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The Underwater Centre Blog - Page 2 of 54 - Training you for the job, not just the ticket

Australian Salmon Farming Gets New ROV Falcon Technology

The largest majority privately owned producer of fresh salmon in Australia, Huon Aquaculture, has ordered a second Saab Seaeye Falcon underwater e-robotic vehicle (ROV).

Their newest Falcon ROV is now enhanced with Saab Seaeye’s iCON behaviour-based intelligent control architecture.

This is an important new resource for Huon as iCON makes possible the option of intelligent stationkeeping and precise positioning that helps reduce operator workload by allowing them to concentrate on the task in hand.

Using Saab Seaeye ROVs for reliability

Huon’s main use of the Falcons is to inspect the nets, rigging and moorings in their aquaculture pens.

“The key reason we decided to purchase a second Falcon is its reliability and Saab Seaeye’s excellent after sales support,” says Huon’s business development manager, James Bender.

Shea Cameron, Huon’s subsea manager adds that the first Falcon has worked tirelessly for 1000s of hours. “We like the low height of the machine because we can deploy it sideways between a walkway and the net,” he says. “The SIMCT thrusters are also ideal for aquaculture use with no shaft seals to service or inspect. None of the other machines we own at the moment have this advantage. We also like the ease of servicing the machine so feel comfortable ordering a new one with iCON that is compatible with our current machine.”

Introducing advanced underwater robotic vehicle systems to their aquaculture operation aligns with Huon’s continued introduction of new technologies and developments at their three locations, including adding well-boats and larger pens.

The Falcon will help Huon continue leading the way in environmental and business standards, says the company, which was founded in1986 and prides itself on being first to take the process from whole fresh fish to smoked packaged product as well as creating some of the freshest salmon products in the world.

Most popular ROV of its class

By picking the Falcon concept, Huon has chosen the most popular vehicle of its class in the world with a success record in the global aquaculture sector for over 12 years.

For aquaculture work, the Falcon’s winning design has the power and manoeuvrability to operate with precision amongst large and deep nets and in strong crosscurrents.

The design also allows a wide range of equipment for many different tasks to be easily added and changed on a system that is simple and easy to operate.

The Falcon’s global success comes from having packed five powerful thrusters and an intelligent distributed control system in a compact 1 x 0.5 x 0.6 metre versatile system that has been proven worldwide since 2002. Falcon is at the leading edge of Huon’s developments in advancing the use of technology in aquaculture.


Students on The Underwater Centre’s ROV courses also train using Falcon technology, preparing them for the technology they will find when working in the industry.  

For more information on ROV training visit our website here, or contact our Student Advisors on +61 3 6383 4844 or [email protected].

Source article

Dive Training ‘Star’ Dave Loudon Receives ADAS Award

Dave Loudon Receives His Award

Dave Loudon awarded the Maurie Vierow Award of Excellence

Dave Loudon, a commercial diver who now instructs the next generation of divers at our Centre in Tasmania, has had his exceptional contribution to commercial diver training recognised with a peer-nominated industry award.

Dave Loudon has been awarded the Maurie Vierow Award of Excellence by industry body Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme (ADAS).

The award recognises outstanding contributions and service from within ADAS and ADAS Accredited Training Establishments.

Dave – who is a qualified supervisor and has obtained Certificate IV TAE in Training and Assessment – previously worked as an ADAS qualified commercial diver before joining us in 2014, bringing a wealth of experience to the role.

Exceptional dedication shown to training in the hyperbaric industry

Recipients of the excellence award are those who show exceptional dedication to the support and training of people in the hyperbaric industry in such a way that encourages high levels of safety, cooperation, and skill as members of the Australian and international hyperbaric industry.

Rob Gatt, Executive Director at ADAS, explains why David was such a worthy winner, “This award was specifically established to recognise people within the ADAS team like David, people who are prepared to consider change and have input into the way we, as an organisation, can improve. Whilst in the big picture David is relatively new to training he has certainly had a positive impact in that period of time and has shared some valuable input relating to promoting diver safety and training efficiency.  ADAS is committed to recognise individuals and organisations that are committed to working together to further the delivery of training in the ADAS network.  Dave has shown himself to be one of those people.”

Dave Loudon Delivers Lecture to Diving Students

Dave Loudon Delivers Lecture to Diving Students

Quality of commercial diver training benefits from Dave’s interest and experience

Herb Mitton, Operations Manager at The Underwater Centre Tasmania, believes that the quality of commercial diver training at the Centre has constantly benefitted from Dave’s genuine interest and solid experience.

