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Speakers
Commercial Saturation Diver

Chris Lemons

Chris Lemons has been a commercial diver for over 18 years, and currently specialises in deep sea saturation diving. He moves beyond a miracle and communicates how teamwork, preparation, training, procedures, drills and practice played a huge role in his recovery and survival.

Languages:
Employability:
Keynote Speaker
Employability:
Keynote Speaker,

Specialist Subjects

1. Leadership and Maintaining the Chain of Command

Chris can discuss how strong leadership plays a vital role in all spheres of the
work he does. From a robust chain of command, right through to individual
leadership whilst working on the ocean floors, Chris is able to share how
clear-cut but objective governance and accountability is key to the safe and
efficient running of complicated and inherently dangerous offshore subsea
operations. He can also describe how this same clear minded and well-
rehearsed structure of leadership played a pivotal role in saving his life, and
how you can use these methods to enhance the organisational culture within
your own place of work.

2. Crisis Management and Emergency Response

What happened to Chris is the very definition of a crisis, not only to him
personally, but to his crewmates and the reputation of the company he was
working for. Chris can discuss how detailed preparation, effective leadership,
an effective chain of command, and proper training and drills allowed the
team around him to remain calm under extreme pressure and fulfil the
miraculous rescue which saved his life.

3. Procedures and the Power of Drills and Practice

Chris works in a world where procedures, checklists, training and drills are
not just essential to the work he performs, but to the preservation of life
itself. He can communicate how these are used to allow him and his
colleagues to safely work and live in the dangerous environments of
compression chambers and the deep sea, but also how they played an
essential role in allowing his crew mates to act with the calm assurance
needed to pull him back from the brink of death.

4. Risk

Chris is able to discuss how, despite the inherent dangers involved with
working in such an extreme environment, the risks are calculated and
managed to make them acceptable. Identifying hazards, dynamic risk
assessments and management of change are fundamental in making what
could potentially be the most dangerous job on the planet, into what is
arguably the safest form of diving in the world. Chris can explain how this is
implemented, and how the lessons learned can apply to your sphere of work
or life.

5. Incident Investigation

Following Chris’ life-threatening incident, which would have profound
professional and personal implications for all involved had the rescue not
been affected, it was essential that a far reaching and detailed investigation
be conducted. Chris can recount the processes that the company went
through to ensure that this was not only completed in as comprehensive
manner as possible, but also in a fashion that was sensitive to the needs of
those involved, as well as managing and protecting the public image of the
company. This all culminated in a successful return to work just three weeks
later, with the company using the incident as an industry wide learning tool
and success story.

6. Resilience and Overcoming Adversity

The very nature of Chris’ work requires a character and mindset that is
resilient and attuned to overcoming adversity. The ocean floors are possibly
the most inhospitable working environments that this world has to offer, and
simply to commute there on a daily basis requires Chris and the team to
overcome numerous obstacles of both practical and psychological nature.
Chris can discuss how this resilience has been forged not only through
adversity, but by fostering a culture and mentality amongst the team which
allows them to problem solve quickly and calmly in difficult situations. He
can also describe how this resilience enabled the team to overcome extreme
pressure and the unknown to successfully carry out his rescue, and also to
return to work just three weeks later, and how this same mindset of
resilience can be applied to your sphere of work.

7. Teamwork and Workforce Diversity

Both Chris’ work, and his miraculous survival, rely heavily on the strength of
the teams he works within. From the three-man unit that ventures to the
depths for its working days, to the hundreds of colleagues supporting that
unit, above, onboard the vessel and ashore, their successes and failures are
very much defined by their ability to work cohesively as a team. Saturation
diving is a global enterprise that draws a broad range of characters together
from a wide range of ethnic, cultural and educational backgrounds. Chris can
discuss how these diverse teams are brought together to work towards their
very singular goals, and how this diversity works in their favour when
channelled and managed effectively. He will also relate how cohesive
teamwork played a crucial role in saving his life, when the crew aboard the
vessel came together to defy the overwhelming odds and extricate him from
a seemingly impossible situation.

8. Death

Chris’ extraordinary brush with death gave him an opportunity to
contemplate his own, seemingly imminent, mortality. He is able to share
how in accepting the inevitability of his own death in those final conscious
minutes on the seabed, he was able to find a state of calm and reflect on
what was most important in his life. The miracle of his subsequent survival
has given him an acute sense of what death really means, and he is able
reflect with audiences on how these insights are as important in life, as they
were when facing death.

Videos

References

Chris took the audience of ~160 through the story of that fateful night in a clear manner, using clips from the Netflix documentary to emphasise the story at certain points.

“Chris is a very friendly, down to earth and engaging speaker whose story is hard to believe. He took the audience of ~160 through the story of that fateful night in a clear manner, using clips ...

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RGA
Boy did Chris deliver! His presentation was funny, engaging and deeply touching.

“In a challenging time period during the COVID-19 pandemic, DeepOcean wanted to bring in a key note speaker from our industry that had a fascinating story to tell, could draw parallels between ...

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Erik Bergh from DeepOcean
His humble delivery, sense of humour and lived experience of the challenges of working in a remote and hazardous environment really resonated with our audience.

“Chris joined us in Kuala Lumpur for our annual conference designed to bring together OPITO’s global network of training centres, industry partners and colleagues. We received overwhelmingly ...

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Alex Spencer from OPITO
Chris is a remarkably powerful speaker with a tremendously valuable story.

“Chris is a remarkably powerful speaker with a tremendously valuable story. He also happens to be a genuine gentleman. Highly recommend.”

Robin Sharma
Hear him if you dare!

“I’ve had the honour of hearing Chris’ story on several occasions now, each time with a fresh angle or nuance. Articulate, knowledgeable and surprisingly dispassionate (given his subject ...

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Dr. Oliver Firth

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