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[Alaska Sea Grant]
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Workshop to address diving safety

Alaska Diving Safety: Workshop Proceedings

Date: July 22, 1997
Contact: Kurt Byers, Sea Grant Communications Manager, 907-474-6702; or Jerry Dzugan, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, 907-747-3287.
SG-97/NR161


SITKA, Alaska--Professional and recreational divers and experts on dive safety and rescue from Alaska, Maine, Washington, and Michigan will meet in Sitka on Friday, July 25, at the Harrington Centennial Hall to discuss opportunities for enhancing commercial and recreational diving safety education in Alaska.

As more people dive for fun and profit in Alaska's cold and often remote waters, the need grows for safety information and effective emergency response and medical treatment. Commercial diving for sea urchins and sea cucumbers and recreational scuba diving are rapidly growing activities in Southeast Alaska. The state's shipping, mineral extraction and dredging industries, along with Alaska's government and academic research communities, all require skilled divers who understand and use effective safety procedures.

"We plan to have a good discussion that will help us identify safety concerns surrounding commercial and recreational diving in Alaska. By the end of the day, we should have a good idea of where the University can provide information that will help people avoid problems diving in Alaska," said Kurt Byers, a spokesman for the University of Alaska Sea Grant College Program, cosponsor of the meeting. The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), based in Sitka, is helping the Sea Grant Program plan and host the meeting.

A featured speaker will be Dr. Lee Somers, an internationally known dive safety expert. Somers will describe new techniques in recreational scuba diving, dive emergency response procedures and dive accident investigation techniques. He will also give a seminar to the Sitka Fire Department Dive Rescue team on Saturday, July 26. Somers' visit is sponsored by the Michigan Sea Grant College Program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The National Sea Grant College Program is a marine research and public education program whose state programs are jointly administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and state universities. AMSEA provides marine safety and survival training to commercial fishermen. Since 1985, AMSEA has trained more than 400 marine safety and survival instructors nationwide, who in turn have educated more than 65,000 mariners.


Dive Safety Education in Alaska
July 25, 1997
Harrington Centennial Hall
Sitka, Alaska

Confirmed Attendees

Organizers:

Kurt Byers, University of Alaska Sea Grant College Program, Fairbanks, 907-474-6702

Jerry Dzugan, Executive Director, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association (AMSEA), Sitka, 747-3287

Participants:

Matt Anderson, State of Alaska Emergency Medical Services Program, Juneau, 907-465-3027

Burke Barrick, Diving Officer, Tactical Dive Unit, Alaska State Troopers, Sitka, 907-747-6611

Charlie Brown, Head, Dive Rescue Team, Sitka Fire Department, 907-747-3223

Dave Dinsmore, Director, NOAA Dive Corps, Seattle (206) 526-6705

Dan Falvey, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, dive harvester, Sitka, 907-747-3287

John Fetterman, Marine Patrol Officer, Maine Department of Marine Resources, Brunswick, Maine, (207) 729-6008, (207) 758-1173

Sue Jorgensen, Commercial Fishing Safety, U.S. Coast Guard, Juneau, 907-463-2292

Alexander Kotlarov, rescue diver, scuba charter operator, Ketchikan, 907- 247-8988

Jennifer Lincoln, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Anchorage, 907-271-2382

Scott Marshall, Dive Safety Officer, Commercial Fisheries Division, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Juneau, 907-465-4260

Shawn Newell, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association, Sitka, 907-747-3287

Barry Noll, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Anchorage, 907-271-5152

Brian Paust, Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Petersburg, 907-772-3381

Lee Somers, Diving Safety Specialist, Michigan Sea Grant College Program, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan,(313) 936-0518

Althea St. Martin, Allstate Life Specialist, NAUI certified recreational diver, Fairbanks, 456-2287, 452-8807

Larry Trani, dive harvester, Sitka

Terry Wilson, Arctic Diving and Exploration, industrial diver, sea rescue and body recovery, expert witness, AMSEA instructor, Nome, 907-443-3663


Agenda

8:00-8:30 a.m.
Coffee/Tea/Juice/Bagels/Sweetrolls

Welcome

8:30-8:45 a.m.
Who Are We and Why Are We Here?
Discussion leaders: Jerry Dzugan, AMSEA; Kurt Byers, University of Alaska Sea Grant College Program

a. Introductions
b. Commercial dive safety education needs
c. Recreational scuba safety education needs
d. Emergency response needs

Overview

8:45-9:00 a.m.
The Cold Facts: Occupational Diving Injuries and Fatalities in Alaska
Presenter: Jennifer Lincoln, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

Commercial Diving in Alaska

Seafood Harvest Diving Safety

9:00-9:15 a.m.
Dive Harvest in Alaska: A Rising Industry
Presenter: Scott Marshall, Commercial Fisheries Division, Alaska Department of Fish and Game

9:15-9:30 a.m.
Dive Harvest in Alaska: What Are the Safety Issues?
Presenter: Jerry Dzugan, Alaska Marine Safety Education Association

9:30-9:45 a.m.
Break

9:45-10:15 a.m.
Dive Harvest Safety in Maine: Education that Works
Presenter: John Fetterman, Maine Department of Marine Resources

10:15-11:00 a.m.
Should Anything Be Done to Make Dive Harvest Safer in Alaska?
Discussion leaders: Dan Falvey, Larry Trani; Dive Harvesters

a. Education
b. Emergency Response

Industrial Diving Safety

11:00-11:15 a.m.
Industrial Diving in Alaska: What Are the Safety Issues?
Presenter: Terry Wilson, Arctic Diving and Exploration

11:15-11:45 a.m.
What Could Be Done to Make Industrial Diving Safer in Alaska?
Discussion leader: Barry Noll, Occupational Safety and Health Administration

11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Lunch

Recreational Diving in Alaska

1:00-1:15 p.m.
Recreational Diving in Alaska: What Are the Safety Issues?
Presenter: Alexander Kotlarov, Dive Charter Operator/Dive Rescue Diver

a. Diver skills, knowledge
b. Charter operator skills, knowledge

1:15-1:45 p.m.
New Approaches to Recreational Diving: Mixed-Gas Deep Diving and Other Techniques
Presenter: Lee Somers, University of Michigan Sea Grant College Program

1:45-2:15 p.m.
What Could Be Done to Make Recreational Scuba Diving Safer in Alaska?
Discussion Leader: Althea St. Martin, Allstate Life Specialist, NAUI certified recreational diver

2:15-2:30 p.m.
Break

Dive Emergency Response in Alaska

2:30-2:45 p.m.
Dive Emergency Response in Alaska: An Overview
Presenter: Matt Anderson, State of Alaska Emergency Medical Services Program

2:45-3:15 p.m.
Public Safety Diving: Keeping the Rescuers Alive
Presenter: Lee Somers, University of Michigan Sea Grant College Program

3:15-3:30 p.m.
Dive Accident Evidence Collection: Bloopers and Blunders
Presenter: Lee Somers, Michigan Sea Grant College Program

3:30-4:00 p.m.
What Could Be Done to Improve Dive Emergency Response in Alaska?
Discussion Leaders: Matt Anderson, State of Alaska Emergency Medical Services Program

4:00-4:45 p.m.
Dive Safety Education in Alaska: Should We Do More Now and If So, What?


The Alaska Sea Grant College Program is a marine research, education and outreach service headquartered at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. It is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with the state of Alaska and private industry.


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