“Dave regularly typifies ‘excellence’ throughout our commercial diver training operations and development, so it gives us great pleasure to see his dedication and skill recognised,” he says.

“The achievements and contributions David makes to our workplace are numerous and widespread. He is a natural teacher, being well versed and highly knowledgeable on relevant subject matter; however he continues to strive to learn more rather than sit on laurels of knowledge already gained. Of particular note is the complete ownership and vast improvements David has contributed to our Part 1 SCUBA program: his ownership has turned this fundamental building-block of any dive career into something that is really stand-out.”

Dave previously worked on civil and commercial subsea construction projects and now utilises that knowledge and experience on the Centre’s commercial air diver training programmes.

Instrumental in International Training Partnership Scheme delivery

He was also instrumental in the recent ADAS training for Singapore’s SSE Training Centre Pte Ltd, as part of our International Training Establishment (ITE) Partnership scheme. The scheme allows training centres around the world to deliver internationally recognised ADAS commercial diving courses. Delivered in conjunction withour training experts, the scheme aims to guarantee consistent quality and high standards of safety in commercial diving world-wide.

Dave says: “I am honoured to be able to work alongside other staff and industry members that have the same goals in common; to provide commercial diver training to the best of our abilities in a safe environment. To be mentored by the likes of Herb Mitton, here at The Underwater Centre, and Rob Gatt, from ADAS, and given the support and encouragement to keep moving forwards. To now be able to also work in some exotic locations, like Singapore, tops it off!”

Herb adds, “Safety within the workplace and during student diving is of paramount concern to David. In this regard he really shines, always leading by example and taking that extra step to ensure his dive-sites, work areas and those within them are kept as safe as can be, ultimately improving the overall quality of the training students receive.”

“In short, David is a ‘star’ within our organisation; we are a better and safer team and much stronger company thanks to his input.”

Visit our website for more information on ADAS commercial air diver training in Tasmania, or contact us on +61 3 6383 4844 or email [email protected].

Please click here for full press release

Trends and New Technology in the ROV Industry

In light of recent updates to IMCA guidelines for the Safe and Efficient Operation of Remotely Operated Vehicles (IMCA R 004 Rev4) our ROV Team share their expertise on the topic and on the next generation of ROV systems. 

This ROV industry article was published in full by Hydro International within their July / August Edition which can be viewed here. We have summarised the key IMCA changes and ROV trend discussion below. 

Trends in Remotely Operated Vehicle applications

As the technology utilised in ROV continues to develop there are some significant increases in the types of operations now being performed “remotely” by qualified ROV pilot technicians. The current trend in the renewable sector involving the installation of offshore wind farm sites (e.g. off the East Coast of Scotland and Australia) has created a requirement for long-term installation, repair and maintenance (IRM) tasks that will require diver-less intervention due to the environmental conditions such as high current and low visibility encountered in these  locations. 

ROV Industry OBSROV In Water With Divers

Divers and OBSROV Working Together

Similarly, many of the various deep water operational tasks previously carried out by semi-submersibles can now be performed from an ROV support vessel utilising remote technology, thereby significantly reducing the operational costs. 

Advancements in electrical motor technology has also seen an increase in the number of “electrical” propulsion ROV systems, which are typically used in regions that may be environmentally sensitive to hydrocarbon releases. 

The latest development in hybrid ROV / AUV technology appear to offer some major benefits for the subsea industry mainly relating to operational costs. The idea of having AUV systems predominantly docked in subsea “stations” ready for deployment at a moments notice is definitely possible with current technology; however long-term reliability and maintenance may be the key factors that prevent this becoming a feasible option. 

“There will always be a requirement for skilled personnel to provide the necessary backup”


Revised IMCA R 004 Rev 4 Classifications

Our team provide an overview of the revised classification and usage examples below, and you can find more information about how these are covered within our ROV pilot technician training here.

Class I – Pure observation class ROVs

Class I vehicles are used in a purely observation role, providing the client with a relatively inexpensive and high quality portable method of performing general visual inspection of subsea assets. 

ROV Industry Class IIA

Class IIA OBSROV, Tasmania

Class IIA – Observation class vehicles with a payload option

Class IIA systems typically have a suitable payload that allows the fitment of additional camera systems and subsea sensors providing a basic survey / NDT (non-destructive testing) capability.

Class IIB – Observation class vehicles with light intervention / survey and construction capability

Class IIB systems are still predominantly observation class but with a significant payload allowing the use of lightweight manipulator capability. 

