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    SURVEY OF INTEREST IN CONSOLIDATION OF AUTHORITY

    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...

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    Mister John , i would like to say my view , i'm a European Diver , move in the USA a while ago, after 12 years of Diving in the Offshore industry ,saturation, Air diving , construction , installation etc around the World  .. i have finally a chance to work in the United States, in  a small Harbor  company in the West Coast,  and was very impressive to me the way the Divers & Supervisors works,  they reach the work schedule target as well, but with very lack of safety , for me all this come from a bad regulations which no one respects the basic  lines  , like wearing bailouts only when its over 20 feet depth, no one use harness under the Harvest jacket, IMCA guide, (specially if you work in sat with DP ) its very important , i saw divers working over 8 hours in shallow diving depths , because lack of crew,   somebody told me, ( if you works 8 hours in a office , why you could not do the same as diver?)    i would love if IMCA one day could show up here too        thanks for your time &

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    Thanks for your observation, blueshark! What you referred to is EXACTLY why it will help if ALL authority over diving operations are assigned to the USCG.

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    What has to happen too, is the adoption of IMCA guidelines. This is likely to prove to be a stumbling block though as IMCA is not a US body.

     

    Consolidate authority under USCG, and adhere to IMCA guidelines, and you will improve diver safety in the US.

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    John, is there a possibility that we will be heard with the new incoming administration? Perhaps if we make the case to them that in the US, there are more stringent occupational safety regulations for a janitor than there are for a  working diver, that the death and injury rates for man hours worked are atrocious, that existing US safety regulations pale in comparison to "Third World" countries, and that due to the lack of consolidation of authority over the industry there is no hope of the statistics changing without seeing significant change in regulation and enforcement?

     

    We could also make it clear to them that there is no need to re-invent the wheel, as far as safety regulations go. Between IMCA D014 and IOGP 411 they can "cut and paste" so to speak, and end up with a substantial and workable regulation. I can assure you that neither IMCA nor IOGP would have a problem with their documents being used as a baseline for regulations.

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