It’s crazy to think there are some Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre employees who spend almost as much time underwater as they do on land during work hours, but it’s true.

Our diving numbers for 2015 tell quite a tale of diving activity by staff and volunteers at Vancouver Aquarium.

It’s the job of Jeremy Heywood, the Aquarium’s diving safety officer, to compile and calculate all these figures. According to Jeremy, the diving numbers are fairly consistent year after year, but he is nevertheless surprised by the how many underwater hours are logged by the Aquarium’s top divers. “It’s eye-opening to see how much time some people actually spend underwater,” he says.

Howe Sound Group researcher Jessica Schultz just before taking the plunge.

Howe Sound Group researcher Jessica Schultz just before taking the plunge.

So here it is, Aquarium diving by the numbers:

  • -1.4 C – the coldest dive during an ecological survey in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (due to the salinity, sea water freezes at a lower temperature than fresh water)
  • 38 metres (124 feet) – the deepest dive by Aquarium researchers at a sponge reef in Howe Sound
  • 72 – the number of staff and volunteer divers
  • 160 minutes – the longest dive by marine mammal trainers cleaning the beluga habitat.
  • 1,636 – the total number of times people dove for Aquarium operations (that’s the equivalent of 124 work days underwater!)

On top of this, there were six Scuba Claus divers who made 44 dives in the beluga habitat to bring holiday cheer to visitors.

Scuba Claus operations fall under the supervision of the Aquarium's diving safety officer.

Scuba Claus operations fall under the supervision of the Aquarium’s diving safety officer.

While Jeremy records the numbers to comply with provincial regulations, he says it’s also standard best practice, and the information can be used to make staffing decisions or keep tabs on the distribution of diving equipment.

See how the dive numbers for 2015 compare with the numbers for 2014.

Written by Karen Glanzberg, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.

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