Being part of a proud diving tradition on the coast

DiveSafe International’s USS program adds to their strong history

DiveSafe International’s 2017 commercial diver training programs start today, January 23.  

The launch of our UnRestricted Surface Supply program is just the latest in a strong history of providing exceptional training on the beautiful east coast of Vancouver Island. We’re proud of our contributions to the diving industry. Here’s a little bit of background about where we started and how we have progressed over the years.

DiveSafe International – where it all began

Kelly Korol, Director of Training, took his first dive course at 17, instantly fell in love with it and decided to make it his career path. He spent many years of doing everything from construction diving, pulp mill and hydro dam work, as well as seafood harvesting and film industry diving.

Twenty-one years ago, here in Campbell River, Kelly took the position at North Island College and developed their commercial dive course into an industry leader. He started initially with an occupational SCUBA diving course to service the needs of the growing BC salmon farming industry.

In a small boat, fondly known as Samarinda II, he could take up to eight students out and teach them how to work safely, not only to CSA standards but exceeding them. Hazards found on a fish farm such as swimming in and around nets, deep diving in low visibility and rigging large cannon ball weights weren’t things divers were learning on their recreational open-water course. 

Seeing and meeting needs in diving instruction

It wasn’t long after that when contractors looking for surface supply divers who could work inshore doing seafood harvesting jobs, pulp mill work and hydro dams, prompted Kelly to start running regular Restricted Surface Supply Diver programs as well.

Kelly moved on from the North Island College and so DiveSafe International was born. Training divers to do all and any work that needed to be done inshore or inland at depths that didn’t exceed 40 metres really opened up job options for graduates. Now other work outside of fish farms, such as potable water tank inspection, underwater salvage, engineering inspection, dredging and jetting work, was available to successful grads of DiveSafe’s restricted surface supply program.

Building a top dive school reputation and expanding the fleet

Of course, more equipment was required for training – hard hats, dive umbilicals, etc. – which meant the Samarinda could only accommodate six. As they say in Jaws, “We’re going to need a bigger boat!”

Our dive boat, Reef Seeker, joined the fleet in 2013, and we were able to increase class sizes and keep up (somewhat) with the growing demand for commercial divers. DiveSafe International’s close relationship with local and not-so-local industry partners has always meant a steady flow of work opportunities for graduates.

A couple years ago we had the opportunity to purchase a 90-foot landing craft and The Kraken was brought on board. She was converted into a purpose-built platform capable of housing a hyperbaric chamber and all the other equipment required to host the full UnRestricted Surface Supply program.

Launch of Unrestricted Surface Supply course completes our commercial dive program

Today DiveSafe International will launch an UnRestricted Surface Supply program, which will allow graduates to take their training anywhere, including the offshore oilfield diving industry. By covering components such as hot water suit diving, hyperbaric chamber operations, construction diving, and underwater welding, graduates will have all the skills necessary to work any job inshore or offshore.

Knowing we have helped hundreds of dive graduates achieve their dreams is truly rewarding. If you’re still dreaming of the right job, get in touch!

To get involved in this industry or to learn about our courses, visit our website at www.divesafe.com. And make sure to look into First Nations funding options by emailing info@divesafe.com or calling 1.888.325.3483.