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DIvING SERvICES


FEATURE SPONSOR


THE GROWTH OF COMMERCIAL BOMB DISPOSAL DIVING


Less than a decade ago the suggestion that teams of commercial divers would be working around the UK coastline undertaking Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operations would have been unheard of. However, since then the withdrawal of the MOD EOD from commercial response (to oil & gas and other offshore operators) alongside the rapid growth of renewable energy projects has resulted in a clear need for replacement EOD services.


SPECIFIC SKILL REQUIREMENTS


Clearly the skill sets required for this type of EOD work cannot be gained outside the armed forces (UK and others) and therefore this new market requirement attracts high numbers of ex Royal Navy Clearance Divers; the only branch of the UK military trained to deal with maritime weapons.


Whilst the skills required to undertake diving aspects on UXO remain the same, unfortunately the procedures followed are much more restrictive than those applied to military EOD teams.


EXAMPLES INCLUDE… Constraint


Use of SCUBA diving equipment


Requirement for Marine License to undertake relocation and/or disposal operations (DECC or MMO)


Requirement to recover scrap post detonation


Requirement to have a Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) on scene during detonations


ADVANCED PLANNING


Given the restrictions, it is vital that, where possible, all potential UXO tasks are planned well in advance such that necessary measures can be put in place. Given the vast majority of commercial EOD output relates to projects rather than ‘Emergency Response’, good planning is possible. Since the early days of commercial EOD diving, there have been huge improvements in both understanding by clients and delivery of effective services by contractors.


IMPROVING STANDARDS


These improving standards will only continue as long as clients enforce the need for all EOD contractors to evidence their competency and qualifications. There have been a number of incidents where individuals have been so keen to join a project that their CV doesn’t exactly match their actual qualifications! Equally, it can be a minefield for clients to understand the array of different EOD qualifications on offer and what they actually mean in real terms.


Military EOD Permitted


Not Required


Commercial EOD Not Permitted


Required


UXO PHYSICAL AND ROV DISPOSAL TASKS Over the past 8 years Ramora UK has been involved with a large number of offshore UXO disposal tasks involving both divers and ROVs. Whilst the basic principles of EOD would advise remote means where possible (i.e. using an ROV), the subsea conditions (visibility etc.) and location may result in ROV options being more dangerous due to the potential for unplanned UXO interaction.


WELL PROVEN AND SAFE


Wind farms and other offshore operators can be assured that the ROV and diver solutions are both now well proven and safe. It appears that the need for commercial EOD divers, given the challenges being faced by operators around the UK coastline, is not going to diminish any time soon.


Ramora UK Not Required Not Required Required Required


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www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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