Volume 1, Number 2, Page 1


December 1997


During the first week of December, the NOAA Diving Safety Board (NDSB) met in Seattle. The focus of the meeting was to discuss NOAA diving standards, certification/training requirements, reciprocity issues and regulation revisions. The meeting was very productive and will be discussed in detail later.

Please complete the Annual Report Information Form that was mailed to you in October and forward it to your Line Office Diving Officer as soon as possible. The NDP annual report is sent to the Secretary of Commerce, NOAA Administrator, Line Office Associate Administrators and laboratory directors. This is your opportunity for fame and some P.R. for your unit.

We have received some photographs and articles from you. Thanks for the input and please keep it coming! The Director and staff at the NOAA Diving Center wish you and your families a joyous holiday season and a happy new year. Be safe and dive safe.End of article


Please review the enclosed roster which reflects the records at NDC for the date of print. Inactive/terminated divers are to return SEP equipment or resolve their status to active as soon as possible. Units will be assessed SEP charges for inactive divers who are in possession of gear. Please annotate and return a copy of the roster indicating any changes to personnel or diver status. Diver certifications will be suspended when a physical has expired or when diving activity has lapsed for six months.End of article


The NDSB met from December 2-5, 1997, at the NOAA Diving Center. The meeting was held to review NDP operational and training standards and to clarify several ambiguous sections of the regulations. A number of significant revisions were approved by the board. Detailed instructions and procedures concerning these changes will be distributed to units over the next few months. The following are highlights of new policy approved by the board:

SCOPE of REGULATIONS - Issues regarding to whom the regulations apply and when/where they apply were discussed and clarified. The new policy must be reviewed by NOAA Legal Affairs before implementation.

SCIENTIFIC DIVER CERTIFICATION - A new certification level of Scientific Diver was created. The purpose of this level is to allow individuals to perform scientific research tasks as outlined in the OSHA Commercial Diving Regulations scientific diving exemption. In order to perform tasks beyond the scope of the OSHA scientific exemption, divers must be certified as NOAA Working Divers. The Scientific level is ranked beneath the Working level.

WORKING DIVER REQUIREMENTS - Individuals requiring working diver certification MUST complete the NOAA working diver training course or have extensive commercial/military diving training and experience. Working Divers may perform both commercial and scientific tasks.

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