Volume 2, Number 11, Page 2


December 1999 / January 2000


When NOAA was formed October 3, 1970, the Main Line Components (NMFS, NOS, ERL) involved in diving acknowledged the need to form a cohesive program that would promote safety and establish uniform diving regulations. Serving as a template, the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries diving program and regulations were used as the foundation for structuring the NOAA Diving Program. In May, 1971 the administration of the NDP was aligned within the newly formed Manned Undersea Science and Technology Office (MUS&T). The MUS&T program objectives were to foster manned underwater scientific investigations and to encourage studies that would lead to improved safety and versatility of manned undersea operations meeting the needs and requirements of NOAA’s role in marine resource stewardship. The basic objectives of MUS&T included: establishment of quantitative scientific and technical criteria for undersea facilities and platforms, developing a NOAA civilian diving program to assure safe operations and diver efficiency and developing advanced ocean floor laboratories, submersible systems and excursion tables. From 1971–1978, MUS&T missions concentrated on the development and/or utilization of these elements. Projects included FLARE, PRINUL, SCORE and FISHH. In 1972, FLARE, the Florida Aquanaut Research Expedition sought to increase scientific understanding of coral reef ecology to a point where the living reef could be used as an indication of marine environmental health. FLARE was the first operational test of a movable habitat supported by a surface vessel. In 1974, the PRINUL program advanced toward using highly transportable undersea labs and validated theoretical downward excursion tables. End of article


Included with this mailing are the issued SEP inventories for divers at each unit. Supervisors are asked to assist your unit’s diving personnel in completing a thorough comparison and evaluation of gear issued. Divers are to note any inventory discrepancies and request equipment in need of replacement. UDS/Vessel Divemasters are to gather and review all inventories and gear requests for completeness prior to submission to NDC. All divers issued gear must perform this inventory. End of article


SCUBA and SCBA compressor air test kits will be sent to units in January. Complete the required tests immediately and return the kits to TRI. If you can not complete the test promptly contact Laurie at (206)526-6695 or, as delays in the process result in additional charges. NOAA Compressors are currently scheduled for purity testing every six months. Kits are typically mailed in January and July, unless you are on an alternate plan. Contact NDC, in advance, if you are unable to test at designated times. End of article


In November, the EMT and DMT courses offered, graduated a total of 19 NOAA and 10 Non-NOAA students. The DMT course involved training in advanced invasive techniques. Dates for the next EMT and DMT courses offered through NDC have yet to be determined. End of article

EMT/Diver Medic Training Class


Topside’s circulation is intended to reach all NOAA Divers. Unit Diving Supervisor’s and vessel Divemaster’s are mailed a monthly TOPSIDE and are to disperse the newsletter information to all diver’s under their jurisdiction. This may be accomplished by posting, distributing copies of the newsletter or directing personnel to the NDC website where TOPSIDE may be viewed on-line. The newsletter’s purpose is to improve communication and awareness within the NDP. Cooperation and compliance are needed. End of article

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