Do you remember the Costa Concordia? It was a cruise ship carrying 4,000 passengers and crew members that ran into submerged rocks off the coast of Italy in January of 2012. Her captain had made an unauthorized course change. It is said he wanted to sail close to the island of Giglia as a “salute.” When it collided with the rocks, the ship lost power with a long gash on the side and began taking on water as it listed to the port side. It took more than six hours to evacuate the passengers and crew. The wreck resulted in 32 fatalities.
It took more than two years and more than a hundred salvage divers to find the ship and recover the bodies. They worked in teams around the clock, recovering the last victim’s body in November 2014. The divers had to create a platform under the ship so that it could be raised. They had to navigate through the wrecked ship, cut pathways, and weld specialized rigging equipment.
This is an extreme example of an operation that you might encounter in a salvage diving career. It required expert engineering and a virtual army of salvage divers to complete the job.
Other types of work for salvage divers that require specific salvage diving training include forensic and/or police work, underwater archeology, tool and equipment recovery, military operations, and other commercial projects.
From a lost motorboat engine to searching for sunken treasure, a salvage diving career will never be short on interesting places to work.
Like all careers in diving, salvage divers must be certified commercial divers and have training in safe rigging and recovery. In salvage diving training, there is an additional focus on rigging and recovery techniques. As a Commercial Divers International student, this additional training gives you the tools you need to enter into a salvage diving career as a specialty.
A salvage diving career typically means you’ll be able to earn at the top end of the commercial diving pay range. Most often, when you have to enter a confined area underwater, such as a sunken vessel or structure of any kind, there is additional pay known as “penetration pay.” It will vary depending on conditions, water depth, and the distance of penetration required of the diver.
Although the work can be sporadic, a skilled salvage diver will always be needed anywhere work being done in or near water. Salvage divers also can expect to get some work decommissioning underwater structures as they age out of their life span. Divers coming up can expect to gain to more of this work and may see demand increase as our existing marine and inland infrastructure continues to age.
As you can see a salvage diving career can span a wide variety of tasks, locations, and special skills. You can always expect to be compensated at the higher range of pay as compared to non-salvage trained divers. Commercial Divers International’s salvage diver training program will prepare you to meet all these challenges as you begin your commercial salvage diving career.