ROV familiarisation days are now being offered by the world's leading commercial diver and ROV training centre in Fort William. These will allow potential students the opportunity to explore the world of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) before they sign up for a course at The Underwater Centre.
In its simplest form, an ROV is essentially an underwater robot controlled from the surface via an umbilical cable; which supplies power, commands and also carries images from the ROV's digital camera system.
The Underwater Centre's general manager, Steve Ham commented: "The familiarisation days are held once a month and give potential students the opportunity to speak to trainers, investigate the facilities and gain hands on experience flying live ROVs in Loch Linnhe, one of Scotland's deepest lochs."
The seven week Premium ROV course at The Underwater Centre offers training in all the technical skills in operation and maintenance of ROVs, along with essential hands-on experience in piloting them. ROVs are used extensively by the offshore oil and gas industry, and can also be used in archaeology, marine exploration and defence industries. The film and television industry also often use them for filming underwater.
The Underwater Centre uses Loch Linnhe, the sheltered sea-loch on which the Centre is based, to provide students with a variety of tasks simulating real work activities. The Centre's underwater site contains numerous features including shipwrecks, ex-army vehicles, a pipeline section and even an oil platform leg. The loch provides realistic offshore conditions with depths ranging from 8 to 150 metres, in tidal currents with varying visibility allowing students to learn in an environment which will become very familiar to them in their profession.
The global demand for ROVs was recently highlighted in a report from analysts, Douglas-Westwood, which revealed that expenditure on work class ROV operations had more than doubled since 2002. The energy analysts predict that by 2011, $1.458billion will have been spent in this sector meaning that demand for ROV pilots is only going to increase.