they must study what’s available beforehand. Communication is critical, and
divers, supervisors, and tenders have
to be on the same page. The tender supports the diver from the surface, handling equipment or sending tools down.
With more complicated projects, the
team will do mockups and practice
runs, Juettner says.
“When we’re working in Cook Inlet,
minutes are crucial,” he says.
Tides that can turn on a dime mean
there’s no time to spare. In an industry
where time is money, missing a tidal window means incurring extra costs, and
wasting time underwater can also bring
dangerous safety hazards to the diver.
Diving in Cook Inlet means perfecting the art of speed and precision,
In order to ensure the people doing
the work are up to the task, Juettner
says Global is “very big on bringing
people into the Cook Inlet slowly.”
Employees move through a process of
experience and training, with divers typi-
cally having several years of experience
under their belts before they hit the water.
“The real key is the supervision,”
Supervisors need to have experience
diving and working with other supervisors, and they need to know the right
answer to the universal question: When
is it time to get out of the water?
If a diver is working on an underwater pipeline and has a lot of tools in the
water, Juettner says, it’s all about timing.
“One of the worst things is wait-
ing too long—it’s a balancing act, re-
ally,” the dive operations manager says.
“Cook Inlet is an incredibly dangerous
place to be on the water. You’ve got to
have it figured out.”
Challenges include active ice floes in
the winter and large weather events,
lack of visibility, and some of the highest
tides in the world. The body of water is
also near several active volcanos, which
can cause air pollution, something that’s
not so common in the world of diving.
Working in those conditions requires
knowing when to take a step back,
Juettner says, and how to operate efficiently under pressure. With barges
and tugboats and cranes and other expensive equipment on the water, both
diver safety and asset protection come
r EQUIPMENT RENTAL/PROJECT SUPPORT COMPANY
Magtec Alaska, LLC
Roger Wilson, Prudhoe Bay
Skeeter Creighton, Kenai