1. When we examine the statistics concerning diving fatalities in the offshore industry in the UK between 1971 and 1975, we find the following:

    1971......................11972......................11973......................21974......................51975......................6

It was in 1975 that the Government stepped in, and through the Manpower Services Commission established a syllabus to which Air and Mixed Gas divers had to be trained.

2) THE SITUATION IN THE NORTH SEA IN THE EARLYDAYS OF DEVELOPMENT

Historically it can be seen that the diver training was undertaken either by the services or by an informal 'apprenticeship', where coaching was given on site by divers who had learned 'the hard way'. During the 60's and early 70's the majority of commercial divers working offshore in British waters learned their trade in this manner.

At this time the skilled underwater technicians came mainly from overseas, from America and France, having gained oil field experience in the Gulf of Mexico or in the Middle East. Ex-service divers particularly from the Royal Navy accounted for a considerable proportion of the underwater work force who learned specific skills by experience on site.

The demand for skilled trained personnel was however overtaking the supply. It became apparent during this time that a training method was required if qualified divers were to be found in sufficient numbers to meet the requirement.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.