One hundred and sixty-five feet under
“It’s so freeing, it’s a whole different world down there. There’s not much to see but it’s blue — a deep, dark blue.”
June 20, 2019
The barge is marked “Seneca Diver II” and anchored in Georgian Bay, a twenty-minute boat ride from Colpoy’s Bay Dock north of Wiarton in South Bruce Peninsula. Each year from May to June, a team of Seneca students and faculty from the Underwater Skills program travels here for their end-of-year deep dive operation — 165 feet below the surface of Lake Huron to be exact. Water temperature: four degrees Celsius.
“It’s so freeing, it’s a whole different world down there,” said Dustin Nguyen-Black, a student in the program. “There’s not much to see but it’s blue — a deep, dark blue.”
This is the final exam to become a commercial diver, a profession that involves inshore and offshore construction, salvaging, inspection or offshore oil and gas around the world. To graduate, students need to complete a minimum 50 hours of diving at various depths and one hour at 165 feet.
To put that into perspective, the “hole” in the training pool facility at King Campus is 40 feet. The pool and Lake Seneca are where students have spent the last nine months training in preparation for this final dive before they leave Seneca.
The operation for the class of 2019 wraps up this week.