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I'm an absolute Newbie to ROV's and beforer embarking on the journey to hopefully becoming an ROV pilot / tech I did a lot of research. My research revealed some positive encouragement and a lot of negatrive don't do it type of comments. I was told that this board was extremely negative towards ROV training courses and I can see where the comments come from I do think however that it isnt quite as clear cut as some would have people believe.

I read so many comments about save your money don't bother. Digging deeper the people making such comments generally were saying if you don't already have a trade \ skillset in electronics \ mechanics \ hydraulics then don't bother and I agree, Im fortunate enough to have all three and a lot more too.

So having decided that this route was the way to go I looked around at several locations and finally settling on The Underwater Centre. I chose this place because of the facilities and seemingly a good reputation.

TUC Facilities:
located on Loch Linnhe
Massive under water area
Sunken wrecks of boats, tanks and miscellaneous other objects
Tidal waters
Mix of fresh and salt water
Pier to inspect
2 x Seaeye Falcons
Dive school also on site, work with divers etc

So in my inexperienced opinion it goes a long way to real work environment. I booked an experience day and made the 800 mile round trip to try my hand and see the facilities first hand.

I was made very welcome and teh tea and coffee were flowing freely. I had discussed at length my CV with the centre before coming up and I was told that I was a suitable candidate for training. I was of the opinion that this was probably just to sell me a course. On the experience day there were 5 other candidates and we started first of all by discussing CV's in the classroom. This is where my first belief about TUC just pushing courses was blown apart, some candidates were told that a course was not for them, go and study electronics or mechanics and then come back, another was part way through HND in mechanical engineering, same story - go finish your HND and then come back to the ROV's. At no time were courses pushed, nor were candidates persuaded to sign up for a course. From the 6 of us there were 2 strong candidates, the others it was suggested that they did further studies elsewhere.

The day continued with classroom presentations and discussions of ROV operations, we collected our packed lunches and went down the pier to the ROV shack where we all had a good hour or so on the sticks as it were. We then returned to the classroom to discuss finances and other ROV related questions as well as the courses on offer.

I went back to my hotel and considered the day very carefully, returning to TUC the next day to book my course.

I have now just completed my second week of my three week course, the first week was mainly classroom covering all aspects of ROV's and their operation. It was an excellent grounding in this new world down under. My instructor (Rob) is an absolute mine of information and has a very entertaining way of transferring that information to students. Nothing worse than someone stood at the front in a monotone voice inflicting death by Powerpoint, Rob is the complete opposite of this and I really feel honoured to have been instructed by him - thanks mate. The end of the first week took us down onto the pier to get up close to an ROV, we went through all of the preflight of the Falcon including power up etc ready for Monday morning flying.

Into the second week and into the water, we were off flying, we are a group of 4 in number and from differing backgrounds. I have to say the way we worked as ateam was incredible, from the very beginning we encouraged each other but down in the shack we really worked well together. We spent the whole day flying, in and out of the garage, down round the sunken objects!, inspecting items etc etc. We were all given tasks to do and we all managed with good success, Rob there all the time boosting confidence, helping where necessary.

At the end of Monday, we were all capable of pre flight, launch and recovery with simple flying tasks. Tuesday was back in the classroom for more gems of information. We also spent some time in the workshop cable splicing, the splices get thrown in the Loch and later recovered for testing to ensure a good, reliable water-proof splice has been done. Wednesday, back down the pier and more flying, going further out, learning the practicalities of navigation by sonar and tether management, avoiding snags, resolving snags when they occurred etc.

Thursday was back in the classroom for more knowledge transfer and revision (exams / tests every Friday). In the afternoon we went on to fibre optic jointing techniques including fusion welding (nice kit).

Friday, first thing the test and then down to the pier for our longest and deepest transition yet. Again, the whole team with our knowledge managed the task set without issue, minor issues that occured we sorted ourselves. Later we continued with General Visual Inspection of the pier legs, diver observations - air lifting, welding etc.

Soa t the end of week2 we have all managed about 8 hours of actual flying and about the same length of time as co-pilot. We have spent around 30 hours total down on the pier and involved with the ROV operation, piloting, launch, recovery and logging.

My feelings so far, absolutely no regrets, I've got one job offer and a couple of interviews coming up. The course isn't cheap BUT I can't see anywhere that could give better training, the facilities and the location are second to none. Gripes, only one, at this sort of cost TUC could provide the packed lunch (it is included if you stay on site in their accomodation, I'm not).

Thats it so far, I will expand on week 3 when I've done it. For now, The Underwater Centre and the team, a big thank you, brilliant and well done.

Regards - John
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Well now into my 3rd week.

Monday was a classroom day dealing with the oily stuff - Hydraulics. I have a reasonable amount of hydraulic experience, the course was definately pitched to give a grounding with the basics but swiftly moved on to more practical aspects especially from an ROV perspective.

Tuesday was a brilliant day, more flying, diver obs and then last night we were flying until 23:00, night flying! This put a whole new perspective on ROV operation. Most of yesterday we had 2 ROV's in the water and did filming ROV to ROV, when flying you simply don't realise how agile these thing are.

