Volume 3, Number 1, Page 2


September 2000


The following is an attempt to clarify the role of primary health care providers “certifying fitness for diving duty” on NOAA diving physicals. Some units may have experienced frustration resulting from thoroughness, liability/litigation, or regional policy whereby private providers are reluctant to “sign off” a NOAA diving physical and want additional tests, well beyond what the organization requires. The interpretation of the fitness for diving standard remains within the NOAA organization. If evaluation of individuals indicates the need for further tests or specialist evaluation, then the health care provider’s analysis may be warranted as this additional work-up may provide further insight if there is a potential issue. Additional tests for other purposes are not required by NDP. It is also acceptable to have a Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner approve the physical as these personnel are serving as primary health care providers. End of Article


o Initial SEP Assessments for FY 2001 will be mailed to Unit Diving Supervisors the middle of October. Units will be assessed for divers in possession of equipment and/or submitting dive logs for FY 2000.
o Annual servicing/distribution of equipment is effected by lapses in physicals and diving activity. A diver without a current physical will not be sent annual replacements until their physical is brought up to date as indicated on the roster. End of Article


The NOAA Diving Center will be holding a NOAA-wide UDS meeting Feb 27, 28, Mar 1, 2001 for the purpose of introducing and reviewing the new diving regulations, the 4th edition of the NOAA Diving Manual and to review operational diving activities in NOAA. The meeting will allow Diving Supervisors to network and discuss issues of concern and will help strengthen the communication and safety within the NOAA Diving Program. The annual NOAA Diving Safety Board meeting will occur immediately following the UDS meeting. End of Article


The NOAA Diving Center is delegated the task of issuing yearly Dive Orders for NOAA Corps officers assigned to the OMAO Marine Centers on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. All NOAA Corps officers must have dive orders to receive dive pay. Commands are asked to provide a list of all officers (including their rank, full name and SSN), needing dive orders for FY 2001, no later than September 12, 2000 to Renewal requests are to be made as soon as possible so that dive pay is not interrupted. Copies will be returned to commands that request them. If there are any questions contact LT Cobb at

Other NOAA Corps Officers requiring dive orders need to have their Line Office’s prepare them. A copy should be kept by the officer, a copy should be submitted to NDC, and most importantly a copy needs to be submitted to:

NOAA Corps Payroll Unit
P.O. Box 397
Topeka, KS 66601    End of Article

NDC has distributed four Elder Valve test kits throughout NOAA’s diving units. Please keep the rotation moving along. After receiving the kit, follow the instructions enclosed to perform a simple test on the emergency oxygen kit’s Elder valve. After the test is completed, forward the results to NDC and send the kit to the next unit on the enclosed Federal Express mailer. After contact with the manufacturer and repair facility for the oxygen delivery equipment, NDC was instructed to perform periodic tests on the equipment versus overhauling the units every two years. All Elder valves not meeting the required performance specifications will be scheduled for service. Enclosed laminated testing instructions should reflect that the gauge tolerance range is 32-48 mm Hg (an incorrect maximum allowable pressure of 40 mm Hg is listed). Values found within this threshold range do not require service. End of Article

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