Crew boat supports dive operations

Chimera is a 100-foot Camcraft crew boat used by Sea Sub Systems to support its commerical diving operations. The company, founded in 1980, is working on the extension of a pipeline that will cary gas under Tampa bay to a power plant near St. Petersburg, Fla.

Rob LaMaire founded Sea Sub Systems in 1980 to conduct commercial diving and sea launch services in the Tampa Bay area. The four LaMaire brothers — Rob, Dave, Scott and Landon — are all certified commercial divers, and comprise four of the company’s six divers.

This summer the company is providing general dive services to Sunland Construction Co., the contractor laying the extension of the Gulfstream pipeline. An existing pipeline carries gas extracted from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to Coden, Ala., near Mobile. From there, the compressed natural gas (CNG) travels across the Gulf, to Tampa, Fla. The extension is 18 miles long and will carry natural gas from Port Manatee, south of Tampa, across Tampa Bay, to the Bartow Power Plant on Weedon Island, near St. Petersburg, Fla.
Sea Sub Systems is doing the welding, surveying, rigging, inspection and other tasks, as well as supplying the crew boat services.
“The pipeline has to go underneath the shipping channel in three spots, which requires directional drilling,” said Rob LaMaire “The trickiest task — besides conditions, i.e. low visibility, weather and boat traffic — is verifying all the various elevations of the drill casing to insure the correct angle for the drill head.”
Sea Sub is organized as a rapid-response unit for emergency underwater repairs and salvage, but also conducts routine repairs and maintenance such as underwater video inspections and surveys, in-water shell plate repair, underwater seal replacement, water-weight load testing, propeller polishing and repairs, hull cleaning and descaling.

The company operates a 40-foot Lafco-designed crew boat, Sea Sub II, and a 100-foot Camcraft crew boat named Chimera. Sea Sub Systems is certified by all the major class societies worldwide and provides international service through an association with SubSea Solutions Alliance.

By Professional Mariner Staff