Volume 2, Number 6, Page 2


July 1999


In establishing the required number of dive team members for a particular situation, proper consideration must be given to Sec. 1910.421(d) & (e) - ďPlanning and assessment, Hazardous activities" and 1910.422(b)(3), which requires providing a means to assist an injured diver from the water (e.g., dive stage, small boat, stokes stretcher). Commercial scuba air diving with two divers in the water requires a minimum of four dive team members as follows: designated person-in-charge (DPIC) (NOAA Divemaster) [1910.410(c)], a standby diver [1910.424(c)(1)], and two divers [1910.424(c)(2)]. The two divers must be in continuous visual contact of each other or connected by a buddy line. The two divers do not require a tending line to the surface unless they are required to work against a current exceeding one knot. When required or deemed necessary, one tending line to the surface is sufficient when the two divers are connected by a buddy line. With respect to deployment of the standby diver, it is required that the standby diver be line-tended from the surface. The standby can be the DPIC provided that the DPIC is a qualified diver, and that the fourth dive team member is trained and capable of performing all necessary functions of the DPIC while the DPIC is in the water as standby diver. The standby diver can also be the tender provided that he/she is a qualified diver; in this case the DPIC would assume the tending duties when the standby diver is in the water. Units and vessels must be in compliance with requirements when conducting working dives. Incidents or accidents resulting from failing to comply may result in significant penalty.End of Article


All NOAA divers are required to submit a monthly NOAA Diving Log (NOAA Form 64-4). The most current version is dated (02-99). Please check your unitís supply and discard any master copies older than this version. Dive logs are to be either mailed or faxed to NDC. NDC is in the process of preparing systems for e-mail submission of diving logs. Your continued patience is appreciated.End of Article


The CAMBRIAN FOUNDATION, a not-for-profit corporation has recently been granted scientific diver reciprocity with NOAA Diving Program. Created in 1994, the foundationís mission dedicated to research, education, exploration and preservation of the aquatic realm will once again be participating in the 1999 MONITOR expedition. The CAMBRIAN FOUNDATION has been involved in multiple technical diving expeditions to the ANDREA DORIA, exploratory dives on the EDMUND FITZGERALD, U.S.S. ATLANTA, as well as a three year involvement with the U.S.S. MONITOR Survey.End of Article


Non-NOAA divers possessing current diving certifications from agencies with established scientific or working reciprocity agreements, may participate in NOAA-sponsored projects and diving operations. These agreements must be current, are applicable to personnel not directly employed by NOAA, and are not transferable to other agencies or institutions with whom the agency has reciprocity. Non-NOAA divers teamed with NOAA divers diving in an official capacity on Non-NOAA diving operations, must meet minimum NOAA diver proficiency requirements as determined by UDS or higher authority. In order to participate, divers under reciprocity shall: 1.) present current authorization letters signed by Diving Supervisors/Safety Officers of the organizations under reciprocity and a copy of the reciprocity agreement to the UDS or Divemaster; 2.) complete a minimum of one dive within six weeks of project startup; and 3.) comply with regulations and policies of NOAA Diving Program when on NOAA projects. Non-NOAA personnel not under established or current reciprocity agreements must complete the requirements for NOAA certification through the UDS of a NOAA facility sponsoring the Non-NOAA personnel. Personnel not under reciprocity nor certified by NOAA may dive, after providing the required credentials, as observer divers, when they have been invited to observe underwater activities while using open circuit SCUBA. Observer type divers are limited to six dives per year.End of Article

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