Professional diving

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The professional diving includes all kinds of performing-commercial diving work . These include in particular:

  • Construction work
  • Repair, maintenance and servicing work
  • Review of water courses, structural and technical systems
  • Recovery and rescue work
  • Police and fire service
  • research
  • military

What all branches have in common is that the professional diver carries out activities that basically do not differ from comparable work on land (welding, sawing, screwing, measuring, exposing and preparing for removal, etc.), but which are, on the other hand, due to the extreme conditions prevailing in the Partly large water depths require the development of special skills, especially because of work in hostile environments, under pressure, without air, in complete darkness and at extreme water temperatures. The training is accordingly specific to the area to which the work that the diver has to perform belongs.

Work areas

Underwater workers

Commercial underwater workers mostly carry out manual work underwater. This can be construction work on buildings, bridges or hydropower plants , cleaning (e.g. in industrial plants or sewage treatment plants ) or the maintenance and repair of ships.

Police and fire service divers

Police divers of the
Berlin police with security officers

The tasks correspond to the area of ​​the respective authority and include rescuing living and rescuing dead people, searching for and lifting sunken objects, as well as checking ships for smuggled goods or explosives on the ship's bottom, for example.

Rescue diver

The tasks of a rescue diver / emergency diver of the water rescue organizations include rescuing people, recovering corpses or recovering vehicles or other objects from the water.

Research diver

Most of the duties of research divers are in the fields of biology and archeology. Research divers therefore need good search, survey and rescue skills. However, for example, the handling of saws, hammers and chisels etc. must be mastered for taking samples.

Military divers

In addition to armed combat divers and marine divers units with swimming divers, there are also units that specialize in rescuing living and recovering dead people, searching for and lifting sunken objects or checking ships and port facilities for bombs and mines. Army divers are also used to explore the bed of water or hydraulic engineering systems as well as for the construction and maintenance of military underwater systems and watercraft. The tasks of pioneer divers are, for example, to explore paths through rivers, secure bridges, carry out welding work or even blasting under water.

Diving instructors and diving guides

The professional divers also include diving instructors who are professionally involved in the training of divers. Local dive guides also work professionally at many dive centers .

Golf ball diver

Golf ball divers dive waters on golf courses and retrieve failed golf balls.

Underwater hunting

Underwater hunting involves diving for lobsters , clams , sponges , etc.


In accordance with the diverse range of tasks, a wide variety of equipment is used in professional diving; from light diving equipment with NBC equipment , short-sleeved wet suit and compressed air cylinder (for example for maintenance work in indoor swimming pools) to heavy hose-supplied helmet diving equipment in contaminated water, for example in sewage treatment plants. The dry suit with full face mask , fins and hose supply can most likely be regarded as regular equipment , as it allows the longest diving times in terms of air supply and protection against the cold and at the same time offers optimum safety and mobility. It is not uncommon for a hot water suit to be used for underwater work. However, the choice of diving equipment ultimately depends on the work to be carried out and the conditions on site.

Safety measures

In the area of ​​professional diving, there is usually a diver in the water who is guided by a signalman and via telephone connection. A backup diver is ready to board the boat so that he can provide help in the shortest possible time in an emergency. In this respect, professional divers are not to be regarded as solo divers , even if they don't actually have a buddy .



In Germany, all branches of professional diving have in common that they are advanced training. Training to become a certified diver must be preceded by training in another profession, which imparts the knowledge that the diver will later apply underwater. Very good health and mental stability are also required. As a rule, the German lifeguard badge (bronze) of the German Life Rescue Society (DLRG), the water rescue service or a comparable service is required.

In Germany, the training of professional divers is regulated nationwide in the ordinance on the examination for the recognized qualification of certified diver from 25 February 2000. The applicant must provide evidence of training for a recognized occupation (e.g. carpenter, etc.) or at least four years of professional experience. The advanced training consists of the advanced training course and the company advanced training.

Advanced training course

Divers at work

The advanced training course (320 teaching hours) provides the theoretical basics

1. Basics

  • Technical theory (technical arithmetic and drawing)
  • Equipment science (diving and working equipment)
  • Work knowledge (signaling, basic knowledge of carrying out various underwater work such as searching, lifting, salvage, underwater welding and cutting)
  • Medical basics
  • Legislation (accident prevention, safety and health protection)

2. Welding

Diver welding

3. Diving medicine

  • Effect of the gases under overpressure on the diver
  • Anatomy (blood circulation, breathing, nervous system, diving diseases)
  • hygiene
  • First aid

4. Application knowledge

  • Working techniques under water
  • Pressure chamber technology and treatment
  • Exchange table handling
  • Emergency response
  • Emergency simulation
  • Execution of diving work at greater depths (at least 35 m)
  • Breathing gas and breathing gas mixtures
  • Technical arithmetic / technical drawing

In-company training

  1. Implementation of work with autonomous and hose-supplied diving equipment (at least 200 diving hours)
  2. Mediation of knowledge in diving equipment, working equipment, maintenance-inspection-customer, seamanship
  3. Teaching skills in underwater work at various depths, for example welding, cutting, concreting, formwork and flushing work, measuring, performing video, photo and ultrasound recordings, lifting work, assembling, searching, sealing, preserving and cleaning
  4. Working under difficult conditions, for example working with currents, in "black water" or at night
  5. Implementation of emergency measures, e.g. rescue of an injured diver, rescue chain, immediate measures at the scene of the accident, transport
  6. After training to become an explosives master, this knowledge can also be used underwater


After completing the advanced training, the diving candidates are tested in front of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the theoretical and practical areas. After passing, you will receive the certified diver degree .

