Underwater Centre trains first ever Angolan saturation divers

Training - April 24, 2012

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The Underwater Centre in Fort William has recently finished training the first ever Angolans as saturation divers.

Antonio Quetes and Antonio Njiva, who work for Angolan oil and gas service provider Operatec LDA, were taking part in the three-week HSE Closed Bell course.

The HSE Closed Bell course teaches experienced divers the procedures and competencies required to dive using a saturation system.

Saturation divers live in a chamber, for up to 28 days, which is pressurised to the same pressure of the sea at the depth that they will be working at. Living and working at pressure means that they can be transported quickly and efficiently to the work site under the water without decompression stops, allowing divers to work to much greater depths and for much longer periods of time than on air.

As Operatec expands the scale and scope of its diving service in Angola it aims to offer its customers saturation diving support. The increasing breadth of maintenance and repair activities required to maintain Angola’s subsea infrastructure is making it more cost effective to introduce saturation diving to the company’s service offering.

Both students are currently working with Operatec on a maintenance and inspection job for a major oil and gas organisation and as the field becomes more mature, the need for them to be trained in saturation diving has become more important to ensure the upkeep of the field.

Now these students have completed their training, Operatec is to send a further 8-10 Angolan employees to the Centre over the coming years.

Steve Ham, General Manager at The Centre, said: “It is great that Operatec have chosen The Underwater Centre to train the first ever Angolans in saturation diving and we’re delighted to instruct these men, who have an excellent attitude, in our HSE standards of safety and professionalism.

“The industry in Angola, and Africa as a whole, is growing and as a result there is going to be an increased need for local Angolan divers who are trained in all aspects of the job."

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