Fishers’ ROV Minimizes Risk to Commercial Divers
The principle task for any organization that puts its people in harm’s way is to find better and safer ways to increase productivity while minimizing the risk to operators. Commercial diving is a dangerous maritime job. Unlike recreational scuba diving, this career does not typically involve beautiful coral reef deposits or calm, clear waters. Instead, much of commercial diving revolves around daily risks, including exposure to toxic chemicals, working with power tools and other equipment in low-visibility conditions, and experiencing equipment malfunctions. This is risky work for even the most experienced divers.
Any sort of diving involves risk, but work on commercial dive boats is particularly dangerous. All divers face hazards from being underwater for too long, ascending too quickly, or even from sharks and other undersea life. Commercial divers, however, also handle large and complex equipment in construction zones or in low-visibility turbulent waters. There is no limit to the number of commercial tasks wherein safety is
paramount; from law enforcement officers searching for missing victims or lost evidence to underwater photographers and academic teams excavating underwater archaeological sites. Other work includes underwater inspections, pipeline construction, diving at coastal nuclear power plants, or constructing and maintaining bridges, harbors, or hydroelectric dams and power plants. JW Fishers Mfg. has made it our mission to help mitigate these risks by offering a line of underwater search equipment to keep operators safe, raise efficiency, reduce exposure, and as an added bonus; to save money.
Thames Water Utilities Inc. is the United Kingdom's largest water and wastewater services provider, servicing more than 15 million customers. Their service area stretches from the eastern fringes of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire in the west, through London and the Thames Valley, to the western edges of Essex and Kent in the east. In January of 2019, the company purchased JW Fishers’ SeaOtter-2 Remote Operated Vehicle. Jon Lorimer, the UAV/ROV Special Operations Manager at Thames Water, received training at our facility in East Taunton, Massachusetts. Following this, he was ready to put his new tool to work. To begin, the ROV was deployed in a local waterway where they inspected some underwater pipe and machinery to train with the equipment with a real-world application.
Jon states “We now had sign-off from Water Quality and, following an intense decontamination process, we have put the ROV in a Service Reservoir which is full of drinking water ready to go into supply.” He goes on to say “the conventional way to inspect these assets was to stop supply, drain it down and send in staff to inspect valves, pipelines etc. Now, we use the ROV and there is no requirement to stop supply or drain it down which saves the need for rerouting water or taking it out of service.” Jon’s final comments strike at how practical JWF’s ROV systems truly are; “the JW Fishers SeaOtter-2 ROV is being used for a myriad of applications within Thames Water, which not only save significant costs to the business but almost completely removes the requirement for the Health and Safety risks associated with tasks such as underground reservoir inspections. The training provided by the company is second to none and provides the operator to not only have full confidence on its operational abilities but to inspect and maintain any part of the ROV.”