Updated guidance on ‘Underwater Air Lift Bags’ has been published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). It addresses the initial and periodic examination, testing, certification and maintenance of underwater type bags (cylindrical totally enclosed, closed and open parachute bags) used by divers to lift submerged objects. The new publication also focuses on the operational use of open parachute type lift bags and the safety precautions that should be taken during their use.
“The main feature of this revision of an existing guidance note is to provide examples of eight different types of lift by means of operational guidance notes, helpful descriptions and useful sketches,” explains IMCA’s technical director, Jane Bugler.
The document aims to provide clear lift bag guidance on fitness for purpose; examination and testing criteria; maintenance, which should be carried out to ensure the continuing integrity of each bag, as far as is possible, between its periodic tests; operational considerations; operational guidance; and safety precautions to be taken into consideration during their use. It does not apply to water-filled bags used as water weights for testing of other equipment.