Conducting underwater search and recovery operations
15 Aug 2018

Conducting underwater search and recovery operations

Diving often means search and recovery, to the general people outside of the marine industry. In fact, search and recovery operations are one of the most common reasons for divers or Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to go into water - to search and recover something. However, search and recovery operations do not follow randomly created processes but closely defined search patterns. The following search patterns are commonly used in search and recovery operations:

1.    Arc Search

This search requires the divers to move in a semicircular path. Once the diver reaches the end of the path, s/he reels out the rope to a length determined by the nature of the search and proceeds out in a new and longer path. Arc search is fast but if a diver is required to search an area that has a lot of obstructions like weeds, then the rope might entangle, creating a hazard for the diver. Arc search can be done with more than one diver too.

2.    Circular Search

A circular search requires a diver to move in a circular path. An anchor marker is dropped at the center of the search and a rope is attached to the anchor. One or more divers can take up positions along the rope at predetermined distances. The divers can then swim a complete circle around the anchor and move to a new position along the line and the process is repeated. This search can be used to search very large areas.

3.    Compass Search

A compass search requires the divers to rely on the use of underwater compasses, often wore on the wrist to maintain proper orientation. This pattern is particularly useful in an area characterised by rough terrain where a line would be quickly entangled or in low-visibility conditions.

4.    Jackstay Search

A jackstay search requires the divers to swim along a search line - jackstay. Two fixed jackstays are anchored parallel to each other in the bottom of the search area and a diver can move between these two jackstays using a lighter movable jackstay that is connected to one of them. The diver starts from one jackstay and swims to another. Jackstay search improves the chances of finding even the smallest target objects but this method is slow and labour intensive.

KBA Marine’s expertise

KBA Marine is fully compliant to local and international safety and health standards, and our team of professional tenders, divers, dive supervisors, diver medical technicians and other support personnel are dedicated to safety and getting the job done right. We invest in the right equipment and training that is fully compliant to ensure safety in all diving operations.

All our divers are certified in accordance with the Singapore SS511 Commercial Diving Code of Practice, such as LSP ISO 29990 Commercial Diver training and certification or equivalent (HSE UK, ADAS) and they also undergo our in-house safety and task training programs to enhance their skills. 

For more information on our commercial diving services using state-of-the-art equipment, please contact us.

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