By Bryan Nicholls
Happy New Year! Welcome to the winter 2020 edition of Underwater Magazine. I hope that the holiday season was a pleasant one for you all.
Now that the dust has settled, many of us begin the New Year looking forward to a quick start; both personally and professionally.
Despite the “holiday lull” that many of us experience, this winter has been a busy time for our association.
In October, the board of directors met in Philadelphia and shortly after that, both the West Coast and Latin/Caribbean Chapters held their annual conferences in Oregon and Colombia respectively.
Regrettably, I was not able to travel to Oregon for the West Coast Chapter meeting and the accompanying Historical Diving Society functions, but I did have the privilege of attending the Latin American and Caribbean Chapter meetings in Cartagena, Colombia. If you have never been to Cartagena, I highly suggest that you put it on your list. What a wonderful city! The conference itself was a great experience, and I was fortunate enough to meet many of our ADCI brethren that I might not otherwise have met in my usual ADCI circles. There is a lot of passion for our industry in that part of the world, and I found everyone that I met there to be incredibly friendly and accommodating, especially considering my efforts to utilize what little Spanish I retained from high school 30 years ago. Special thanks to Lazaro Del Castillo and the Latin American/Caribbean Chapter, Jim Elliott of the American Salvage Association, and all of those that contributed to ensuring that the conference was a success. Gracias! It was a pleasure to meet you all.
Some added highlights from the second half of 2019 include a formal MOU with IMCA, the creation of a new guidance document for Underwater Ship’s Husbandry, and the finishing touches on revision 6.3 of our Consensus Standards. Membership continues to increase, and the ADCI has gained traction via acceptance to additional industry forums around the world.
Overall, our association continues to be in good standing regarding its position within the international commercial diving community. Our efforts will undoubtedly help to improve diver safety, as well as increase the ability for American divers to safely work internationally.
Now for 2020. This issue of Underwater Magazine contains several great articles, including one on the partnership between divers and ROVs for inland operations, a case study regarding steel bridge piling repairs using underwater glass fiber reinforced polymers, The Last Word featuring Tony Greenwood, a preview of Underwater Intervention 2020 and more. Also, a first for Underwater Magazine, the 2020 membership directory will appear in a regular issue.
Speaking of Underwater Intervention, the ADCI and the ROV Committee of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) will host the 29th year of our conference on February 4-6, 2020 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. As you know, this show attracts industry stakeholders from all over the world to gather information and share ideas related to underwater operations. Registration is now open, and I encourage you to visit the show’s website and schedule of events at underwaterintervention.com for more details. Hope to see you there!
Also coming up; Rev. 6.3 of the ADCI Consensus Standards is finally done and should be available to the membership very soon. A final reminder that the three-year window for the ADCI audit initiative will conclude in March 2020. Member companies and schools that have not been previously audited should get this scheduled for completion as soon as possible if they wish to remain members of the ADCI. Please contact the ADCI office for details.
And with that, it is time for me to say farewell as your president (thank heavens for term limits, eh?). I have to say that it has truly been an honor and pleasure to serve our great association and its membership in this capacity. When I began my adventure in commercial diving over 20 years ago, I never would have imagined that it would turn out this way. During this time, I have had the honor and privilege to work alongside, and learn from, so many incredibly hard working, enterprising and entertaining people. Some of you have impacted my career in ways that you may not know or realize. However, just know this: I was always listening.
My time as your president has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career, and I truly hope that I can find some way to serve our association and our industry for several years to come. Thank you to all that have supported me, assisted me and even propped me up as a teammate.
As the ADCI enters its 52nd year, I am certain that 2020 will be another exciting and eventful year for our association and its membership. With that, I wish you great success, good health and incident-free operations.
Dive safely and Happy New Year!