Sea Survival Course - 28th November
15th October 2012
A GROUP of Caithnessians recently had the opportunity to get to grips with the world of undersea robotics.
The short training programme was delivered by Wick-based specialist subsea training company Mackay Underwater Technology Limited. It is one of a number it provides to service the needs of the offshore oil and gas industry though it is also aiming to target those involved in the fledgling marine energy industry in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters.
The latest course offers an insight into the world of remotely operated undersea vehicles, commonly used in the offshore energy, military and environmental research markets. Increasingly, these systems are also becoming accessible to research, aquaculture, public safety and tourism operators.
The programme included both classroom and waterside sessions, where candidates were given the opportunity to set up and operate a typical, portable ROV system. The classroom session includes an overview of ROV systems, their capabilities and basic construction and layout.
The practical sessions were hosted at Wick harbour, where delegates were able to explore the harbour walls and floor and familiarise themselves with vehicle control functions, cable handling, and mobilisation procedures.
Director Hugh Mackay said: "We hope to make these courses a regular event and build upon the basic introductory level with some more advanced, operationally oriented, training in the months ahead.
"While the underlying experience is in the oil and gas site investigation arena, we have one eye firmly on the opportunities presented by marine renewables." Those suited to the training have already had a good grounding in technical and health and safety issues from working offshore.
Mr Mackay said potential candidates can receive funding through the "Make the Right Connections" programme to add specific knowledge of under-water systems to their skills portfolio.