Marine Link
Friday, October 28, 2016

IMCA Publishes ROV 2011 Global Statistics

October 15, 2012

Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) statistics for 2011 have been published by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) as an information note (IMCA R 05/12).

The statistics, intended to record personnel and vehicle levels, are collected twice a year in February and August. The 2011 figures show that IMCA members had fewer ROV personnel at work in 2011 than in 2010, and that ROV personnel numbers reported in August 2011 exceeded those in February 2011 by about 25%.

In February 2011 a total of 2,410 personnel was reported to be involved in world-wide ROV operations (2373 ROV superintendents, supervisors and pilot techs; and 37 other offshore ROV support personnel) compared with 3,018 in August 2011 (with the breakdown being 2923 and 95). In February there were 473 ROVs involved in world-wide operations; and 536 in August 2011 – Class III, work-class vehicles, were by far the largest proportion of the total at both times of year (394 in February, and 440 in August).

“The figures provide a snapshot of activity on those two dates roughly six months apart,” explains Jane Bugler, IMCA’s Technical Director. “They do not include personnel on leave, sick or not working for any reason and only include those actually working on the two days of the survey. They do not take into account any major contract that may have been completed shortly before the days of the count, nor for that matter, one that may have started shortly after. They are divided by classes of ROV as defined in our ‘Code of practice for the safe and efficient operation of remotely operated vehicles’ (IMCA R 004).”

IMCA has collected statistics over many years for ROV personnel working in the North Sea, and in 2008 it was agreed that the collection of data should be widened to all geographical areas, and also to the types of ROV in operation.  The purpose is to create a record and examine trends.   There is a direct correlation between numbers of ROVs, team size and total numbers of ROV personnel.  Since we are aware that many new ROVs will come into the market soon, this is exacerbating the shortage of competent personnel in this sector.  IMCA is working with its membership to try to address this shortfall.

Further information on IMCA and its work with, and on behalf of, its members is available at and from IMCA, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521; and


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