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  1. 2 likes
    Hello Hal, below a translation from the newspaper El Siglo: Elmer Quintero Cedeño Elmer.quintero@elsiglo.com Sources said that divers were trapped and sucked by the current TRAGEDY Two divers died after being sucked by a sewer at a time when they were cleaning a canal at the Gualaca Hydroelectric Power Plant of Celsia Centroamérica, S.A., in Gualaca, Chiriquí. The facts were recorded at approximately 12:40 pm yesterday afternoon. Citizens Roderick Araúz, 35, and Jose Garcia, 43, were hired by the hydroelectric company to carry out work as divers and clean the canal that reorients the waters of the River Estí and, while carrying out these tasks, were dragged by the Current through a sewer that I push them to another channel. Ambulances of the firemen of Gualaca and other security institutions were transferred to the place, and the staff performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) maneuvers, but the effort was in vain. In the same way police units were presented, of the Sinaproc, Firemen, DIJ, Criminalistics and the Municipality of Gualaca. The Personería carried out the lifting of the corpses of these two people. Roderick Araúz was captain of the Volunteer Fire Department at Gualaca Station and worked as a firefighter at Enrique Malek Airport in David. According to a statement from the company Celsia Centroamérica, the two divers were hired by the contractor Interpa Holding Corporation, S.A, which was routinely called to carry out works on the canals. It was indicated that, as soon as the accident was known, the emergency plan was activated and representatives of Celsia Central America contacted the corresponding authorities to provide immediate attention. "At the moment the company is providing the necessary support both to the relatives of the deceased and to the authorities, in order to clarify the facts and determine the causes of this unfortunate accident," the company said in a statement. End of translation from El Siglo Newspaper. Facts that I obtained: The divers were Scuba Divers, the "Contractor" company was owned by one of the divers. They were using scuba at the moment of the incident. One of the reasons this things happen here is because there is no law for dive operations. A group of professionals presented a law that will be discussed by senators in January 2017 (we been trying for years but politicians always find the way to block it). Will keep you updated on any advance regarding the dive law. Gabriel
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    Hi John, All credit to making this happen, but I have reservations that the course would only benefit the schools and not the divers working in the industry. Divers have been hard hit by the reduction of work and still expected to maintain certain diving certification to keep in work. Therefore I’m against anything that would impose any additional cost to the diver rather than the diving contractor. So providing the diving contractor is paying for the training that would be OK. I now work only in the North Sea and we very rarely use any hot working cutting equipment apart for cutting out the odd bracket or stuck bolt as all the clients prefer cold cutting methods which in some cases are a lot quicker and safer. We actually used it for the first time in 6 years on the last job for about an hour’s work as it was the only method of work that would suffice. God knows when I’ll ever see it used again. They tried to impose an underwater lifting and rigging certificate for divers here in the North Sea which I viewed with contempt for the course made no recognition to prior experience. I won the day as I would only support the issue if the certification came under a recognised educational route with a recognised trade organisation which would have meant the employers and the training schools having to pay a body to write up and get approved as a considerable cost. Once that hit the table they dropped the idea. So my question would be which certification body would write up and approve the training establishments for such training and would the certification within a certified trade body be transferable within that educational bodies existing qualification structures. Derek Moore
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    | 29 Nov 2016 01.59pm Two men were drowned this afternoon at the headwaters of Gualaca, Chiriquí province, when they were cleaning a duct of a dam. Both worked as divers and worked in the pipeline that redirects waters of the River Est, when they were absorbed, according to preliminary data. Emergency personnel, among them, firefighters came to the scene to give first aid, however they could not help. With data from Raúl Óscar López, correspondent of Telemetro Reports in Chiriquí More info will be available later. Im waiting to hear from the goverment.
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    Getting information of an incident off Iran possibly on the Optimus (ex-Acergy Harrier). Company I’m told is the MEDS from the Middle East. Job was undertaking a repair on a damaged 32” pipeline involving tying in a new spool to an existing pipeline flange. Incident involved a serious loss of gas via the open pipeline with the resultant release of small quantities of H2S whilst the two divers were in the water and the vessel was attached to the spools and pipeline by 2 x cranes meaning the vessel was unable to move off location. It is suspected the refinery opened a valve and sent the gas down the pipeline. The H2S wasn’t of sufficient quantity to cause respiratory incidents other than the foul smell it dissipates but the significant gas release from the pipeline caused a lot of persons to be alarmed when the abandon ship alarm sounded. I am led to believe the incident was eventually brought under control with no loss of life and luckily the gas did not reach an ignition source.
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    A gas release like that would turn any sat job to shit.
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    Wow - if there was enough gas released to cause vessel stability issues, that was no minor release. That makes it even more of a miracle that there was not multiple fatalities. I'll be watching also to see if there is an IMCA Safety Flash on this. Tell me Derek, was it a surface oriented or sat job?
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    Very lucky- could have been much worse.. http://www.professionalmariner.com/May-2008/Explosion-kills-three-from-dive-boat-decommissioning-gas-pipeline/
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    I have seen a recording of the incident and I won’t release the recording so as not to identify the sender. In my opinion the leak was so great the sea was bubbling up metres above the water and had the potential to cause the vessel severe stability issues. I'd be interested to see if this IMCA member company do report the incident.
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    This incident sounds like it had the potential for multiple casualties / fatalities. Glad it did not turn out that way. Now let's just hope that the contractor and the oil company both learn from this incident and perform a proper LOTO in the future.
