Scotland's Underwater Centre in Fort William has extended the depth of its relationship with offshore contractor Subsea 7 by providing training for 11 of its inspection engineers in commercial diving and ROV use.
A group of 11 engineers from Subsea 7 are at The Underwater Centre in Fort William for an intensive training course in subsea diving and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations. This is the third such collaboration between the internationally renowned facility and Subsea 7.
The purpose designed training program aims to familiarize participants with subsea diving and ROV operations, all of which is integral to the role of offshore inspection engineers. Expert diving and ROV instructors employed by the Centre will deliver both practical training as well as theory.
The Underwater Centre, which is based at the head of Loch Linnhe, offers a unique sheltered, seawater site with a large private pier extending into the loch. The waters plunge to depths of 150 meters, which are ideal conditions for commercial diving and ROV training. There is also a large, purpose built, onshore diver training pool.
Steve Ham, general manager at The Underwater Centre, said he is delighted to have won this third successive training contract from Subsea 7.
"It is fantastic that our expertise continues to be recognized by one of the world's leading subsea engineering and construction companies," he said.
"What makes our Centre so special is the realistic industry relevant environment that students encounter on our courses. They are able to experience first hand the challenges faced by subsea divers and ROV pilots."
Lloyd Duncan, inspection manager for Subsea 7, added, "We chose The Underwater Centre to deliver these courses due to its world class on-site facilities, the unique topography of one of Scotland's deepest lochs, and in particular the unrivalled expertise of its trainers both in subsea diving and ROV operations.
"We see this as a great opportunity to further increase the awareness, knowledge and expertise of our inspection engineers in the early stages of their careers."
For the Subsea 7 engineers, the course at The Underwater Centre is the culmination of an intense six week internal training program which is integral to the candidates' induction process.
Duncan continued, "Inspection engineers are required to work closely with divers, subsea engineers and ROV pilots, so it is vital that they understand the particulars of these disciplines. This enhanced understanding will enable Subsea 7 to achieve its goal of developing the largest pool of trained and certified inspection engineers in the industry."
The original site at Fort William was chosen by Royal Naval divers due to its suitability for professional diver training with multi-depth levels from 6 meters to 150 meters in a sheltered location, allowing for training in almost all weathers.
The Underwater Centre is the only training center in the world that offers the full range of health, safety and environment (HSE) commercial diving qualifications in air and mixed gas diver training, from HSE scuba to HSE approved closed bell diving. As well as the seawater dive site with a large range of underwater structures, facilities include an enclosed dive training pool, purpose built welding bays, private pier, three barges with wet bell and closed bell training facilities, fully equipped lecture rooms and accommodation for up to 49 students.