Thursday, January 14, 2010

Down Economy Sparks Second Careers Underwater

'Underwater' as in the deep and murky kind, nonetheless.

When the economy collapsed, Quinton Ford lost a Texas oil field job he held for nine years. He returned home to New Mexico at the end of his rope for employment opportunities.

Then he grabbed hold of an umbilical air line, strapped on 200 pounds of wet suit, weight belt, ankle weights and other gear, popped a helmet on his head that looked like a cannonball and snapped shut the seal. He's learning commercial diving, taking the plunge into the murk, carrying a welder or tools to fasten together a dozen or more heavy duty flanges and valves, sometimes working almost by feel.

Oh yeah, it's dangerous.

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