• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Scuba diver found dead amid operations in an oil facility in Warri

Scuba diver found dead amid operations in an oil facility in Warri

Kelvin Ngwa, a scuba diver, was found dead five days after being reported missing during an unapproved diving activity at an oil facility in Warri Port, Delta State, according to Julius Ugwala, principal investigator of the Diving Personnel Development Foundation (DPDF).

Ugwala confirmed that no approval was granted to the company to carry out any diving operation within Nigeria’s territorial water in line with the Diving at Work Regulations.

According to the report, at about 11 am on May 2nd, 2024, the Scuba diver went missing during a salvage dive job for airlifting around a submerged barge at the oil facility in Warri, with a depth of over 15 meters.

“He had successfully airlifted during the first dive and was given the pull to come to the surface so he could check his air gauge which was allegedly at 100.

“He took the second dive, but the tender noticed the diver soon stopped responding to pulls and deployed a standby diver who followed the lifeline down. Sadly, the standby diver found a scuba cylinder, with a body harness and sign of little entanglement,” the investigator explained.

Ugwala, who doubles as Nigeria’s Chief Inspector of Diving, said the incident which took place at Matrix/ Ayiri tank farm in Warri was SCUBA Diving – an operation that is restricted by Factories (Diving at Work) Regulations, 2018.

He listed other possible causes of the accident including use of substandard equipment, inexperience, faulty demand valve gauge, limited volume of air in the cylinder, inadequate size of the team, unqualified dive supervisor, no hyperbaric chamber onsite, and no Emergency Response plan/procedure among others.

He called for diving research to be embarked on for continuous improvement in the sector and to ensure that incidents/accidents are reported and investigated so the nation learns from them.

“Programmes targeted at aspiring and current leaders who want to understand diving business practices be encouraged,” he said.

DPDF is a non-profit organisation concerned about the total well-being of divers, it encourages equal work opportunities and promotes safe diving operations.

Its objective is to achieve an industry without accidents. It analyses mishaps to draw attention to gaps in the sector and make recommendation on how those gaps can be closed.