Underwater Cutting

One of the major tasks in underwater cutting and welding of the Salvor is the refloating of stranded vessels and the clearance of navigable harbor areas of wrecks and grounded ships. Most often this requires the use of underwater cutting equipment. This section presents detailed technical information and procedures to be used while engaged in underwater cutting operations. As previously mentioned, there are two methods of underwater cutting currently being used: oxygen arc and shielded metal arc cutting. Each method is discussed in this section.


Serious injury or death may result when adequate precautions are not followed during underwater cutting or welding operations. Supervisors shall ensure that all personnel become thoroughly familiar with the safety precautions.

Under no circumstances shall compressed air be substituted for oxygen in underwater cutting operations due to the danger of contaminating oxygen regulators and hoses with oil residue (hydrocarbons).

The position of the ground in relation to the diver must be such that at no time does the diver or equipment become positioned
between the ground and the electrode.