Further opportunities for advancement

After gaining relevant professional experience, the exam to become a diver master can be taken and thus the instructor qualification for diving candidates can be acquired.

Application area

Welding work under water
Helmet divers in the Port of Hamburg (port museum, partially equipped)

The area of ​​application is mainly in commercial diving, i. H. at diving companies that carry out the work mentioned. The divers are not only used on typical hydraulic structures (locks, weirs, bridges, dams, etc.) or in the recovery of sunken ships or motor vehicles, but in principle everywhere where water occurs intentionally or unintentionally and there is less effort Send divers down to remove the water. Divers carried out extensive work in the course of the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin , where the groundwater filled large parts of the construction pits. Waterworks have regular revision work in drinking water wells carried out by divers, as do sewage works the inspection and maintenance of their digestion towers. As far as radiation protection permits, divers also carry out work in the cooling pools of nuclear power plants .

Divers are also used by authorities, for example in the maintenance of shipping routes and their technical facilities ( locks , quay walls , dolphins ), the regular inspection of wrecks in the North and Baltic Seas, etc. Likewise, duds from the Second World War have often found their way into the Groundwater-bearing layers of the earth were drilled so that the ordnance disposal services had to use divers for their recovery.


Underwater workers

In Switzerland , the training of employees is regulated by law:

In general, since January 1, 1984, Article 8 of the Ordinance on Accident Prevention has stipulated that work with particular risks may only be assigned to employees who have been appropriately trained.

For work in positive pressure (diving and working in compressed air), the training must be carried out in accordance with Art. 17 Ordinance on working in positive pressure (since January 1, 2016) and must be documented.

The requirements for becoming an underwater worker usually include:

Many underwater workers in Switzerland completed training abroad.

Police service divers

Since there are no fire service divers in Switzerland, police divers take over the tasks that fire service divers would perform in other countries. The operational divers carry out a normal activity as police officers and are alerted for individual underwater operations. Swiss police divers take on the following tasks underwater:

  • Checking anchorages and structures in the water (e.g .: ship buoys, jetties, bridge piers, bank reinforcements, water, electricity and gas lines)
  • Recovery of scrap and waste from water
  • Anchoring of floating facilities
  • Finding missing people
  • Searching for items
  • Signalization work for shipping
  • Removing obstacles in waterways
  • Securing evidence and investigations in the event of accidents or crimes
  • Searching for and recovery of sunken ships and vehicles

With 36 operational divers, the water police of the Zurich City Police has the largest police diving corps in Switzerland.

Prerequisites for becoming a police service diver are employment as a police officer, scuba diving training and proof of medical fitness. The basic training of the operational divers takes place in the training center in Oberrieden ZH according to the rules of the CMAS . The additional police diving training that builds on this is organized annually at different locations by the Swiss Police Institute (SPI). The training is concluded with a five-day exam.

Army service diver

The Swiss Army has a diving company consisting of professional , temporary and militia soldiers. She belongs to the engineering and rescue forces . The divers of the Swiss Army are not combat divers , but rather take on the following tasks:

  • Conduct underwater explorations for the engineering troops
  • Search and recovery of people, material and ammunition in the water
  • Carry out underwater work for the army or police
  • support other troops with security and rescue services on and around the water
  • Carry out underwater controls on military infrastructure
  • Support water training for other troops
  • Reinforcement of the police and border guards if the police divers reach their limits in terms of personnel.

In order to become a military service diver, you must have completed a recruiting school (of any type of army ), a very good physical condition and at least a CMAS ** or equivalent certification as a recreational diver. Army members who want to be relocated are first subjected to extensive athletic tests to determine their physical endurance. Second, skills in swimming , apnea and scuba diving are tested. If the member of the army achieves satisfactory results in these tests, he will be reassigned and then sent to the army diver basic course and specialization weeks.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b c Christoph Mäder: An exhausting and very challenging job. Swiss Divers, March 26, 2019, accessed on March 28, 2019 .
  2. Honduran lobster and conch divers are working on developing a more sustainable fishery.
  3. Federal Law Gazette IS 165
  4. Requirements, profession: professional diver , Swiss Service Center for Vocational Training | Vocational, academic and career advice, accessed September 5, 2012
  5. Training, occupation: professional diver , Swiss Service Center for Vocational Training | Vocational, academic and career advice, accessed September 5, 2012
  6. a b c d Police service divers. Security Department of the City of Zurich, accessed on October 20, 2018 .
  7. ↑ Police divers , Canton Thurgau, accessed: May 4, 2017
  8. The maritime police celebrate three anniversaries - and invite you to a party , Canton Zurich. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  9. ^ [1] , Swiss Police Institute. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  10. Army Diver ( Memento of the original from July 21, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Swiss Army, accessed September 5, 2012 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. Become a service diver in the army ( Memento of the original from July 21, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Swiss Army, accessed September 5, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /