Firstly, I want to wish each of you health and prosperity through the Holidays, whichever you celebrate, and in the future!
PLEASE respond if you see the advisability of attempting to consolidate all authority over Commercial diving operations (in the USA and its territories) under the mission of the U.S. Coast Guard. The confusion and inadequate auditing/investigation/prosecution of diving operations will never be acceptable until this is done, in my opinion and that of many others with whom I have discussed this move.
The USCG recently introduced a rate for USCG Diver - a rating which heretofore did not exist. This development will create career divers in the USCG and that will result in well-trained personnel who will be proficient in diving operations and safety. These personnel will be obvious candidates to undertake audits and investigations. Consolidating authority will eliminate the grey areas of oversight and expedite desirable improvements. "Bessie" is only interested in scientific and archeological diving and OSHA has a shown a lack of effectiveness, even interest in proactive involvement in enforcement of existing regulations. Injured divers and the survivors of divers killed at work have little backup and the attorneys they engage have to fight uphill in almost every instance.
Active pursuit of the consolidation of authority will require some proactive effort by divers, support personnel, Contractors and law firms. This will not happen unless the first steps are taken. Details can be worked out. The Lawmakers who control appropriations must be educated in the need for such responsibility to be added to the USCG mission as it will require additional funding. The costs will be offset by reducing loss of life and injuries which become a financial burden to the government and diving contractors will save money because of reduced costs in assuring compliance and in legal fees. Attorney Bobby Delise has said more than once that he would like to be put out of the diving lawsuit business and he has made a fine career out of handling legal actions which result from injuries and fatalities to divers!
I urge you to endorse this effort and too pitch in when it starts! Your FIRST act needs to be stating that you approve the effort to Consolidate Authority...