By Phil Newsum
I hope you enjoy this edition of Underwater magazine. I want to thank all the contributing writers, as well as Managing Editor, Steve Guglielmo for making this edition a very worthwhile read. I would also like to thank the Content Committee, Chaired by Travis Detke, for their contributions.
Normally my messages cover a host of industry developments, but for this edition I am electing to focus on only one.
On Friday, April 26th, the industry lost a man whose contribution to diver safety needs to be shared with all who should read this. Mr. Randy Abadie worked for Shell as a structural Engineer and was the Lead for the Shell Diving Centre of Excellence. In short, he oversaw all commercial diving for Shell.
I met Randy through the attendance of diver safety workgroups in the Gulf of Mexico. Although he was not a commercial diver, Randy understood the impact of commercial diving in the O&G, and took the time needed to become thoroughly versed on what constitutes safe commercial diving operations. In fact, in 2012, Randy and I co-authored and presented a white paper on The Importance of Careful Selection of Contractors Performing Your Underwater Services and How Clients Can Help Drive Increased Safety in the Commercial Diving Industry. I just presented this a few weeks back to the New York/New Jersey Port Authority. Randy would have been pleased to know how far reaching his contributions ranged.
Randy, along with Allen Dyson, was one of the original architects of the Gulf of Mexico Diving Safety Workgroup (DSWG). I can remember Mike Brown and I sitting down with both Randy and Allen in 2011 to discuss the concept of the DSWG and if it would stand in conflict with the ADCI. The DSWG has only served to complement both the ADCI and IMCA and is widely respected by all entities in commercial diving.
Randy was truly a person who bridged groups and people together. He was always focused on the task at hand and approached industry challenges with a clear lens. He took all stakeholders into account when there was an issue to work. He simply made things better with his presence and input. Whether it was in Houma, Bergen, London, Paris, or Kuala Lumpur, Randy’s approach in meetings was consistently collaborative and issue-oriented. With all that said, Randy also brought levity and a great sense of humor to some very tense-filled rooms. He was truly a calming presence and represented the U.S., Shell, and most notably, the Gulf of Mexico to a degree that makes him worthy of induction into the Commercial Diving Hall of Fame.
The soon-to-be signed Memorandum of Understanding between the ADCI and IMCA on several levels can be credited to Randy and his efforts. Randy was truly a behind-the-scenes type of guy. He never wanted it to be about him. It was always about the efforts of others and the group. Well Randy, this is all about you.
From a grateful industry, thanks for looking out for the guy at the end of the hose.
Rest in Peace, my friend.