The US Coast Guard is reintroducing shipboard diving to the Arctic cutter Healy.
This is the first diving operation since two lost their lives during a dive back in 2006. In the years following this incident, the Coast Guard has worked to improve the efficiency and retention of diving by making it a primary duty and creating the first three regional dive lockers to centralize control, training, and operations.
The July 29th dive operation from the Healy was the culmination of these protocols.
A memorial was also held for the two lost in 2006, Lt. Jessica Hill and Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Duque.
Divers are the Coast Guard's primary resource for subsurface capabilities and allows a full spectrum of Coast Guard missions. This includes maintenance and repair to aid to navigation, underwater inspections and maintenance on other cutters, surveying of critically endangered species' habitats, assistance to marine casualty investigations, and supporting search and rescue operations.
The cutter Healy is ported in Seattle and is a medium icebreaker with extensive scientific capabilities. It is the nation's premier high-latitude research vessel. Having presence in the Arctic is essential to maintaining national security, maritime domain awareness, freedom of navigation, US sovereign interests, and scientific research.