I hope you enjoy this edition of Underwater. The two primary articles focus on medication and drugs in diving and a recap of the contaminated water diving workshop that was hosted by the USN. It was very interesting to see all of the cutting-edge approaches toward contaminated water diving, but in the end it was evident that the current simple approaches to disinfecting a diver and his equipment can be performed with $150 worth of brushes and solvents from The Home Depot or Lowe’s. This along with the necessary PPE for topside personnel and sound operational approaches should ensure the safety of the dive team from a good number of contaminants. The fact is, virtually every harbor or public standing-water sites have pollution issues. Contractors need to ensure that they take proper precautions to mitigate exposure to certain types of pollutants that can cause serious health problems.
COVID-19 has changed the game on how we approach virtually everything in life. I would encourage those contractors performing operations critical to their respective nation or region’s infrastructure to take note of the various advisory notices issued by ADCI, CADC and IMCA. These advisory notices contain information on the various of precautions that should be taken to prevent the infection of the virus to the dive team and all they come in subsequent contact with. Kirby Morgan and Dive Lab have done an outstanding job of covering the steps to properly sanitize life support equipment, specifically helmets and masks. Additionally, I want to thank the hyperbaric medical community for all their guidance during this pandemic.
ADCI audits will resume when restrictions for travel and social distancing have been relaxed, not just in the U.S., but all nations where we have ADCI General Members and Associate Member Schools. Because of COVID-19, deadlines for undergoing the audit have been suspended and will only be readjusted once restrictions have been lifted.
If there are a couple of positives to be found during this period, one would be how much more comfortable we have had to become with virtual meetings, conferencing and webinars. Before COVID-19, a greater degree of our meetings were held face-to-face, absorbing the cost of flights, hotels and time associated with travel. It is my feeling that we will continue utilize video conferencing to a larger degree after the pandemic ends. Another takeaway was the downtime to assess how we do things and catch up with those things that were conveniently put on the backburner.
Despite the restrictions that we currently face, the ADCI will continue to support its members, as well as assist regulators and operators. The office exhibits the recommended social distancing guidelines and has implemented a staggered schedule to further mitigate the exposure of personnel.
The association knows that this period has been extremely difficult for all business units in the commercial diving industry, especially in the offshore sector. Therefore, we will continue to accommodate industry needs and the needs of the membership.