Saturation Diver Salary: Shannon Hovey, a Saturation Diver, woke up this winter with five other men 52 days, inside a boat, in the Gulf of Mexico, in a steel tube 20-foot long and 7-feet in diameter. He got out of the hatchery for his breakfast and read a briefing the day, waiting for a voice to say to him it was time to put on his rubber suit and get to work. Everyday life in the tube was constructed around these steps… while trying to avoid thinking about any incidents that could lead to quick and agonistic death in his temporary Metal home.
Hovey works in one of the world’s least well-known, dangerous, and, to be honest, weird occupations. He’s a saturation diver, one of the men (almost all of them have been men*) who perform construction and demolition work at depths of 1,000 feet or more beneath the ocean’s surface.
Saturation divers can earn anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 per month. This will cost over $180,000 a year. “Depth pay,” which can range from $1 to $4 per foot, is a rare compensation addition for saturation divers.
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