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IMCA's Diving Heritage to the Fore

Published on 7 November 2019

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) is pleased to announce that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment (SSE) at its 7th session has endorsed the establishment of an intersessional Correspondence Group to progress the revision and update of the IMO Code of Safety for Diving Systems (resolution A.831 (19) and the Guidelines and Specifications for Hyperbaric Evacuation Systems (resolution A.692 (17)).

The Correspondence Group is tasked to:

  1. Consider key areas to be addressed for revising the Code of Safety for Diving Systems (resolution A.831(19)), based on document SSE 7/14, in particular, paragraph 6 of the document;
  2. Develop a draft new Code in the Goal Based Standard (GBS format), by incorporating the relevant parts of the Guidelines and Specifications for Hyperbaric Evacuation Systems (resolution A.692(17)); and
  3. Submit a report to SSE 8 in March 2021. [The actual deadline for submission of the first draft of the revised IMO Diving Code will be by the end of November 2020].

The decision to proceed with the update was reached following a review by the SSE Sub-Committee of two proposals prepared and submitted by IMCA and its co-sponsors, the Bahamas and the Marshall Islands.

To support the papers and increase awareness amongst Member States of the need to update the IMO Diving Instruments, three diving industry experts delivered a lunchtime presentation to a busy plenary session. In addition, an informative display, comprising a diving mannequin, video footage and graphic panels, was exhibited throughout the meeting.

Margaret Fitzgerald, IMCA’s Head of Marine Policy & Regulatory Affairs stated:

“We are delighted to have had the support of several IMO Member States in taking forward our proposals at SSE 7, in particular, the Bahamas and the Marshall Islands. During the plenary session, all Member States who spoke, fully recognised that the work on the revision of IMO’s Diving Instruments was necessary and expressed overwhelming support for the establishment of a Correspondence Group to work intersessionally on preparing a new draft text for consideration at the 8th session of the SSE Sub-Committee in Q1 2021. We look forward to continuing our close co-operation with all those IMO Member States and Industry Groups who elect to participate in this Group and will work diligently to ensure that the Group delivers a comprehensive new text to IMO.

“The informative presentation given by Anthony Greenwood of ExxonMobil, Rob Rostron of DNVGL and IMCA’s Diving Manager, Bryan McGlinchy, which provided background information and context for the proposals was very well received and undoubtedly helped to garner support. The display in the Delegates’ Lounge provided an opportunity for IMCA to raise awareness and interest among a wide group of Member States. We would like to thank Subsea 7 for kindly letting us use their diving mannequin as part of our display.”

During an evening reception on the opening day of the SSE meeting, Mr Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, visited the display and chatted with IMCA’s team and supporting Member States.

Bryan McGlinchy, IMCA’s Diving Manager said:

“We are delighted that the SSE Sub-Committee has taken the decision to form a Correspondence Group to undertake the revision and updating of IMO’s Diving Instruments. The IMO Code of Safety for Diving Systems is the only international regulatory instrument that aims to set a minimum standard of safety for working divers. I have no doubt that a well-considered revision of the Code will greatly benefit commercial diving safety right across the marine contracting sector.”

IMCA’s expertise in commercial diving dates back through its heritage to 1972. IMCA works tirelessly to address diver safety, promote safe working practices in the oil and gas industry, and support the interests of its members.

IMCA has held consultative status with IMO since 1999 and is actively involved in all areas of IMO’s work on behalf of its members.

Caption: Group photo in front of IMCA’s display.

Left of the Diving Mannequin – IMCA team, IMCA Members

Right of the Diving Mannequin – IMO Member State Representatives from the Marshall Islands and the Bahamas.

IMCA Team and Members with representatives from Marshall Islands and Bahamas in front of IMCA’s display at IMO.

About IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.

The IMO currently has 174 Member States and three Associate Members.