Much can be experienced, visited and seen during a career in commercial diving. Jerold Smith exemplified this during his half century service in the industry. In 1965 after 3 years in the U.S. Navy Mr. Smith began training for underwater demolitions and his career in diving started. Upon finalizing eight years in the Navy, Smith entered into the civilian diving industry by first instructing SCUBA classes then working as an inland commercial diver. In 1976 Smith traveled to the North Sea to work for the oil and gas industry for the next decade. As a SAT diver Smith learned the value of the dive team, procedures and safety on a project. Diving milestones in the North Sea include 42 continued days in saturation at a depth of 630 feet and the high profile salvage operation of the “Alexander Kielland”. The Kielland suffered a catastrophic failure that caused it to capsize in March of 1980 in the North Sea. All were lost on vessel. According to Mr. Smith “after joining the Navy they shipped us to the Bering Sea, I thought the North Sea had the worst weather.”
Eventually Smith relocated to his home in Saginaw, Michigan where he founded Great Lakes Diving Company (GLDC) in January of 1987. For the next 28 years Smith completed all facets of his business from owning and operating to diving. GLDC completed multiple types of inland diving services for customers throughout the paper and pulp, power generation industries and municipalities. Remaining a small detailed firm GLDC staffed 1 – 2 crews for a faithful customer base. In 2015 Smith contacted UCC to begin his well-deserved retirement from an impressive career and service to the commercial diving industry.