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What do Commercial Divers do?

Work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, remove, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, torches, and welding equipment. May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life.

What are the Main Tasks of Commercial Divers?

  • Communicate with workers on the surface while underwater, using signal lines or telephones.
  • Take appropriate safety precautions, such as monitoring dive lengths and depths and registering with authorities before diving expeditions begin.
  • Check and maintain diving equipment, such as helmets, masks, air tanks, harnesses, or gauges.
  • Descend into water with the aid of diver helpers, using scuba gear or diving suits.
  • Obtain information about diving tasks and environmental conditions.
  • Inspect and test docks, ships, buoyage systems, plant intakes or outflows, or underwater pipelines, cables, or sewers, using closed circuit television, still photography, and testing equipment.
  • Repair ships, bridge foundations, or other structures below the water line, using caulk, bolts, and hand tools.
  • Cut and weld steel, using underwater welding equipment, jigs, and supports.
  • Recover objects by placing rigging around sunken objects, hooking rigging to crane lines, and operating winches, derricks, or cranes to raise objects.
  • Install pilings or footings for piers or bridges.
  • Take test samples or photographs to assess the condition of vessels or structures.
  • Install, inspect, clean, or repair piping or valves.
  • Operate underwater video, sonar, recording, or related equipment to investigate underwater structures or marine life.
  • Remove obstructions from strainers or marine railway or launching ways, using pneumatic or power hand tools.
  • Salvage wrecked ships or their cargo, using pneumatic power velocity and hydraulic tools and explosive charges, when necessary.
  • Set or guide placement of pilings or sandbags to provide support for structures such as docks, bridges, cofferdams, or platforms.
  • Perform activities related to underwater search and rescue, salvage, recovery, or cleanup operations.
  • Supervise or train other divers, including hobby divers.
  • Carry out non-destructive testing, such as tests for cracks on the legs of oil rigs at sea.
  • Drill holes in rock and rig explosives for underwater demolitions.
  • Remove rubbish or pollution from the sea.
  • Perform offshore oil or gas exploration or extraction duties, such as conducting underwater surveys or repairing and maintaining drilling rigs or platforms.
  • Cultivate or harvest marine species or perform routine work on fish farms.
  • Set up dive sites for recreational instruction.
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