Underwater work is work done underwater, generally by divers during diving operations, but includes work done underwater by remotely operated vehicles and crewed submersibles.

Skills commonly used by all professional diving occupations

Underwater navigation

Main article: Diver navigation

Underwater searches

Main article: Underwater searches

Underwater searches are procedures to find a known or suspected target object or objects in a specified search area under water. They may be carried out underwater by divers, crewed submersibles, remotely operated underwater vehicles, or autonomous underwater vehicles, or from the surface by other agents, including surface vessels, aircraft and cadaver dogs.

A search method attempts to provide full coverage of the search area. This is greatly influenced by the width of the sweep which largely depends on the method used to detect the target. For divers in conditions of zero visibility this is as far as the diver can feel with his hands while proceeding along the pattern. When visibility is better, it depends on the distance at which the target can be seen from the pattern, or detected by sonar or magnetic field anomalies. In all cases the search pattern should completely cover the search area without excessive redundancy or missed areas. Overlap is needed to compensate for inaccuracy and sensor error, and may be necessary to avoid gaps in some patterns.

Rigging and lifting

Inspection, measuring and recording

Use of basic hand tools

Underwater inspection

Inspection of underwater structures, installations, and sites is a common diving activity, applicable to planning, installation, and maintenance phases, but the required skills are often specific to the application. Much use is made of video and still photographic evidence, and live video to allow direction of the inspection work by the supervisor and topside specialists. Inspections may also involve surface preparation, often by cleaning, and non-destructive testing. Tactile inspection may be appropriate where visibility is poor.[3][4][5]

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Skills specific to specialist occupations

Underwater oxy-arc cutting
Underwater fillet weld in a training pool



  1. ^ UK Divers (October 16, 2007). "Underwater Navigation". UKDivers.net. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-16. Navigation by reference to terrain features, both natural and artificial, usually with the aid of an appropriate chart.
  2. ^ Scully, Reg (April 2013). "Topic 7: Underwater Navigation". CMAS-ISA Three Star Diver Theoretical Manual (1st ed.). Pretoria: CMAS-Instructors South Africa. ISBN 978-0-620-57025-1.
  3. ^ Bayliss, Mel; Short, David; Bax, Mary (17 March 1988). Underwater Inspection. Taylor and Francis. p. 229. ISBN 9780419135401.
  4. ^ "5.4 Underwater Inspection Procedures". SM&I Inspection Procedures Manual (PDF). SM&I. August 2018. ((cite book)): |website= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Kelly, Shawn W. (March 1999). Underwater Inspection Criteria. Port Hueneme, California: Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center.