Everyone is into silly video games nowadays, and watching the television devices. I don’t want to be one of THOSE people, but it’s true: we had it worse when we was younger, because we didn’t have all this technology. I got my start in the marine welding industry when I was a teenager, and there was no such thing as working age limits back then. I was a man, and I had to start welding to support the family, and that was the way of things. Also, I had to walk to work…sometimes through the snow, but that’s not important. We can focus on the welding thing.
Naturally, underwater welding didn’t have all the fancy gadgets that it does now. It’s all bubbles and capsules, very safe, very efficient, and it’s made Melbourne into an industrial marine welding powerhouse. We had it rough, because we basically had to hold our breath and jump underwater while welding inside a little bag full of oxygen, and if the bag burst it came out of our pay, and the bag burst ALL the time. It was a very bad system, but it was the only one we had.
Nowadays I hear about stainless steel marine welding, and it’s like luxury. All these safety rules, for one thing. Stainless steel! Our steel stained very easily. It was a huge problem. And you have to be fully-qualified before they send you underwater. In fact, you have to stay in school at that age, apparently. You can start doing the safer jobs, like attaching bow rails, when you become an apprentice. That’s a 180-switch from how it used to be, when the young lads were shoved underwater while the boss attached the bait boards and snapper racks in comfort. A lot has changed, some things for the better I’ll admit. Part of me thinks they’ve earned it, but…you can’t really argue with the lack of casualties nowadays.