By Jeremy Heywood, Vancouver Aquarium diving safety officer
Using both SCUBA and surface-supply diving equipment, 55 staff and volunteer divers from seven different departments completed 931 dives in 2011. The dives ranged from educational dive shows in the Strait of Georgia and Shark exhibits to performing essential exhibit husbandry to undertaking research on threatened rockfish populations in Howe Sound to collecting Arctic specimens in Canada’s far north.
A breakdown of the year’s dive logs reveals some interesting data. Summer was the busiest season for dives in 2011. This reflects an increased number of dives shows performed by the Interpretive Delivery team and a busy field season of the Fish Research department.
Interpretive Delivery divers accumulated the most number of dives in 2011, but the longest dives were performed by the YVR dive team, who typically spent almost an hour and a half underwater per dive – ensuring that the YVR aquarium is spotless.
The total dive time in 2011 was 29,562 minutes. Added together, these dive represent 65 full workdays underwater.
Sixteen per cent of the dives in 2011 were completed by our highly dedicated volunteer dive team. The volunteer diver with the most dives in 2011 was Russ Hennessey with 68 dives. Thanks Russ!
A couple of other quick stats:
- Longest Dive: 120 minutes – Marine Mammal Department cleaning dive.
- Deepest Dive: 130 feet (40m) – Fish Research training dive, Howe Sound
- Staff Diver with Most Dives: Alex Clegg – 158
In 2012 we are looking forward to another busy year underwater. Plans include introducing hard-wired underwater communication using full-face masks for dive shows and expanding the capabilities of our BC Waters and Fish Research dive teams.