Economic links between India and Scotland have been strengthened following an official visit by the Consul General of India to The Underwater Centre in Fort William.
Mr. Anil Kumar Anand is keen to develop new working relationships between India and Scotland after watching the students in action at the Centre; a world leader in the provision of commercial diver and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) training.
Accompanied by Provost of Lochaber, Councillor Allan Henderson, Mr Anand observed the trainees working alongside ROVs in the depths of Loch Linnhe before chatting to one of the divers, who had just emerged from a particularly intensive training session.
Mr Anand explained: “The marine industry has always interested me, which is one of the reasons I was so keen to visit The Underwater Centre and find out more about the opportunities available to Indian students. I was very impressed by the centre’s facilities and the cutting edge subsea technology available to students training at the facility.
“I am very keen to build new training links between India and Scotland and my visit to the Underwater Centre has further cemented my beliefs that there are huge opportunities for Indian students to come to Scotland and train as commercial divers and ROV technicians for the subsea industry.”
In addition to the world class facilities, the centre gives students the opportunity to work in a multi cultural environment, providing students with an invaluable insight in to day to day life in the industry. The Underwater Centre attracts students from all over the world and has trained students from India in the past.
Finlay Finlayson, owner of The Underwater Centre, said: “The opportunity has always been there for Indian students to travel to Scotland to undertake top class training at The Underwater Centre. Now, following Mr Anand’s visit, these opportunities have been taken in a new and exciting direction and we look forward to seeing how they develop over the coming months.”
The Underwater Centre’s facilities include a 1.5 million litre indoor tank and Loch Linnhe which provides realistic offshore conditions with depths ranging from 8 to 150 metres, in tidal currents with varying visibility allowing students to learn in an environment which will become very familiar to them in their profession.
Following his visit to The Underwater Centre, Mr. Anand swapped depth for height as he was transported in Britain’s only mountain gondola to 650m above sea level to enjoy panoramic views of the Nevis Range. He also had the chance to meet Indian-born Sukamar Sen MBE, a respected GP who served the Lochaber community for 30 years before his retirement in 1995.