Commercial Diving Support Vessel Accidents

Diving support vessels are ships that are designed for use specifically to support commercial diving. They are equipped for the needs of diving, particularly in areas where offshore construction and repair are necessary. Accidents can occur aboard and around these vessels. When they happen, commercial divers and team members may be seriously injured.

Safety aboard Support Vessels

Safety is a primary concern for all commercial dive teams. The support vessel houses the crew, stores equipment, and provides emergency treatment procedures in the case of an injury. The ship is an integral part of commercial diving missions. As part of their operations, the vessel is required to adhere to important safety guidelines as set forth by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA.

The dive support vessel is considered the dive location for purposes of safety. The support team, such as the designated standby diver, must be located aboard the vessel. The company must develop and maintain a “safe practices” manual. It must include operational procedures for every type of diving mode that is used in operations. It should include checklists that are used to ensure the safety of the dive team.

Saturation Diving System

A saturation diving system allows divers to live and rest in a habitat that is pressurized. It is typically on or attached to a support vessel. The system allows for safe diving, so workers do not experience the negative effects of pressurization, especially when they are performing deep dives for extended periods of time. It offers a safe method of commercial diving. This apparatus is helpful in reducing the number of dive-related injuries.

Deck Accidents

Many activities take place on the vessel’s deck. Deck accidents can occur for a number of reasons. Slip and fall accidents are common aboard vessels. Injuries may include sprains, lacerations, broken bones, head injuries, muscle pulls and others. Accidents of this nature could likely be prevented, and if they occur they may be an indication of that, there is a lack of proper safety procedures in place. This may indicate negligence on the part of the company.


Fires and explosions can occur on support vessels. The equipment and gear that is being stored and utilized are dangerous because of the gasses that are contained. Other apparatus is also hazardous, such as welding machines and other construction tools. Fire aboard a vessel is quite dangerous. Those aboard could suffer burns and smoke inhalation injuries. Explosions can cause catastrophic injuries to those near the occurrence. A vessel fire is an emergency situation that endangers the entire crew.

Making an Injury Claim after an Accident

The injuries that occur on and around commercial diving support vessels can be severe. They could require extensive medical care and ongoing treatment. In some cases, the injuries may cause a lifelong disability. If you were injured in a commercial dive accident, you have rights. The Jones Act enables victims of maritime accidents, including those on dive vessels, to take legal action against the employer. Those who were seriously hurt due to someone’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case as soon as possible after the occurrence.

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