Class IIIA – Standard work class vehicles with a payload of <200kg and through frame lift of approx. 1000kg

Class IIIA systems are the general work horses of the industry and can successfully perform the vast majority of tasks required in a typical field construction role including survey, metrology, construction and intervention.

ROV Industry Class IIIA Being Launched

Class IIIA WROV, Fort William

Class IIIB – Advanced work class vehicles with a payload of >200kg and through frame lift of up to 3000kg

Class IIIB systems are the heavy weights of the oil & gas sectors and were developed to provide a high capacity hydraulic capability in order to remotely override the blow out preventor (BOP) used during the drilling and work over phases. 

Class IVA – Towed vehicles, typically ploughs used in subsea burial operations

Class IVA towed systems are technically the simplest in design and operation and are loosely based on a typical agricultural plough, being towed along by a vessel. 

Class IVB – Tracked vehicles utilising HP water jetting and specialised rock cutting tools, again used in the burial of subsea cables and pipelines 

Class IVB tracked vehicles provide a significantly more accurate method of burying cable and pipeline, although this process is considerably more time consuming than using the plough method. 

Class V – Prototype or development vehicles

Class V prototype or development vehicles allow the manufacturers to create one off designs in order to facilitate a particular task. A typical design that has been developed is the current range of Rock Grabbers that are being used to clear pathways in subsea boulder fields around Western Europe in order to facilitate burial of the various subsea cables. 

Class VIA – Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) weighing <100kg

Class VIA AUV systems come in many guises, from the typical survey data gathering type used by many oceanographic institutes, to the more complex military operations such as counter mine operations. 

Class VIB – Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) weighing >100kg

Class VIB AUV systems provide a significantly larger platform that enables a much wider range of survey equipment to be fitted. 

What does the future hold?

Entirely autonomous vehicles cruising the world’s oceans or, indeed, hybrid technology whereby a skilled technician constantly monitors operations whilst the control system performs the auto-pilot function? Either way, there will always be a requirement for skilled personnel to provide the necessary back-up when things do not go according to plan. 

ROV Training at The Underwater Centre

The Underwater Centre has been providing ROV pilot technician training for over 15 years. Our ROV courses provide graduates with experience of operating work class and observation class ROVs in an open-water, tidal environment as well as providing practical experience using our VMAX WROV simulator. The operational experience gained from our courses mean that students have been trained to beyond IMCA guidelines; providing the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary for a career using Remotely Operated Vehicles in the subsea industry and beyond.  

To find out more about the range of ROV training courses and modules the Centre offers, visit our website.

The article was published in full within Hydro International July/August Edition and can be read in full here

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A Diving Partnership: Delivering ADAS Training in Singapore

The Underwater Centre, Tasmania has entered into an International Training Establishment (ITE) Partnership with SSE Training Centre Pte Ltd, Singapore to deliver ADAS accredited commercial diver training.

SSE Training Ltd Group Photo ADAS Accredited Diver Training

Our experienced diver training team travelled to Singapore in June 2017 to deliver the training, in English, to SSE personnel.

This course was an RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) Part 1 SCUBA and Part 2 Surface Supplied Breathing Apparatus (SSBA),  delivered to delegates who are already experienced commercial divers.

Thanks to their existing diving experience, SSE divers completed a shortened version of the standard ADAS courses to gain the ADAS internationally-recognised certification.

“Internationally-recognised commercial diving courses, accredited by ADAS”

The ITE Partnership scheme works by allowing existing diver training establishments to partner with The Underwater Centre, Tasmania, which has an agreement in place with ADAS allowing it to deliver accredited training outside of Australia. All potential partners are fully audited by The Underwater Centre to ensure high standards, and all ADAS courses are then delivered in conjunction with the company’s training experts to guarantee consistent quality.

Allan Brown, Operations Director, The Underwater Centre, Tasmania commented, “Working with the team at SSE Training Centre has been a fantastic experience for us. The commitment to excellence and their passion for quality has been continually evident throughout this first project together. This excellence and passion has combined naturally with the experience and professionalism of the The Underwater Centre team.  We have formed a very strong partnership in the delivery of ADAS qualifications in Singapore.”

This training collaboration, to deliver ADAS internationally-recognised certifications, is the first of its kind in Singapore and, until now, meant that SSE divers were restricted to working in the waters within the government-backed certification boundaries. By obtaining the ADAS certification the divers will then be able to work around the world, on a range of jobs and for different companies.

