Subsea Industry Recognises Commercial Diving Champion
Our own ‘leading light,’ Alf Leadbitter, has received the prestigious Outstanding Contribution Award at the Subsea UK Awards Dinner in Aberdeen.
We are delighted that our Diver Training Authority, Alf Leadbitter, who is one of the world’s most experienced commercial diver trainers, has been recognised for the impact he has made to the subsea sector over the course of his career.
Alf’s long and successful career – which spans more than 50 years not only as a commercial diver, but also as a dive supervisor, instructor and assessor – has seen him travel the globe sharing his expertise with commercial diving students.
He has worked at The Underwater Centre, Fort William, for more than 30 years, and he has led diver training here for the last 10 years.
Significant contribution to commercial diving
Steve Ham, our General Manager, believes the commercial diving industry has a lot to thank Alf for following his tireless work ensuring training reaches the highest standards in health and safety and in subsea skills.
“Everyone at the Centre is absolutely delighted that Alf has received this industry recognition; it is very much deserved,” he said.
“Alf has made a significant contribution to commercial diving across the entire subsea industry and has been at the forefront of commercial diver training for almost 35 years. He has been central to the global development of closed bell training, the establishment of diver training and safety processes and has championed the cause of training divers to work underwater, rather than simply teaching them to dive.”
Instrumental in the establishment of closed bell commercial diver training
Alf – who was instrumental in setting up closed bell diver training courses at The Underwater Centre in Fort William, at our sister training facility in Tasmania and the National Institute of Professional Diving in Marseille, France – is one of just two people in the world qualified as an ADAS Training and Assessment Manager (ATAM) for the ADAS Part 4 Closed Bell Course, the other being one of his colleagues at The Underwater Centre.
His other professional qualifications include HSE Closed Bell, Offshore Closed Bell Supervisor and Life Support Technician Certificates, along with assessor and internal verifier’s qualifications and a 1st Class Honours Degree in Science achieved from the Open University.
Alf said: “I feel absolutely honoured and privileged to have won this award; to be acknowledged in such a way for doing a job that I enjoy so much is very special indeed.
“Since leaving school, I have worked in engineering and diving in all capacities from shop floor or seabed to trainer to management. My career started as an apprentice fitter and since then I have worked as an engineer, foreman, diver, diving supervisor and client representative. Since 1988 I have been involved in diver training as an instructor, supervisor and manager.
“I’ve been lucky to have a career that has required me to travel the globe, both as a diver and a trainer. The main changes which I have seen in my time in the industry come with health and safety; everything is now about safety and the competency levels of the divers, whereas when I started you were judged on the number of hours you’d spent underwater.”
You can read the full article about Alf’s commercial diving experiences and his award here in our Press Centre.