DOF Subsea has confirmed that it has provided Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority with a report in relation to a saturation dive campaign undertaken in June and July 2017 from Skandi Singapore.
The campaign was undertaken in July 2017 on the Inpex Ichthys project, but reports of long-term adverse effects suffered by personnel who participated in the dive have only recently surfaced.
Reports in the Australian press about the dive – said to be the deepest commercial dive in Australian history – claim those who undertook it are displaying ‘bizarre neurological symptoms’ and are ‘under the care of the country’s top specialist in hyperbaric medicine’ after dives to depths of 273 m in June and July 2017.
“We are aware that two divers have presented with potentially prolonged high-pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS) effects,” said DOF. “The diving operations were conducted in accordance with our National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) accepted Diving Operations Manual and recognised industry standards. Australian press reports say five divers, some experiencing more severe symptoms than others, have reported to undergo assessment.
“DOF Subsea continues to engage with the team of globally recognised experts and has offered further specialist medical support to all the divers involved in the original dive campaign. People’s health and safety, and the welfare of their families is our priority, the company has launched a full investigation and is fully engaged the relevant authorities.”
In a statement, NOPSEMA said it was first made aware of the incident in November 2017.
“Following receipt of the report, NOPSEMA commenced a review to gather further information,” said the statement. “The matter remains under consideration by NOPSEMA, and the review will be conducted in accordance with published compliance processes.
“To ensure that NOPSEMA’s capacity to take regulatory action is not compromised, including potential enforcement, details of the specifics of the incident are not being provided while the matter is under review.”