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Volume 3, Number 11, Page 2


August 2001

participating divers at each location. Future actions will include further field testing of the top two computers by selected NOAA divers around the country, final selection of the top dive computer, procurement of selected computer, implementation of a dive computer training program, and finally, distribution to individual divers. A couple things worth noting...

  • Dive computer use will be optional by individual divers.
  • Computers will only be issued to persons who have completed a standard dive computer training program for the selected computer.
  • The current plan is to begin dive computer distribution to individual divers who have completed the training program by January 2002 End of Article

Unit Diving Supervisors and ship’s Divemasters should be checking their monthly dive rosters for accuracy and whether divers in their ship/unit are “not authorized” to dive because of a lapse in diving activity or an expired physical.

Accuracy : Check your roster and verify all divers listed are currently in your unit/ship. UDSs/Divemasters should contact the Dive Center with any changes or corrections. A "terminated" diver cannot be removed from the roster until all of their SEP equipment is returned to the NOAA Diving Center. The bad news is that SEP assessments will continue to accrue until all equipment is received. The unit/ship will be assessed the cost of any equipment that ultimately is not returned. It is the responsibility of the Divemaster/UDS to ensure all equipment from a terminated diver is returned to NDC.

Authorization : As you would suspect, divers who are "not authorized" because of a lapse in diving activity or an expired physical should not be diving!! A lapse in diving activity longer than 6 weeks requires a diver to requalify as directed by their UDS. A lapse longer than 6 months requires involvement of the LODO/Fleet Diving Officer. A lapse longer than 12 mos may require refresher training. A diver needs an approved diving physical on record at NDC to be eligible to dive. There is no grace period for an expired physical End of Article


Ship Divemasters are ultimately responsible for all scuba diving and snorkeling conducted from the vessel, from its launches, or in support of the ship’s mission. You may initiate, stop, or restrict dive operations for which you are responsible. Furthermore, you are the final authority in determining which divers do or do not participate in diving operations. The ship’s command can, of course, stop or restrict any dive operations, but should not initiate them without consent of the ship’s Divemaster. This authority is double edged because while you have nearly complete control, you are ultimately responsible for the safety of the operation. So take this responsibility seriously and don’t get complacent. Practice dive accident emergency drills, make sure you and your divers stay proficient, know the regulations, don’t push the limits without good reason, have a valid emergency plan in place, take appropriate precautions, don’t be afraid to abort a dive, etc, etc, etc.

Some additional reminders...

Authorization : Only authorized NOAA divers, or authorized divers employed by organizations having reciprocity with NOAA may dive from NOAA vessels or in support of NOAA missions. If you are unsure about the qualifications (Observer, Scientific, Working, etc.) or authorization (Active and current, physical valid, etc.) of divers on your vessel (crew, augmentors, scientists, etc) contact the Diving Center .

Observer Divers : Non-NOAA, recreationally certified divers without NOAA certification or reciprocity may still be able to dive on a limited basis. In a nut shell, the diver candidate can be certified on the local level as a NOAA Observer diver, can perform up to 6 dives/year, cannot perform any work, and must be accompanied by a fully certified NOAA diver. Check the diving regulations for more details or contact NDC with questions about this temporary certification .

Working Snorkelers: Persons without NOAA diving certification or reciprocity and wanting to snorkel in support of a NOAA project must be checked out and approved by the ship’s Divemaster. This process can remain on a local level and does not require involvement of the Dive Center unless desired. Recreational snorkelers should be managed by the ship’s standing orders End of Article

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