Canada’s Largest Commercial Diving School Renowned For Training Programs
CAMPBELL RIVER – DiveSafe International is Canada’s largest commercial diving school, and women are leading the way.
Jennifer Klatt and Sarah Frioult are both com-mercial divers and instructors, and Catherine Korol, co-owner and founder of the business with her husband Kelly, say the pair possess amazing skills and work ethic.
“They are in a predominantly male dominated ‘macho’ industry and have excelled in their fields,” states Catherine. “Both are super impressive women.”
Jennifer is a certified welding inspector who competed in the Underwater Women’s Welding contest in Texas in May.
“Jenn graduated from our Deep Sea diving program (Unrestricted Surface Supply Diver) and we hired her on as an apprentice,” says Catherine, adding she now works for DiveSafe and also goes to dive jobs.”
Sarah graduated at the top of her class from DiveSafe’s Unrestricted Surface Supply Diver deep sea program over five years ago.
“After working in the field, we are happy to have her come back and move into an instructional role.,” Catherine reports. “She is also an underwater welder and marine biologist.”
The Korols started DiveSafe 20 years ago, and the company now provides most of the commercial divers for local companies in BC.
They have three main programs to train divers from their Campbell River base.
The very popular five-week Occupational SCUBA Diver Program is designed for work in aquaculture, scientific diving, environmental, survey work, inspection and seafood harvesting.
The eight-week Restricted Surface Supply Diver program is for work as a geoduck diver, doing bridge inspections and construction.
The ‘Big Kahuna’ is the 21-week long Unrestricted Surface Supply Diver program, which includes everything from the other two programs, as well as underwater welding, construc-tion, offshore, underwater tools and hyperbaric chamber operations.
“It’s very popular, it’s a big program and requires a big commitment,” explains Catherine. “Basically you can do anything in commercial diving once you finished that program.”
The company’s growth is steady.
“We have grown consistently over the years,” Catherine reports. “Seven years ago we saw the industry need for Deep Sea divers, so we created the 21 week Unrestricted Surface Supply Program, which has been extremely successful.”
The firm’s success is due to several factors. “We work incredibly hard, and we have excellent staff,” she says. “We are lean and able to pivot when the market changes, and we understand the staffing needs of the local companies and have good relationships with them.”
“We are a one stop shop, providing everything a student needs to attend school, including a full retail dive store, student housing, support to get work upon graduation, and alumni social media groups in order to get work.”
DiveSafe’s certifications are nationally and internationally recognized, so graduated divers can work most anywhere in the world.
“Our purpose is to graduate students into the commercial dive industry with the skills and training to start their exciting new careers,” Catherine says. “There are a lot of really good paying jobs out there right now and great opportunities for someone who enjoys adventure and the outdoors.”
Business Examiner Staff