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Diving Program

FAQ

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Question

What is the NOAA Diving Manual and where can I get it?

Answer

The NOAA Diving Manual is a comprehensive reference specifically designed for the diving professional. It was originally written for use by NOAA divers to assist them in conducting various operations and significant contributions to the manual are still provided by experienced NOAA personnel. The NOAA Diving Manual should not be confused with the NOAA Diving Standards and Safety Manuals which contain NOAA's diving regulations. 

The NOAA Diving Manual is published by Best Publishing Company and can be purchased through them or through many other commercial book retailers. 

 

Question

What is marine debris?

Answer

Our oceans are filled with items that do not belong there. Huge amounts of consumer plastics, metals, rubber, paper, textiles, derelict fishing gear, vessels, and other lost or discarded items enter the marine environment every day, making marine debris one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world's oceans and waterways.

Marine debris is defined as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the Great Lakes. Learn more about marine debris and find out how to prevent it.

NOAA divers from the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center diving unit have been working since 1996 to remove marine debris, specifically derelict fishing gear, from the Hawaiian Archipelago. Every year they set out on the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai to survey vast swaths of coast line and coral habitat to collect tons of the derelict fishing gear. Read more about why this is important and what they have collected so far on the NOAA Fisheries website.

Question

How do I log into the DMS (Dive Management System)?

Answer

In order to use the DMS, you need to be a NOAA Diver in active or suspended status. Inactive divers (former NOAA Divers) will not be able to log in. 

To access the DMS webpage first go to the DMS portal, then log in using your user name and password. 

Because the current database uses Microsoft Silverlight software, you must use a browser that supports this software, such as Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that DMS cannot be used on Google Chrome. If you continue to have problems logging into the system, please contact Jennifer Carriere (206-526-6623).

Question

Who may attend NOAA Diving Center courses?

Answer

NOAA employees, NOAA contractors, NOAA volunteers and other federal, state, and local government employees may apply to attend NOAA Diving courses. Classes are not open to the general public.

Question

What forms must I submit to be medically cleared to dive?

Answer

All NOAA Divers must submit:

You can view a comprehensive list of all required forms, training, and activities for NOAA Divers in the NDP diving page

Question

Where can I find information on dive pay?

Answer

Contractors can find out about dive pay from their employers.

Dive pay for federal employees is explained in NOAA's Administrative Order (NAO) 202-532A.

NOAA Corps Officers can find information in the NOAA Corps Directives

 

Question

What kind of diver recall system should I get?

Answer

At this time, the NOAA Diving Program does not have a specific brand requirement. Feel free to buy one that you like. 

Question

When should NOAA Corps Officers log a dive to receive dive pay?

Answer

Dives should be logged by the 10th of the following month.  For example, to get dive pay for November, you must log your November dive by December 10th.

Question

What are Dive Orders?

Answer

In order for a NOAA Corps Officer to become authorized to dive, the officer must first receive Officer Diving Authorization or "Dive Orders." The authorization is official when the NOAA Form 56-30 Officer Diving Authorization Request is completed and signed by the officer, the officer's supervisor, and the Diving Program Manager. An Officer Diving Authorization Request form must be completed at the beginning of each fiscal year (October 1) or whenever the officer is assigned to a new diving unit. 

Question

When do I have to wear a RASS? 

Answer

General Guidelines

A Reserve Air Supply System (RASS) must be worn by NOAA Divers on OSHA-subject dives. In general, they are not required on dives that meet OSHA's Scientific Exemption, however, there are exceptions to this (see the "dives exempt from OSHA regulations" section below for more details). Read more about OSHA regulations on the NDP regulations page

Dives Subject to OSHA Regulations

  • Divers must always have a reserve supply of air. Divers can meet this requirement by using:
    • For depths 0-30 feet: a spare air bottle
    • For depths 0-130 feet: a RASS

Dives Exempt from OSHA Regulations (Scientific Exemption)

  • Divers must use a reserve supply of air when diving:
    • Outside of no-decompression limits
    • In overhead environments
    • In low visibility where diver cannot read his/her pressure gauge
    • In enclosed/confined spaces
    • Deeper than 100 feet
    • Line tended solo diving
    • Whenever Divemaster or Lead Diver directs divers to wear one
  • Divers can meet these requirement by using:
    • For depths 0-30 feet: a spare air bottle
    • For depths 0-130 feet: a RASS

            

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You are here: https://www.omao.noaa.gov/learn/diving-program/about/faq
Reviewed: August 7, 2015. Contact us with page issues.

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