#Law Reform
The European Ombudsman

There are laws governing the safety of divers that work in the North Sea, that have prevented accidents and deaths occurring at the rate that was prevalent in the 1970's.

These laws have yet to be reflected in the inshore and coastal areas of the EU.

The following have happened this year:

25th January, Belgium, Olivier Rouxhet, Civil protection fire fighter diver, drowned when trapped on a sluice gate in the river Meuse during a search for two missing children.

23rd March, Spain, Javier Diaz-Macias was working (upstream) on a dam, his body was recovered downstream, it looks like he went through the spillway.

28th March, Spain, Hector Luelmo-Mayo, A soldier with the 5th intervention Battalion based in El Ferral de Bernesga, one of a 4 man diving team, separated from his group, body recovered the day after.

27th April, Italy, Ottavio Baumgartner, Cleaning water intake grill at a the Edipower plant in Sermide in Northern Italy, found stuck on the grill with his mask off, failed to respond to treatment.

4th June, Spain, Julio Dacosta-Gallo, Cleaning the propeller of a tug when 'somebody' started her up, his colleague (Andres) on the other side of the prop was injured but blown clear, Gallo got sucked through the blades and cut to pieces.

7th June, Portugal, David Mato-Garrido, Fish Farm or Fish Processing Plant, Sucked up a water inlet pipe and drowned in the hour it took to get a recovery diver to him.

9th July, Spain, Daniel Heres Álvarez, diver died gathering gelidium ( a kind of kelp used to extract several foods,pharmaceutical and cosmetics components mainly agar-agar ), in north of Spain due to unsafe procedures.

It is time the regulations took into account the safety and training of commercial divers on inland and coastal waters!

We the undersigned call on the EU to improve the safety of commercial divers by standardising the requirements of equipment safety and training that must be used on ALL diving operations, conducted within the EU.

We require that the EU enact laws to prohibit diving contractors and companies engaged in underwater operations from supplying substandard equipment and untrained divers.

We require that clients hiring diving contractors and companies engaged in underwater operations be accountable for the manner in which the operations being carried out are undertaken.

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The Stop Commercial Diver Deaths petition to The European Ombudsman was written by Mark Longstreath and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.