Diving is not a one-person operation. A successful dive takes coordination between a number of invested parties, who all work to make sure that everything is safe, secure and ready to go. One of the most important roles is that of the diver tender.
The diver tender performs several critical duties surrounding the actual dive. First, he or she is responsible for helping to check the equipment and make sure it is securely donned. In addition, the tender must continually ensure the diver's umbilical during water entry and exit.
The role is also important when the diver is beneath the surface. The tender must be constantly aware of the depth and location of the dive, and communicate by voice with his or her intercom system. Because these duties are so critical, the diver tender is assigned no other task other than assisting whoever is to be going into the water.
The following is an example of the procedure that a tender might undergo before a diver is even able to take the plunge:
- Help the diver put on the proper attire (for example, a wet, dry or hot water suit)
- Help the driver put on, secure and adjust the harness
- Put any applicable weights on the diver
- Put on any neck or helmet gear necessary, and ensure that it is tight and secure
- Secure the diver's knife. This can be attached to the belt, leg or arm, depending the preference of the diver.
- If an emergency gas cannister is to be used, secure this to the mask or helmet
- Ensure that the umbilical assembly is fully intact and is connected firmly to the harness
- Put on the mask and helmet, and ensure that it is in place with a harness or clamp
Make sure that all elements are in place and functioning properly, then ensure whoever is in charge of the dive is ready to proceed
As you can see, this job comprises a lot of tasks, all of which could make or break the success of the dive. Having a good tender, who knows how the equipment should work and is efficient at assembling it, is a critical part of ongoing success in the commercial diving world.
When it comes to doing anything underwater, security is paramount. A diver tender, like commercial diving insurance, is a way to ensure that everything goes properly. Having another set of trained eyes monitoring equipment and behavior can prevent costly or even life-threatening accidents.