BIG SPRING, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Big Spring ISD is offering a new technical and career program to students this year and it’s a program that’s never before been offered in west Texas: underwater welding.

“We start off with total welding where we give students the basics of oxyfuel, plasma cutting and stick welding, wire welding, and we’ll start them off there, safely get them one good year under their belt with the basics,” said Big Spring ISD welding instruction Milton Woody. “Mo job is to them to a point where they could go out and weld, straight out of high school. 

Woody’s students said they are excited to learn such a useful skill.

“I came into high school, my freshman year…I started welding and then I picked it up and then started welding for skills and then this year we’re building a water tank for underwater welding. We can practice that and get certifications in that one and expand our welding program,” said Big Spring High junior, Andrew Garcia.

“making all these cool projects…they give me something to do and hopefully later on in life. It’s taught me patience, a lot of patience, because sometimes you won’t get the first time…so always keep trying, never give up,” said senior Lucas Chavez.

Senior Amaiya Hernandez said she’s always loved diving and welding, and that underwater welding is a perfect marriage of the things she loves.

“I love diving, I love welding, and I have always wanted to put the two together,” she said. 

A local company, Wolf Tank Manufacture, as well as a trucking company, helped the students with materials to practice building a tank. It’s a practice that may serve them well in their future careers. Underwater welding is used in the oil and gas industry and is essential for the construction, maintenance, and repair of offshore oil and gas platforms. It’s also used in shipbuilding and repair, bridge and dam maintenance, salvage, and underwater construction.