The Commercial Diver Network
I've been running this blog for a few weeks on our website at the following link and thought i'd share it here aswell. I'll post all future blogs on here, hopefully for you enjoyment. Comments most welcome. Letters A-C can be viewed here: http://commdivingblog.analox.net/
I have been partial to a few games of Taboo in my time – the board game where you have to describe a word without using the word you’re describing or a list of other descriptive words cunningly chosen for the fact that they’re the very words you, yourself would choose should you want to describe the word in question…………as you can see just from my description of the game……………………. I rarely win.
Describing the letter D in commercial diving is also tricky as there is so much choice, all of which could appear on a card for a very niche Commercial Diving version of Taboo (which I will not be presenting to the Dragons in their den) – 2 Analox distributors, Divex and Drass Galeazzi spring to mind, so does decompression, deck decompression chambers or simply divers themselves. And the word in question which relates to these and indeed everything commercial diving would be Depth……
Typical saturation diving depths are varied (oxymoron alert!). Some sat diving is now done at relatively shallow depths of less than 100 metres due to the convenience and cost saving aspect of sat diving itself. Many sat diving systems are classified to 300-350m which gives you a good idea of the maximum depths a large portion of sat divers see. However – some have gone deeper but there can be issues…..
In 1981 a test conducted in North Carolina onshore in a chamber dive, occupants went down to 686 metres – they breathed the conventional mixture of heliox with difficulty and suffered trembling and memory lapses (it was later confirmed there was no alcohol in the chamber during the test)
The diving depth record for off shore diving was achieved in 1988 by a team of professional divers from Comex performing pipe line connections at a depth of 534 meters of sea water in the Mediterranean Sea during a record scientific dive.
In 1992 Comex diver Theo Mavrostomos achieved a record of 701 metres of sea water in an on shore hyperbaric chamber. He took 43 days to complete the scientific record dive, where a hydrogen-helium-oxygen gas mixture was used as breathing gas. (Rather him than me!)
My personal experience is slightly less impressive. I did once rescue a drowning rubber brick whilst dressed in pyjamas as part of a life saving certificate test in my local pool (mouth to mouth was not required). I have also been to 14 metres in a hyperbaric chamber thanks to a training day delivered by Mimir Marine in 2010.
The complexity, medical problems and accompanying high costs of professional diving to extreme depths in offshore oilfield drilling and production have effectively prevented non-atmospheric manned intervention in the ocean at extreme depths but as is human nature, we will no doubt continue to push these boundaries further and further, indeed recently Drass Galeazzi have begun collaboration with CDB Lazurit to construct a 450m deep diving system.
Personally, i’ll continue to ensure that any rubber bricks in my local pool will be safe, but for those who dive to the depths they do……..I salute you (in my pyjamas).