Volume 1, Number 9, Page 1


August 1998


This month’s TOPSIDE contains the second installment of the Monitor Expedition post mission report, which discusses the diver training program.

The new dive physical frequency requirements went into effect on August 14, 1998. A safety bulletin (#98-01) was issued to all NOAA divers specifying the new timetables. If you need further clarification or have not received this safety bulletin, please contact NDC. Beginning next month, all safety bulletins will be available on the web via the NDC home page, (

SCUBA and SCBA compressor air test kits were sent to all units in July and only a few were completed. You must complete your test immediately and mail the results to TRI as soon as possible. Delays in completing the test incur additional cost that will be billed to your unit . If you can not complete your test by September 11, contact Laurie Barber at (206) 526-6695 for instructions.

Finally, we need photographs of your diving operations. Please take a camera on your next dive and send us some action photos.End of article

- LCDR  Frank Wood -


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


NDC purchased a Visual Plustm non-destructive thread tester which uses electrical currents to detect imperfections (cracks) in the threads of aluminum SCUBA cylinders. Of the over one hundred (100) cylinders tested at NDC, the Visual Plus unit identified 14 tanks with questionable threads. Upon examination of these 14 cylinders, only 7 had cracks visible to the naked eye. The cylinders were returned to Luxfer who affirmed our findings and replaced the damaged tanks. Currently, NDP VCI policy does not require Visual Plus testing however, if you are having your cylinders inspected by a Dive shop, we recommend that you include this testing with the basic inspection. Luxfer will replace any tank that fails the Visual Plus examination. For additional information on the Visual Plus unit, contact Steve Urick at (206) 526-6223. End of article


The next Working Diver class is scheduled for September of 1998. Please contact NDC if you have any candidates for this training. Individuals who are returning to active diving status and have not dove for more than six months, must attend a refresher class. If you would like a refresher class in your area, contact NDC for avalibility. The following training classes are scheduled through January 1999:

Sept 14 - Oct 2 Working Diver Seattle, WA
Sept 27 VCI Seattle, WA
Sept 28 - Oct 2 Divemaster Seattle, WA
Nov 29 - Dec 11 EMT Seattle, WA
Jan 11 -29 Working Diver Key West, FL
Jan 24 VCI Key West, FL
Jan 25 - 29 Divemaster Key West, FL

Please contact NDC for more information. End of article

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