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    There would be two vital areas of importance that would be the focus of this undertaking; 1. Safety 2. Competency Training would be conducted at the DCBC accredited CDT commercial diver training facility in Hudson FL. and consist of two primary components; 1. Underwater burning certification 2. Underwater Oxy-Arc Burning Instructor certification. (This would be required to conduct training of personal) John Roat and CDT will be holding meetings during the upcoming UI Conference in New Orleans. If those attending the meetings agree this course will be offered to other Accredited Diver Training Schools. Interested parties can contact Sid Preskitt, Commercial Diving Technologies at 321-212-8550 or underseas6@yahoo.com for more information. You can download a short Video overview by clicking on Burning: BurningTraining.wmv
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    Commercial Diving Technologies, LLC (CDT) is engaged in talks with John Roat, JCRoat Subject Matter Expert Services to develop a stand alone underwater burning training course. There would be two vital areas of importance that would be the focus of this undertaking; 1. Safety 2. Competency Training would be conducted at the DCBC accredited CDT commercial diver training facility in Hudson FL. and consist of two primary components; 1. Underwater burning certification 2. Underwater Oxy-Arc Burning Instructor certification. (This would be required to conduct training of personal) John Roat and CDT will be holding meetings during the upcoming UI Conference in New Orleans. If those attending the meetings agree this course will be offered to other Accredited Diver Training Schools. Interested parties can contact Sid Preskitt, Commercial Diving Technologies at 321-212-8550 or underseas6@yahoo.com for more information.
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    See Attached IOGP Diving Safety Alert.docx
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    Thank you Gabriel, very much appreciated. If there is anything the Divers Association can do to help you get these safety regulations put in place, please let us know. We would all be more than happy to help you.
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    Bagshy, there are two things to bear in mind: 1) US Navy says the following "there is no safe distance from an underwater explosion" 2) A few years ago a South African scuba club, attempting to break the Guinness Record, had 200 divers enter a large pool. Once they were all in, a flash-bang was tossed in to recall them. There was one fatality, several serious injuries I realize that air cannon are used now instead of explosives, but it is the hydraulic shock wave that poses the risk of fatality, with the sound waves posing a risk of hearing damage. Thermocline layers and tide shear can reduce the distance the shock waves can travel, but bottom topography can magnify the effect. Working in Saudi when they were doing seismic work, we halted diving ops whenever they were within 5 nautical miles of us. At that time, we were working in the 100 fsw range. There is one way to mitigate the effects of subsea blasting, and I assume it would work with air cannon: an air curtain.
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    Hi All, It has come to the attention of some that DMAC 12 Rev 1 – Safe diving distance from seismic operations is not providing the adequate protection required. Attached. DMAC 12 calls for a risk assessment at distances of 10km. However there have been reports from divers that they are being affected by Seismic noise as much as 23km to 27km away. Obviously the guns are getting larger and more sophisticated and as the majority of the seismic surveys are carried out independently of the operators they are not prepared to supply other than basic information. What is needed is for DMAC to update their guidance should it become evident that modern firing methods are presenting a hazard Have any divers or diving supervisors had to abort a dive due to seismic noise where the vessel has been more than 10km away. Reply to diveatderek@aol.com or leave a message on the forum privately or publically as I am collating any evidence. Regards Derek Moore DMAC12.pdf
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    Apart from diver's personal experiences, is there any scientific body which can give any insights on this? Seismic companies? The Navy? Personally, both in the Bell and in the water, I have never been made 'uncomfortable' by seismic bangs, although I have noted them to the supervisors just to make sure they/the bridge crew stay aware of any vessels in the vicinity (and to get it on the all important black box) and I've heard louder conductors banging around in their guides...but a diver cannot tell you any more than 'that's loud/uncomfortable' and certainly couldn't tell you 'whoah...that's only 30% away from being damaging...' however, we all know that percussive shock underwater can be on a scale anywhere from unnoticeable to fatal, surely there is someone clever enough to gauge the potentially damaging distance from any given strength of bang, and set a relatively safe radius from any given strength of same? I know little about seismic vessels, but I would imagine that the strength would have been part of the planning process for a given job, and doesn't just come down to loading up whatever the riggers find lying around..
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    Very sorry to hear this Gabuzo, may they rest in peace. Thank you for posting the information, it is appreciated. We will be awaiting your update.
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    I define a good safety culture as doing the right thing when no one is looking. 85% of fatalities in the workplace are associated with how we do the job not the condition. There has to be a buy-in from the top down to change the culture and as long as divers and supervisors keep tolerating less than a safety workplace nothing will change. Yes, there has to be enforcement from the regulatory bodies how much is the question. A company that responds only to enforcement has a broken safety culture, rules and regulations are part of the equation but not as much as you may think. Depending on what you read it can take anywhere from 18 months to years to change and industry culture. On the plus side, I have seen positive change happen very fast with small companies with teams that want to make the change. The key is what you tolerate and the courage to refuse things you should not tolerate. I have refused to do unsafe things and lost work because of it and on the other jobs I have had people come up to me say thanks and start the process of change. As a supervisor, I had a crew member come up to me and say he was uncomfortable doing something; I immediately shook his hand told him I am impressed he spoke out. We made changes to the procedure, and the team production has gone up because of it. I have also read that production increases by 12% with a job having a positive safety culture. When we know someone cares, we produce more. Changing a safety culture starts with you not accepting what you feel is unsafe, talk about it share your concerns, and you may be surprised with the company response. Steve Donovan UXO and Diving Safety Consultant
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    Thanks Tim, and now you know you were missed.
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    Basically because I have not updated the list (Sorry, real life, had a pretty grim couple of years) but I am in the process of updating the incidents list and that fatality has been added - though like the vast majority, the diving contractors and lawyers blanket a lot of the detail.
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    Derek - you are in the same boat I am. Jess is still ticked off about that whole "War of 1812" thing, and Brits and Canadians are still "the redcoats". You would think that he would just get over that burning down the Whitehouse bit, wouldn't you. After all, it has been over 200 years now.....