“(commercial) divers benefit from greatly increased safety”

Divers Pre Dive Equipment Check During ADAS Accredited Diver Training

Steve Ham, Commercial Director, The Underwater Centre, Fort William says, “there are huge opportunities in commercial diving around the world, but also risks – which is a dangerous combination.

“In many countries, too many divers are dying because of insufficient training. Partly this is down to cost, but largely the barrier is having to travel to get the best standard of instruction, which is often unfeasible. We’re removing that barrier with the ITE scheme, just as the market needs it most.

“The oil and gas industry is just picking up from the bottom of its cycle and more projects are coming online; the offshore wind industry is taking off and decommissioning ageing oil and gas assets will need a lot of divers too. There are busier times ahead for the sector in the near future, and the ITE scheme will help divers around the world be part of that while maintaining the highest standards of safety.”

“It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be working in partnerships with The Underwater Centre, Tasmania”

Boost to earning potential and career opportunities 

By training this way, divers benefit from greatly increased safety, as well as an internationally-recognised commercial diving qualification that boosts their earning potential and opens career paths around theDavid Loudon Dive Supervisor Delivering Class Lecture During ADAS Accredited Diver Training world. Companies employing the divers can also be assured of greater worker safety and efficiency and they can bid for a broader array of projects internationally.

Captain Ram K. Kumar, General Manager, SSE Training Centre, commented on this partnership saying, “It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be working in partnerships with The Underwater Centre, Tasmania. Together we have been able to deliver high quality dive training systems coupled with internationally-recognised ADAS qualifications in Singapore.

“SSE Training Centre Pte Ltd and The Underwater Centre have been working passionately for past 6 months to reach this important milestone for both parties and it’s really a proud moment. Looking forward for continued friendship and success.”

Longer term, the aim is to extend this training to deliver a range of ADAS courses, to individual students as well as staff, including ADAS Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 (Occupational Diver to 50M) on the SSE Training Centre site. 

To find out more about the ITE Partnership scheme contact Steve Ham on 0044 1397 703 786 or visit our ITE (International Training Establishment) Partnership page.

Career Enhancement with High Voltage & Electrical Safety Training

We recently welcomed Barry “Baz” Worgan back to The Underwater Centre, Fort William, to further enhance his ROV skills by attending our 2 day High Voltage and Electrical Safety course.

Baz previously trained at The Underwater Centre in 2013 when he underwent his first ROV training course, ROV Pilot Technician, and from there his new subsea career began. Baz enrolled in a Trainee ROV Pilot Technician scheme with ROVOP who have since trained Baz from his early career to where he is now, 4 years later.

“I believe the ROV Pilot Technician course helped me get my first trip offshore.”


With a young family, Baz left behind a decade long career in the Emergency Services to embark on a new career piloting Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) after taking inspiration from a good friend in the subsea industry and taking his existing interest further, saying “I didn’t think I could do it, but once I realised it was only me holding myself back, I looked at re-training in ROV”.

“Next step for me is Senior Pilot Technician”

Baz is hopeful of progressing to the role of Senior Pilot Technician shortly and wants to take each step at a time. After we caught up with Baz during his High Voltage and Electrical Safety course he kindly answered some quick fire questions:

How do you rate The Underwater Centre, Fort William?

‘The Underwater Centre is a great facility. The food is too good!’

How do you think training at The Underwater Centre helped your career?

‘I believe the ROV Pilot Technician course helped me get my first trip offshore. The first company that gave me my maiden offshore trip saw I was serious about investing in myself. I was then lucky that ROVOP saw the same determination and reciprocated with an offer of a trainee Pilot Tech position which has helped me progress my career to date.’

What’s your next planned career step?

‘Next step for me is Senior Pilot Technician.’

What do you most look forward to in your ROV career?

‘The time off! I love my job but the quality time I get with my family is the best part.’

What do you least look forward to in your ROV career?

‘Sharing a room on an offshore rig!’

Finally, would you encourage others to train at The Underwater Centre?

‘Yes, I would recommend the Centre for sure. I would also encourage those thinking of re-training in ROV to thoroughly research and make a confident decision that this is what they want to do. It’s a big investment and one that can pay off but, keep realistic expectations in mind.’

Enhancing your career

Baz originally trained with The Underwater Centre back in 2013 on our ROV Pilot Technician course and, after gaining experience working offshore, returned to the Fort William centre to further add to his skill set by attending the 2 day High Voltage and Electrical Safety course.

Thank you for your time, Baz. Best of luck for the future!

We offer a range of short-duration modular courses to suit your needs,  ranging from Fibre Optics to T4 Manipulator training; you can find out more about our training modules here, or click the link below:

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