of enough oxygen resulting in fainting.
- Decompression sickness: caused by breathing compressed air in the deep sea.
- Arterial Air Embolism: This is blockage of an artery reducing or even blocking blood flow.
- Nitrogen Narcosis: A drunkenness feeling felt while on deeper depths.