Divers to Be Trained for UXO Detection

Commercial divers will be trained to detect unexploded ordinance (UXO) in a new partnership between explosives disposal experts Ramora UK and the Professional Diving Academy, Dunoon.

The Professional Diving Academy (PDA) will be fully accredited by Ramora UK to enhance its existing commercial diver training courses with a 2 day module in underwater UXO detection and identification techniques.

As well as vessel based magnetometer and high frequency side-scan sonar surveys, commercial divers and ROV’s are used routinely to identify suspicious items on or around production platforms or turbine locations and cable routes during the pre-construction phase.

Major operators such as E.ON have stipulated that divers who wish to participate in this area of diving works, must first have undergone a suitable training programme.

The course will focus on awareness and identification of unexploded items and will include the use of diver operated magnetometers. The Aquascan DX 300 Magnetometer has been chosen for this purpose, as it’s arguably the most commonly used in this field. The DX300 is a highly-sensitive detection tool which can pinpoint the location of suspect items underwater, even when buried.

The course content draws on Ramora UK’s expertise in explosives detection and disposal. The PDA will provide this course within its Premier Career Package, or alternatively as a 2 day standalone course for divers who wish to enhance their skills.

David Welch, Managing Director at Ramora UK, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this strategic partnership with the Professional Diving Academy. As leaders in our respective fields we see this as a perfect fit, combining Ramora UK’s expertise in explosive ordnance disposal with the PDA’s leadership in commercial diver training.”

Neil MacMillan, Training Manager at the Professional Diving Academy, said: “For commercial divers, this is an area that has not been covered in great detail by traditional training courses and this partnership will ensure that divers trained by us can now be given proper awareness in UXO surveying, detection and identification. It also cements the Professional Diving Academy’s reputation as a worldwide leader in recognising the current trends of the diving industry and delivering the required training courses that enables divers to achieve competence in their specific field of operations.”

Ramora UK, based in Hampshire, operates a round-the-clock emergency helpline with immediate response to incidents by specialist Bomb Disposal teams. The company’s ex-military experts also offer explosives-related training services to governments, corporations, military and law enforcement agencies around the world.

The Professional Diving Academy, which is based in Dunoon, Scotland delivers HSE accredited (IMCA recognised) offshore commercial diver training.

Image: Ramora UK

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