Global Diving & Salvage Inc.

With a recently opened office in Houston, Seattle-based Global Diving & Salvage Inc. is steadily covering more ground – or water, that is. Its founders began the company in 1979 and grew it to be a reputable diving contractor in the Pacific Northwest. However, at the turn of the century, the company began to look north, south, and east for new possibilities.

As we were looking out on the horizon of our local market where we were engaged, we started to spread our wings and look for new opportunities,” President Devon Grennan says. “We saw the opportunity to have a presence in other markets.” The company first acquired a commercial diving company, Inshore Divers, in Northern California followed by the acquisition of another diving firm, Offshore Divers, in Anchorage, Alaska. Global was able to retain the existing service lines of those regional acquisitions, as well as bring additional value added service lines in which it already had deep experience. The Houston office, however, came through more organic means. The company had performed a few projects in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Damaged platforms needed to be removed, which expanded the company’s role in the Gulf Coast.

“We opened the office in early January of 2011,” Grennan says. “It was in response to our clients’ expectations and our desire to be more readily available to their needs. Now that we have this office, we can support a wider range of diving operations and marine services throughout the region.”

The company now works in its historic Pacific Northwest homestead and all across the country, including the Midwest and Northeast. “From 2000 to the current date, we have expanded our geographical reach significantly,” Grennan explains. “We primarily provide the same underwater diving services now to a larger clientele across the United States.”

Global Diving’s services are divided into six operating divisions: regional day-to day diving services; marine casualty response management and operations; offshore diving support services; ROV services; Marine environmental services; and marine construction.

In addition to its physical resources, Global Diving has developed a clientele for its technical resources, specifically its strength in assessing constructability. “We talk with our clients, understand what they need to get done underwater, discuss constructability issues, provide a process-oriented work plan [and] identify cost effective, executable milestones so we can develop a schedule and budget,” Grennan says. “In the marine construction industry, our niche is underwater constructability and bringing the usual construction standards in line with underwater construction operations. There is a lot of domestic infrastructure that was built in the dry, but due to accessibility and environmental restrictions, it is necessary to affect repairs and rehabilitation efforts with commercial diving operations. We can do just about anything underwater than can be done in the dry.”

Practice Makes Perfect

The Department of Environmental Protection of New York City contracted Roundout Constructors to make repairs to the Delaware Aqueduct system, as part of the DEL-185 project. After an extensive pre-qualification process, Global Diving & Salvage was subcontracted to perform detailed inspection and measurement of an existing horizontal drift and submarine door.

The work took place in an 8-foot diameter shaft, in 685 feet of water, requiring the use of saturation diving. All equipment and personnel entered and exited through this shaft. In any construction, working most safely and efficiently is crucial to the entire job. However, Grennan explains that when the project is underwater and not readily visible to its clients, doing that takes more preparation.

Before construction, Global Diving performed all aspects of the project in a full-scale mockup to determine the appropriate methodology and the constructability. The company designed and built all of the mockups, specialized tooling and equipment in Seattle, and carried out mockup demonstrations for the client at a local Seattle shipyard in shallow water.

Through the mock up demonstrations, Global Diving developed detailed work plans and sequencing for each task for the entire project. Not only were the mockup demonstrations helpful – for such a tight construction site, they were necessary. In fact, the new stainless steel valve, which was 17-feet, 4-inches tall and weighed more than 13,000 pounds, had only three inches of clearance on all sides when moved into position. The $40 million project was performed from August 2007 to March 2010, and at the end of the day Global Diving achieved what Grennan calls a successful project: employees who went home safe and a satisfied owner and general contractor.

’Like-minded Subcontractors’

When Global Diving is the general contractor, it looks for subcontractors that can help achieve the same outcome – a safe work site and a happy client. For the Cheeseman Dam Reservoir in Deckers, Colo., – which was built in 1905 – the company performed much rehab work. These included installing upstream control gates on three existing inlets, constructing a new control building on the crest or top of the dam and directionally drilling holes from the crest exiting near the gate locations to route control piping to the new gate operators.

The project was completed in 2010, and though Global Diving self-performed all of the marine work, it did seek out key subcontractors to perform substantial electrical work.

“It’s important for us to find likeminded subcontractors,” Grennan says. “We’re not looking for the lowest bid when we go to subcontract work. We look for subs that keep their employees safe and execute their work in a professional manner.  Basically we look for partners who take pride in their work in the same way we take pride in ours.”

Global Diving’s partners include Rasmussen Equipment Co. and Acme Environmental.

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