UNDERWATER Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Scott Coker, Vice President of Operations at Triton Diving Services and ADCI Board Member. Thank you to Scott for all of your help!
Tell me about how you got involved with the industry and what your responsibilities are at your current job.
Upon completion of my service in the Army, I enrolled at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL to pursue a career in aviation. While taking classes there, I decided to learn how to scuba dive & received a PADI open water certification. To make a long story short, I learned from talking to friends and family in Louisiana, that I could get certified as a Commercial Diver in a short period of time and could then start earning good money by doing something that I enjoyed. I made a tough decision to work towards a Commercial Diving career over becoming an Airline Pilot. I am currently the Vice President of Operations at Triton Diving Services in Morgan City, LA. My duties include overseeing the daily activities at our Operations Base, Recruiting of Diving Personnel, Maintenance of Diving Equipment, Dive Vessel Support, & Management of our Dive Crews. I’m fortunate to have a top notch support crew made up of 10 people handling, Personnel, Operations, HSE / Safety, Marine, Purchasing, Shipping / Receiving, & Dive Equipment.
How have you been involved with ADCI?
My involvement with the ADC began in the early 1990s while working with Cal Dive, International & continues today. Dive Companies like Cal Dive and Triton Diving that work in the Gulf of Mexico have followed the ADCI Consensus Standards through the various revisions while using them as the standard to which we conduct safe diving operations. Working up through the ranks as Tender, Diver, Sat Diver, Supervisor, etc. the ADC has qualifications that must be met to progress to the next level. ADCI Certification Cards are issued at each level when verification of logbook experience has been validated. Another form of involvement with this organization has begun this year as I was nominated as the ADCI Gulf Coast Chapter Chair a couple of months ago during Underwater Intervention 2019. I look forward to serving in this capacity with my primary focus being Diver Safety as well as representing the Gulf Coast to the best of my ability.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career in the underwater industry?
The most rewarding part of my career has been to progress from an entry level Tender upon completion of dive school to being the Vice President of Operations today. Over the last 27 years I have been fortunate to work with many talented & experienced people involved in the diving industry. I have had many opportunities to get in front of Dive School Graduates all over the United States in order to assist them with transitioning from graduation into their careers as Divers. I’ve participated in the way we used to work “back in the day” while watching it evolve into the way work is done today due to lessons learned over the years in the name of Diver Safety.
What has the ADCI meant to the industry?
I feel the ADCI has had a major impact on our industry due to the participation of those who are the subject matter experts being part of the organization. They have provided critical input into the advancement of those Consensus Standards as well as recurring audits of participating Companies. Accountability is a requirement when it comes to conducting safe diving operations. The ADCI has provided guidance for those seeking that proper standard while continue to search for areas of improvement.
What would you like to see the ADCI do to make sure the next 50 years are as productive as the first?
In order for the ADCI to continue to be productive, the organization will have to continue to interact directly with the diving community while providing updated standards as new technology & work practices improve. Annual Interventions are very important networking events full of informative sessions with subject matter experts sharing information to those who attend. Safety Lessons Learned will need to continue to be openly shared with all involved in order to prevent additional incidents. I have no doubt that the ADCI will continue on path to support the industry in a productive manner.