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Clipper Pearls Head Supervising Diver

Written on the 10 December 2013

Job Descriptions

Title: Head Supervising Diver
Department(s): Quondong Pearl Farm and other farms as required
Reports to: Farm Manager and GM of Operations


Job Summary

As the company’s Head Supervising Diver (HSD), the primary function of this role is to conduct diving activities and any shell and farm husbandry and maintenance duties as per the PPA Diving Code of Practice for the pearling industry, and be responsible for all the company’s diving team.

Summary of Essential Job Functions


  • Maintenance of all anchor lines and boat moorings, diving equipment
  • Repairing any broken or fouled equipment
  • Seafloor turning of pearl shell
  • Recovery of lost product or equipment by conducting grid searches
  • Dumping and elevation of shell
  • Gridding and drilling new surface lines
  • Cleaning and inspecting hulls/intakes of mother vessels
  • Deckhand duties as required
  • Reporting of repairs required  and maintenance on trailers
  • Maintenance and wash down of dive tenders at the end of the neap within the scope outlined by the Chief Engineer. 

Farm Maintenance

  • Design and implement techniques to carry out maintenance on all sub surface equipment.
  • Monthly schedules for all maintenance activities to be dispersed among management and divers.
  • Notify Base Logistics Supervisor with due regard to ordering and receiving times, for the sourcing of all equipment requirements in conjunction with maintenance servicing schedule.
  • Plan schedule for maintenance (preventative and necessities)

Record Keeping
Maintain records for company and/or legal use including;

  • Dive logs
  • Training and assessment
  • Incident reports
  • Bottom farm maps including accurate figures
  • GPS co-ordinates
  • Work schedules
  • Equipment servicing
  • Diving qualifications and licenses
  • Accurately report stock figures and observations

Maintenance and Service Co-Coordination

To ensure the reliability of all dive related equipment by using appropriate records and communication between clipper staff and external contractors.

Scheduled Maintenance Programs Implemented

1. Bailouts

1.1 Maintain bailouts to within Australian Standards and standards set in the PPA Code of Practice.
1.2 Check bailout pressures before and at the end of each neap.
1.3 Maintain records of all servicing and a complete record of each bailouts history (including fills).
1.4 Ensure spares parts are available to minimise down time.
1.5 Spares shall be kept in a clean dry place.
1.6 Bailouts and all regulators and valves must be serviced annually.

2. Compressors

2.1 Maintain compressors to within Australian standards and standards set in the PPA code of practice.
2.2 Ensure reliability of equipment by setting up and enforcing maintenance schedules eg. Plug, filter, belt, and oil changes at regular intervals.
2.3 One spare compressor shall be kept in working order at all times.
2.4 One spare Honda 9hp shall be kept in working order at all times.

3.  Dive vessels

3.1 Ensure the correct maintenance and care of dinghies, including, outboards, electrical equipment, and hydraulics.
3.2 Spare parts for all hydraulics shall be kept in town to minimise down time.
3.3 Records shall be kept of all servicing on outboards.  Communication between outboard mechanics and co-coordinator should be encouraged to achieve best performance and reliability from outboard motors.

4. Medical oxygen equipment

4.1 Ensure the reliability and safe keeping of all medical oxygen equipment.
4.2 All oxygen equipment shall be serviced annually as in 1.6
4.3 One therapy mask and two demand valves must be kept at all times on board the mother vessel
4.4 Gas bottles shall be kept at 90% capacity unless drift diving, and replaced immediately thereafter.


  • Keep your self abreast of existing and new company policies and ensure they are implemented and enforced as required, adhering to any relevant Government legislation. Ensure that there is no breach of company policy at any time. Maintain a high level of professionalism at all times so as to set a good example to crew.
  • Oversee the Dive crew in all facets of their positions.
  • Provide the Senior Diver with a clear understanding of all aspects of your position. Especially important when you are on annual leave or if you are unable to be on the farm for any reason.
  • Relay all dive crew performances under your responsibility on a regular basis to the Farm Manager (or GM of Operations when FM is not present)
  • Relay to Farm Manager all crew numbers required for upcoming farm dive tasks providing enough time to allow for advertising and replacements.

Training and Assessment of Divers

  • Assess new divers training and qualifications.
  • Ensure that all trainees are fluent with US Navy Dive Tables, PPA Code of Practice, and Company Policy.
  • Initial (i.e. First neap) dives and tendering activities must be accompanied by head diver.
  • Ensure all divers knowledge of oxygen equipment including access, setup, handling and storage.  Notify farm manager of any alterations.
  • Assessment of divers for performance reviews.
  • Record and notify FM before the end of each neap with days worked for casual divers.
  • Assess divers and staff vessels appropriately with at least one diver who will be the head diver for that vessel.


  • Maintain strict emphasis on diving to the recognised Industry Dive Tables.
  • Ensure the safe handling of all vessels you use and/or responsible for.
  • Ensure that you follow, demonstrate, and exercise all PPA and DoT diving and vessel handling safety policies and procedures, and that the staff assigned to you are proficient to the same level.
  • Ensure all diving and vessel handling licenses and kept maintained and up to date, and are on your person at all times whilst at seas.
  • Set example for crew regarding POB safety requirements when working on wharf.


  • Relay and communicate all issues relating to the vessel performance of dive boats to ensure Engineer and Farm Manager are aware of the issues.
  • Liaise with engineering staff to ensure that crew are adhering to engineering requirements. If engineering staff want the crew to perform duties that will mitigate breakdowns, down time etc. ensure that directives are followed. This information will be communicated to crew members by yourself, and the Farm Manager.
  • Report any defective equipment to the Farm Manager and/or Engineer so as to solve problems as soon as possible.
  • Assist with shell cleaning and husbandry duties as requested by the Farm Manager
  • Assist with the processing of by-product during annual operations and harvest activities
  • Be required to assist with the wild fishing (drifting) activities when required by the Company.

Minimum Requirements

  1. Coxswains with 2 years management and seagoing experience
  2. Minimum one full season of pearl farm diving
  3. High level of computer literacy an advantage
  4. Highly demonstrated oral and written communication skills
  5. Senior First Aid
  6. Open Water accreditation
  7. Current Dive Medical to AS/NZS 2299.1:2007 standards done by PPA approved doctor with chest and long bone x-rays
  8. Pearl Divers and Pearl Masters Licence (Department of Fisheries) (desirable)
  9. Pearl Producers Association Certificate (PPA) (desirable

Abilities Required

  1. Must be mentally and physically fit
  2. Must be self motivated and be able to work as a team leader and be part of a team
  3. Excellent time management and self organisation skills
  4. Excellent interpersonal skills
  5. Ability to obtain MSIC card


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.



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