So the last 2 days 10/10 for The Underwater Centre Fort William

I should add that I am in no way connected with TUC, merely a paying customer. If anyone out there wants a budding ROV PT please let me know, I need a job!

Regards - John
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Its nice to get feedback about these schools from independent sources.

Couple of questions:
What was the cost (with/without accom)

Will it help you with employment

I know the second question is hard to define, but at the end of the day, its the important one, considering the cost involved.

Paul
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diases wrote:
Its nice to get feedback about these schools from independent sources.

Couple of questions:
What was the cost (with/without accom)

Will it help you with employment

I know the second question is hard to define, but at the end of the day, its the important one, considering the cost involved.

Paul


Hi,
Cost was circa £5k accomadation if youb stay here full board is £40 per day and I feel it has to give you an advatage regarding employment.


They do an experience day, fee refundable when you book a course, money well spent and you find out a lot more on that day than any forum/brochure/internet search could give, it may not be right for everyone, I'm confident it's going to work for me.

J
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How did the final week pan out?

I am considering doing this course due to a massive drop in income and have engineering and electronics experience.

Regards

Si.
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Did the Fort William course cover any of the following?

Lock out, Tag Out
Permit to work
Electrical Termination of a work class tether
Mainlift mechanical reterm
Fault finding solenoid valves, in a valve pack (
Fibre Optic Hot Melt termination (as well as fusion splices)
Potted Splices (as well as taped splices)
Use of a 7 function arm
Striping a hydraulic thruster

When I did my 3 week course at Global Marine a few years back for £3000, they covered a fair amount of workclass stuff as well so I was wondering how it compares at Fort William?
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Bristar wrote:
Did the Fort William course cover any of the following?

Lock out, Tag Out
Permit to work
Electrical Termination of a work class tether
Mainlift mechanical reterm
Fault finding solenoid valves, in a valve pack (
Fibre Optic Hot Melt termination (as well as fusion splices)
Potted Splices (as well as taped splices)
Use of a 7 function arm
Striping a hydraulic thruster

When I did my 3 week course at Global Marine a few years back for £3000, they covered a fair amount of workclass stuff as well so I was wondering how it compares at Fort William?


Lock out, Tag Out - Covered on my MIST course
Permit to work - Covered on my MIST course
Electrical Termination of a work class tether - Theoretical only
Mainlift mechanical reterm - No
Fault finding solenoid valves, in a valve pack - No, for me though I already have that skill
Fibre Optic Hot Melt termination (as well as fusion splices) - Did both as a practical
Potted Splices (as well as taped splices) - Yes
Use of a 7 function arm - No
Striping a hydraulic thruster - No

a couple more:-

Do they give recognised qualifications in electrical skills - Yes
Do they give recognised qualifications in hydraulics skills - Yes

I see their course is now £4320, which is cheaper than The Underwater Centre, I have heard varying reviews of GM, I have never heard a bad word about TUC. It'sa tough call, I did consider my skillset which was way above the norm for people going into this, what I needed to know and experience was the practical operation and issues of ROV ops, TUC gave me exactly that. I know I have only operated Class II, I already have an understanding from my aviation background both model and full size the difference that mass makes and everyone I have spoken to has confirmed that to be the case - workclass are easier to fly as long as it's power and weight are taken into consideration. I look forward one day to having a go (with extreme care) with a workclass either on a sim or for real to find out for myself.

I have got more to add about TUC which I will do in due course, the bottom line I feel is see what the schools have to offer, compare their offerings to your personal skillset and choose carefully.

Regards - J
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hi mate, im looking at doing the 7 week course, I was an aircraft engineer in the navy 8 yrs ago and hen moved onto gas service engineer in civvy life so doing the 7 week to get back upto speed, just wondered how you got on with finding work after the course and if you think my experience is any good?
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"I did consider my skillset which was way above the norm for people going into this"
With that humble attitude i'm sure you will go far!
As for 'only' flying class II ROVs - some of us have made very lucrative careers out of this obviously lowly aspect of the job.

Im sure that with your extensive ROV operational experience you will sail into a job - i genuinely hope you do - but please just add a little bit of humility before we all meet you offshore.

Good luck
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norfolknchance2 wrote:
"I did consider my skillset which was way above the norm for people going into this"
With that humble attitude i'm sure you will go far!
As for 'only' flying class II ROVs - some of us have made very lucrative careers out of this obviously lowly aspect of the job.

Im sure that with your extensive ROV operational experience you will sail into a job - i genuinely hope you do - but please just add a little bit of humility before we all meet you offshore.

Good luck


You have read it all wrong really, I'm only stating what has been said, my skillset was very unusual as was my age getting into this game very late on in life. The post you replied to was a year old, I can say I'm now employed for nearly a year, have 130 hours on eyeball and 380 on workclass. The learning curve is steep, the people in general are great and I'm really enjoying the work.

IS

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