Keith Johnson

Keith Johnson is the Managing Director of Commercial Diving Services with an extensive commercial diver career. Keith participated in the foundation of Commercial Diving Services and continually innovates throughout the industry achieving new levels of excellence.


In His Fathers Footsteps

Keith Johnson began his career at the age of 16 when he was encouraged by his father Neil to join the family business. Keith had a love of the water and quickly became proficient in all things relating to diving. As a young man, Keith’s motivation was to work alongside his father in an outdoors environment where he had the opportunity to travel and undertake a passion he also pursued in his own time… diving! It was not long before Keith realised he was very good at his chosen career and he focused on becoming as competent and professional as was possible. His father Neil, a true pioneer in commercial diving, was his teacher and mentor.

In 1989 Keith took over Commercial Diving Services from his father upon retirement. Within 5 years Commercial Diving Services had won the 1994 Award for Achievement, Innovation and Excellence (NSW Small Business Awards). Keith always strives for perfection in everything he does and has propelled Commercial Diving Services to the top of the commercial diving industry. Keith was also very fortunate when he met and married his partner in life and business, Kerrie Johnson. Keith and Kerrie along with their family and staff, are committed to ensuring Commercial Diving Services is the best and most professional service provider in the maritime industry.

Commercial diving is a rewarding yet dangerous business with little margin for error. It demands proper planning and endurance, skill, hard work and knowledge

Keith Johnson leads from the front and is not afraid of getting his hands dirty. Commercial diving is seen to be a difficult and dangerous profession often undertaken in a hostile environment. Not a profession for the faint of heart, Keith embraced the challenge and soon developed a reputation for determination and tenacity with a strong focus on integrity and honesty. From an early age, Keith adopted the motto of proper preparation prevents poor performance or the 5 P’s as it is affectionately known. With this in mind he will seek knowledge wherever it may be in order to ensure that he is prepared for the task at hand, whether that be in his business or personal life.

Work and Life Balance

Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges any dedicated business person has to meet is the work/life balance. The Human factor is a complex and challenging component to managing any business. Keith Johnson is committed to his business but he is also committed to his family, friends and community. He is committed to the philosophy of balance in work, home, health and recreation. Regular exercise ensures he is physically able to cope with the demands of business and his personal passions such as trekking, fishing, karate and snow skiing. Keith has been a keen reader all his adult life. However, his passion for the written word is specifically bias towards business teachings, the Stock Market and all things related to financial sustainability. Occasionally, whilst seated around the old camp-fire Keith will share some Banjo Patterson or Henry Lawson with anyone who may care to listen.

Achieving set goals in business should be rewarded. Working to live is the only acceptable approach towards a sustainable and happy work/life balance

Always willing to embrace technology, Keith Johnson has pioneered the use of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV’s) in Australia from 1981. He was the first Australian to purchase a four man Perry submarine and has recently invented a new process for removing fouling from the underwater surface of commercial shipping. Hull Surface Treatment technology will have a dramatic impact on fuel efficiency, reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and aid in the fight against biological invasion from marine pests forming part of the slime, algae and weed fouling. Hull Surface Treatment technology is a world first, an Australian invention and has a registered world-wide patent. Keith has developed an environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly and innovative solution to the expensive problem of marine weed growth on the underwater surface of commercial shipping (fouling).

As Thomas Edison once said, there was 2000 ways the light bulb would not work... only one way it would! - That saying gave me motivation to continue with the task of making HST effective

Keith Johnson has surrounded himself with the right people and he is not afraid to seek out expertise when and where required. His attention to detail reduces exposure to unnecessary risk and his eye for detail identifies opportunities to be taken. Keith is a committed and focused professional who has a passion for business and sustainable enterprise. These traits combined with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in his chosen field set him apart from his competitors.

His desire to succeed and deliver results through innovation, technology and superior service has positioned Commercial Diving Services in front of its competitors. A preparedness to deliver more than is expected – on time and on budget has earned the company a reputation to which many aspire, but few ever achieve.

Keith Johnson was the Chairman of the Australian Diving Contractors Association (A.D.C.A) and was a Director of the Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme (A.D.A.S). Keith has a passion for ensuring that training and certification is encouraged within the Commercial Diving Industry. He is also a member of the Illawarra Business Chamber.

He is equally passionate on matters pertaining to the environment particularly that which effects the marine ecosystems and has consulted to the Federal Department of Transport and has made submissions to the Federal House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government on their Inquiry into Coastal Shipping Policy and Regulation AND to the Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts on their Inquiry into Climate Change and Environmental Impacts on Coastal Communities.

Like my father who taught me the basic requirements in commercial diving, I am also repeating history by working with my son Tim and enjoying this time together with Tim immensely – the third generation of commercial divers in the Johnson family

Today Keith is the active Managing Director of Commercial Diving Services, an enterprise servicing the shipping industry, catchment authorities, government departments, exploration companies and the list goes on. Keith has been a hands-on manager and has grown his business into one of the leading underwater engineering companies in Australia. He has also become teacher and mentor to his son Tim Johnson who is a qualified commercial diver and Operations Manager for Commercial Diving Services. Like his Father and Grandfather before him, Tim is committed to Commercial Diving Services ensuring that a succession plan is well and truly on the road to fruition. Each generation being motivated enough definitely adds a new and improved perspective on the business to enable it to meet new goals in an ever changing environment.

Keith Johnson's Statistics

50 Years

Commercial Diver

Total Est. Deployments
Success Rate
Zero Failure To Operate 100%
Safety Record
Underwater Safety 100%

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